Pain Management Options

Self Help Strategies

The most important thing in labour is to get comfortable! Feeling in control of what is happening to you is important. Try to relax, listen to your body and keep calm.

Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies can be used in addition to, or as an alternative to, other forms of pain management, dependent on which therapy is used.


Women may benefit from the warm water which really helps by relaxing muscles and reducing the intensity of contractions.


The TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) lessens the pain for many, but not all, women. 


In the early stages of the first stage of labour you may find 1g (two tablets) helpful. 

Entonox (Gas & Air)

Entonox is a mixture of oxygen and a gas called nitrous oxide. You breathe it in through a mask or mouthpiece that you hold yourself.

Pethidine Injection

Another form of pain management is the injection of a pain-relieving drug, Pethidine. It takes about 20 minutes to work and one injection of Pethidine can last between two and four hours.

Epidural Anaesthesia

An epidural provides pain management by blocking the nerves carrying pain from the womb and birth canal.


Remifentanil is a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). It is a strong morphine-like painkiller that works very quickly and wears off equally as quickly.

If You Have a BMI Over 40

Pregnant women with a BMI over 35 are at higher risk of complications than those with a normal BMI (20-25).

Contact Maternity

To contact a midwife to book for antenatal care visit Antenatal Booking or leave a message on 0117 4146743

Antenatal Clinic
Telephone: 0117 4146924 or 0117 4146925

Antenatal Assessment Unit (Quantock Assessment Unit)
Telephone: 0117 4146906

Assessment Ward (Quantock Ward)
Telephone: 0117 4146904 or 0117 4146905

Cossham Birth Centre, Kingswood
Telephone: 0117 4145150

Southmead Maternity Reception
Telephone: 0117 4146894

Mendip Birth Centre, Southmead
Telephone: 0117 4146900

Mendip Ward, Southmead (Postnatal / NICU)
Telephone: 0117 4146901

Central Delivery Suite Reception, Southmead
Telephone: 0117 4146916 or 0117 4146917.

Percy Phillips Ward (Postnatal / Transitional Care)
Telephone: 0117 4146821 or 0117 4146822

Southmead Hospital Switchboard: 0117 9505050