Managing Labor Pain Without Medication
There are many ways to manage pain during labor. It can often be done with no anesthesia or strong pain medications. Talk to your health care provider about any options you would like to explore.
Help from Relaxation
Some of these are learned in special classes. Your health care provider can help you find classes. The hospital or birth center may have a tub or shower you can use during early labor. These methods may be of help to you:
A warm tub or shower between contractions
Massage and therapeutic touch by your support person or labor coach
Reading materials that are comforting or inspiring
Music that is soothing
Acupuncture and acupressure
Heat and cold application
If You Need Medication
You may plan to use little or no medication. But you may change your mind during labor. You can ask for medication at any time if you need it. The two types of pain relieving drugs are analgesics and anethetics. Your health care provider will talk with you about any risks that medication may have.
Help From Analgesics
Analgesics are mild medications that reduce pain. They can be used along with some relaxation methods. They can give you pain relief without total loss of feeling. They may lessen the pain of strong contractions. You may feel well enough to nap between contractions. They have little effect on your baby if given early in labor. This may be done by injection or by IV.
Help From Anesthetics
Anesthesia involves blockage of all feeling including pain. It can be given in the form of local anesthesia or general anesthesia.