Here’s How You Can Manage Your Labour Pains

Here’s How You Can Manage Your Labour Pains

9 Aug 2022 | 4 min Read

Reema Shah

Author | 630 Articles

Every woman goes through a different labour and childbirth experience. Labour pain also varies from one woman to another. While it is inevitable for women to go through labour pain, it is difficult to predict the level of pain as everyone is different, and every childbirth experience is different. Even if you have experienced childbirth earlier, there is bound to be a difference in the labour pain.

The good news is, that there are ways to manage labour pains. Some women wish to avoid drugs or other medical means, while others are open to considering all available options. There are both natural and medical ways for labour pain management.


Here are some natural and medical ways to manage labour pain.

How To Manage Labour Pain Naturally

According to research, proper preparation can help reduce pain or at least reduce anxiety or modify how the expecting mum thinks of the pain helping her to better cope with labour. There are many non-drug pain relief options for labour which include:

  • Exercising regularly throughout the pregnancy, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes along with eating a healthy, balanced diet can help stay healthy.
  • Antenatal classes; when a mum knows what to expect during the different stages of labour, it can help her to reduce her anxiety.
  • Learning breathing techniques can help to be prepared for each contraction.
  • Love and support constantly during labour can reduce anxiety.
  • Distractions like playing the mum’s favourite music can help her take her mind off the pain.
  • Massage and warm showers including hot or cold packs can help manage pain during labour. Even immersion in a warm bath and staying active can all be helpful.
  • Therapies like hypnosis, acupressure, aromatherapy and acupuncture can also be considered.
labour pains
Love and support constantly during labour can reduce anxiety/ Image source: Pexels

Common Medications To Manage Labour Pain 

1. Epidural Block

It is commonly referred to as epidural used commonly for pain relief medication during childbirth at present. You can get this procedure done either during a vaginal birth or a cesarean section (C-section). This method takes about ten to twenty minutes to work, and the doctor injects the medicine into the lower back. 

Epidurals help relieve pain throughout labour while letting remain alert and active. In a few cases, it could lower your blood pressure, leading to a slowing down of the baby’s heart rate. One of the side effects of using epidural is how it affects the ability to pee. Hence, you may need a catheter. Some other side common effects include-

  • Fever
  • A rare possibility of bad headaches after giving birth 
  • Itching

2. Spinal Block

This method is more common before a c-section birth compared to vaginal birth where the doctors give a shot to you in the lower back. The effect start showing within a few minutes and lasts for about one to two hours. The side effects of using a spinal block are the same as those that are there during an epidural.

3. Combined Spinal-epidural (CSE)

A CSE is a combination of both epidural and spinal block benefits to ease pain quickly for some time. A CSE provides the same level of pain relief as an epidural but consists of a lower dose of medication. You can still walk after getting it and hence it’s at times also called a “walking epidural”. You may be able to use the bathroom as well with assistance if the birthing centre allows it. The risks in CSE are the same as an epidural too.

How To Manage Labour Pain Naturally and labour pains
While there are many labour pain management options, it is difficult to predict the level of pain / Image Source – Deposit Photos

4. Tranquilisers

This is not a very common medication used in childbirth but it can be effective to help relieve anxiety at times. It is either injected into the muscle or uses an intravenous (IV) catheter. It may take about ten to twenty minutes to work and can provide relaxation for about three to four hours. Tranquilisers can make the mum-to-be drowsy and even cause her to forget parts of her labour. However, they don’t completely get rid of the pain and can make the baby very sleepy and sluggish after they’re born.

5. Narcotics (Opioids)

The doctor may inject narcotics through intravenous injection to reduce labour pain. They start to show effects within a few minutes and last for about two to six hours. They eliminate the pain and can make you feel sleepy. Plus, they might affect your baby’s and your breathing too. Narcotics are usually given to women who don’t want an epidural but want something for their pain relief during labour.

Childbirth is a special experience, but labour pain can be a painful experience. However, with proper treatment and care, the pain heals.

Cover image credit – Mirror UK

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