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Pain relief during labour

Labour can be painful and knowing about the types of pain relief available to you will help you make informed choices about what is right for you and your baby through labour and birth. It's also helpful for whoever is going to be with you during your labour to know about the different options, as well as how they can support you. Ask your midwife or doctor to explain what's available so that you can decide what's best for you.

Write down your wishes with your birth preferences, but remember that you should keep an open mind. You may find that you want more pain relief than you'd planned, or your doctor or midwife may suggest more effective pain relief to help the delivery. Different ways of relieving the pain are listed below:

  • Self-help
  • Hydrotherapy (being in water), available in Malden (Midwifery-Led Unit) and Delivery Suite
  • Gas and air (entonox)
  • Injections of opiates such as Pethidine
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS)
  • Epidural anaesthesia– only available in Delivery Suite
  • Alternative methods of pain relief (hypnobirthing, aromatherapy, reflexology, etc.). When using alternative methods please inform the triage midwife upon admission so we can fully support you.

For more information, download our pain relief leaflet or alternatively visit the Obstetric Anaesthetists Association wesbite. On this website the information is also available in many languages.

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