Pros & Cons of Pain Relievers during Labor

Labor pain is unbearable that most women prefer to lower down through various pain relief choices. According to researches, women who make personal decisions about the pain relievers during labor report higher levels of satisfaction.

Non-Medical Pain Relievers

Natural pain relief choices do not have any harmful effect on the mother’s body, but the intensity of the contractions may result in her choosing the medical pain relievers. These include:

  • Massage
  • Music
  • Shower
  • Birth pool
  • Heat packs
  • Acupuncture
  • Birth ball
  • Being active
  • Aromatherapy
  • Bath
  • Having an emotional support
  • Calm birth/Hypno birth
  • Massage using a tennis ball
  • Visualization
  • Water pressure
  • Reflexology

Medical Pain Relievers during labor


Is the most effective pain relief choice where a local anesthetic injects into your spine leaving you numb from the stomach to the toe.


  • Takes away most of the pain
  • Enough sleep when tired
  • Lowers your blood pressure on having high blood pressure levels
  • Can be used during a cesarean
  • Usually, one injection is enough to help relieve the pain


  • IV therapy
  • A nasty headache
  • You get confined to the bed
  • You have to wait for an anesthetist
  • Takes a while to set up
  • Nerve damage


It is an analgesic inserted directly into the vein via (PCAS) Patient-Controlled Anesthetic System.


  • Very effective
  • Can still move around
  • Patient-controlled
  • Minimal harm to the body
  • Still, have the pushing sensation in the 2nd stage


  • Takes time to set up
  • Offered in limited hospitals
  • Oxygen therapy
  • IV therapy
  • Need a doctor’s advice
  • Remains for a shorter period in the body

Water injections

It is effective in 90% of women experience back pain in labor.


  • Drug-free
  • Sterile water inserted into the lower back
  • Last for 3 hours
  • Nurse-initiated
  • Doesn’t need a doctors advice to start


  • Offered in limited hospitals
  • They sting for 30 seconds
  • Need four small needles in the skin above your hip


The usage depends on the hospital.


  • Lasts for 4 hours
  • Given instantly
  • Take 20-30 minutes to work
  • Relieves pain


  • Can cause vomiting and nausea
  • Respiratory problems may occur in a baby if given close to birth
  • Can make you sleepy
  • Its given through a needle

Nitrous Oxide/ Gas


  • Portable
  • Harmless to baby
  • Can be used in shower/pool
  • Excellent for relaxation
  • Don’t need a doctor’s advice to start
  • Can be used any time in labor


  • A bad taste
  • Can cause dizziness, vomiting and dry mouth
  • Can take a few contractions to work

TENS Machine

It is a small device which operates through a battery worn on the body. Wires attached in the box transmit electric pulses which offers relief from the pain in certain parts of the body.


  • Drug-free
  • Easy to use with physio instruction
  • Self-administered
  • No side effects to the baby as well as the mother


  • You should know the usage
  • Cost
  • Can’t use in the shower/bath/pool


Blocks the production of pain-causing chemicals and is an over-the-counter treatment.


  • Stock up at home
  • Controlled by you
  • Can take it anytime


  • Watch before consuming too many


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