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Managing Labor Pain Without Medicine

There are many ways to manage pain during labor. It can often be done with no anesthesia or strong pain medicines. Talk to your healthcare provider about any choices you would like to explore.

Help from relaxation

Some of these are learned in special classes. Your healthcare 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:

  • Breathing techniques

  • 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

  • Hypnosis

  • Acupuncture and acupressure

  • Heat and cold application

  • Aromatherapy

  • Birth ball

Nonpharmacologic treatment

Injections of sterile water by your healthcare provider can give you temporary pain relief when injected in the back.

If you need medicine

You may plan to use little or no medicine. But you may change your mind during labor. You can ask for medicine at any time if you need it.

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Tennille Dozier RN BSN RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2024
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