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Pain relief options

image of person with pain relief

Labour can be painful – it can help to learn about all the ways you can relieve the pain.

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 you can decide what's best for you.

Write down your wishes in your birth preferences, but remember you need to keep an open mind. You may find you want more pain relief than you'd planned, or your doctor or midwife may suggest more effective pain relief to help with your birth. Click here for more information about pain relief options (opens in new tab).

Alternative methods of labour pain relief

Some studies suggest that complementary therapies help women and birthing people feel in control of their labour and use less medication to reduce pain. If you are thinking about using these, it is important that you get advice from a person trained in that therapy. Very few maternity units provide these services on the NHS, so you would need to find a qualified therapist before you go into labour.


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