Skip to main content

Pethidine injections in labour

This is an injection of a medicine called pethidine into your thigh or buttock to relieve pain. It can also help you to relax.

It takes about 20 minutes to work after the injection. The effects last between two and four hours, so would not be recommended if you're getting close to the pushing (second) stage of labour.

Side effects

There are some side effects to be aware of:

  • it can make you feel woozy, sick and forgetful
  • if pethidine or diamorphine are given too close to the time of birth, they may affect the baby's breathing – if this happens, another medicine to reverse the effect will be given
  • these medicines can interfere with the baby's first feed
Follow us on: