Pain relief during labor does not have to be such a difficult decision to make. And you don’t really have to choose between drug use and breathing relaxation patterns.

It all simply depends on you and how you feel about either one of the methods to relieve pain during labor and delivery.Most importantly, you didn’t have to put up a brave front to suffer through the labor pains!

Determining the mode of pain relief will facilitate your labor.So, prepare well by learning your breathing relaxing techniques, and when labor pains begin, you can then decide if drugs are necessary.

I recommend that as you learn your breathing techniques; also find out from your birthing medical practitioner what kinds of drugs they usually make available. This is also a good time to let your medical practitioner know whether you are allergic or might be allergic to any drugs you might be interested in using.

There are different kinds of drugs used for pain relief during labor.

Sedativesdownload film Fist Fight

  • reduce anxiety and help you sleep
  • usually used during early labor, up to about latent phase


  • help to relax and stop nausea and vomiting
  • used during early labor, up to active phase


  • reduce pain greatly
  • used during active labor, almost to dilatation.

Pain relief during labor can also be through a regional block(partial or complete reduction of feeling in a specific part of the body).If an expectant mom opts for a regional block to relieve labor pain, any one of these may be given depending on the progression of labor and delivery.

Epidural block

  • used from 4cm to birth; also used for caesarean birth.
  • using a needle, a “caine” type of drug is placed into the lower part of the back into epidural space that runs alongside the spinal column.
  • the needle is removed and a catheter is taped in place on your back, the drug is given as a single dose or run continuously through this catheter.
  • pain relief is felt within 20 minutes of injection as well as loss of feeling and inability to move your legs from chest downwards. Feeling returns 2-3 hours of stopping medication.
  • an expectant mom is confined to bed with mandatory fetal monitoring and IV fluids.
  • it usually is difficult for a mom to push, because the urge to bear down is lessen.

spinal block

  • often used for cesarean birth; active phase of stage one and stage two.
  • a “caine” type of drug is injected into the lower part of the back as well.
  • and loss of feeling and movement is similar to epidural and lasts about 2 hours. Only one dose of drug is given.
  • may cause spinal headaches due to loss of spinal fluid when the dura is pierced.

Pudendal block

  • a “caine” type of drug is given into the nerves in the vaginal area, numbing the lower part of the vagina. Less pain is felt during birth of baby, or if instrumental assisted delivery is done, or if an episiotomy is performed.
  • preferably used just before baby is born.

Local block

  • a “caine” type of drug is given into the skin between the vagina and the anus, numbing this area for episiotomy.
  • used just before the baby is born, and makes episiotomy repair pain bearable.

General anesthesia

If required, general anesthesia might be used and this puts you to sleep so you do not feel anything until you wake up.

This method of pain relief during labor is used during planned or emergency cesarean when an epidural or spinal block is not possible. And this can be if mom is allergic to the types of medications used in a block or if a block given does not provide the desired complete loss of feeling.

If drugs for pain relief in labor are not what you desire to use. Then consider learning relaxing breathing patterns for labor pain.

Visit the homepage of Signs of Pregnancy week by week right here

Labor and delivery… information here

Signs of labor, with this link

Stages of labor, with this link here

Braxton hicks contractions, with this link

Giving birth, with this link here

Home birth… link here

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