Should I have pain relief?

Labour is a very painful experience for most women and the majority of women choose to have some form of pain relief. You can discuss pain relief with your midwife or doctor before your labour begins and they can explain the options available to you. Many women choose just to have gas and air; this reduces the sensation of pain but it isn’t invasive and it doesn’t carry any risks. For more complex labours, more intensive treatment, such as an injection or an epidural may be recommended.

If you don’t want to have pain relief, you don’t have to but you should be prepared to handle severe pain; often women who say they don’t want pain relief end up changing their minds once labour has started, as the pain is too much to handle without any form of pain relief. If you want to try a natural method, discuss this with your midwife and research the therapy thoroughly; if you want more information about alternative therapies you can contact the Institute for Complementary Medicine.

If you have any questions about pain relief or you are worried about any aspect of labour, you should discuss this with your doctor or midwife; they are there to help you so make the most of it.

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