Pain-relief options during childbirth - alternatives to epidurals
An epidural isn't the only pain
-relief solution for childbirth. Here is a summary of the other options:
Gas and air (entonox): this is a popular choice with mums in labour. The gas which is a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen is taken through a mouth piece or mask. You start to inhale when the contraction starts and continue throughout the pain, this can also help you regulate your breathing and help you stay in control of your labour. It may make you feel drowsy, dizzy or nauseous but when you stop inhaling it the effects soon wear off.
TENS: a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine sends small electrical pulses to block pain messages going to your brain. You get to control the level of pain relief through a hand-held device. It's most effective during the early stages of labour.