Tips & Tools: Labor Pain
How should I make a plan to meet my need for pain relief in labor?
What steps can I take before labor to help ensure that my needs for pain relief in labor are met?
How can I determine ahead of time what my preferences might be?
As you develop your plan, you will want to consider that many options can be used in combination, and some can be used in sequence. Combining and sequencing techniques and strategies may increase their effectiveness or reduce the chances of experiencing an adverse effect. Keep in mind as well that whatever your initial preferences, it is difficult to predict what your labor will be like. You would be prudent to have a "Plan B."
labor pain options and best evidence about labor pain options) and clarify your values and preferences as they relate to these options. If you have a partner, it is also important to understand that person's views.
To help clarify your feelings about pain and pain relief in childbirth (and those of your partner), you can download the Pain Medications Preference Scale. This tool was developed by Penny Simkin, a national leader in childbirth education who has worked extensively on labor pain issues.
Separate pages provide guidance for those who prefer to avoid pain medication and for those who prefer to use pain medication. If you are still undecided, your decision may become clearer by reviewing both of these pages.
Most recent page update: 11/16/2012
© 2015 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.
Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
News and Features
Check out our resource, "Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care"
Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
This interactive timeline highlights our trailblazing work since 1918.
We want all women and babies receive the best possible maternity care.