Resources for Labor Pain During Childbirth

Childbirth Connection's Pregnancy Topic on Labor Pain

We provide in-depth coverage through our Pregnancy Topic on options to help you cope with labor pain.
  • Labor Pain introduction gives you background information for making decisions about labor pain relief
  • Labor Pain Options includes a look at comfort measures, mental strategies, sterile water injection, nitrous oxide, narcotics, and epidural/spinal pain medications
  • Labor Pain Tips & Tools includes tips for making the pain relief decisions that are right for you
  • Labor Pain Best Evidence tells you what the evidence says about the beneficial and harmful aspects of different options

    Other Childbirth Connection Resources Relating to Labor Pain Relief

    • Labor Support, an in-depth Pregnancy Topic about continuous supportive care in labor, which can be a valuable part of your labor pain plan
    • Resources for Labor Support, a page devoted to additional resources for getting the labor support you need
    • Comfort in Labor - a free pregnancy booklet
      free pregnancy book
      Comfort in Labor (PDF), by Penny Simkin, the internationally recognized leader in childbirth education and labor support, shares her wisdom with women, including comfort measures, effective positions, and tips for partners and doulas.
      Download Comfort in Labor (free PDF) listening to mothers

    Resources for Learning More About Labor Pain Relief Options During Childbirth

    Alliance for the Improvement of Maternity Services, a website with extensive information on drugs used during labor and birth. Specializes on the U.S. federal oversight process, with a focus on concerns; identifies dozens of drugs that have never been approved for obstetrics by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are used "off-label" with pregnant women; discusses effects of FDA-approved obstetric drugs; provides a picture of epidural and spinal analgesia procedures; includes resources for maternity rights and informed decision making

    The Birth Book, by William Sears and Martha Sears, a pregnancy book
    pregnancy book
    The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (1994), by William Sears and Martha Sears. (See chapters 8-10.)

    The Birth Book is divided into three parts: "Preparing for Birth," "Easing Pain in Labor," and "Experiencing Birth." You'll find details about vaginal births; cesareans; VBACs; water births; home births; best birthing positions; drugs; pain; how to design your own birth plan; the humor, chemistry, and sexuality of birth; and pages and pages of birth stories.

    Learn more about The Birth Book from Amazon labor pain pregnancy book

    The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger, a pregnancy book
    pregnancy book
    The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (2003), by Sheila Kitzinger. (See major sections: "Anticipating the Birth" and "The Experience of Birth.")

    Organizing her book into five major sections (Early Weeks, Physical and Emotional Changes, Anticipating the Birth, the Experience of Birth, and You and Your Newborn), Kitzinger provides candid information about what mothers need to know, ranging from ways to navigate the technical landscape of hospital births to making the personal choices of a water home birth.

    Learn more about The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth from Amazon pregnancy and childbirth pregnancy book

    Easing Labor Pain, by Adrienne B. Lieberman, a pregnancy book
    pregnancy book
    Easing Labor Pain: The Complete Guide to a More Comfortable and Rewarding Birth (1992), by Adrienne B. Lieberman.

    "Easing Labor Pain is Adrienne Lieberman's positive and encouraging guide to everything an expectant mother can do to make sure pain doesn't overshadow the joy of giving birth." - Western New York Family Magazine

    Learn more about Easing Labor Pain from Amazon pregnancy and labor pain book

    Health Canada: Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines: recommendations emphasizing safe, effective, respectful care care, which were developed through a collaboration of Canadian maternity health professionals and consumers; you may wish to read the section on pain relief in chapter 5.

    Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley and Ann Keppler
    pregnancy book
    Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (4th Edition): The Complete Guide (2010), by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, and Ann Keppler. (See especially chapters 8-10, 12.)

    Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn covers all aspects of childbearing from conception through early infancy. It includes information on what to expect during pregnancy and birth and how you can work with your caregivers to make childbirth a happy and healthy experience. It is well organized for easy reading and quick reference. There are more than 45 charts and 150 photographs and illustrations to clarify the information -- more graphic aids than any other childbirth book.

    Learn more about Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn from Amazon pregnancy, childbirth and the newborn book

    The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer, a pregnancy book
    pregnancy book
    The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (1999), by Henci Goer. (See chapter 8.)

    Learn more about The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth from Amazon pregnancy book at Amazon

    Comfort Measures in Labor

    Comfort Measures for Childbirth (The 91-minute DVD is divided into 4 sections: 1) Basic relaxation and rhythmic breathing, 2) Comfort measures, devices, and positions, 3) Techniques to help with back pain and labor progress, and 4) Positions and techniques for pushing and birth. The detailed interactive menu allows you to choose exactly what you want to watch the entire DVD, a single section, or even a single comfort measure to learn or review.

    Learn more about Comfort Measures for Childbirth best pregnancy books

    Pictures of Epidural Procedure

    Epidural procedure pictures, from Patti Ramos, a photographer, childbirth educator and doula

    Resources to Learn About Various Methods of Childbirth Education and Find Childbirth Educators

    These organizations make referrals through some combination of online directories, e-mail addresses, telephone lines, or requests by mail. You may identify more choices in your area by going beyond the online directories, as some educators prefer not to be listed online. Approach can vary greatly from one group to another and from one educator to another.

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    Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
    Most recent page update: 2/20/2014