Pain Management

You may decide to use pain relief during labour. There are techniques and options available to help you cope with pain. Your referring obstetrician will discuss these options with you. We recommend that you also discuss pain relief and your preferences with your support person, who will be with you during the birth of your baby.

Self-help techniques

There are many techniques to help you cope with pain in labour. Our midwives explain relaxation, breathing and massage as well moving and using props to reduce pain in our education class. Some of these techniques include:
• relaxation techniques
• aromatherapy
• massage
• birth balls etc.

Go to Parenting and birthing classes 

Water immersion in labour

Water can help you to relax and make the contractions seem less painful. We have baths in two of our well-equipped birthing suites. These are available on request. Go to our birthing suites

Pain relief options

Other options to help manage your pain during labour include gas, a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas that reduces pain but does not remove it. Many women choose gas as they can control how often they use it and request an increased or reduced dose.

TENS machines

A TENS machine delivers a small pulse of electrical current to the spine that can reduce pain during labour. 


Epidural anaesthesia is a specialised anaesthetic service available to most women on request. An epidural is an injection that numbs the nerves that carry pain from the birth canal to the brain.

Narcotic analgesics

Narcotic pain relief (such as morphine) reduces pain by blocking the pain receptors in the brain. These affect different people in different ways. It is important to consult with your specialist for more information on this type of pain relief. 

More information

Maternity services