Natural Pain Relief Options For Labour

Informing yourself and opting for natural methods of pain relief makes so much sense, after having spent so much time in your pregnancy agonising over only being allowed paracetamol when you are sick. Yet it seems there is a smorgasbord offered to you when you are in labour!

Being exposed to drugs in labour like pethidine (which is a narcotic and crosses the placenta freely) takes a baby much longer to get out of it’s system that it would a fully grown adult. It will wear off on an adult after only three hours, but it has a half-life of around 22 hours in your baby’s little body, and can be detrimental to breastfeeding attachment. This is due to having those same drowsy, spacey effects we get from pethidine (or morphine), only baby suffers from them for much longer.

Perhaps you have seen some scary birth DVD’s in your pre-natal classes – well rest assured, with some good support and tools, labour doesn’t have to be like that


Natural Pain Relief Option

“I found one of the best forms of pain relief during labour was definitely our doula. Whilst I may have had different techniques to help me through labour pains, my doula was the one who helped me to find the best method of drug free relief for the stage of birth I was at. The support she offered throughout also helped me to stay focused which in itself is pain relief, as stress only leads to pain and she was able to help me keep calm.”

According to many studies, women who use doulas have fewer requests for epidurals, fewer caesarean sections and are less likely to require forceps or vacuum births (amongst many other things). In a recent review of all available doula studies, it was concluded that doulas were more effective at supporting a woman than hospital staff or the woman’s friends or family. This is because she provides a trifecta of continuous (doesn’t leave your side), experienced care and is known to the woman – no other person present in the birth room can usually provide all three.

Having a doula present at your birth will make it less likely that you’ll want or ask for pharmaceutical pain relief. A doula is trained in the art of birth support, where she learns about helpful positions, support methods and tools to help labouring women feel more comfortable and feel more supported.


Learning how to relax is so important in labour, otherwise you end up in the vicious cycle of fear → tension → pain. When you tense up and get tight (which is a natural reaction to any sort of pain) it actually makes that pain worse.


  • To access your natural inner resources to alleviate the fear, anxiety and tension experienced during pregnancy, labour and childbirth
  • Practical skills of relaxation, breathing and visualisation which are used during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and beyond
  • How the mother’s body is beautifully designed to birth her baby naturally and calmly and with the right preparation, to work with the process rather than resist it
  • The importance of a mother’s beliefs and attitudes about birth and how these can be one of the major differences between a positive or negative birth experience
  • The importance of bonding with your baby and how this effects your baby’s future life
  • To be empowered to take control of your own birthing experience


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