Expectant mothers may choose from a variety of options for pain relief during labour, should they be needed. These options will be discussed in full prior to the delivery so you are aware of your options.  Your obstetrician will make sure that you are fully aware of the advantages and risks that each option holds. During your antenatal visits at Western Specialist Centre in Melbourne, you will be thoroughly checked for any medical conditions that may affect your ability to use any of the pain relief options, and your birth plan can be adjusted accordingly.


By injecting a painkiller into your lower back, an epidural can block the signal of the nerves in your spinal cord that would normally send messages from your cervix and uterus to the pain receptors in the brain. This is the same method used in a local anaesthetic and can be very effective in providing pain relief during labour and childbirth.


A mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide can provide some relief from the pain though it will not remove it completely. It is the most commonly used pain relief during labour and the mother can directly control her own supply.


By using hypnotherapy to reduce the fear associated with childbirth, hypnobirthing can aid in a positive delivery experience by helping the release of endorphins, the pain relief hormone naturally released by the body.


By sending small electrical pulses via electrode pads attached to your back, TENS can help with back pain and provide relief during contractions. It works by providing distraction during the contraction and promoting the release of endorphins. The pulses can also block or intercept any pain messages before they reach the brain.

TENS is a simple and effective form of pain relief and you remain in control of its use. You may need someone to help apply the pads to your back, and it must not be used in water, so needs to be removed if you plan on using the bath or shower at any point during your labour.

TENS can be used at any point of labour, from the initial stages at home, and is easy to turn off and remove at any point. It can also be used alongside any other form of pain relief at the hospital. Hospitals do not provide TENS machines, so if you are interested in this form of pain relief you will need to buy or hire your own.

All options for pain relief during labour will be discussed with your obstetrician at Western Specialist Centre in Melbourne, so you are fully aware of your options and can plan for your birth accordingly.