Managing pain in labour in a homebirthBookmark this page

Many women who homebirth want to use natural pain relief. It’s likely that your midwife will get you to focus on relaxation, moving around, using water and other forms of natural pain relief.

During pregnancy, talk to your homebirth midwife about what pain relief you can have. Find out about the benefits, side effects and possible complications, so that you know what to expect and can say what you want. You can also ask questions and get more information about pain relief at birth classes.

Non-medical or ‘natural’ pain relief options might include:

  • meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques
  • heat packs
  • massage
  • water (hot shower or bath)
  • walking
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • hypnotherapy, Reiki or acupressure.

Your options for managing pain will depend on what you want, what you need, your stage of labour and other health considerations for you and baby. You might need to be open to suggestions from your midwife.

If you need an epidural or other birth interventions, you’ll be taken to hospital by car or ambulance, depending on your stage of labour and whether it’s an emergency. It’s a good idea to talk with your midwife early in pregnancy about the circumstances in which you’d need to go to hospital.

After the birth, your pain relief options will vary. If you plan to breastfeed, check with your doctor or midwife that any pain relief medication you’re using is safe for baby too.

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