Pain Management During Labor

Take control of your pain during labor and delivery

Controlling Your Labor Pains

At Anna Jaques Hospital, we offer both medical and non-medical options for pain management during labor and delivery.

We help you manage pain on your terms so you can actively take part in your labor. An anesthesiologist is on-site every day — and around the clock — to administer pain medicine, including epidurals.

Alternatives To Pain Medicines

If you decide you don’t want pain medication during labor and delivery, we provide these and other alternatives to control and manage your pain:

  • Birthing balls
  • Breathing techniques
  • Different birthing positions
  • Massage
  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Water therapy
Birthing Positions

During delivery, you may wish to try different birthing positions to ease your pain.

Our third-trimester packet includes detailed instructions on how to use these positions.

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a common method of pain control.

This fast-acting pain relief is ideal if you:

  • Can’t receive an epidural because you are too far along in labor when you arrive at the hospital.
  • Have a fear of needles or prefer to avoid strong pain medications.
  • Struggle with anxiety.

If you choose to use nitrous oxide, you decide how much to use. You also can decide to stop using nitrous oxide and try another pain relief method. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off about five minutes after usage stops.

Nitrous oxide is safe for you and your baby. It does not affect the following:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Infant alertness
  • Normal progression of labor
Nitrous Oxide Frequently Asked Questions

Download this FAQ for more information on nitrous oxide at Anna Jaques Hospital.

Water Therapy

Our hydrotherapy tub is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are many benefits to laboring in water:

  • Encourages dilation
  • Reduces labor pain

While you’re using water therapy, you and your baby are monitored closely by a nurse. You are free to get in and out of the tub throughout labor, which allows you to use other pain relief methods as well.

All labor and delivery rooms also are equipped with private showers.

For your safety, if you choose an epidural or have a high-risk pregnancy, you may not be able to use water therapy.

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To speak with a member of our pregnancy & birth team, please call.