Pain relief during childbirth

How much does giving birth hurt? Ask any woman with children and you will get different answers. For one it was a piece of cake and for the other the pain was indescribable. Nowadays you can opt for pain relief during your delivery. There is quite a difference here. And certain types of pain relief are more common than others. Below you will find an overview of the pain relief options available.


An epidural is given through a thin tube in the back, which numbs your lower body. The advantage is that this is a very strong pain relief, which often makes dilation easier. In addition, it has no consequences for the baby or for possible breastfeeding. The disadvantage is that it only works after 15 minutes. In addition, you may have difficulty pushing, you may receive extra fluid and a bladder catheter.


This is a morphine-like drug that is administered at the push of a button. You get a small standard dose and then you can get an extra dose with each press of a button. The advantage is that it works after 1 minute and is always immediately available when you ask for it. It is also safe for the baby. The disadvantage is that it wears off as soon as you stop administering it and can make you drowsy or nauseous.


TENS stands for transcutaneous Electro Neuro Stimulation. It is a device with four electrodes that you stick to both sides of your spine as soon as the contractions start. The electrodes stimulate your body to produce endorphins itself. You can control it yourself with the help of a remote control. It is simple, safe and quickly applicable.

Sterile water injections

For this pain relief, you will receive 4 injections of sterile water in your lower back. This suppresses the pain for two to three hours. The advantage is that it has no side effects and no effect on the baby. If necessary, the treatment can be repeated again. The disadvantage is that not all midwives yet offer this for a possible home birth.

Nitrous oxide

During a contraction you inhale the laughing gas through a mask that you hold yourself. It works immediately and the effect stops immediately as soon as you stop inhaling it. The advantage is that you can apply it at any time and it has no negative effect on you or your baby. The disadvantage is that it can make you a bit drowsy, dizzy or nauseous. In addition, laughing gas is not offered in every hospital.


The idea is that you experience less pain through acupuncture, which makes you relax better. This causes your body to produce more endorphins to counteract the pain. The acupuncturist performs his work during childbirth. You must therefore discuss this carefully with the midwife or the hospital.


The idea is that you will learn from a professional how to hypnotize yourself during contractions.

Are you about to give birth in the near future? See whether you want pain relief and if so, which pain relief appeals to you most. It is wise to discuss all this with your obstetrician or gynecologist.