Labor & birth pain management

A doctor discussing pregnancy advice with a pregnant woman and her partner

Learn about pain management options

The Mother Baby Center is here to get you through the pain of childbirth in a way that makes sense for you and your family. Anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are available 24 hours a day to help you through your childbirth experience.


You will have different options for pain relief—both medicated and unmedicated—available to you during labor. Not all medicines are right for all pregnancies, so please talk to your health care provider about your pain management options.

Analgesics reduce and relieve pain, and help you relax between contractions. You will still feel the contractions, but this can help “take the edge off.”

Epidurals cause numbness from below the breastbone to your toes and reduce pain during labor and birth. You will probably still feel touch, movement, and pressure at times. You may still be able to move your legs, and you can stay alert, rest, or even sleep.

Intrathecal narcotics reduce pain, but you will feel touch and pressure.

Local anesthetic numbs the perineum for episiotomy and episiotomy repair. 

Pudendal numbs the vagina and perineum so you don’t feel the episiotomy, forceps, or vacuum extractor.

Sedatives relieve anxiety, help you work with contractions and provide rest when you are exhausted and labor is not well-established.

Learn more about your pain management options.

Integrative Medicine

At The Mother Baby Center, we proudly offer integrative and complementary therapies during and after labor. Complementary therapies may help with pain management to comfort and progress labor without pharmacological (prescription) interventions. Examples of complementary therapies include acupressure, acupuncture, massage, relaxation techniques, guided imagery and more. 

Integrative medicine is performed by a physician or a nurse practitioner and blends conventional and complementary treatments with other health approaches. Integrative medicine:

  • Focuses on the mind, body and spirit
  • Promotes health through education, coaching, self-care and wellness practices
  • Taps into the body’s natural healing capabilities
  • Involves individuals as empowered partners

If you are interested in exploring complementary therapies, talk to your care provider about your specific care needs and birth plan.