Labor Pain

Labor pain is a side effect of a normal process.

There are many drug and drug-free ways to help you cope with labor pain. Keep in mind that labor pain is a side effect of a normal process, not a sign of damage or injury. It is different from other experiences of physical pain because labor pain doesn’t have to involve suffering. There are factors that impact your experience of labor pain as well as helpful techniques that reduce pain.

At Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare our OB Anesthesiologists are available 24/7 to support you in your pain management preferences throughout your stay.

Remember, good labor support is the foundation of coping with labor, regardless of other pain relief choices you make. Even if your first preference is pain medication, you can still benefit greatly by using comfort measures and mental strategies:

  • In early labor when you are still at home.
  • In combination with labor pain medication to increase its effectiveness (a dose of pain medication may be strong enough to remove all sensation and would leave you unable to move or push).
  • While waiting to get epidural analgesia and experience the effects of the procedure (there may be a delay from decision to relief and/or availability of anesthesiologists).
  • To delay or limit medication use, which may reduce adverse effects.
  • In circumstances where pain medication isn't advisable or there isn't time.
  • When an epidural doesn't work (occasionally, an epidural provides only partial anesthesia, or it doesn't take at all).
  • To delay or limit medication use, which may reduce adverse effects.


Power Positions for Labor
Learn Your Everyday Coping Strategies in Preparation for Birth

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ValleyCare Medical Center

5555 W. Las Positas Blvd.

Pleasanton, CA 94588

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