The information in this post is from the website Everyday Family and is not my own thoughts.
While in labor, there's not only the option of an epidural. If you don't want to have an epidural, here are 4 non-epidural options that you can get during labor.
Yourself - Know your own strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities when going through labor. Every woman goes through labor / pain differently.
Water - If you have a tub with jets available, be sure to get in and relax for awhile or even through your whole labor if at the hospital if they allow it. Some women find that being submerged in water will help take the pressure off during contractions. Many hospitals and birthing centers now have tubs with jets available, so be sure to check ahead of time to see if yours will have one.
Medications - Epidurals are not the only medication available during labor. You can ask for some narcotic pain relief, which can be administered through an IV, such as Nubain or Demerol. Some women get a great pain relief from these, while others may feel very out of it with the pain medication. They give short, fast acting pain relief, so you'd want to get these at 7cm on.
Actupuncture - This last option has zero side effects unlike what some people may think. It's been shown to be pretty effective for pain relief. Not many hospitals have this option for labor, but a select few do so be sure to ask if your hospital offers it if it interests you.
Gas mask - I found out that they offer a gas mask for mothers to breathe in with if you choose to not have pain meds.
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