Labor Pain Management

  • Ferne Braverman


Childbirth is usually highly anticipated and a happy experience. However, it can be accompanied by severe pain; Melzack demonstrated that only the pain of causalgia or digit amputation exceeds that of labor (Melzack 1975). He also demonstrated that the severity of pain varied greatly among women (Melzack et al. 1984) and 30–75% of parturients characterized their pain as severe or intolerable. Painless labor is a reality for only a small minority of women. It is thus fortunate that pain relief in labor is accepted as part of the childbirth experience. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) emphasizes in their committee opinion #118 that, “maternal request is a sufficient justification for pain relief during labor.”


Epidural Analgesia Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator Labor Pain Labor Analgesia Spinal Analgesia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Eappen S, Robbins D. Nonpharmacological means of pain relief for labor and delivery. A review. Int Anethesiol Clin. 2002;40(4):103–14.Google Scholar
  2. Howell CJ, Kidd C, Roberts W, et al. A randomized controlled trial of epidural compared with nonepidural analgesia in labour. BJ Obstet Gynecol. 2001;108:27–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lowe N. Parity pain during parturition. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1987;16:340–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Melzack R, Kinch RA, Dobkin P, et al. Severity of labour pain: influence of physical as well as psychological variables. Can Med Assoc J. 1984;130:579–84.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Melzack R. The McGill pain questionnaire: major properties and scoring methods. Pain 1975;1:277–279.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Wang SM, DeZinno P, Fermo L, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine for low-back pain in pregnancy: a cross-sectional survey. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11:459–64.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Wong CA, Scovone BM, Peaceman AM, et al. The risk of cesarean delivery with neuraxial analgesia given early versus late in labor. New Engl J Med. 2005;352(7):718–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferne Braverman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations