Pain Management

Pain Management is covered fully in our eLearning Hub, click HERE to access. 

There are many supportive measures available to assist you with childbirth.

Labour Hopscotch – make each step count! 
A visual birthing tool designed to aid you in an active birth. Providing structured guidance by outlining 20-minute rotating “steps” to perform during labour. These include keeping mobile by walking sideways on a stairs, or sitting on a stool while being massaged. 

Tens - Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

A hand held device that emits mild bursts of electricity through the skin. It gives mothers the control and can aid mobility and distraction and therefore decrease perception of pain. It also encourages the release of endorphins - your natural painkiller.

Hydrotherapy Pool

In The NMH, we currently have 12 birthing rooms, which accommodate the use of water in labour, either using the Hydrotherapy pool or a shower. This provides a calming environment, enabling ease of movement and greater comfort. Click HERE to view our hydrotherapy pool brochure.


This is a combination of 2 gases - Nitrous oxide and oxygen also known as laughing gas. It is administered through a mouthpiece only to be used while a contraction is present. It assists with slow deep breathing and you can remain upright and mobile. May cause nausea or drowsiness.


A narcotic injection, a relative of morphine which acts as a sedative. Muscle relaxant, which may lessen pain and reduce muscle tension. Due to its sedative effect, women often rest well between and during surges. Nausea and vomiting can be common, an anti-sickness injection is giving alongside Pethedine to counteract this.

Epidural Analgesia for Labour pain

Local anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space in your lower spine by an anaesthetic doctor. You are numb from the top of your abdomen down and you will be restricted to your bed. Epidural Analgesia usually provides reliable pain relief. You will need an intravenous drip to be inserted in your arm prior to the epidural. Your baby will require continuous fetal monitoring A urinary catheter will be inserted every 2 hours to empty your bladder. You are restricted to your bed for 6 hours after the birth of your baby.

Please read this Information Card on Epidural Analgesia for Labour Pain. This card contains important information on, and risks of, having Epidural Analgesia to reduce Labour Pain.

Epidural/Spinal Anaesthesia for Caesarean Section

Caesarean Sections are usually carried out under a Spinal or Epidural Anaesthetic. However, emergency scenarios may require a General Anaesthetic.

The Spinal/Epidural Anaesthetic is generally tolerated very well. You will be awake for the delivery of your baby. You will be numb from the top of your abdomen down, and will be unable to move your legs for up to 3 hours. You will be unable to walk for approximately 6 hours.

Please read this Information Card on Epidural/Spinal Anaesthesia for Caesarean Section. This card contains important information on, and risks of, having an epidural or spinal anaesthesia for caesarean section.

Labour Hopscotch Framework

Welcome to the Labour Hopscotch framework, which was developed by Sinead Thompson, community midwife at the National Maternity Hospital. It can be used as a tool to help support you on your labour journey. The steps are illustrated sequentially with appropriate times allocated to each step. The process can be commenced at home, simply start at the bottom of the hopscotch and as labour progresses, you can advance towards baby’s footprints, a motivational image used to help you to visualise and maintain focus during labour. We really hope that you will find it helpful.