What other alternatives are there for pain relief besides an epidural?

Dr. Judith Burichin talks about other alternatives for pain relief besides an epidural. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What other alternatives are there for pain relief besides an epidural?

As an alternative to epidural and natural child birth there is the assistance with intravenous medications which are used judiciously and very carefully so as not to depress the baby and keep the mom as comfortable as possible. That’s the primary mainstay of the pain management for someone who’s determined to go through natural childbirth but needs a little bit of help with taking the edge off. It’s impressive to see someone go through natural childbirth and the support team they have with them . . . usually a mother or the father of the baby are the ones that are there with them moment to moment to help them get through each contraction. It’s a huge amount of work for people but it’s a wonderful delivery when you get to assist with one of those. A piece of advice I give to most of my patients is “lots of people have advice, but listen to what you want to do with your baby” and listen to your physicians because they are the ones constantly monitoring. That’s a very important piece of the puzzle when we’re doing prenatal care . . . to teach people to listen to what they need and want.


An epidural, also called a spinal block, is a common method of treating labor pain, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon. In this procedure, pain medicine is injected into the lower back, according to the AAFP.

There are other natural and medicinal methods of treating labor pain, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s HealthOff Site Icon:

Natural pain relief

  • Breathing and relaxation techniques
  • Massage
  • Warm showers or baths
  • Support of a loved one, nurse or doula
  • Finding a comfortable position
  • Using a labor ball
  • Listening to music

Medicinal methods

  • Opioids
  • Pudendal (vaginal) block

Talk to your doctor about childbirth pain relief options.

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