3 Powerful Pain Relief Alternatives to the Epidural

Not sure you want to have an epidural during your delivery? There are other, more natural, options.


Women have been birthing for hundreds of thousands of years. We are so capable of birthing that our own bodies provide various hormones to ease the pain and discomfort of childbirth. These hormones were nature’s pain relievers long before the epidural came along.

One of them, called beta-endorphin, even has pain relief effects similar to Demerol, morphine, and heroine! Sadly, epidurals significantly impact all labor hormones. What do you need to do to take advantage of nature’s abundant pain-relieving hormones?

Let your body do what it’s made to do! (Which happens more easily in an unassisted birth, by the way.) Here’s how.


relaxed atmosphere for birthing
relaxed atmosphere for birthing

Typically with the help of a midwife, you could choose just to practice relaxation exercises during labor. Relaxing during labor can be hard no doubt, but one mom says it was her saving grace in between contractions:

“I tried to stay in the moment and not spend the precious pain-free minutes stressing about the pain I just had and what was to come. The result was ecstasy — I felt like I was on really good mind-altering drugs.” ~Parents.com

What we see, impacts how we feel. You can take advantage of this.

“What we see impacts our emotions and our behaviors. If what you see during labor is a relaxing environment with soft lighting, lamps, or candles (if allowed), you will experience feelings of safety, tranquility, and warmth.” ~AmericanPregnancy.org


You didn’t practice those funny breathing exercises in birthing classes for nothing. Research has proven focused breathing to be beneficial in reducing anxiety, stabilizing blood pressure, increasing energy, and reducing feelings of stress. All these are of great value during labor and delivery.

Howcast has your labor breathing tips if you have not been trained yet. Slow, deep, and steady…


For some women, slowly walking around or sitting on an exercise ball and moving gently can help control labor pain and make delivery easier.

“Maternal movement in labor is empowering and can facilitate the descent of the baby.” ~Better Childbirth Outcomes

Movement during labor increases the effectiveness of your contractions, helps you get into a better rhythm, helps baby descend, and makes a natural birth much, much easier.

Some ideas for gentle movements for pain relief are:

    • Walking
    • Swaying back and forth on a fitness ball
    • Slowly dancing
    • Side to side lunges
    • Labor Pain Relief Without Medication

Are you planning on using non-epidural methods of pain relief for your labor and delivery? Let’s hear about them in the comments.


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