An exploration of the benefits and drawbacks of intrapartum pain management strategies

Ruth Sanders, Kathryn Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The advantages and disadvantages of pain management strategies in labour demand comprehensive midwifery exploration, with equal attention to psychological, physiological and pharmaceutical methods. This review of relevant literature discusses an array of options and their clinical sequelae from a midwifery perspective. Often intrapartum pain management is reductionist in approach, being cited around pharmacological options, negating the influential and holistic possibilities of a wider therapeutic perspective. In order to facilitate truly woman-centred care, midwives must endeavour to educate themselves and inform their practice to offer myriad of diverse coping strategies. An innate understanding of the ramifications that each strategy may have is fundamental, not only on women's perceptions and lived experience of their birth, but on the midwifery management implications which each strategy affords. Sharing this midwifery expertise enables women to self-direct their own individualised care plans in partnership with midwives, facilitating informed decisions regarding their journey through the unknown territory of labour
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-649
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2014


  • Pain management, Holistic, Intrapartum pain, Pharmacological

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