Are you currently expecting a baby and preparing for labor and delivery? Many women are quite scared of labor and particularly the pain associated with it. If you are a first time mother and have no idea what to expect, your fears may be even worse. Thankfully, there are lots of pain relief techniques for labor and birth about! After two unmedicated births, I can tell you that labor does hurt for some women more than for others. But it is more than doable! What are the pain relief options you have? Epidural anesthesia has got to be mentioned first, because there is no doubt that it is the most effective pain relief that exists for labor. You can read more about the benefits of epidural anesthesia in the linked post. Epidurals do have side effects, and are also not placed as soon as you go into labor. However, labor tends to start off relatively mildly, and the intensity of it goes up gradually. Changing positions can often be of some help in labor. It is true that some positions are more painful than others, and that certain positions can keep pressure of parts of your anatomy that hurt. Even if changing into an all-fours position, sitting up, or walking about does not lessen the actual pain, it might help you cope with the pain you are experiencing. If you have been to a childbirth education class, you will have heard about patterned breathing. There are different breathing techniques for different stages of labor, and some of them are quite effective for some women. In countries like the United Kingdom, gas and air is often used as a pain relief technique. Distraction is one of the better ways to cope with an unmedicated birth. Watching TV in early labor, chatting with your husband, or playing a game on your cell phone can work wonders.