Injectable methods of pain relief in labour

  • Chris Bewley
Part of the Midwifery Practice Series book series (MIPRA)


This chapter considers the use of pharmacological substances, principally opioids, given by injection for the relief of pain in labour where there are no complications, or when anaesthesia for operative or instrumental delivery is not required. The term ‘injectable’ is used to cover intramuscular, intravenous, epidural and intrathecal routes. The pharmacological action and physiological response of some drugs and their routes are explained, and current research evidence on maternal satisfaction, the effects on labour and side-effects in the mother and fetus/neonate over the short and long term is reviewed. Finally, suggestions are made for midwifery practice.


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© Chris Bewley 1997

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  • Chris Bewley

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