It is important to realise that drugs are not the only way of managing pain in labour. Simply finding a position that feels right for you rather than lying down helps many women. This is probably why women having their babies at home have been shown to use less drugs than those who choose to go into hospital. I encourage women to use their own resources as much as possible. These include distraction (like going for a walk or a swim, watching a film or a video), relaxation, breathing techniques, sleep, ice cubes, hot and cold flannels, massage and movement. Lots of women use homeopathy, acupuncture or transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS), which all work very well.
I have found that the birth pool is a very useful tool to help with the pain at the end of labour and encourage women to hire one if they like water. About half of of my clients choose to use water for pain in labour, although only half of those have their babies in the water.
This is both easy and safe to use for both home and hospital. I bring plenty with us and a few GP's will prescribe more for women having their first baby at home.
If you want or need an epidural I can arrange transfer to hospital as quickly as possible. In hospital I try to get an anaesthetist immediately. Sadly, sometimes we have to wait, so I will help you to continue with natural methods until the epidural is available.
I can offer some complimentary therapies for pregnancy, labour and the post natal time. This includes aromatherapy, moxibustion, reflexology and massage for pregnancy and labour.
Some women find yoga a helpful preparation for labour and birth. I can recommend local pregnancy yoga classes.