Types of Labour Pain and Pain Management During Labor

Labour Pain Types and Pain Relief or Management Method During Labor

Different Types of Labour Pain:

There are mainly two types of labour pain which are felt by any pregnant women. Those are listed in the below-

  1. True labour pain,
  2. False labour pain.

All the above two types of labour pain have explained in the below:

Pain management during labor
Fig: Pain management during labor

Features of True Labor Pain:

  • Painful uterine contraction (labour pain) at regular intervals.
  • The pain gradually increasing in intensity.
  • Gradually the duration of pain is increasing.
  • Frequency of the pain is increase.
  • Progressive effacement and dilatation of cervix.
  • Associated with show
  • Formation of bag of waters.
  • No relieved by sedatives.

It is an intermittent progressive pain gradually increasing in intensity, duration and frequency which coincides with uterine contractions.

Features of False Labor Pain:

  • Dull in nature.
  • Usually confined to the lower abdomen and groin.
  • Continuous and unrelated with hardening of the uterus.
  • Without any effect on dilatation of the cervix.
  • Usually relieved by enema and administration of a sedative.

False pains are probably due to stretching of the cervix and lower uterine segment with consequent irritation of the neighboring ganglia.

Difference Between True and False Labour Pain:


True Labour Pain

False Labour Pain

Onset of pain

At the onset of labour

Usually prior to onset
of labour pain by 1 or 2 weeks in primi, few days in multi.








Back and in front of
the abdomen

Lower abdomen and


Towards thigh






Intensity increases
and interval decreases gradually


Relieving factors



Cervical dilatation







Vigorous uterine
contraction > anoxia to uterine muscle → Ischemic pain.

Stretching of the
cervix and lower uterine segment.

Pain Relief Method or Management During Labor:

By the below ways, pain can be managed during labour-

  1. Pharmacological technique by uses of medications.
  2. Non-Pharmacological techniques. These are –
  • Counter pressure,
  • Light massage,
  • Therapeutic touch,
  • Walking,
  • Rocking,
  • Application of heat & cold,
  • Water / hydrotherapy,
  • Aroma Therapy,
  • Breathing techniques- by slow chest breathing, shallow chest breathing, deep breathing etc.,
  • Music therapy,
  • Hypnosis therapy,
  • Provide emotional support by expressing care, being dependable, helping, advocacy, encouraging,
  • Positioning: Women who labour in upright positions during labour experience less pain.

More questions related to this article:

  1. What is true labor pain?
  2. What do you mean by false labor pain?
  3. What are the features of true labor pain?
  4. Mention the key features of false labor pain.
  5. What are the different types of labor pain?
  6. Differentiate true and false labor pain.
  7. What are the differences between true and false labour pain?
  8. Compare between true and false labour pain.
  9. How to manage pain during labor?
  10. What are the non-pharmacological pain relief methods during labor?
  11. What are the techniques of pain relief during labor?

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