Pain Management

Obstetric Pain Management Options

A variety of pain control options are available at Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. From non-medication alternatives such as heat, cold, positioning and relaxation to nitrous oxide, epidurals, and intravenous or oral pain medications, it is our goal to keep you as comfortable as possible. 

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is a great option for patients who prefer a non-medicated delivery or those who are unable to have an epidural due to a medical condition or a very rapid labor.

  • Safe for you and your baby
  • Works quickly
  • Decreases anxiety

Intravenous/Oral Medications

Intravenous/Oral Medications may help to decrease pain, but will not totally relieve pain. This option provides an opportunity to rest between contractions.

  • Stadol (butorphanol)
    • Side effects: Sedation, floating feeling
  • Vistaril (hydroxyzine)
    • Side effects: Drowsiness, dry mouth
  • Oral pain medications (Motrin, Percocet)
    • Side effects: Drowsiness


Anesthesia staff is available in the hospital around the clock for patients desiring an epidural.

  • Provides superior pain relief
  • Pain coverage for repair of tears
  • Provides sufficient anesthesia should a cesarean become necessary

Non-Medication Pain Relief Methods

Some patients prefer to forego medications at some point in their treatment. Fortunately, there are other ways to find comfort, soothing and distraction from pain. Below are a few ideas that may effectively provide some pain relief.

Create a Healing Environment

You can make your hospital room as comfortable as possible. Bring items from home that provide you with comfort and distraction. If you would rather sleep with your own pillow or blanket, bring them from home. Lower the lights or turn on a nightlight to make your room feel more like home. Simple changes and activities may have a greater impact than anything else on your ability to rest, heal and reduce pain. Try to refocus your mind and energy on something else:

  • Work on puzzles, word searches or games
  • Read a book or magazine
  • Listen to music
  • Work on a hobby
  • Watch a TV show
  • Visit with a friend or family member at bedside or by phone

Work with Your Health Care Team

Because everyone feels and reacts to pain in a different way, you must tell us how you feel and give us details about your pain. You play a key role in your pain management plan. Tell us what works and what does not work for you. Together, we can develop a plan that will meet your needs and goals.

Spiritual Comfort

Comforting the spirit, as well as the mind and body, can help you cope with physical pain. Our Pastoral Care staff is available to help you connect with your own spiritual resources and strength. 

Changing Positions

Helping you feel more comfortable may be as simple as changing your position in bed every few hours. Your nurse and caregivers can provide pillows and cushions to help make you feel more at ease. 

Heat and Cold Therapy

In some cases, you may find that heat or cold therapy may help to reduce your pain, increase blood flow and make you feel more comfortable. For example, cooling pads may help reduce tissue swelling and muscle spasm and improve range of motion, while moist heat pads can increase blood flow, reduce muscle spasm and provide relaxation.