Non-Neuraxial Labor Analgesia: Options
Although it is the most effective method to treat labor pain, neuraxial analgesia may be undesired, contraindicated, unsuccessful, or unavailable. Providing safe choices for labor pain relief is a central goal of health care providers alike. Consequently, knowledge of the efficacy, clinical implementation, and side effects of various non-neuraxial strategies is needed to provide appropriate options for laboring patients. In addition to nonpharmacologic alternatives, inhaled nitrous oxide and systemic opioids represent two broad classes of non-neuraxial pharmacologic labor analgesia most commonly available. This review summarizes the current published literature for these non-neuraxial labor analgesic options.