There's many different things you can do. I reccomend EVERY woman try labor. You might be surprised at how well you tolerate it. I know some women who cry over paper cuts, but can give birth drug free! You need to keep your focus on something other than the pain. If you focus on the pain ALL you are going to feel is the pain. Relaxation is a big key to that. Music can be soothing, aromatherapy, or for a lot of women, they find comfort in water either a bath or shower-most hospitals now have showers in the birthing suites for this purpose! Sitting on a birthing ball can help open the pelvis and relieve the pain of baby's decent through the pelvis. It won't be "pain free" but it'll be manageable. Some try hypnotherapy, but I don't really know much about it. If that fails, then there's the drugs. Demerol is strong but it will make you so sleepy you may sleep through the birth, and unfortunately it does pass to teh baby and she may be sleepy at birth too. Epidurals can be wonderful, but the key is to get it when you need it. If you get the epidural places too early, it hurts alot to be inserted and you run the risk of it wearing off before you really need it-especially during a first labor which can be longer. Like I said try labor. If the labor gets to be where you just can't stand it anymore and nothing is helping, an epidural can bring great relief, but it's not without problems like numbness in the extremities, severe headache, nausea, shaking, and even nerve damage. There are risks whenever you are having anything inserted or injected into your body. Keep that in mind.