Unlike in many other countries, pain medication (e.g. by means of an epidural) is not a standard part of child birth in the Netherlands. Physicians, however, will respect your right to ask for pain relief. Note that midwives are not allowed to administer pain relief medication, so having it may make a hospital birth necessary.
During pregnancy Dutch midwives provide information about pain during labor, which in fact has a function during delivery, ways of coping with the pain and medical pain relief. Currently, there are only a few birth centres where gas and air pain relief is available, which can be administered under the supervision of a primary care midwife.
When a woman is in need of medical pain relief, an obstetrician is consulted. Depending on the situation, the most appropriate method is selected, for instance Epidural analgesia. Medical pain relief is always administered in hospital.