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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 12:43 GMT
Midwives offer alternative relief
Expectant mothers at two Nottingham hospitals are getting more help with pain relief when they go into labour and give birth.

Midwives at Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen's Medical Centre are now offering aromatherapy alongside more traditional methods.

Four midwives from the hospital are now qualified practitioners after passing a year-long training course.

The service may be offered to new mothers, if it proves successful.

Hospital bosses expect 80% of women will opt for the service during labour.

As well as helping the body to relax, aromatherapy is thought to encourage the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural defence against pain.

Peppermint oil is believed to reduce the feeling of sickness and camomile can help to slow down contractions.

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