The ideal agent or combination for obtaining analgesia and amnesia during labor should be, first of all, safe for both mother and child. It should not unduly prolong labor and should give relief from pain early, as well as produce satisfactory analgesia and amnesia in a high percentage of cases. Moreover, it should be easily administered and adequately retained by the patient. Finally, it should be free from objectionable side actions, such as (a) excitement during the induction and recovery stages, (b) nausea and vomiting, (c) deleterious effects on the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and respiratory center and (d) local damage to mucous membranes.
Further experience with a combination of paraldehyde and benzyl alcohol leads us to believe that such a mixture closely approaches this ideal and accomplishes more with fewer undesirable reactions than any other of the existing methods of relieving the pains of labor, thus confirming our preliminary
KANE HF, ROTH GB. THE RELIEF OF LABOR PAINS BY THE USE OF PARALDEHYDE AND BENZYL ALCOHOL. JAMA. 1936;107(21):1710-1716. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770470028007