On Nov. 12, 1847 Sir James Young Simpson, a Scottish obstetrician was the first to use chloroform (also known as laughing gas) as an anesthetic. Chloroform was used during the birth of Queen Victoria's last two children in the 1850s.
Not everyone saw this as a good thing, quoting the Bible:
To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." Genesis 3:16