AIN RELIEF IN LABOR
If you are concerned about the pain that may come with labor and delivery, it’s very important to learn about all the ways you can relief this pain.
There are a number of different options. You have to discuss the choice of these options with your health care provider ( doctor, midwife ) before your “birth day”.
Keep in mind that your pain relief choices may be governed by certain circumstances of your labor and delivery. Your doctor or midwife may suggest more effective pain relief to help the delivery.
You will be more relaxed in labor if you:
- Learn about labor. This can make you feel more in control about what’s going to happen.
- Go to antenatal classes.
- Learn how to relax, stay calm and breath deeply.
- Keep moving. Try kneeling, walking around, rocking backwards and forwards.
- Bring a partner, friend or relative to support you during labor.
- Ask your partner to massage you.
- Have a bath.
This is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas. It can help to reduce the pain and make it more bearable.
You breath in the gas and air through a mask, which you hold yourself, just as a contraction begins. Take slow, deep breaths: it works best.
The intramuscular injection of pethidine ( or diamorphine, meptid or remifentanyl ) can also help you to relax and lessen the pain. It takes about 20 minutes to work after the injection, and the effects last between two and four hours.
Epidural analgesia is a local anaesthetic drug injected into the space between two vertebra, in your back. It usually removes all pain.
The combined spinal epidural injection contains a low dose of pain-relieving drugs and works more quickly than an epidural alone.
The walking epidural contains less anaesthetic drugs but include a small amount of fentanyl, which makes the epidural really effective without taking away all of your mobility.
Water can help you relax and make the contractions seem less painful. Water, in a large birthing pool, supports you to glide into any position.
Women who labor in water need fewer interventions and are less likely to need other drugs.
Birthing pools might not be available or an option everywhere.
A TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machine transmits mild electrical impulses to pads on your back. TENS is believed to work by stimulating the body to produce more of its own natural painkillers, called endorphines.
It’s probably most effective during the early stages of labor, when many women experience low back pain.
Some women choose alternative methods of pain relief such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, homeopathy, hypnosis, massage and reflexology.
Most of theses techniques are not proven to provide effective pain relief.
Getting pain relief should not cause you to feel badly. You are the only one who knows how you feel, so decisions regarding control of your labor pain must be made specifically by you.
Don’t worry about the safety of the medications provided during labor and delivery: they are considered safe for both you and your baby.