Managing Pain During Delivery
The intensity of pain during the labour and delivery is one of the factors that varies from one woman to another, just as the amount of time in labour varies. The intensity of the pain is influenced by the size of the baby, his/her position, and the strength of the contractions. Some women can overcome their pain with breathing and relaxation techniques but there are women who would require additional help to control their pain.
Here are some of the commonly-used pain relief methods are mention:
A number of drugs are used to ease out the pain of labour and delivery. Though these drugs are considered safe for both mother and the baby, just like any other drug, they too carry a risk of adverse effects.
There are two categories of drugs available for pain-relief:
Analgesics offer pain relief but they do not result in the total loss of muscle movement or feeling. They are given as an injection during labour.
Sometimes a single injection is given into the spinal fluid (spinal block) and this can relieve the pain quickly. An epidural block continuously administers pain medication to the area around the spinal cord and spinal nerves through a catheter (tube) placed into the epidural space.
Anaesthetics are the medicines that block all feeling, including pain and feeling of muscle movement.
Non-drug methods for relieving pain are: relaxation techniques, acupuncture, hypnosis, and changing position frequently during labour. To add to the list there is hydrotherapy — water can help you to relax and can make the contractions feel less painful.
Even if you choose non-drug pain relief, your doctor can still give you pain- relieving medications during the delivery, if you feel you need it.
- WebMD. Health & Pregnancy: Normal Labor and Delivery Process. Cited 2016 May 4. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/normal-labor-and-delivery-process?print=true.
- NHS. The Pregnancy Book Your complete guide to: A healthy pregnancy Labour and childbirth The first weeks with your new baby. Cited 2016 May 5. Available from: https://www.stgeorges.nhs.uk/wp-content/.../Pregnancy_Book_comp.pdf.