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Pain Relief In Labour

All Mom-to-be’s are aware  that labour is usually painful to a greater or lesser degree, so if you know the different methods of pain relief, you can think about it and discuss them before it starts. Most women who take  childbirth preparation classes  learn various breathing methods and relaxation techniques to cope with the pain and discomfort during childbirth. The decision to use pain medication and what type to use, cannot be really made until labour is under way and is usually left to the doctor’s discretion.


EASING DISCOMFORT
Can be done by breathing and relaxation techniques or ask someone (could be
your partner) to
massage and firmly press your lower back. Frequent changes in position and trying to relax in between contractions helps. Keep your mouth moist by sucking on ice-chips.

 
SYSTEMIC ANALGESIA
Relieving pain without total loss of consciousness. These could be intramuscular or intravenous injectable drugs,  which take about 20 minutes to work and the effect can last for 3-4 hours. The disadvantages are that they could make you feel sick or sleepy, so that you cannot push effectively when you need to.

 
PUDENDAL
ANESTHESIA
An injection given shortly before delivery to block pain in the perineum region before episiotomy (cut given in between the vagina and rectum in the perineum to assist delivery) considered to be one of the safest forms of anaesthesia with minimum side effects.

 

PARACERVICAL BLOCK
Relieves pain in the cervix to allow the head to descend into the birth. Not used often, as it has effect on foetus’s heart rate.


EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA

It is a special type of local anesthesia, which causes loss of feeling in the lower half of the body by blocking the nerves, which carry the feelings of pain from the uterus cervix and vagina to the brain. It also eases the pain of an episiotomy and can even be used for a caesarian section allowing the mother to remain conscious for the birth.

* Method:  Lie on your side  with your back curved at the edge of the  bed. A needle is injected between the bones of the spine. A plastic tube is threaded down the needle into a place outside the nerves of the spinal cord, the needle is then removed and the tube is held in place at the back, by a sticky tape. The anesthetic solution is injected down the tube and it takes about 15 minutes to work.

* Disadvantages: The Mom-to-be cannot change position without help.

As contractions are not felt the urge to push is missing and you will have to be told when to do so, by checking contraction on a monitor.