Pain relief options during labor and childbirth

The most feared pain among the young women is the pain experienced during childbirth and labor. The basic underlying cause behind this fear is the fear for unknown. Labor and childbirth even in today’s age of medical advancement remains largely unpredictable and coping with labor pain a major concern.

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In this article, we will discuss in brief the various pain relief options and painkillers available to be accessed by the laboring mother during labor.

Labor is a natural, demanding and challenging process and the pain increases considerably as the labor progresses and at this particular point of advanced labor, pain management options are often required by the mother.

Pain killers: During the initial stages of labor and delivery, pain killers or analgesics as they are commonly known does the trick. But as the labor progresses and the pain becomes more intense, systemic painkillers are unable to work efficiently.

And besides, they comes with their share of cons. Pain killers given during labor in excess can cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, skin itchiness & irritation and headache and a head spin to the laboring mother which is not at all desired. Hence, painkillers/analgesics are only an effective pain relief option during the early stages of labor.

Tranquilizers: Sometime, if the mother is unable to bear the severe labor pain, tranquilizers are occasionally administered to her as a pain relief measure. They are usually administered through IV and are said to reduce vomiting tendency and anxiety during the laboring process.

Laughing gas: Yes, you heard it right! In some hospitals, laboring mothers are administered nitrous oxide, commonly known as the laughing gas. The mothers are usually given the gas and is recommended to them to inhale the same in between the contractions.

Spinal bock: Spinal block is considered as an effective pain relief option during labor as it is administered quite easily directly into the spinal fluid and numb the pain sensation very quickly and the pain relief is complete throughout the body.

Though it is quick in its action, it lasts only for few hours and is only delivered if your physician thinks that you are to deliver very soon and your labor is progressing rapidly.

Epidural: This is considered a boon for the mother. Pain relieving medication is administered continuously through a catheter into the nerve in the spinal membrane which numbs the sensation waist down and is very effective. Though having epidural in the initial stages of labor could stall the labor.

During a C-section delivery, a combination of an epidural and spinal block is effectively used.