Atlanta Gynecology & Obstetrics, OB/GYN Physicians logo for print

Decatur: 404-299-9724 | 315 Winn Way, Decatur, GA 30030
Gwinnett: 770-923-5033 | 449 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 200, Lilburn, GA 30047
After Hours/Emergency: 404-487-2450
Decatur: 404-299-9724 | 315 Winn Way, Decatur, GA 30030
Gwinnett: 770-923-5033 | 449 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 200, Lilburn, GA 30047
After Hours/Emergency: 404-487-2450

Pain in Labor

Unfortunately, pain is an inevitable part of labor and delivery. Adequate pain relief is an integral part of a safe delivery. There are many ways to control or decrease the pain of labor and delivery.

Natural Techniques

Relaxation:

  • Slow, focused breathing and muscle relaxation during each contraction.
  • Relaxing music, massage, water therapy and change in positions may all be helpful.
  • Childbirth classes and a birthing support person such as a doula may help to emphasize relaxations techniques.

Water Therapy:

  • Warm water (hydrotherapy) is a way to reduce the pains of labor.
  • Warm water allows the brain to secrete substances called endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever. Endorphins may enhance a mother’s ability to control pain.
  • Our hospital has laboring tubs available upon request.

IV Pain Medicine

IV pain medicine can provide a woman with a reduction in pain and anxiety:

  • Usually used in early labor.
  • Often allows women to rest in between contractions.
  • Although it can be an effective form of relief, it may not be adequate if there are any concerns about the mother’s or baby’s condition.

Epidural

  • An epidural is a form regional anesthesia that can numb those muscles that feel the most pain in labor.
  • After being administered by an anesthesiologist, the epidural takes about 10-20 minutes to take effect.
  • Once in place and working, a pump can be used to continue the pain relief for the remainder of the labor.
  • The pump can be adjusted so that you have the sensation to push when the time comes.
  • The epidural usually wears off about one hour after the epidural is removed.
  • Most often an epidural can be given in labor if desired. There are however some circumstances where it may not be given:
    • If a woman comes to the hospital ready to deliver…there may not be  enough time to administer the epidural.
    • If a woman has a medical condition where an epidural is contraindicated.