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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.