All about pain medication for labor

As your pregnancy is starting to near full term, you may start feeling anxious about the actual birth and especially about labor and labor pain. Keep in mind that every woman has a different pain threshold. Some may not need any pain relief during labour, while others may need medication to get through it. Opting for pain relief during childbirth is a personal choice.

Here are some pain relief options that you can consider during labour and delivery:

Epidural This is a regional anaesthesia, which can numb the pain in a particular part of the body. During labor, this is injected into the lower back, which allows the woman to be comfortable throughout the process of childbirth, and have some respite from the severe labor pains.

Local or regional anaesthesia Some to-be-moms feel that an epidural takes away the feeling of having a normal delivery. In that case, you can opt for local anaesthesia, which is given in or around the vagina if an episiotomy is carried out.

Tranquillizers These do not get reduce the pain as such, but are used to make the woman calmer and less anxious during childbirth.

Nitrous oxide This is a harmless anaesthetic gas that can be inhaled during labour.

Pudendal block This is an injection which is administered in the vaginal wall. It blocks out pain between the anus and the vagina.

General anaesthesia This puts the woman to sleep completely. It is rarely used these days and only when there is an emergency.

Spinal block The lower half of the woman’s body is numbed by this and it takes effect faster than an epidural does.

Remember that there are pros and cons for each of the above methods. Consult your doctor about the options suitable for you and make a well informed decision well in advance.

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