Pain relief during childbirth is a safe and easy option for the mother-to-be and her child.Choosing pain relief during partum is a matter of personal choice. Some women choose not to have pain reliefs at all.
Different women have different threshold for pain and opting for a pain relief during labor helps them relax making it easier for the delivery to proceed effortlessly. But it is important for a pregnant woman to know her pain relief choices even if she does not plan on using them. I want to do this!
An epidural works by blocking the nerve centers which transmit sensation of pain to the brain. Epidural is the favorite choice of birth pain relief for a lot of women. Epidural can be given both during labor and delivery. An epidural gives localized pain relief which lets the mother participate in the birth of her baby.
Epidurals are given only when the cervix is dilated to around 5 cm. A solid but empty tube is inserted into the back that carries a catheter. The catheter is left in the back and the medication passes through the catheter and into the vaginal area making it numb.
Spinal blocks are specifically meant for pain relief during C-section births. They are used throughout the c-section procedure. Spinal blocks work by numbing the vaginal area. However, spinal blocks also de-sensitize the surrounding body parts like stomach and legs.
In this pain relief method the medicine is injected straight into the spinal fluid. The effect of the spinal block lasts for a couple of hours. Women are asked to lie flat on their backs for a minimum of eight hours after the c-section gets over. This helps avoid spinal headaches or any other spine related complications.
Analgesics are the least preferred form of birth pain relief because they cause drowsiness and are not as powerful pain relievers as epidurals and spinal blocks. Demerol and Nubain are the analgesics given to relax and de-stress the body during labor. It is important to monitor the fetus when analgesics are used as they may cause labored breathing and increased heart rate in the fetus.
General anesthesia is used only when the life of the mother and child is under danger. When general anesthesia is adminsitered the woman goes to sleep after which the surgery is performed.