Pain Relief Options During Childbirth

Labor pain is always very intense and tiring for a would-be mom especially when inside the labor room. Gone are the days when pregnant woman enter the labor room without knowing what to expect.

Now most women take classes for normal delivery, cesarean section, water delivery etc and therefore are more aware of what to expect. For those planning to go the natural route for delivery but need some help in managing their labor pain, the following information can be fruitful:

To manage the labor pain, the following pain-relief options can be used – Epidural, spinal blocks, laughing gas, narcotics and natural methods to ease off the pain. Not that all these methods will be available at your hospital. You need to check with your doctor beforehand about the options provided.

Epidural is the most popular option to have a pain free delivery by numbing your lower body part. This shot is given on your back at some exact position between your vertebrae. Within twenty minutes or so, after the administration of epidural you can feel the difference. The only disadvantage of this method is related to how it is administered. The whole process can get really uncomfortable to a really scared pregnant woman.

The administration requires you to have a lying position as that of letter ‘S’ and that too without a single movement till the catheter is placed. But to those who have researched a lot about epidural administration or those who have already used it once, it can be a somewhat smooth process. On the whole the relief provided by epidural is quite a motivating factor to use this approach for a pain free delivery.

Spinal blocks are very similar to epidural and are given directly to your spine. The disadvantages related to using spinal blocks are that the relief lasts only for 2 hours and you don’t get the option to have it again. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is another popular option available to lessen your pain.

It doesn’t completely take off your labor pain and that’s why many women love it as it is so close to a perfect natural delivery. The gas usually gives a funny feeling to you and is considered safe for the baby too. Using narcotics such as Nubane and Demerol can lessen your pain as you get a sleepy feeling using them. But it has the same sleeping effect on the baby too.

If you ask me how I rate the above options, my preference would be in the following order– Laughing Gas, Epidural, Spinal Blocks, and then Narcotics. However each labor experience is different and therefore you should choose one of the above based on how you think you can handle the pain and what all options are available in your hospital.