Pain Control Options Available For Childbirth

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Labor and Delivery

According to new mothers, there is nothing quite as painful or as satisfying as giving birth! Pain during childbirth varies with different women. Satisfying as it may be, most expectant mothers who are giving birth for the first time prefer to have some options for pain control open to them. And in today’s world, there are plenty of these!

Most medical experts do not advice taking pain medication or any form of anesthesia because it can affect the child’s health during the birth. When pain medication is taken, there is a very small chance of it affecting the child, but most doctors prefer not to take this chance at all. This is where childbirth training techniques come in.

During the pregnancy, going for Bradley and Lamaze classes is necessary, so that the expectant mother can learn proper breathing and relaxation techniques which are required for a natural childbirth. Proper breathing techniques can help you take the focus off the pain, especially if you’ve trained for this in advance. Also, both Lamaze and Bradley require that the person who will be with you during delivery attend the classes too!

While some of these childbirth techniques center on focusing techniques, others rely on distraction techniques. Focusing techniques are those whereby the pain is blocked out by centering on the need to do something constructive such as push, whereas distraction techniques work by having the expectant mother remember some good memories or count backwards and so on. If you know yoga, you may find these techniques familiar with ones you’ve done before. You can start practicing these techniques from a few weeks before birth up until the golden hour!

During labor, physical comfort eases the entire process. This can be provided with the use of hot and cold packs to reduce cramping, as well as by sipping cold water or warm tea. However, sip slowly to ensure minimum intake of fluids in case you opt for a general anesthesia later. Injection of the anesthesia can have side effects such as vomiting, which is quite hazardous as it can cause choking.

Most maternity sections in hospitals are well equipped to use water tubs and showers to relieve pain and discomfort. A warm soak in the tub will work wonders in easing the backache which is almost a precondition of birthing! Such techniques help a lot, and need to be used at the right time. This is where your partner comes in!

Always have a sit-down with your doctor and discuss the several possibilities of childbirth, as well as all the steps to be taken in both normal circumstances as well as problem situations. This way, you’ll be able to handle yourself better during the actual process of labor and delivery.

Some women experience too much pain during labor: a lot more than they can handle on their own. For these women, there are several medical options on hand.

Some of the general pain medications that are available vary from herbal remedies to mild drugs. Doctors tend to keep these to the minimum dosage to prevent the baby’s health from being affected as well as to ensure that the mother participates in the birthing process. Stronger narcotics will only be used in extreme cases.

The age of the local anesthetic is long gone, as neurological consequences of it have come to the fore in medical research. However, complications using local anesthetics happen only in the rarest of cases and the odds of them happening increase with the dosage. So local anesthetic is still a viable option using low dosages. Of course, there will be some risk, but then, there always is when medical drugs are used.

Many women opt for a regional block, which is a drug administered into the base of the spinal column to erase pain in the back and vaginal area. A regional block is therefore described as a drug which blocks pain in some regions of the body. Your doctor will advice you as to the odds of using this as a pain medication.

Ensure that you have talked about all the above methods of pain reduction with your physician, so that you don’t have any last-minute problems and panic attacks. And then concentrate only on your delivery, and the bringing of a new soul into the world. Best of luck!