Everyone wishes they could have a quick and painless labor, and many do! For those who aren’t so lucky, let’s go over the good, bad, and the ugly with regard to relieving labor pains.
Natural childbirth is by far the most painful in this arena. With proper breathing techniques and natural pain relieving methods, you can absolutely get through it. Massage, concentrating on a focal point, rocking, and birthing balls are some methods. Various hospitals offer birthing pools, bringing considerable relief for those with intense back labor as well. These methods can be used no matter what choice you ultimately make. In the end, you don’t have residual side effects from medications or epidurals. Just enjoy your baby.
Hospitals tend to recommend specific drugs for childbirth. Some of those are, demerol, Nubain, and stadol, just to name a few. I suggest talking with your physician to make a pain plan. You many not feel complete relief for long periods with pain medication but, it will take the edge off. Coupled with your breathing and coping methods, you will get through it. These medicines can often make you feel nauseous or light headed, making labor even more miserable. If this should happen to you, let the nurse know and ask for different medication.
If you opt for an epidural, most hospitals recommend your cervix be dilated to a close 4 centimeters. There is usually little pain associated with administering the epidural, especially in comparison to labor pains. Epidural medication can be administered throughout labor, relief is almost always felt within minutes. The downside to epidurals are that they can lower your blood pressure, if you have low blood pressure to begin with, notify the anesthesiologist before he begins. There is also risk of headaches, due to a small amount of spinal fluid that can get secreted from administering the epidural. Some people have noted soreness in the area of the epidural site as well. One last concern may be the ability to feel how hard your pushing. Sometimes a person cannot push hard enough due to not being able to feel it, and the doctor may need to use forceps in order to get the baby out.
Sit down with your OBGYN to discuss your labor plan. This helps in creating the birthing experience you want. Not only will you feel more prepared, you will both know what to expect in the various circumstances that can arise.