Childbirth Pain Relief

What are the Options of Childbirth Pain Relief?

Virtually all women worry about how they will cope with the pain of labor and delivery. Childbirth is different for everyone. So no one can predict how you will feel. The amount of pain a woman feels during labor depends partly on the size and position of her baby, the size of her pelvis, her emotions, the strength of the contractions, and her outlook.

Building a positive outlook on childbirth and managing fear may also help some women cope with the pain. It is important to realize that labor pain is not like pain due to illness or injury. Instead, it is caused by contractions of the uterus that are pushing your baby down and out of the birth canal. In other words, labor pain has a purpose. Try the following to help you feel positive about childbirth:
Take a childbirth class. Call the doctor, midwife, hospital, or birthing center for class information.
Get information from your doctor or midwife. Write down your questions and talk about them at your regular visits.
Share your fears and emotions with friends, family, and your partner.
Some women do fine with natural methods of childbirth pain relief alone. Many women blend natural methods with medications that relieve pain.

Natural methods of pain relief

Many natural methods help women to relax and make pain more manageable. Things women do to ease the pain include:
Trying breathing and relaxation techniques.
Taking warm showers or baths.
Getting massages.
Using heat and cold, such as heat on lower back and cold washcloth on forehead.
Having the supportive care of a loved one, nurse, or doula.
Finding comfortable positions while in labor (stand, crouch, sit, walk, etc.).
Using a labor ball.
Listening to music.

Medical methods of pain relief

While you're in labor, your doctor, midwife, or nurse should ask if you need pain relief. It is her job to help you decide what option is best for you. Nowadays women in labor have many pain relief options that work well and pose small risks when given by a trained and experienced doctor. Doctors also can use different methods for pain relief at different stages of labor. Still, not all options are available at every hospital and birthing center. Plus your health history, allergies, and any problems with your pregnancy will make some methods better than others.

Keep in mind that rare, but serious complications sometimes occur.
Also, most medicines used to manage pain during labor pass freely into the placenta. Ask your doctor how pain relief methods might affect your baby or your ability to breastfeed after delivery.

Return from Childbirth Pain Relief to Giving Birth

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