Pain Management

It is difficult to know what labour will be like and what you might need in the way of pain relief until you are in labour. It is best to be informed about your options for pain management and keep an open mind.

Labour tends to be easier if you are relaxed and confident, rather than tense and fearful. Relaxation techniques that have proven to be useful in labour include different breathing techniques, various body positions, massage, counter pressure, warm showers, vocalization and music therapy.

Two main types of medication are used to control pain during labour - painkillers and freezing. Painkillers are also known as analgesics. These medications dull the overall pain but do not cause a loss of feeling in a certain area of the body.

Nubain is an analgesic and is usually given by an injection into the muscles of the hip, or sometimes through an intravenous (IV) line. It dulls the pain and may make you feel sleepy, so that you can rest between contractions.

An epidural block is a common procedure for giving an anesthetic medication to block the pain of labour and birth. In this procedure, a catheter is inserted through a needle into a small space between the spinal bones, A small tube will then be taped securely to the outside of your body. By doing this, your doctor is able to give you more of the medication if it is needed, without having to poke through your skin with a needle. Usually, the doctor will use this catheter to hook you up to a pump to enable the medication to be delivered continuously for safe pain relief.

It is a good idea to discuss what kind of pain relief you would like with your doctor or nurse.

More Information about Epidurals

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