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Essential Guide To Relieving Labour Pain

Essential Guide To Relieving Labour Pain

Like most pregnant women, you, too, may fear the pain of childbirth. Thankfully, there are ways to cope with it.

Familiarise yourself with and choose the option that suits your preference and pain threshold:

1.Natural Methods
-Breathing and Relaxation. (Note: You would have learnt how to do this during your antenatal classes.)
-Massage (Tip: Get hubby to rub your lower back.)
-Warm bath
-TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation) machine --Works by stimulating the production of the body’s own painkillers (endorphins). (Note: You can use it in the hospital or hire it for use at home in the early stages of labour.)
Pros: Good for short labour.
Cons: Adequate in the early stages of labour but may not be enough as contraction pain becomes more severe.

2.Laughing Gas
This is given through a mask or mouthpiece.
Pros: It won’t relieve all the pain, but can take the edge off it.
Cons: Some women feel light-headed and unable to concentrate on labour.

3.Pain-relieving drugs
Diamorphine and pethidine are strong pain-relieving drugs, which are usually injected in to the thigh muscles. (In some hospitals, mums can self-administer it by pressing a button.)
Pros:Effectively reduces pain for up to four hours.
Cons:Can cause nausea and drowsiness. Cannot be used in the later part of labour. If the baby is delivered within four hours of the injection, the baby may also be drowsy . If that happens, an antidote will be given to the baby.

4.Epidural Analgesia
A type of local anaesthetic, it can be given continuously or topped up at regular intervals.
Pros: It provides complete pain relief. Good if you have a low pain threshold.
Cons:Loss of sensation in the lower half of the body.

5.Combined Spinal Epidural Analgesia (CSE)
Resembles epidural analgesia but involves additional injection of local anaesthetics.
Pros: Allows a more rapid onset of pain relief and benefits mums having moderate to severe pain.
Cons: Same as epidural analgesia.
Check with your doctor which options are available in the hospital you are delivery in.
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