Some women prefer to have an epidural to manage pain during labor and delivery. Talk to your doctor about when you can receive the epidural and if you need to be dilated to a certain degree. Once you are ready, an anesthesiologist will administer the epidural in your birthing suite.
For many women, one of the biggest concerns about childbirth is pain. At Woman's, we offer labor options and pain management to fit your individual needs. Whether you plan to give birth naturally, or you want to explore medication options, our nurses are here to help you reach your goal.
Just as each person is different, so is each person's response to pain. When you are admitted to the hospital, your nurse will ask you to rate your pain level on a scale of 0 to 10. Tell your nurse when your pain level is higher than your goal, and she will work with you to manage your discomfort.
Natural Pain Relief
Medication is only one part of pain control. Woman's offers natural birthing options, including tub labor and birth for low-risk patients. Some patients also find it helpful to use a doula for natural childbirth support.
Pain may also be relieved by:
- Changing position
- Having your support person put a cool or warm cloth on your forehead
- Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing
- Daydreaming about pleasant things (visual imagery)
- Focusing on a color, picture, or photo
- Listening to music
- Watching relaxation videos
Pain medication can be a powerful tool in making the labor and delivery process more comfortable. Even with pain medicine, you CAN expect to have some pain during the labor process and recovery.
Different medications will provide different levels of relief, depending on your symptoms and where you have pain. Be sure to ask questions about the medications you receive to learn why you are taking it and its possible side effects. Tell your nurse if you have nausea or itching and she can help alleviate those side effects.
Types of medication that may help during labor and delivery include:
- Pain relievers (analgesics)
- Regional and local anesthesia (epidural, perineal injection, pudendal block, spinal block)
- General anesthesia (not routinely used in labor and delivery)
You may receive medication in one or more of the following ways:
- By mouth
- Intramuscular Injection: A shot given in a muscle (usually in the hip)
- Intravenous Medication: Given through your IV
- Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) Pump: Pain medication injected into your IV line with the push of a button