When you are expecting, it is normal to get a plethora of advice on how to deal with or reduce the intensity of pain while giving birth. However, when the real time comes, all you can think about is pushing it hard to bring the baby out by hook or by crook. Nonetheless, it is always good to keep in handy a few tips on how to reduce the labor pain since the intense, excruciating pain experienced in the lower back is often said to be an unforgettable aspect of childbirth. Like everyone, we too have listed down for you some options and techniques that you can consider to deal with or reduce the labor pain.
What is labor pain and why is it so painful?
The pain experienced during childbirth is termed labor pain. As every individual is different so is the pain they experience during labor. Some of them experience pain in the form of intense menstrual cramps while for others it resembles diarrhoeal cramps. Also, the pain experienced during different stages of labor differs.
This intense pain is caused by contractions of the uterine muscles and by the pressure felt on the cervix. This pain can be felt in the abdomen region, groin, back, sides and thighs as well, and this is what makes labor pain so painful. The pressure felt on the bladder and bowels exerted by the baby’s head, and the stretching of the birth canal can also contribute to labor pain.
How to deal with labor pain?
The ways to deal with labor pain and the labor pain symptoms are broadly classified into two, the medication-free approach and the medicinal approach.
Medication free approach
Doctors recommend medication or drug-free approach as it is the most natural way to experience childbirth. You can start by staying active during your pregnancy since it improves your endurance level and strength during the baby delivery process.
You can also go for the Lamaze technique. This technique encourages women to give birth confidently by educating them about the ways they can reduce the pain, such as through relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, distraction, and/or massage by a supportive coach. Currently, this technique is widely famous in the United States.
Another popular way to cope with labor pain without any medication is the Bradley method which is also known as the Husband-Coached Birth. This method encourages childbirth without medicines unless it is absolutely necessary. It focuses on good nutrition, staying active, fit during pregnancy and breathing and relaxation techniques to cope with the labor pain. It also encourages the active participation of the baby’s father as a birth coach.
Some of the other medicine-free ways to handle the labor pain include:
- Yoga and meditation
- Listening to soothing music
- Changing birth position
- Physiotherapy services during pregnancy
- Taking a bath or shower
The medicinal approach is only used when it is absolutely necessary. There are two types of medicine used for easing the labor pain, they are:
- Analgesics: They are drugs that will help you reduce the pain during the labor, but you can still feel a few sensations in the body.
- Anaesthetics: They are drugs that numb your body and block the pain along with other feelings.
Given below are a few common drugs used to ease the labor pain:
Epidural or Epidural block is a drug popularly used during childbirth since it relieves pain throughout the labor while letting you stay alert. The doctor injects the drug into the lower back, and it takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to work. Too much of Epidural is said to have side effects such as:
It can lower your blood pressure
It can slow the baby’s heart rate
It can cause fever, itchiness, and headache
When the labor is too painful, especially when it is a C-section then doctors usually give this shot in your lower back to ease the pain. This drug starts acting up within a min and lasts for 1-2 hours.
Combined spinal-epidural (CSE)
A CSE or “walking epidural” mixes the benefits of the two drugs, the epidural and the spinal block and eases the pain more quickly and for a longer time.
They are drugs that help you calm down or relax while giving birth. Tranquillizers don’t have any effect on labor pain. It is seldom used since it can have effects on both the mother and baby.
The pudendal block can block the painful sensation between the vagina and anus (perineum) while giving birth. This method is used less often nowadays since it may not work for a few people and can trigger an allergic reaction.
Remember, worthy of being a mother is not related to your ability to endure the pain of childbirth. That is why you don’t need to tolerate the pain and suffer as it can be harmful to you and your little one at times. So don’t over think, and educate yourself and learn more about what to do and when!