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Pain during Pregnancy and Delivery Pain during Pregnancy and Delivery

Pain During Pregnancy and Delivery


Although some women experience relatively little pain during labor and delivery, you should prepare yourself for the idea of pain and you should give some thought to how you can deal with the pain. 

Labor and Pain: Introduction

Some degree of pain accompanies almost every labor and delivery. Since there is now way for you or anyone else to predict how much pain or discomfort you will have, you should think about the possibility that you may need some form help to deal with the pain.

While many women think of medication when they consider pain relief, in fact there are other pain relief methods to also consider. It is best to consider your pain relief options before you go into labor and delivery since your health care provider may not be able to advise you as to which kind of pain relief is best for you or what type of pain relief will be most effective.

The types of pain relief include those listed below:

ChildBirth classes help you learn what to expect during labor and delivery.  They will teach you ways to breath, relax, and other ways to cope such as hypnosis, yoga, meditation, massage, and changing positions. 

Analgesia medication, given through an injection, relives pain without causing you to loose all sensation. It reduces the pain but does not completely stop it.

Epidural block (also called an epidural) is the most often used method of medically controlling pain.  It is administered as an injection given near the nerves in the lower back and it numbs your lower body.   An epidural is different from general anesthesia which is usually reserved for a cesarean delivery or an emergency delivery. An epidural does not cause you to lose consciousness as does a general anesthetic.

Spinal block is given as an injection in the lower back and it numbs the lower half of your body. As compared to an epidural, a spinal block is injected into the spinal fluid.  A spinal block is typically used during delivery but you will still have to go through the labor process.  A spinal block is the pain relief method most often used for a C-section. 

Local Anesthesia usually affects a small area.  It may be used if your health care provider needs to do an episiotomy.

Hypnosis has been found to be successful in reducing, and in some cases eliminating, pain.  Hypnosis requires a trained hypnotherapy and practice on your part.

General anesthetics make you lose consciousness and is not a method used to relieve the pain of labor and delivery.

Additional Information

University of Michigan: Pain relief during labor
Kids health: pain during pregnancy
March of Dimes: Coping with labor pain
March of Dimes: Epidural block

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