- Pain Relief
There are many different methods of pain
relief available for women during labour. It is important
to have considered what methods of pain relief are available
and which ones you would like during the labour. However,
you not necessarily have to decide before the birth you could
just see how things go for you.
Gas: Oxygen and nitrous
are mixed together to form the gas, which is given for pain
relief during labour. At the beginning of a contraction you
must breath the gas in through a mask. It will take effect
fifteen to twenty seconds later. It is instant and there are
no side effects except if you breath in too much it can make
you feel sick and sleepy.smooth and progressively intense.
Sometimes contractions slow down or even stop. It’s
important to stay calm, patient and be prepared to move around
until they start again. If contractions slow down for a long
period of time, it may be beneficial for things to be helped
along. Hormonal stimulation is how labour is brought on medically.
When you're induced, hormones are introduced into your bloodstream,
and they stimulate the start of contractions. These open your
cervix, to allow the baby to come downwards, and then out.
The main drawback of this intervention is that it can bring
on contractions very intensely which can be very difficult
to cope with.
Injection: The injection
given to woman in labour is usually pethidine. It is quick
and easy to use. It takes effect within twenty minutes and
lasts up to three hours. Although pethidine takes the edge
off the pain it does not make it disappear completely. Side
effects include the feeling of sickness and sleepiness. The
baby may also suffer the side effects of the pethidine and
start breathing slowly. However, in general the injection
is a safe pain relief.
Epidural: This is an injection
given in your spine. It can take up to twenty minutes to inject.
A plastic tube is placed in your spine and anesthetic is injected
as and when it is needed. The injection is held in place by
a plaster. The advantage of an epidural is that it gives complete
pain relief as it numbs the nerves carrying the pain from
the birth canal to the brain. The disadvantage is that you
may feel helpless as you can only push when the midwife directs
you to, as you cannot feel anything.
Tens: Tens stands for
transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Electrode pads
are placed on your back and are connected to wires controlled
from a battery stimulator. The advantages of this are that
you can control the power of the current and tens encourage
your body to produce its own natural painkillers by stimulation.
Tens are not known to have any disadvantages.
Self-help: Self-help includes
relaxation, breathing, massage, position, movement and partners