Pain relief during childbirth

Pain, the most feared part of childbirth. However do not let this discourage you. Medical pain relief has come a long way with a whole host of different provisions being put in place to relieve you on this journey.

What are the types available?

There are two available in regards to drugs for pain relief being analgesics and anaesthetics. Both serve the same purpose but differently.

Analgesics lessen the overall pain without the loss of feeling in comparison to anaesthetics that relieve the pain and block a large percentile of any entailed feeling.  It delivery can be chosen in a systematic fashion or regional and can be chosen by the patient in question or medical practitioner.

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 OPIOIDS

Reduce your awareness of the pain, without losing consciousness, this is usually administered through an IV  that is inserted into your vein .

SIDE EFFECTS – These are minor, including that of itching, nausea and vomiting however this drug is no administered within the hour before delivery due to complications pertaining the baby’ s breathing.

NITROUS OXIDE

Also commonly  referred to as gas and air. This odourless gas reduces levels of anxiety with the increase of  released endorphins to increase the pain threshold. It is administered through a mask and is done of your own accord.

SIDE EFFECTS – Minimal, some however may feel dizzy upon inhaling the gas but effects are not lasting.

EPIDURAL

This medication is widely practiced amongst many births and is administered through a tube placed within your lower back. Feeling is limited but you will remain awake and alert enabling you still to bear he pain to push the baby down the birth canal.

SIDE EFFECTS – Short term effects can include a decrease in blood pressure and/or headache. Serious complications can arise from this however is rare that include damage to the spinal cords/nerves.

SPINAL BLOCKAGE

Similar to the epidural block however acts regionally and single shots being administered to the concerned area. Effects last up to two hours and are usually given to hose undergoing c-section.

GENERAL/LOCAL ANAETHESIA

Local anaesthesia enables pain within a smaller area of the body to be relieved and is commonly used to aid in the healing of torn tissues post birth.

General anaesthesia as such you are no awake and are without feeling. It is primary usage is for emergency situations by where an anaesthesiologist will place a breathing tube into your mouth and windpipe.
SIDE EFFECTS –  Are again minimal but risks are posed with the breathing tubes. Read more.

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