This is a guest blog contributed by Dolly Gohel.
Delivery can be a very painful process, as the uterus performs powerful contractions in order to ease the baby’s passage out of the mother’s body. For those with access to the best healthcare, there are various options available in the form of medicines and epidural anesthesia, so as to have a painless delivery.
How to Prepare for Labor and Delivery
There are various steps you can take to help yourself while you are in labor. According to the nhs.uk website, the following are the steps you can take to minimize your discomfort.
a) Learn about the phases of labor beforehand, so that you know what to expect and aren’t scared or tense due to lack of knowledge.
b) Practice relaxation techniques to help you stay calm. Breathing techniques that you learned in your Lamaze class may also be helpful.
c) Keep moving, so as to help reduce the discomfort. Walking, kneeling or rocking back and forth can be helpful as a calming mechanism and as a way to reduce discomfort.
d) Bring your spouse, a friend or your mother to help you when you are in labor. A companion can be a really calming influence, and can give you the strength to face the pain.
e) Have a nice warm bath. You will feel fresh and relaxed.
Painless Normal Delivery
You can opt to manage the pain by requesting some pain medications. If you want a completely painless delivery, you can opt for an epidural or spinal anesthesia. In the US, more than 50% of the women giving birth in hospitals ask for epidural anesthesia. As per an article on the website of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health of the US, during epidural anesthesia, medicine is injected just outside of the sac of fluid that surrounds your spinal cord. This space is called the epidural space. Often, a small catheter is kept in place so that you can continue to receive medicine in order to have a painless normal delivery. In the case of spinal anesthesia, the medicine is injected into the fluid in your spinal cord. A spinal works faster and requires less medicine as compared to an epidural.
Risks of Epidural or Spinal Anesthesia
While spinal and epidural anesthesia are usually quite safe, there are some risks involved. Firstly, you could have an allergy to the medicine being used. Secondly, you may have bleeding around the spinal column. You may suffer an infection in your spine, or have nerve damage. You may have a severe headache. Another possibility is a drop in blood pressure. You may have some difficulty urinating following the administering of the anesthesia. A very rare side effect is seizures. You should discuss these risks with your doctor before you make your decision for a painless delivery.