Your pregnancy will take a time span of around 9 months, that is, almost 36 to 40 weeks (about 9 months) or a little more. When your pregnancy period ends, you are most likely to experience labor pain and cramps related to labor in your back and abdomen as your body and thus the uterus is preparing for the birth of your baby and so you might also hurt your legs and thighs. Though labor pain and the period of delivery that involves a pain so intense, that makes you scream, moan, or even cry will last for just a few hours. But parents, especially new mothers are always anxious throughout their pregnancies, particularly during the closing weeks of pregnancy, about the pain and discomfort that they might have to endure during their labor and on their due date during the time of delivery. So, here is a helpful guide that will make you understand what labor pain is, whether it is so painful, and most importantly, how to deal with it during childbirth.
Are Labor and childbirth actually painful?
The pain that is felt during labor and childbirth varies from one woman to the other and this variation depends upon a few factors. Some of them are- the time of your labor, the way your baby is taken out, the position of the baby during birth, and many others. In fact, the pain is not usually felt continuous, occasionally during childbirth and the pain goes away when you have contractions or when you are pushing during delivery and again comes back after your labor increases or when your water breaks. But however intense the pain might be, it is controllable and can be managed within days by medications, massages, and many other techniques. According to recent studies, research, and necessary experiments, it has been found that there are ways to measure the pain that is felt during labor and during the time of childbirth. This quantity of pain will be measured by your concerned physician through effective technologies and advanced scientific techniques to check how much pain you are feeling, and the doctor will prescribe you the necessary methods and medications to ease the pain accordingly.
Significant Signs of Labor:
When labor starts or is about to begin, you are more likely to experience some symptoms that will let you know that your child is almost prepared for birth, and you will have a delivery soon. Some of the most notable symptoms are listed below:
- A slimy mucus-like fluid comes out of the vagina with a trace of blood in it
- Sudden changes in your physical energy
- Contractions occur more often and are extremely painful
- Exertion of enormous pressure on the uterus
Handling Labor Pain and Labor Pain Relief Methods:
These are some of the easy ways to tackle the pain and cramps that arise during labor and childbirth. The most important thing about handling pain in labor is that you should keep track of the way your labor is progressing and ask your physician to handle it accordingly. Before you are in your labor, you cannot plan how to handle it, because you cannot plan for relief before experiencing the pain. So, there is nothing to worry about relieving labor pain throughout your pregnancy.
Here are some of the methods that will surely provide you with some relief from your labor pain:
The medicines that are known to provide relief from labor pain can be broadly divided into two types:
- Analgesics, give you relief by working all over the body and reducing the pain in areas like the vagina or perineum, but the pain still tends to remain to some extent and
- Anesthetics, help you to reach a state of complete numbness, particularly lower any pain that occurs below your waist and does not cause you to feel anything.
Epidural block: Epidural block is a medication that is primarily used during both vaginal and cesarean childbirth to block the occurrence of any pain during labor or delivery. This epidural block is applied to the mother’s body through an injection that is pushed at the back. Though this medicine helps you to relieve the pain felt in labor by making you numb, it keeps you awake so that you can push during childbirth. But there are certain side effects related to this medicine, such as the following:
- Reducing your blood pressure and the heartbeat of your baby during delivery
- An occasional occurrence of headache after delivery
- Skin rashes, itching, or mild irritations
Spinal block: Spinal block is mostly prescribed by doctors during cesarean childbirth and applied in your lower back to reduce labor pain. Unlike epidural block that begins their actions after 10 to 20 minutes after application, spinal blocks start working within a few minutes after injecting them and continue to relieve the pain for almost 1 to 2 hours. Despite having so many uses, it has all the side effects like that of epidural block.
Combined spinal-epidural (CSE): As the name suggests, this medication contains all the benefits and compositions of the epidural and spinal block that not only helps to relieve pain effectively within a few minutes but numbs your pain for quite some time.
Narcotics or opioids: Narcotics or opioids are often used to reduce labor pain and discomfort during your childbirth process. This medication is also applied in the lower back and remains for more time compared to the previous ones, for about 2 to 6 hours. But the major problem with this drug is that it can lower the labor pain but cannot remove it completely from your body. Moreover, this injection drug makes you fall asleep which might seriously affect your breathing or the baby’s respiration.
Pudendal block: Pudendal block is also an injection medicine that reduces the pain in your vagina and perineum, just like an epidural block but the main difference is that it involves a minimum amount of side effects. It does not cause any fever or skin rashes as it happens in the case of the epidural block but takes 10 to 20 minutes to begin its action.
Labor Relief Methods Apart From Medicines:
As we already know, there are several risks and side effects related to most of the medications that are required to help in relieving the pain one might feel during the time of labor. So, if you want to avoid the use of medications, you can follow non-medicinal techniques to reduce labor pain. Some such methods are as follows:
1. Look into a Lamaze that is quite relaxing and will effectively help to ease your pain during labor and childbirth.
2. Follow the Bradley method, which might involve your mother, husband, or any close one as a birth coach.
3. Do breathing exercises, particularly deep breathing.
4. A relaxing massage can also help to reduce the pain.
5. Exercise, have a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet, and get rid of an unhealthy lifestyle.
6. Try to give birth in water
Ways To Decrease Pain of Labor And Child Birth:
Apart from the application of drugs and techniques free from medications, you can follow a few ways to give birth to your child in a healthy and successful manner which will also help you to lower your pain during labor and delivery. Follow these methods:
1. Perform regular workouts:
According to recent studies and experiments, it is important to perform regular work-outs, necessary exercises, yoga, and breathing exercises, mostly deep breathing, that will help you to reduce labor pain. But take your doctor’s advice before doing this.
2. Eat well and take your prenatal vitamins:
It is important to have a healthy and balanced diet that is full of nutrition. You should consume such a diet throughout your entire pregnancy period. Try to avoid anything that is overcooked, packaged foods and junk foods, because these types of foods can gradually worsen your pregnancy. Consume fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables along with plenty of water. Your everyday diet should contain all the prenatal vitamins, minerals, light protein, and fiber. You can also have folate or folic acid supplements if prescribed by your concerned health care expert or maternity dietician.
3. Check your baby’s position:
If your baby is not in a proper position, you might feel intense labor pain and in fact, you might also face difficulties during the birth of your baby. So, check if your baby is in a proper position before your due date, and if not, seek your doctor’s advice.
4. Breathing Exercises:
Perform breathing exercises regularly to get relief from contractions, cramps, and pain that mostly occur during labor.
Try to give birth in water to lower your labor pain and give birth to your child painlessly.
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