Are Pain Medications Safe?
You may be worried if you accept pain medication, your birth experience and the welfare of the baby will be affected. The medications of today are much improved over what our mothers and grandmothers were given during birth. Today, pain relief serves to take the edge off the pain while allowing the mom to be totally functional and in control. You may be offered pain relief in pill form, through IV or in an epidural.
But I’m Having A ‘Natural’ Delivery
Some women are against having pain medication for many different reasons, and that’s commendable. Keep in mind, though, you may get mid-way through labor and discover it’s too much for you to bear. Some women find it’s not that the pain is so intense, but that it is repetitive and lasts for so many hours, especially with the first child. Give yourself permission to ask for help and pain relief if you need it. Changing your mind mid-delivery doesn’t make you a failure—it means your smart enough to know what’s right for you and your baby.
What is an Epidural?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, over 50% of women receive an epidural during active labor. During an epidural, medication is administered through a thin tube that is inserted into a space in the spine. The medication goes directly to the nerves in the pelvic region to block the pain of contractions. Most women feel a little pinch and pressure as the epidural tube is inserted. Epidural advancements now allow moms to feel numb in all the right areas but can still feel to push the baby out.
Your labor isn’t going to be effortless, but with breathing and relaxation techniques and pain medication, you should be able to manage quite nicely. Just keep in mind at the end of it all, you’ll have a beautiful baby boy or girl to hold!