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Pain Relief in Labour


It is normal to expect some degree of pain in the process of labour and birth. Women do vary in their approach to managing the pain of childbirth with some wishing to avoid any drug or medical intervention while others are very much interested in considering any available option. A woman’s experience and reaction to labour is an individual one. It is important that they know about the different pain relief options available and while you may already have a plan on how to manage your labour, it is helpful for you to be ready to be flexible with your preferences if needed.


The nature and intensity of pain during labour and childbirth can vary a great deal among women as different people have different pain thresholds and also because every labour is different. A first time delivery may last longer than a second or third and is likely to be more painful. It is certainly rare that a woman will experience minimal discomfort or pain during labour and child delivery.


The knowledge that labour and delivery could be very painful and the fear of the unknown can be a source of extra worry for pregnant women and this may even make the pain worse. It has been suggested that antenatal education around the process of labour and birth along with the different pain relief options that are available can help to overcome major fears and build up confidence for the delivery day. This is essentially part of what antenatal and birth preparation classes are meant for.


It remains in your best interest to learn the different approaches available for relieving pain during labour and childbirth in your area. It is also important to learn about how they work. Knowing the different options available to you, their benefits, their downsides and your own pain threshold will help you make a very informed choice as to how you would want your labour and childbirth to proceed.


Different women opt for different forms of pain relief in labour and in the end there is no right or wrong with the choices individual women make during their labours and deliveries.


Another thing that may help is having someone around during the labour and delivery period that would offer you both emotional and physical support. Even outside the delivery suite, it has been found that having someone to lean on helps to reduce the need for intervention and pain relief during delivery.


Whichever choice you make about the the form of pain relief you would  like during labour and childbirth, it is important that you discuss your plans with your doctor. This will help you know whether or not your choices are suited for your needs.


Although there may be situations where obstetric or medical problems may make it preferential to use one form of pain relief or the other, with your doctor helping you make the final decision, the choices are always yours to make. It is however important that you remain flexible since no one can ever predict how labour and childbirth will progress. Many women change their minds even after deciding on certain pain relief choices for labour and you can always do that too.


You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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