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You can choose from a few types of pain relief for childbirth. These include:
You also can use a combination of these choices.
You can write down your choices for pain relief in a birth plan. A birth plan is a list of what you want during labour. Your personal needs are important when you make this choice. The right choice is the one that feels right to you. Every labour is different. Some women go into labour planning to use comfort measures only and later find that they need pain medicine. Plan for what you want. But be aware that you may change your mind during labour.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
If you decide to take medicine to help your pain during labour, here are some medicines that may be used.
You get a shot of medicine to numb the area and relieve pain around the vaginal opening.
A doctor injects medicine into a space around the spinal cord. This is called an epidural. It's used during labour to numb your lower body. A spinal block is an injection of pain medicine into the spinal fluid. It quickly and fully numbs the pelvic area. In some cases, a doctor combines a spinal block with an epidural.
These are pain relievers given through a vein or as a shot in the muscle. They can help ease anxiety and pain. But they don't stop pain completely.
You can give yourself nitrous oxide through a mask when you need pain relief. You can move around and decide when to use it.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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