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Labor and Delivery

There are many different techniques for labor and delivery pain control. The first step in choosing what is best for you is to familiarize yourself with the Centegra Family Birth Center. Read about the different pain control techniques and options available to you. Then, discuss your goals with your physician and your caregivers. We want you to take an active role in the decision making regarding your care.

Emotional Well-Being

  • Rely on Family and Friends. You will be allowed up to three support people with you in the labor room.
  • Practice Relaxation. Focusing and breathing together with your partner will help to build trust and to relax.
  • Have Confidence in Your Body. Believe that your body has the ability to cope with labor and the birth of your baby.
  • Determine Your Needs and Communicate Them.
  • Focus. Focus on something positive you see, hear, feel, smell, taste or imagine.
  • Pray or Meditate.
  • Do Affirmations or Visualizations.
  • Expect the Unexpected.
  • Concentrate. Concentrate only on the moment and on responding to this one contraction.

Non-Medicated Pain Control Techniques

  • Water Therapy.  Try a sponge or foot bath.
  • Play Music. Soft, relaxing music for the first stages and more energizing music for the second stages of labor may help.
  • Adjust the Lighting and Temperature for Your Comfort.
  • Relax Your Body. Focus on relaxing the places in your body where you hold tension.
  • Touch. Massage, heat, cold and pressure can sometimes help with pain control.
  • Change Positions. Allow gravity to help the baby descend.
  • Movement. Sway, rock or use the labor ball to keep your pelvis mobile.
  • Urinate Frequently.
  • Drink Clear Liquids and Chew Ice Chips. Ice and liquids can help to maintain strength and energy.
  • Make Noises. Count, chant, hum, moan or any other releasing, relaxing noises.

Medicated Pain Control Techniques

You have many things to consider during labor and delivery, including the use of drug intervention in pain control for labor. Some women feel as if they have failed when they rely on drug interventions to help them through labor and delivery. But remember, each woman’s labor progression, contraction intensity and pain threshold varies which causes some women to need more intervention than others. Even though the medication used will be up to your physician, below are some of the medication options available:

Demerol, Fentanyl, Nubain, Dilaudid, Phenergan or Stadol

The initial dose of these drugs may make you light-headed, dizzy and sleepy. While these drugs don’t take the pain away completely, it takes the edge off the contraction to allow you to relax enough to sleep between contractions. Your physician may order the medication to be repeated every one to two hours according to your need and depending on your baby’s status. These medications usually become less effective as labor progresses.

Epidural

An epidural is a continuous dose of local anesthetic that is given into the epidural space of the spinal area. The nerves connecting to the uterus and birth canal are numbed without stopping labor. An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will administer the epidural. Your labor will continue to be closely monitored before and after you receive the epidural. You will speak to the anesthesiologist prior to receiving the epidural to discuss risks and benefits. Learn more about receiving an epidural as an option for pain control for labor and delivery.