Whether it’s through medication or other non-medicated treatments, the goal is to make the experience as comfortable and safe as possible.
Labor pains are even worse. Some people joke about labor “living up to its name”, but there’s no reason why you should have to suffer for 10-24 hours or more on what should be one of the happiest days of your life.
Changing Positions and Moving
Pregnancy can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. Babies take up more and more space in your womb as the months go by, and while at first you might not be showing yet, you could be pregnant and feel a few sharp, worrisome pains in your stomach area.
This is usually nothing to worry about, but if you’re concerned, or if they’re frequent or severe, it’s always best to call your doctor. As you go through your pregnancy, you may experience more pain, especially if you’re having twins or triplets. But with the help of your doctor, you’ll be just fine.
* Pain in your chest
* Pain in your sides
* Pain in your back
* Pain in your legs
To help with heartburn, pregnant women are often advised to sleep in an elevated position. Since your stomach and sides are stretched to the limit at this time, you may find it helpful to use a body pillow for extra support while you sleep on your side.
Back pain is pretty common for pregnant women, especially as they get further along in their pregnancy. Be sure to get up and move around, and do some stretches to help strengthen your core.
You may also experience some leg pain, and swelling can make your legs painful to the touch. Walking may not sound like much fun when you’re in pain, but sometimes it’s the best way to get the blood flowing and relieve the pain.
Many women like to get on their hands and knees to find comfort during this strenuous time. Some maternity wards have something they can put over your bed to let you pull up on the bar and take the pressure off your back.
Taking deep breaths is a great way to manage pain during pregnancy and labor. Shallow breaths are often used in Lamaze classes, but deep breaths are just as effective.
Pregnancy can be a stressful time, so if you start to feel any pain, try taking some deep breaths. This will provide you and your baby with more oxygen.
To practice deep breathing, which you’ll use not only during pregnancy but also when you’re in labor if you want to, breath in through your nose. Take a deep breath from your diaphragm and slowly let it out through your mouth.
If you want to, you can use the emotional freedom technique (EFT) or self-hypnosis while you practice deep breathing to help with pain relief.
Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that redirects your focus from the pain to a peaceful visual image. For example, you may visualize yourself sitting on a seashore at sunset, listening to the waves crash against the rocks.
With self-hypnosis, you are in complete control of the hypnosis and there is no danger of becoming unconscious.
EFT tapping is a simple and effective technique that can help reduce pain and improve your overall well-being. By tapping on specific pressure points, you can help release the memories stored in your nervous system. The intensity and frequency of your pain can be reduced.
This process is similar to acupuncture, but uses acupressure instead. You can use positive affirmations about your life or your baby to help direct healing and positive energy to where the pain is.
Prenatal massage is the perfect pain reliever for early pregnancy all the way through and after the labor and delivery process. Most people – pregnant or not – would enjoy a massage that’s being performed to relax the muscles and ease pain and tension.
It’s especially soothing to a pregnant woman whose body is rapidly changing and whose stability, mobility and circulation are compromised during the latter months. Prenatal massage can help with all of that!
Prenatal massage can be a great way to relieve pain and tension during pregnancy. You can schedule massages with a professional massage therapist, or have your spouse learn how to apply pressure for you.
Because you’re pregnant, you won’t be able to lie flat on your back like you would with a standard massage table. Instead, you’ll lie on your side, or be seated in a massage chair.
Advocates of prenatal massage argue that it can relieve pain in the lower back, hips, and legs. Some say it can also ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve labor outcomes. A prenatal massage is a massage that is performed on a woman who is pregnant.
The massage can be done with the woman lying on her side, back, or stomach. It is important to communicate with your massage therapist to ensure that you are comfortable, and any areas you would like them to focus on are important to them. You may also want to inquire about a midwife who can perform a massage during labor.
And it’s not just for the birth itself – you can use water to ease pregnancy discomfort throughout your entire pregnancy. Being weightless in water can be an amazing feeling when your body is changing, and you’re feeling the pain of extra weight and pregnancy hormones.
If you are pregnant, it is important to get your circulation going. This is best done by moving around, rather than sitting for long periods of time. Water is a great way to do this, as it takes the pressure off your joints and back.
Try to find a warm pool to do your pregnancy-related water therapy in, as the warmth will help to improve circulation and relax your muscles.
You can use water therapy in a swimming pool by walking laps or in your own personal Jacuzzi. Give yourself a 20-30 minute treatment as often as you like. Make sure you also take precautions to make your environment slip-proof so that you don’t fall. During pregnancy, your center of gravity can be a little off. You can also ask your partner or a friend to help you in and out of the pool.
Epidurals are the most popular form of pain relief during labor. They are safe for both the mother and the baby, and the mother does not feel any pain during the birth.
About 30 minutes before you want the epidural, you’ll be given a shot of local anesthesia in your spine. You’ll be sitting up and leaning forward or lying on your side while the technician administers the medications.
The catheter is threaded and within 30 minutes, you won’t feel a thing – contractions will come and go, and you’ll see them on the machine to know they’re happening.
However, if your blood pressure is low, you should talk to your doctor before you get an epidural because it can lower your blood pressure.
It’s now uncommon for a spinal block to be used during childbirth. This is when a narcotic is injected into the mother’s spinal fluid to provide two hours of pain relief.
The difference between this and an epidural is that a spinal block is a single injection, while an epidural is given over time through an IV. In some cases, the medication might cross into the baby’s bloodstream and make it difficult to breastfeed.
There are a variety of pain medications available to women during childbirth, but most people don’t opt for opiates due to the potential side effects. Opiates are generally given in small doses due to the side effects on both mother and child.
Although epidurals are designed to help ease labor pains, there are several potential side effects to be aware of, including:
The use of opiates during pregnancy can have a number of potential consequences for both the mother and the baby. For the mother, opiate use can lead to respiratory problems, difficulty breastfeeding, and difficulty maintaining a proper body temperature. For the baby, opiate use can result in respiratory problems, difficulty breastfeeding, and difficulty regulating body temperature.
Depending on the severity of the mother’s symptoms, she may be prescribed a medication such as Demerol, Morphine, or Stadol. Demerol is typically the first choice of opiate for pregnant women. In most cases, relief from the mother’s symptoms will be seen within five minutes of taking the medication.
Pregnancy and delivery are supposed to be beautiful, relaxing times in your life. You want to spend your entire time imagining what it will be like to be a new mom, not mired in the frustration of dealing with pain. Choose an option that works for you and have a backup plan in place for severe episodes during your pregnancy or the delivery.