How about fighting your nightmare related to the labour pain during pregnancy? Are you afraid about the pain you have to tolerate during childbirth? Do you want to deliver your child without pain or minimum pain? Well, answer to these questions is painless delivery which is becoming quite a trend in many Indian women who are based in urban areas.
The pain during birth varies from one mother to another. For some, the pain is for short time making delivery easy and for some the pain is too much to bear resulting to delayed delivery. The human body can bear up to 45 Del (units) of pain, but at the time of labour the mother feels pain up to 57 Del (units) which is equal to 20 bones getting fractured at the same time. Can you believe the pain of 20 bones getting fractured at same time??? With advent of modern medicine and availability of techniques with skilled doctors, it is possible to relieve the labour pain and do delivery smoothly.
The technique of painless delivery called as Epidural Analgesia or Epidural Anesthesia is a popular technique used by women, if advised by the doctor during labour pain. In this procedure, a small injection is placed in your lower back, through which a fine tube (epidural catheter), the size of thread is passed into the epidural space of the spinal cord. Drugs are injected through this tube to relieve pain during labour. The drugs used are local anesthesia which causes numbing of the nerve and pain sensation without affecting the ability to move. These drugs are very safe for the baby. You feel the contractions but they would be painless. The expectant mother can now have delivery without any pain. This technique is carried only by the anesthesiologist along with set of skilled nurses. The anesthesiologist and nurse will keep monitoring whether the epidural is working on place or not. When the pain is significant, you can ask to administer more.
All expectant mothers can opt for painless delivery using epidural technique, except those on blood thinning medication or those with abnormal blood test or certain neurological disorders. Epidural is not necessary for having normal delivery, but it is beneficial in reducing labour pain. In order to have epidural, one needs to be in established labour pain. No need to wait for cervical dilation. It can also be placed in between the labour pain when the mother is not able to bear the intense pain.
In USA, UK and other developed countries, more than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia. This technique is not only cost effective, but also gives relief from unbearable labour pain during deliveries. In India, it is observed that out of 25 normal deliveries, around 2-4 deliveries happen using the painless technique. With a rich pool of experience, expertise and cost effective as compared to USA, UK and other developed countries, India becomes favourable destination for painless delivery. It’s observed that most of the women opting for this technique are educated and they are from well to do family. As the threshold to bear labour pain among women has decreased, women prefer to go for epidural technique.
Advantages of Painless Delivery:
- Pain during labour causes mother to secrete hormone which give distress to the baby. By administering epidural, mother and baby are comfortable, hence birthing too becomes easy.
- Brings down high blood pressure which some mothers have during pregnancy.
- Delivery is fast.
- If any complications arise in between to mother or baby, then caesarian can be done using the same tube.
- Caesarian can be avoided for patients who fear of natural birth and its associated pain.
- Women who wants vaginal birth after caesarian.
Disadvantages of Painless Delivery:
- Epidurals may cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop. Hence, blood pressure is continuously monitored to ensure an adequate blood flow to the baby.
- Some women may experience severe headache due to leakage of spinal fluid.
- Some might experience side effects like shivering, ringing of ears, backache, soreness where the needle is inserted, nausea or difficult in urinating.
- Epidurals makes pushing difficult and sometimes medical interventions may be needed to assist in delivery.
With women postponing motherhood till 30’s and conditions like hypertension and obesity, decreases the chances of normal delivery. As one grows older, the threshold to bear pain also reduces, but epidural anesthesia increases chance of normal delivery without pain. Seeking pain relief method of child birth is mother’s choice. This is discussed beforehand only with the doctor in charge of delivery. A well-informed patient is usually cooperative and adaptive during labour and delivery, hence, pre-natal pain relief education is must. Motherhood is a magic and when it is painless, it is bliss.
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Radha K. Iyer is a contributing writer on Treatum Blog. When she is not writing, she can be found reading health and food blogs or experimenting with her culinary skills.
Disclaimer: The entire content of this article is for information purpose only and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. It is not a substitute for professional care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem and disease.