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Pain Management Options

Pain Management Options

Purpose
To reduce and relieve pain and help you relax between contractions. You will still feel contractions.

How it is given
Pain medication is given by a shot or through your IV line.  It usually takes effect very quickly and may last 1-2 hours.

Effects on you and your baby
You may feel dizzy or like you are floating.  The medication could make your labor slow down for a short time.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide inhalation is a method of patient controlled analgesia pain management which empowers patients and provides the potential benefits including:

  • Reduction of pain perception without interfering with the labor or delivery process
  • Rapid onset and release from system
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Maintains mobility and changes in position
  • Option for patients unable to get epidural anesthesia
  • Avoids the side effects of narcotic administration or epidural anesthesia

Epidural

Purpose
The epidural relieves pain from below the breasts to mid-thigh for labor and birth. You may still feel touch, movement, and pressure.You may also be able to move your legs. You will be alert but can also rest or sleep during labor.

How it is given
A nurse anesthetist numbs the injection site, and places a very small tube in your back. Medication flows through the tube into the space just outside the spinal cord. It usually works in about 5-10 minutes and lasts as long as needed.

Effects on you and your baby
You must have an IV in during your whole labor and birth. Most patients have very good pain relief from an epidural.

Possible  Side effects:
Your blood pressure may become low after the epidural is placed. Medication can be given to correct this. You may feel numbness or tingling in your legs.

Once the epidural is placed you will have to stay in bed. If you have to urinate, the nurse will help you with a bed pan. If you are unable to urinate, a tube may be placed in your bladder to keep it empty.