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It's All Your Fault, Stop the Pain! Choices for pain relief (part 3) - Pain relief choices How to manage the pain

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Pain relief choices How to manage the pain

There are a range of pain relief options available. It's wise to think about which method you would prefer before going into labor.

Relaxation, breathing, keeping mobile, and massage:

You remain in control and avoid intervention. Being upright can help the position of the baby and there are no side effects. This may not be sufficient pain relief for strong contractions.

Water:

Using a birthing pool in labor and possibly for delivery can help you to labor more relaxed and less painfully, with no side effects.

TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation):

Sticky pads placed on your back send small electrical impulses to trigger the release of endorphins. You control the current with a handheld device. This may not provide sufficient relief for very strong contractions.

Sterile papules:

This is four small injections of sterile water below the skin of the lower back and is effective in managing the pain of back labor. Other than discomfort, there are no risks.

Nubain or Narcotic analgesia:

These can lessen the pain, but can cause nausea and affect the baby's breathing if given too close to delivery.

Epidural anesthesia:

A local injection near the spine, this is the most effective form of pain relief and doesn't enter the baby's system. It increases the chance of forceps, vacuum, and cesarean, since you may not be able to feel when to push. You will be less mobile and will need monitoring.

Many women find being in warm water an effective method of pain relief, whether this is taking a bath at home in early labor, or laboring in a birthing pool thoughout.

A massage to the lower back is another popular way to control pain in the early stages of labor.

A TENS unit gives you control over the amount of pain relief you receive and allows you to remain mobile and active during the first stage of labor.

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