SmartMomma HomeChannels - Preconception, Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, and MoreSmartMomma Baby & Pregnancy CommunitySubscribe to Our Infant Development & Pregnancy NewslettersShop SmartMomma Baby & Pregnancy!
  Due Date Calculator - Early Pregnancy Symptoms Pregnancy - SmartMomma
Pregnancy: Pain Relief During Labor

Pregnancy and pain relief during labor: Back in older times, women were expected to go through pregnancy and labor the old fashion way. That meant no drugs, no epidurals, no meditation techniques, no pain relief during labor at all! Squatting and screaming was the way to go. Thank God we don’t live in those times, right ladies?

In these modern times, there are (thankfully) many options for pregnancy and pain relief during labor, natural and drug-induced to help you weather the storm.

Pregnancy and pain relief during labor - options

  • Epidurals & Spinal Blocks: The best thing invented since sliced bread. Epidurals, often the most popular form of pain relief for labor, are given through a catheter into your spine. This deadens the nerves, temporarily, from your waste down to your toes. Many doctors will now give you an epidural as soon as you ask for it. Others will wait until you are dilated to a particular stage. Spinal blocks are similar to epidurals, but are a more temporary option. You are injected once, rather than given a catheter.
    • Pros: You will be alert and awake during the labor. An epidural will not make you feel tired or groggy. The effectiveness of an epidural is very good. Most times, it works quite well and eliminates all the pain you were feeling.
    • Cons: You will probably not be able to move your body from your hips down to your toes, which can leave you quite uncomfortable and frustrated if you are in for a long labor. There is a risk from the anesthesia for both mother and baby, although very small. The mom could experience a drop in blood pressure. An epidural may lead to fetal distress, fetal malposition, increase the use of forceps or vacuum extraction, episiotomy, and perhaps incur a C-section.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving an epidural during childbirth.

  • Narcotics & Tranquilizers: Narcotics are rarely used now, except in very small doses.
    • Pros: Can be less invasive than an epidural. Can take the edge of contractions.
    • Cons: Less effective than epidural. Can cause side effects to the mother such as nausea or dizziness. Your baby may be sleepy or groggy when born, heart rate may change, and the baby may have trouble nursing at first. Larger doses may interfere with your breathing and with your baby’s breathing. Narcotics can slow the progress of labor.
  • Visualization & Meditation: Practicing visualization and meditation is a natural alternative to manage pain.
  • Hypnosis: Another natural alternative to manage pain.
  • Water Birth: Water birth takes the pressure off of labor while you float in a tub of warm water. It helps soothe a woman's pain relief during natural labor. Many midwives offer the option of water birth.
  • Massage: Massage from your partner and/or doula can help soothe the pain of labor. Click here for more information on massage techniques for labor.

Find out how your baby is developing every week. Sign up for our FREE Weekly Fetal Development Newsletter. Click here!

Related Articles
Labor & Delivery: What to Expect 
Obstetrician vs. Midwife: Pros & Cons
What to Bring to the Hospital


  Shop SmartMomma Baby & Maternity  
Shop SmartMomma Baby & Maternity Shop SmartMomma Baby & Maternity
All Pregnancy Articles
Health And Nutrition
During pregnancy, your body needs your full attention, as your baby grows and your hormones go a bit crazy. SmartMomma is here to help you with some health and nutrition advice of our own.
Labor And Delivery
After many months of pregnancy, the big day finally arrives, whether you're ready or not. Be ready for baby's entrance into the world by reading up on what you may encounter on the best day of your life. Think happy thoughts!
Planning For Baby
One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is planning for your baby's arrival. Check out SmartMomma's recommendations on baby gear, not to mention our Nursery Planner for the arrival of your little bundle. It's never too early to start planning your nursery!
Pregnancy Effects
What effects can pregnancy have on your body? From stretch marks to leaking breasts, SmartMomma uncovers the reality of pregnancy, along with the joys of feeling your baby's first movements. Discover the answers to your questions about all of the new and "interesting" things happening to your body during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Stages
Is your baby kicking yet, or just fluttering? When does he have his fingers and toes? How big is he now? Find out the answers to these questions and check out the stages of pregnancy with our Fetal Development tool.
Prenatal Fitness
The best way to prepare for the marathon of labor and to get your figure back quickly postpartum is by keeping up a fitness routine while pregnant. Ask your doctor what level of fitness is appropriate for you. The most popular methods of staying fit for pregnancy is walking and prenatal yoga.
Pregnancy can put your relationships in a vulnerable state, as your daily activities will most likely change, along with your waistline and your emotions. This can put a strain on your relationship with your partner or spouse, as well as your relationship with others. Just remember, that you are a strong, beautiful woman, deserving of the best in life. Don't forget to remind your partner of this too!

Home About UsOur Friends Join For Free UnsubscribeAll Articles Contact Us
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyAdvertisingPress MaterialsLogin to Update Membership
©2007 Smart Momma. All rights reserved.