Deciding On Labor Medications

February 4, 2009

We've Gone From No Labor Pain Medication To A Variety Of Choices

Deciding to have a baby is huge, but the decisions do not end there. As any woman who has had a baby knows, there are myriad things to consider throughout the pregnancy and, as the time to give birth comes closer, some consideration must be given to the idea of labor and delivery. Believe it or not, the decision to use medications or not use them is a fairly recent debate. In the not-too-distant past, labor and delivery were done without the aid of medications. They weren't offered and they weren't readily available unless there was a crisis.

Today, a woman is not only able to make choices regarding whether or not she'll have medication administered during her labor and delivery, she is also confronted with a huge number of choices as to which type of medication she would prefer. The important thing for a woman to remember in all of the deciding is that there are many factors that come into play when making the decision to be medicated or not.

Things To Consider In Addressing Labor Pain

Energy levels and the amount of sleep a woman has had before she actually goes into full labor is a consideration when it comes to medications. If it looks like it is going to be a long labor, then it is essential she plan accordingly and pace herself. The position she lies in can affect the amount of pain in her body during labor. It's usually a lot better to be sitting or standing than lying down. How much support does she have through this ordeal? Are her support people "present and accounted for" or are they distracted and uninterested. The baby's position also affects the pain levels a woman will experience during labor. Probably most important is that the woman be well versed in what is going on. Education takes the fear out of the experience and makes dealing with labor pain a lot easier.

Past The Point Of No Return: Labor Pain

There comes a point in labor where a woman passes the point of no return. That simply means that if the labor has progressed to a certain point and she has not received medication, unless something goes terribly wrong, she likely won't be getting any medications to kill pain. Therefore, it is important to be prepared prior to labor to make any decisions regarding medication rather than waiting until labor has begun in earnest as it may progress beyond where she can be medicated very quickly.

Well, That Wasn't So Bad After All: Labor Pain Medications

Many women find that their labor is less painful and less stressful than they had anticipated while others experience more pain and a longer labor than they thought they would have. There are a variety of methods which can be employed outside of drugs to help a woman go through labor and delivery and knowing the options is the best way to be fully aware of what will be best for both mother and baby.

Labor pain is most frequently what a woman expects it to be, whether that be positive or negative. All women are individuals and must make their decisions based on a knowledge of their own pain thresholds and expectations. Every pain reducing technique has benefits and risks. Being educated makes the decision easier and takes the stress out of the experience.

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