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What is a Painless Delivery? [Ask an OBGYN]
Women go through severe pain during labor, which is sometimes why many ask their OBGYN about painless delivery. The pain can be unbearable, especially if it is the first pregnancy. Advancements in medicine have provided women with the option of pain relief methods to limit the severity of the pain and make childbirth more endurable.
More women (especially educated women) are jumping on the painless delivery trend because they understand the advantages of the procedure and can compare the benefits and risks to make a guided choice.
How is painless delivery possible?
Painless, normal delivery is possible by providing the mother with epidural anesthesia during labor. This is regional anesthesia that reduces pain in a certain part of the body. During labor, the anesthesia is injected into the woman’s lower back, putting them at ease during the childbirth process, and giving them relief from serious labor pain – all to ensure a virtually painless delivery.
Women who have a lower pain threshold, or those who get pregnant after their thirties, often request C-sections since they may be unable to go through labor pain. Epidural anesthesia provides these women a shot at normal delivery by reducing the pain significantly.
Painless delivery procedure
To ensure painless delivery, the OBGYN will give the woman intravenous or IV fluids before administering the epidural. The woman will be asked to arch her back and remain still while sitting up. This posture increases the efficacy of the epidural and prevents complications.
After cleaning her waistline with an antiseptic solution, the OBGYN will inject local anesthesia into the woman’s lower back to numb it. They will then inject a needle into the numbed area around the spinal cord on the lower back. The doctor will thread a thin catheter through the needle into the epidural region, then tape the catheter after removing the needle. The doctor will use the catheter to inject the epidural anesthesia during labor. The drug is administered during pregnancy to numb the pelvis and the area below it. However, the woman can stay conscious and watch the child’s delivery while feeling little or no pain.
Who is a candidate for painless delivery?
In some cases, the OBGYN will advise the woman to choose painless childbirth. Such instances include:
- Women with a preexisting medical condition such as preeclampsia, cardiovascular disease or hypertension.
- Women who opt for vaginal birth after undergoing a cesarean delivery in the previous pregnancy.
- A previous case of prolonged or complicated labor.
Painless delivery is not suitable for women who have any of the following conditions:
- Bleeding disorders with a high risk of hematoma or spinal hemorrhage that may lead to a permanent neurological defect
- Previous surgery on the lower back
- Skin infection in the epidural area
- Blood clotting disorders
- Neurological diseases
Many women opt for a painless delivery method rather than experience debilitating pain during labor. You can ask your OBGYN about different types of pain relief methods. Your doctor will advise you on the suitability of the procedure and make necessary recommendations so you can make an informed decision and experience minimal pain during delivery.
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