Labor and delivery are intensely personal experiences: no two labors are alike, even for the same mother. Each experience may include an assortment of emotions and varying levels of pain.
The Cause of Labor Pain
The discomfort of labor originates from the contracting uterus, the dilating cervix, and stretching of the birth canal as the body prepares for descent and passage of the baby. The process is unavoidable, but various techniques of pain control can make labor more bearable for birthing women.
Controlling Labor Pain
The technique best suited for you will depend on your personality and preferences, the progress of your labor, and your unique situation in the labor and delivery process.
Some women plan to forego pain-relieving medications during labor and delivery, a plan often referred to as “natural” childbirth. Regardless of your birth plan – with or without medication – we encourage you to focus on the concept of prepared childbirth. Preparation involves learning about the birthing process and personal techniques to cope with the discomfort of labor. To avoid disappointment in your labor and delivery experience, we recommend:
- Prepared Childbirth Classes - Our professionals answer your questions about labor and delivery and teach anxiety-reducing exercises.
- Pain Medication Education - Even with the advantage of prepared childbirth classes, many women still request pain medication. This does not indicate failure. It is simply a different path to achieving a safe and rewarding delivery. We suggest that you prepare for this possibility by reviewing the pain control topics in the right column and our special section of frequently asked questions regarding epidurals.
- Knowledge of Cesarean Sections - Because many C-sections are not anticipated before the day of delivery, it is wise to prepare for this possibility through the resources in the right column. Rest assured that our anesthesiologists are highly trained to accommodate your needs for anesthesia during Cesarean section deliveries.
Anesthesiologists at The Women's Hospital are specialist physicians with years of experience in the care of obstetrical and surgical patients. These doctors have been selected not only for their knowledge and technical skills with regional anesthesia, but also for their compassionate approach to the laboring mother. Most hospitals provide labor anesthesia services as a sideline. At The Women's Hospital it's almost an hourly event!
To provide optimal conditions for your birthing experience, anesthesiologists at The Women’s Hospital are in-house 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Our anesthesiologists and nursing staff are experts in guiding you to the right choice for relief.