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There are many childbirth options available that allow women to make a choice of labor and delivery comfort methods. Informing you about the labor and delivery comfort measures available at the OMC BirthCenter is our main goal.  Each woman has a different degree of pain during labor and delivery.  As a result, we offer a number of different options for management

We encourage you to weigh out the pros and cons of each method, and talk it over with your healthcare provider at your next prenatal visit.

 

Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous oxide is a mixture of nitrous gas and oxygen that is inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece. It has been shown to help women relax and reduce feelings of pain during labor and delivery.

 

Non-Pharmaceutical Pain Management

This is an option for women who want to go through labor with fewer interventions. During childbirth classes, expectant parents are taught comfort measures that can be used during pregnancy, labor, and beyond into parenting. The following techniques will not remove all pain but will offer relief, confidence, and comfort in helping cope with the pain.

Comfort measures include:

  • massage
  • rhythmic breathing
  • aromatherapy (use of essential oils)
  • hip squeeze and counter pressure
  • hydrotherapy (use of water in a tub or shower)
  • music
  • birthing ball

 

Pharmaceutical Management

Sometimes labor presents itself with such intensity for long periods of time that women wish to use medication. Timing of when medications are given can have varying results on your labor. As with any medication you take, there are benefits and risks. Review your options and speak to your healthcare provider to be certain you make an informed decision.

TENs Unit

Another method of pain management without use of medication is TENs (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). TENs works by stimulating pulses along the nerve to help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. It also helps your body make its own natural pain killer, called endorphins.

 

Anesthesia

Epidural and spinal blocks are types of anesthesia that numb pain to a part of your body. These medications are given by a physician trained in anesthesia, called an anesthesiologist.

 

General Anesthesia 

General anesthesia is most often used when a cesarean (c-section) needs to be performed quickly. This anesthetic may be given as an injection, inhaled gas, or both. General anesthesia lets you sleep and keeps you free from pain during surgery. Delivery often occurs before the anesthetic has reached the baby.