Good analgesia. Easy to administer. Safe to the mother and baby. Easily reversible if necessary. Does NOT interfere with uterine contractions. Does NOT effect mobility.
Non-pharmacological: Relaxation. TENS. Pharmacological: Opiates. Gas and air Epidural.
Essential in all cases. Antenatal classes to educate the mothers on what to expect. Helps mothers to cope with pain and satisfaction with pain relief. Carries no risk to the mother and fetus.
Low grade electronic waves to nerves supplying the uterus via skin electrode. Provides good pain relief to 25% of patients. Carries no risk to the mother and fetus.
Pethidine and diamorphine are the commonly used drugs. Given inter-muscular or intravenous repeated when necessary.
Offers good pain relief for most patients. Short duration of action.
Nausea and vomiting. Can cross the placenta causing respiratory depression in the new born.
The commonest is nitrous oxide. Self administered to the patient via face mask. Given in a 50-50 mixture with oxygen (Entanox).
Provides analgesia varying from good to ineffective. Under control of the patient. Minimal adverse effects to mother and fetus.
not adequate for second stage, instrumental delivery, suturing of perineum or manual removal of placenta. Light headedness and nausea. Not suitable for prolonged use.
Plastic catheter introduced into the epidural space. Catheter is left in and the analgesia is given continuously
The most effective pain relief. The absence of pain allows enjoyment and control of labour. Reduces maternal fatigue and anxiety. Ideal in high risk pregnancies e.g. breech
Restriction of movement during labour. Requires resident anesthesia, cardio-respiratory facilities and one to one care.
Failure 3%. Epidural tap (headache) Back pain. Paralysis !!!!!!!!!.
Labour is a painful experience. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological method are used for pain relief. Each method had its advantage and disadvantage and the choice of method depends on the stage of labour and maternal preference.