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It’s a smart move to research your pain relief options well in advance of your due date. By having information on hand, you’ll feel well-equipped to cope with any pain or discomfort.

Massage, listening to music and focusing on the brand new little person you’re about to meet can also help with managing early labour pains.

On The Day

Deep Breaths

Your antenatal classes will emphasise the importance of deep breathing techniques, but there are also more options for you beyond this.

Your Comfort

Being mobile and upright can help a woman cope with labour, so it’s a good idea to ask about what birthing aids are available to you.

Alternative Pain Relief

You may find you want to use an alternative form of pain relief such as yoga, acupuncture or reflexology. It’s important to ask your care provider what their policy is around alternative pain relief. Water is an excellent pain reliever that created a calm environment, so a shower or bath may help. Ask about your hospital’s birthing pool options. Being in contact with water releases the hormone oxytocin, which is essential for labour to occur.

TENS Machines

A TENS Machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machine sends electrical impulses through adhesive pads know as electrodes on your skin to block pain messages as they travel to your brain during labour. It releases endorphins, acting as your body’s natural pain reliever. In order for it to be as effective as possible you must start using it as soon as you enter labour and you can’t use it near water. for you to use during labour, whether that’s at home or in the hospital. At PregnancyandBaby.ie we stock the leading maternity tens machine such as Elle Tens, Obi Tens & MediTens XP

Pethidine

This is a painkiller given as an injection which takes about 20 minutes to begin working. It works best during labour’s early stages and acts on the nerve cells in your spine and brain. After taking pethidine you may feel drowsy or unsteady on your feet so you should stay on the bed for a couple of hours.

Epidural

A local anaesthetic injected into your back, an epidural deadens the nerves leaving you numb from the peak of your bump to your feet. You’ll have no mobility and limited birthing positions and may require an instrumental birth because pushing might be more difficult for you. You’ll need a drip to give you fluid in order to stabilise your blood pressure and be asked to get into position for the anaesthesist. A thin plastic tube is inserted into your back and the drugs are adminstered this way, taking around 15 minutes to work. Itching is totally normal, so don’t worry if this happens.

 

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