“Oh, my birth plan went out the window. I was tired
and I was fed up. I just wanted the drugs. I yelled at my partner to get
that epidural and get it now! Once I had my pain relief administered I
felt like I became a nice person again” Jenny
Scenarios like this happen all the time. How many of you
have been a part of a conversation and have heard similar accounts to
Some women know that they want pain relief from the
moment they discover they are pregnant. Some like to know what their
options are and leave it open and others know that they don’t want
pharmaceutical methods of pain relief (drugs) and choose natural methods
to help them cope with childbirth.
Epidurals are the most common form of pharmaceutical pain
relief used in childbirth today and to some women an epidural can be a
blessing. However, there is no perfect option for coping with labour.
Some of the risks that accompany epidurals are:
Confinement to bed
Increased difficulty with breastfeeding
Increased risk of assisted delivery with forceps or ventouse (vacuum extraction)
Increased risk of episiotomy (a cut to the skin surrounding the vagina when the baby is being born)
Increased risk of having a caesarean
Whilst epidurals are popular, there are a number of other
options available. What do you think is the right method for you? Are
you familiar with the pros and cons that can accompany pain relief? What
is a cascade of intervention?
Good childbirth classes or discussions with your Doula
can help you decide what is right for you. ParentLink's
childbirth classes and Doulas are able to let you know what all of your
options are in terms of pain relief so that you can make an informed
decision. What might have been a "blessing" to some may not necessarily be the same for you. Learn how you can make
the right choice for you.