You can't wait to meet your baby. But if you're like most first-time moms, you may be worried about labor and birth. Just how much does labor and birth hurt? And how will you cope with the pain?
Labor pain feels different for every woman. Some women feel a lot of pain and others can cope more easily. The size and position of the baby and the strength of your contractions
also affect the amount of pain you have. Some women can manage their pain by using breathing and relaxation techniques they learned in childbirth education classes
. Other women find they need extra help to ease the pain.
Here are some questions to ask as you explore pain-relief methods:
- How does the method work?
- How will it affect me and my baby?
- How quickly will it work?
- How long will the pain relief last?
- Can I combine the method with other types of pain relief?
- When during labor is the method available?
- Is the method available at my hospital or birthing center?
You can ask for pain relief at any point during labor and birth. The more you know about your choices, the better you can make decisions that help you have a more comfortable labor and birth.
Last reviewed July 2012
See also: Epidural block, Spinal block, Narcotics for labor pain, Natural relief for labor pain