Doctors have a host of medicines to control pain ranging from over the counter medicines like paracetamol right up to very strong opiates like morphine.
Baby-Arabia will now look at the most common drugs used in labor for pain relief…
This is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas. Gas and air won’t remove all the pain, but it can help reduce it and make it more bearable. Many women like it because it’s easy to use and they control it themselves.
You breathe in the gas and air through a mask or mouthpiece, which you hold yourself. The gas takes about 15-20 seconds to work, so you breathe it in just as a contraction begins. It works best if you take slow, deep breaths.
This is an injection of the drug pethidine into your thigh or buttock to relieve pain. It can also help you to relax. Sometimes, less commonly, a drug called diamorphine is used.
It takes about 20 minutes to work after the injection. The effects last between two and four hours, so wouldn’t be recommended if you’re getting close to the pushing (second) stage of labor.
There are some side effects to be aware of: