Sometimes with labour the early stages can last a while, anything from several hours to a day. This can become tiring and uncomfortable for you. Best ways to manage this are trying different things to see what works for you.
- Heat packs
- Baths (so long as your waters haven’t broken)
- TENS machines (discuss this with your care provider)
- Panadol or Panadeine
When labour is in full swing, different women experience different feelings. Some women have back pain, others feel the contractions in their legs. Mostly it starts in the lower abdomen and over time works its way across the whole tummy. Usually you will not have pain in between the contractions and can feel quite normal! Sometimes women feel nauseated and might vomit. All this is quite normal. Options to help you get through this phase are;
- Shower (brilliant usually)
- Walking around
- TENS machine
- Water injections (discuss this further with your care provider, great for back pain)
Pethidine (narcotic injection, lasts a few hours, great to take the edge off, lets you get some rest in between contractions.)
Epidural, considered as the most effective method for analgesia and usually the last resort. This involves a small catheter inserted between the vertebrae and local anaesthetic injected around the nerves, which provides absolute pain relief (in most cases) from the contractions. There are some positives and negatives so please feel free to discuss this further with your doctor or midwife and we can go through all the components of the epidural. There may also be a separate cost from the anaesthetist. The epidural will be there until the baby is born. It generally takes about 2 hours to wear off and then your legs will feel normal again. You will be unable to walk around while the epidural is working.