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What is Painless Labor and Delivery?

Pain experienced during childbirth is the one of the worst pains women experiences. In earlier times, many women succumbed during child birth, which is why surviving it is also thought as getting a second life. This article discusses about what is painless labor and delivery.

What is Painless Labor And Delivery?

What is Painless Labor And Delivery?

With various advancements in the medical field, the childbirth procedure is a lot easier now. There is a painless delivery procedure which a female can opt for during the labor pains. Here is what you need to know about what is painless labor and delivery.

There are certain indications where a doctor would advise a female to go for painless labor and delivery

  • Medical conditions like preeclampsia, high blood pressure, or other heart conditions
  • The cases in which the previous labor was prolonged or complicated
  • In cases where it is subsequent birth after having a cesarean section.

It is often not recommended for women with bleeding disorders, those taking blood thinners or aspirin, women who have had prior back surgeries, and in women with neurological conditions.

Painless labor and delivery is a procedure in which an epidural injection is used to relieve pain during labor. In the procedure, an injection is given in the lower back and a plastic tube is placed through which the drug is released around the spinal cord. The epidural reduces pain in the lower part of the body. This is given only when the women is in active labor i.e. three contractions in ten minutes. The early labor pains can be managed well using natural techniques such as warm shower and exercises.

Epidurals are completely safe and provide relief from the exhaustion and irritability when other forms of pain control have given up. It really helps women focus more on labor, which is why it is called painless labor and delivery.

Benefits of Painless Labor and Delivery

Knowing the benefits of painless labor and delivery is important.

  • Labor pain is very painful, which scare many women even before it appears. If there is an option i.e. an epidural injection, which can reduce it, women can breathe a sigh of relief. It helps women feel relieved as it works as an effective form of pain management during labor. 1
  • It also helps women cope better with post-partum exhaustion and depression.
  • It keeps the mother comfortable and awake during the whole procedure. She can see the child being delivered.
  • Normally, due to labor pain the stress hormones are released in the mother. This can adverse affect both the mother as well as be troublesome for the child.
  • Epidural relax the vaginal muscles and help baby to descend. In some cases if the baby is not positioned correctly for descend, the relaxed vaginal muscles provide space and help with it.
  • It reduces the period of childbirth, thus helping to keep the duration short and pain free.
  • Epidurals also prevent damage to the pelvic muscle which would otherwise occur during normal delivery.
  • It also helps the doctor carry out forceps delivery or cesarean section in case of emergency.

Side Effects of Painless Labor and Delivery

Some of the side effects of painless labor and delivery help to take an informed decision.

  1. Studies also show that painless labor and delivery also include low blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness or nausea, fever and problems in urination.2
  2. Epidurals can lead to backache, dizziness, or shivering.
  3. An epidural injection develops numbness, which can affect the normal pushing movement of the women. A vacuum might be required in few cases.
  4. There might be post procedure headaches.
  5. In very rare cases, there can be irreversible damage to the nerves.
  6. Few studies suggest that the babies born by way of painless labor are a little slow and also show breastfeeding problems.
  7. The lower part of the body might feel numb after the procedure and the woman might need help while walking.

Now you are aware of what painless labor and delivery is, it can help you plan your delivery. If you want to go ahead with the procedure do not shy a detailed discussion with your gynecologist for the same. A proper understanding and knowledge can help you decide, the best for you.


Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 24, 2022

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