Pain Relief Options During Childbirth
At RAMC, we are proud to incorporate technological advances and the most up-to-date techniques to provide our patients with the latest pain control options. We were the first in the area over 20 years ago to offer a complete labor analgesia program incorporating spinal narcotics for labor, epidural analgesia for labor, and combined spinal/epidural for labor pain control. While movement out of bed may be limited, there are a variety of positions that can be utilized in bed when a woman has an epidural. The laboring mother is kept comfortable during the duration of her labor because of a continuous drip of anesthesia medication. If breakthrough discomfort is felt, the woman is able to self-administer a bolus dose of anesthesia medication. Our nurse anesthetists are ready, both day and night, when a women needs anesthesia.
We are also proud to be the first rural hospital in our area to offer nitrous oxide to laboring women. This mixture of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen is inhaled through a mask which the woman holds herself. It provides a feeling of “painful contraction– who cares!”. Women are able to labor out of bed, and even in the water, while using nitrous oxide, and continuous fetal monitoring is not required. Sometimes nitrous oxide is used as a ‘stepping stone’ until it is the right time to receive an epidural.
IV Pain Medication
IV pain medications can be used during labor for women who desire to have the “edge taken off”. Morphine, stadol, and fentanyl are the medications that are commonly used. These medications work differently for everyone, depending on the point of labor she is in.