Possibilities for alleviating labor pains

Pain relief for labour (EDA)

Unbearable pain is not necessary while giving birth . Your happiness at the arrival of the newborn baby can be enhanced if you have control of the pain.

There are many ways to reduce pain. We can do a lot to help without pills: changing positions, relaxation and breathing exercises, massage and a nice warm bath while in labour can make a big difference. Medicines are also available: anaesthesia around the cervix, opiate injections, inhaling a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide and epidural injections.

The most effective pain relief method is epidural analgesia (EDA). This can only be administered by a trained obstetrician, who supervises the woman in labour throughout the whole process.

Technical implementation of EDA

For this procedure the woman in labour should be in a lateral position, knees bent and drawn up to the stomach, head should be bent forward and the back should be arched. The insertion is carried out on the lower region of the spine (lumbar), where the spinal marrow is present only in narrow strings, thus the spinal cord is not damaged.

The sterilization of the skin is followed by local anaesthetic. After 1-2 minutes the epidural space is located with a special needle. When the needle reaches the appropriate position a catheter is threaded through it into the epidural space. Then the needle is withdrawn and the catheter is secured. Local anaesthetic (or other painkiller) is injected into the catheter. The painkiller takes effect within 15-20 minutes. By this time the woman in labour is in a lying position. One dose lasts for approximately 45-120 minutes. Then the injection can be repeated, or it can be given continuously.

When is EDA needed?

If there is no contra-indication and the woman is aware of the procedure, and possible complications - and has signed the agreement, then it can be administered at any time during birthing. Ideally it should be given when the pain becomes regular. If you are sure that you would like to use this method then the catheter can be placed before the pain strengthens and becomes regular, and the dosage of the medicine can be started later. There is no benefit in administering epidural in the pushing stage, when the pain is the most intense, because the medicine needs time to take effect.

Mobile EDA

Medicine can be dosed into the epidural catheter in a way that the woman in labour can walk under supervision, thus making this stage easier and a bit more bearable. We give you detailed information about this procedure before administering it, so you will be aware of the implementation method, possible complications and can ask questions. We hold seminars four times a year and you can also get information on workdays in our anaesthesiology department.