Q: Doctor, I am married and 7months pregnant. I have heard and seen how painful childbirth is. I am just wondering: is there a way to reduce the pain, or even deliver with those severe labour pains? [Edited]

A: Yes, we can!

There are several “experts” that claim to have methods to reduce or, even, remove labor pains. Here, I will give you the single, most effective, most common, controlled method that has good scientific backing.

It is called EPIDURAL anaesthesia, or rightly so, analgesia. (whatever!) It is not a common procedure in our part of the world.

An injection is (or series of injections are) given at your back—your backbone, your spine—and this makes you not to feel pain at all (or just some mild pains) during labor contractions. You just feel as if you’re poo-pooing! You feel the contractions, with little or no pains.

There are many types and dosages. Generally, the procedure, if done by good hands and good health facilities, is very safe and very effective.

As with everything in life, there are side-effects which are usually not serious and not common. And most importantly, the
doctors and midwives can handle them.

Now, because the pain is reduced or even absent, so women are not encouraged to “push”. This prolongs the entire time of delivery, and some women might have to be assisted with some delivery instruments like vacuum pump. Others might end up being taken in for caesarean section (CS).

During your antenatals, ask the health personnel attending to you if their health facility provides this procedure.

For some strange reasons, some ladies prefer to feel the labor pains. They say things like, “It makes me more of a woman.”

Till date, sincerely, I still don’t understand what that last statement means.

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