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Labour Pain

Labour (childbirth) pain is one of the most painful experiences in a woman's life. It is typically felt over the lower abdomen, lower back, groin area, hips, buttocks or thighs.

When a woman goes into labour, the uterus contracts resulting in pain. As labour progresses, the contractions and pain become stronger, longer and more frequent. These contractions are necessary to push the baby out of the mother's womb.

The second stage of labour involves the widening of the vagina and cervix, which occurs near delivery. This makes room for the baby to descend through the birth canal but also causes intense pain.

Women in labour are usually given some form of medication to relieve their pain:

Painkillers given by inhalation (breathing in) or injection may lessen the intensity of labour pain . They may, howevere, affect the alertness of the mother and the baby.
Epidurals are commonly used in labour. The procedure involves the delivery of local anaesthetics to the spine. This numbs the lower body and can be used for normal delivery as well as caeserian section.
Caeserian delivery can also be done using a spinal or general anaesthetic. General anaesthesia is rarely used unless a caeserian delivery needs to be performed quickly or urgently.

Breathing and relaxation techniques, massage, emotional support and listening to soothing music can also help lessen labour pain.

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