Pain Relief Options for Childbirth - Medications

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Narcotics

Narcotics, or opioids, are drugs that decrease our perception of pain. They may be given intravenously or as an intramuscular injection during labor. They may lead to nausea or sleepiness, and they do not completely eliminate pain. Although narcotics have been shown to be safe in labor, they may cause a temporary depression in breathing for both mother and baby.

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Comment from: ladyluckrogue, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I was induced at 40 weeks at about midnight. I slept through the night and early in the morning was given a second dose of medication to induce labor. A few hours later I was dilated to 2 cm and having contractions off the chart. I have a high pain tolerance but I was curled up crying at this point. I was given Demerol and it had no effect whatsoever. A while later the pain was so bad that I was given an epidural. I ended up delivering my son via C-section 4 hours later due to lack of progression of labor. The real reason was that he was simply too large for me to deliver naturally and the doctors never anticipated that. Neither of us had any side effects from any of the medications (aside from me having an allergic reaction to an antibiotic). My son was born at a healthy 9 lbs 2 oz and his APGAR at birth was 9.

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