Prior to labour you may have experienced a small show of blood stained mucous, irregular infrequent tightening’s (like Braxton Hicks contractions), with associated back pain. These signs indicate ‘early labour’ and can last for a number of days in a woman expecting her first baby. During this phase it is important to rest, eat a light diet, hydrate, take warm baths, perhaps take a gentle walk, but most of all continue to rest to conserve your energy for when true labour establishes.
Pain relief in labour
There are many options available to you and Dr Greening is flexible to the choices that you will make regarding what form of pain relief you choose. It is good to keep an ‘open mind’ about choosing pain relief in labour, and to be advised by the midwives who are with you throughout this time.
- TENS – involves the placing of adhesive electrodes over the lower back which releases a gentle electric current that produces an alternative focus to help ease the pain.
- Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
- Calm birth, hypnobirth – breathing control, relaxation techniques, imagery
- Epidural – involves the insertion of an epidural catheter (under local anaesthetic) using a mixture of anaesthetic and short acting narcotic. This is given as an infusion so that you will have very effective pain relief. The effect on the baby is minimal.
Dr Greening and the midwives at the hospital work together as a team to help facilitate your wishes in birthing in a calm safe environment.