The course covers relaxation exercises and teaches you to focus on your breathing. Patterned breathing during labor can help put you in a daze or “bubble.” Your body produces endorphins: chemicals that have a painkilling effect. This helps make the pain more manageable.
Sometimes breathing through the contractions and focusing on your breathing isn’t enough to help you through labor. There are a number of pain relief options during the birth, with and without medication.
Childbirth hurts. There is no way to ignore this. But every delivery is different. And one woman can deal with the contractions more easily than the other. But do not worry too much. There are plenty of ways to ease the pain. With and without medication. At home, in the birthing centre or at the hospital.
What we as a midwife can do or give against pain?
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a device with which you give yourself small electrical impulses. This diverts attention from the pain of the contractions. You operate the device yourself, giving you a sense of control. The electric impulses enter your body via electrodes (wires that are stuck onto your back). This causes a prickly or tingling feeling, comparable to cold hands that tingle when they become warm again.
Birth-TENS does not completely remove the pain, but does reduce the pain in some women. It has no harmful consequences for you or your child. You can order birth TENS (www.geboortetens.nl) and some insurers reimburse birth TENS.
Nitrous oxide / Gas and Air
You can get this pain relief in the birth center Sophia. Nitrous oxide (Relivopan®) is a mixture of (di)nitrogen(oxide) (N2O) and oxygen (O2). During a contraction, you give yourself nitrous oxide via a mouth-nose mask. It numbs the pain and makes you more calm and relaxt. You put a cap over your nose and mouth, put on a chin mask and breathe in the gas. After the contraction, you take the cap off again and administration will stop automatically. The midwife makes sure that you are using the nitrous oxide correctly.
What can you get in the hospital against pain?
An epidural (also called spinal puncture) is an injection in your lower back with a combination of analgesic medicines (the medicines vary per hospital). With this pain treatment you have no pain in your lower body.
Remifentanil is a substance that is administered via a tube in the arm (infusion), which is attached to a pump. You can determine the amount of remifentanil that you receive with a push button.
For the above-mentioned pain relief with medication you always have to go to the hospital and you will be accompanied by a gynecologist (we will then transfer the care to the gynecologist). The reason is that your heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing should be constantly monitored when administering medication. The condition of your child must also be monitored (registration of the heart rate via a cardiotocogram or CTG). The equipment for this is only available in the hospital. Read here about the most important methods and their advantages and disadvantages. That can help you to choose if necessary. Realize that for all medicines, side effects on the child have not been properly investigated in the long term.