Important aspects of labor pain: Everything you need to know
Labor is a natural process that results in the most beautiful miracle of them all – childbirth.
While some women barely feel labor pain, many others go through unimaginable pain. The intensity is often compared to a broken bone or extremely strong and incessant menstrual cramps.
A brief about labor pain
When the baby is ready to arrive in the world, the uterus begins to contract to squeeze it out. The muscle contractions are very powerful throughout the abdomen, and this is why women experience labor pain. The abdomen, torso, and pelvic area feel the most pressure, followed by the bowels, bladder, back, and perineum.
The pain progresses gradually and increases as you go through the different stages of labor. On average, labor lasts 12-24 hours if it’s the first birth. The duration is usually shorter the second time around.
Labor pain depends on various factors such as:
- The speed of labor
- Whether labor was induced with the help of medication
- The size of the baby
- The position of the baby
- How strong the contractions are
Signs that labor has begun:
- Back pain
- Sudden urge to pee
- Water breaking
Contractions or a feeling of tightening
Stage of labor pain
Understanding the different stages of labor pain can help you prepare mentally as well as physically. We have explained them below:
Early Labor Pain
- Mild to moderate pain
- Cervix dilates 3 cm
- Can last up to 6 hours or more
- Contractions occur every 5 to 20 minutes
- Each contraction may last for 30-60 seconds
Active Labor Pain
- Intense pain – Most women opt for pain medication in this stage
- Can last for 2-8 hours
- Cervix dilates to 7 cm
- Contractions are stronger, more rapid, and longer
Transition labor pain
- Strongest pain
- A few women also experience nausea
- Can last for an hour
- Cervix dilates to 10 cm
Pushing labor pain
- Intense pain and a lot of pressure
- Can last for a few minutes or a couple of hours
- This is when the mother starts pushing the baby out
- Burning sensation around the vagina
Placenta delivery pain
- Last stage of labor pain
- Mild pain and cramps
- Can last up to 30 minutes
Pain management during labor and delivery
Labor pain can be excruciating, but a few natural methods and techniques can help ease it. Below are a few pointers that can help you:
- Start preparing early and stay active during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor about healthy exercises to strengthen your muscles. Make sure, however, that you do not overdo it. Follow the doctor’s guidance at all times.
- Attend childbirth classes, if available, and learn Lamaze and the Bradley Method.
- Opt for pain medication – Please do not feel guilty about asking for pain medication. Labor and delivery are challenging phases, and if something can help you, you should definitely consider it.
- The doctor may also suggest a tranquilizer if you are feeling very anxious.
Childbirth is magical, but unfortunately, it can be excruciating. The ability to endure labor pain varies from person to person and is determined by various factors. At Ankura Hospitals, we do our best to provide pain relief through safe techniques and medicines. Please go through our website for more details, and feel free to get in touch if you have any queries. Our expert team will be your support system through pregnancy, labor, and birthing.