Dr. Chew Answers: How to reduce labour pain

Labour is a very exciting experience. However, it is also painful and exhausting. Labour pain is a subjective experience involving a complex interaction of physiological, psychosocial, cultural and environmental influences.

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The pain feels much worse if you are tense. Continuous support of the husband in the labour room will reduce anxiety, fear and the pain. Self-help techniques such as relaxation and breathing may help. If you breathe steadily and evenly during contractions and relax between them, it will reduce labour pain. Here are a few methods to reduce labour pain that women can try:

1. Injection

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In Singapore, opium related pain-killer (pethidine or morphine) given by injecting the drug in the thigh is the common method. However, it may make you drowsy and the pain relief is less satisfactory compared with epidural analgesia. Another disadvantage is that it crosses the placenta and makes the baby drowsy, less alert, and may cause difficulty in breathing and delay in feeding.

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For more information from Dr. Chew, visit aLife.org.sg, or ask him something on our Ask Our Experts page.

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