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:


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A transcutanous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine is a small battery-powered stimulator that produces low-intensity electrical signals through electrodes that stick to the lower back. It produces a tingling sensation that reduces pain. Some experts believe TENS works by blocking pain signals in the spinal cord, or by delivering electrical impulses to underlying nerve fibers that lessen the experience of pain. Others suspect that the electrical stimulation triggers the release of natural painkillers in the body. It works moderately to reduce labour pain.

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

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