Although labour pain which is supposed to be an excrutiating pain and every woman has to go through it, attempts were made to reduce them from ancient days. And it is always reflected as a good family care given to partuent family member.
Hypnosis therapy at birth was practiced in 1777 by Hesmer to divert the labour pain.
Natural birthing pioneered by Granty Read in 1933 says that labour is not painful, pain happens because of fear and tension and can be reduced by training the mother antenatally and teaching her muscle relaxing technologies.
Psychoprophylaxis was developed in Russia in 1947. It was then popularized by French obstetician Dr Lamaze who believed inblocking the pain by using positive conditional reflexes like breathing exercises and relaxation techniques at the time of birth.
Read and Lamaze have emerged a concept of prepared child birth by educating phisiology of birthing and taking help of support system like involving midwifes, friends, relatives and using tools like warm water, aromatherapy, audioanalgesia and visuals to divert pain during the journey of labour.
Scientifically pain relief is achieved by
a) Neuraxial blockage (SA, EA, CSE, Controlled spinal)
b) Inhalation of gases (ether, chloroform)in olden days and nitrous oxide mask at full dilatation
c)Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation eg. massage or acupuncture.
Inhalation gases do not have any control and has depressive effect on new borns, hence not preferred.
Whereas only sensory block at the spinal cord which is achieved by epidural analgesia or combined spinal with epidural analgesia is very much safer as it does not have any effect on the newborn’s respiraton and Apgar score. epidural cathater is put in the spinal cord space and medication is installed at hourly intervsls, Patient still remains ambulatory. It shortens the duration of labour by hastening the dilatation of the cervix, immediate postpartum period is not affected and if suturing is required then there is no pain. Mother enters to next function of her life i.e. lactation immediately without suffering from any pain at her perineal region and enjoys motherhood immediately.
We at Beams Hospital inform the couples about various ways of painless labour at the time of registration. Couples who want to go for natural birthing are then trained accordingly and given labour support. Couples who opt for epidural analgesia are attended by epidural anesthetist when mother enters in active stage of labour ( i.e. 3cm onwards ). In both ways vaginal deliveries are achieved, baby is monitered throughout. C section is always a backup measure kepy ready in cases of emergency.