How Much Pain is Too Much Pain?
Fortunately for mothers-to-be, that's a question that has no right or wrong answer, especially in recent years, when expectant mothers are more in control of their pain-management options during labor and delivery than ever before.
Obviously, different women experience different levels of pain. And once you understand that giving birth is most likely going to result in some degree of discomfort, you've taken the first step in deciding what options for relief are right for you.
"Our policy is to inform patients in advance of all of their choices," explains Uniontown Obstetrician Dr. Daniel Nahhas. "If a woman starts out expecting to use no pain medication but changes her mind as labor progresses, that's fine with us. In fact, 50% of our patients end up choosing an epidural."
The rising use of epidurals represents a shift in the medical community at large, which now believes that the informed patient - not just the physician - is the best judge of what is right for her. "That's why at Uniontown Hospital, we now have epidurals available 24 hours a day," continues Dr. Nahhas. "Narcotics such as Stadol and Nubain may also be used. They can help lessen the pain and won't affect the baby after birth."
Dr. Nahhas also stresses the importance of childbirth classes for expectant parents. "Uniontown Hospital does a fantastic job of educating parents on what to expect during labor and delivery. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of them," he says, adding that, "studies show that women who go through childbirth classes may actually have easier labors because they know what to expect and understand their options."Return to LEARN MORE