I Don't Want Another Epidural -- Hw Do I Manage Labor Pain?

I had an epidural with my first labor. I was stuck five or six times before the epidural was started. Now I'm anxious about having one again. What do you recommend for pain?

Question:

I don't know what happened with that first epidural -- ouch! Usually it only takes two "sticks" -- one for the medicine that numbs the area, and the second for the actual medication.

At any rate, yes -- there are many other options for helping with the pain of labor. First, find a good childbirth class and take it! Make sure it is one that offers up-to-date information and lots of hands-on practice.

Second, talk with your caregivers about your plan to give birth without an epidural. Make sure that barring unforeseen problems you will be able to move about in labor. This is one of the most important "ingredients" for medication-free birthing -- you need freedom of movement in order to find comfort. Also find out from your hospital or birthing center what is available to help you, i.e., showers, tubs, birth balls, etc.

And last, but certainly not least, think about hiring a doula. These wonderful souls have a great track record for helping women navigate through labor. Your chances of getting through labor without an epidural are improved considerably with a doula by your side.

For more information, visit Lamaze International.

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