The Pregnant Woman

If you are a pregnant woman you will need to choose what type of health care provider that you would like deliver your baby. An obstetrician-gynecologist has special training in surgery so he or she is capable of doing an episiotomy or cesarean sections if they are needed. Women who have health problems or pregnancy complications should see an obstetrician.

A certified nurse-midwife specializes in prenatal care, labor, and delivery. A good option if you are healthy and at low-risk for problems during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. A midwife does not need experience delivering babies in home settings and most practice in hospitals and birth centers. You should have a back-up arrangement with an obstetrician in case of a problem or emergency.

Managing the Pain

If you are worried about pain, you are not alone; almost all women are concerned about the pain of labor and delivery at some point. Childbirth is different for everyone. So no one can predict how you will feel. The amount of pain a woman feels during labor depends partly on the size and position of her baby, the size of her pelvis, her emotions, and the strength of the contractions.

Natural Pain Relief

Some women choose to deliver their babies without using medicine for pain relief. Some of these women use other techniques to help them cope. Things women do to ease the pain include:

use breathing and relaxation techniques

take warm showers or baths

receive massages

have the supportive care or a loved one

find comfortable positions while in labor stand, crouch, sit, walk, etc.

use a labor ball

listen to music

Pain Relief

But the majority of women will use some form of pain relief that may include:

Epidural anesthesia

Pudendal Block Spinal anesthesia

Intravenous or intramuscular analgesic

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