Pain-free birth?

Pijnstilling bevalling

Pain relief during childbirth

Every birth is a unique adventure and we understand that you may have heard stories from friends, a sister or mother. Ultimately, every birth is different and it is important that you are well prepared for what is to come and the options you have at certain times. Whether you choose natural methods without pain relief or pain relief with medication, it is important to be well informed so that you know what you are choosing. If you use pain relief without medication during your delivery, we may supervise your delivery.

Options for pain relief without medications 

  1. Support from a trusted person: Perhaps the least known, but one of the most effective methods against pain during childbirth, is the presence of someone who you like to have around you and who brings peace. Think of your partner, family member or friend. The person who stays with you during childbirth can support you with massages, cooling washcloths and reassuring encouragement. Research has shown that this positively influences the experience of childbirth.

  2. Changing attitudes: Active movement and adopting different positions while absorbing contractions can reduce pain. Think of walking, standing, sitting on a skippy ball or taking a hot shower.

  3. Hot water – Bath birth or shower: Relax in a warm bath or shower. This promotes natural painkillers in your body and can speed up labor because you relax more and you can change positions more easily because you are weightless in the water. In addition, a bath birth for a calmer transition for the baby if it is born underwater.

  4. Massage: Have someone massage your back or legs to relieve pain.

  5. Familiar Smells and Sounds: Your own music or scented sticks can contribute to a relaxed atmosphere and reduce pain.

  6. TENS Device: Electrical stimulation can provide distraction during contractions, and the costs are often covered by additional insurance.

Options for pain relief with medications

When natural pain relief methods are not sufficient, medicinal pain relief provides an effective solution. Here are the available options and what you can expect:

  1. Epidural: This powerful painkiller is given by a doctor, temporarily numbing you from your belly button down. This limits your movement and means you can no longer walk. You give birth in a bed and the baby is continuously monitored with an ECG. One of the common side effects of the epidural is fever. Because we do not know whether the fever is due to the epidural injection or an infection, antibiotics are given through the IV if you develop a fever during delivery. You may also have a headache for a few days after giving birth, but in most cases this will go away on its own.

  2. Remifentanil: A morphine-like medication, which you administer yourself via a pump and which ends up in your blood through an IV. It works quickly and therefore wears off quickly when you stop taking the medicine. The pump is secured so you can never give yourself too much. A known side effect of this drug is that breathing problems can cause. That is why you will be observed by a nurse for an hour after administering this medication. 

Because medicinal pain relief requires the baby to be continuously monitored with an ECG, care is transferred to the hospital. This means that the hospital midwife will supervise the rest of the birth and that the maternity care is not present during the birth, but a hospital nurse. After the birth of the baby, we will of course come back to your home and the maternity care will also be available again. 

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