Pain Relief During Childbirth

Options Available in Amsterdam

Childbirth. Many women dread it, whether it’s their first time or not. During workshops, various courses, and discussions, we help you prepare for this moment. So that you can have confidence in your own body, understand how different hormones work together during childbirth, and become familiar with various forms of pain relief. By being informed about these options and understanding their pros and cons, you can make informed decisions about how you’d like to give birth. And if needed, you can make a choice during childbirth as well. Hence, this blog, to provide you with all the current options available for pain relief.

Natural Pain Relief During Home Birth

Giving birth at home doesn’t mean you can’t alleviate the pain of childbirth. Many women find that the warmth of a bath or shower can alleviate the intensity of contractions. Also, moving between contractions, changing positions, or receiving a massage on your lower back can be helpful. These natural methods of pain relief are proven ways to reduce the pain of childbirth. If you’re interested in being in a bath during labor or even giving birth there but don’t have a tub at home, you can rent a birthing pool. This blog provides more information on that.

Endorphins: The Natural Pain Reliever

A natural pain reliever is endorphins, which your body produces and helps reduce pain. However, if you’re anxious or panicked, your body produces adrenaline instead, which inhibits the production of endorphins. Therefore, feeling comfortable during childbirth is crucial. The environment where you give birth and the people around you are essential. If you have the option to choose where to give birth, opt for a place where you feel safe and comfortable.

Proper Support During Your Birth

Having the right people around you during your birth ensures you have the calmness and confidence needed to experience less pain. As midwives, we’ll be there to support you. It starts with the various consultations you have with us. You’ll get to know all the midwives so that there’s never a stranger at your birth. We also provide guidance during labor in the way you need at that moment. How it will be varies from woman to woman and from birth to birth. But you can always count on us. This can be at your home, in the hospital’s outpatient department, or at the Bevalcentrum Zuid.

Home Birth or Bevalcentrum Zuid

At Bevalcentrum Zuid, you can safely give birth in a familiar, homely atmosphere. For example, if you want a home birth but can’t do it at your house due to space constraints. Each room at the Bevalcentrum is a cozy space with a nice interior, aromatherapy, and even laughing gas and a birthing pool.

Laughing Gas, at Bevalcentrum and During (Outpatient) Hospital Birth

Laughing gas is also a method of pain relief during childbirth. You inhale it through a mask over your mouth. It makes you a bit drowsy, helping you relax and feel less pain. One of the main effects of laughing gas during childbirth is that it reduces anxiety, leading to increased production of your own endorphins. Laughing gas isn’t administered at home but is available at Bevalcentrum Zuid in Amsterdam. Using laughing gas doesn’t affect the baby, and no medical indication is required. This means your own midwife remains responsible for the delivery, and it can be administered quickly without the need for extensive checks on mother and baby. Laughing gas can only be given during contractions, not during pushing. Fortunately, you typically don’t need it at that stage. When the administration of laughing gas stops, you’ll receive a few minutes of oxygen to fully regain consciousness and focus on pushing.

Epidural During Labor

An epidural during labor can only be administered in the hospital by an anesthesiologist. This means that if you want an epidural, there’s a transfer of care from your midwife to the obstetrician or the hospital midwife. This is necessary because there are risks associated with an epidural for both mother and baby, and several tests need to be done, which takes time. The epidural is administered via a needle in the lower back, numbing the nerves in your uterus and pelvis. This temporarily relieves the pain of contractions. However, a drawback is that a doctor must be available to administer the epidural, so you may have to wait because the anesthesiologist is busy. Also, you may not be able to walk after receiving an epidural, can’t shower or bathe with it, and there are slightly more risks associated with a delivery with an epidural compared to one without. For example, there’s a slightly higher chance of fever during labor, requiring you and your baby to stay in the hospital after birth and possibly need medication. Pushing also typically takes a bit longer, and there’s a higher chance of needing a vacuum extractor.

Remifentanil or Pethidine as Pain Relief in Hospital

In the hospital, you can also opt for medication as pain relief. This can be Remifentanil or Pethidine. Remifentanil is administered via an IV, allowing you to control the amount delivered each time with a button. An overdose is not possible, and the effect is noticeable within 1 minute. Sometimes, there may be side effects such as itching, nausea, or drowsiness. These side effects disappear once the administration is stopped. Pethidine is administered via an injection, takes effect after about 15 minutes, and typically lasts 2 to 4 hours. Like with Remifentanil, after administration, you’re not allowed to walk around, and you may experience nausea or drowsiness. Additionally, it may cause the baby to have difficulty breathing after birth. If that happens, your baby will quickly receive an injection of an antidote. Both forms of pain relief have risks for both mother and baby, which is why further tests are always conducted before medication can be administered. Also, using this medication and its associated risks means you’re transferred from your own midwife to the obstetrician or the hospital midwife.

Guidance Before and During Your Birth, From Your Midwife

Whether you choose pain relief and which form depends on your own preferences, what is medically possible in your situation, and where you give birth. You don’t have to know in advance which form of pain relief you want for your birth. It’s important to know that if you ask for pain relief during your birth, we will work together to determine the best option that suits you and is also feasible. Want to know more about pain relief during childbirth? Or about our way of guiding? Ask us, you can always turn to us at one of our midwifery practices in Amsterdam-Zuid.