Pain relief drugs in labour

Pain-killing injections Called systemic analgesics, these provide pain relief over the entire body without knocking you out. They are often given as an injection into a muscle or vein. Sometimes other drugs are given with them to relieve tension or nausea. Systemic analgesics don’t completely get rid of pain, but they do lessen its intensity. Some types of pain-killer may cause drowsiness and may make it hard to concentrate. You could feel woozy, which can be pleasant or not so nice.

l An "epidural block" numbs the lower half your body. A specialist physician or anaesthetist injects the block into the lower back. The needle is withdrawn, and the numbing medicine can be given continuously or in small doses through the tube for as long as needed. This lessens the pain of the uterine contractions and the delivery of the baby through the vagina.
Spinal block A spinal block is similar to an epidural and also provides good relief, but the difference is that the medicine is only given one time in your back and it lasts only 1-2 hours. A spinal block is often used for women who are giving birth vaginally, and when the baby needs to be helped out of the vaginal canal with forceps or vacuum extraction.

Combined spinal/epidural Block
The spinal/epidural combines both a spinal and epidural block and may provide pain relief much faster. It's often used when women are in very active labour and want relief right away.

Walking epidural block This type of epidural is designed to decrease pain while allowing the mother to move her legs. Most women aren't actually able to walk around much with this type of epidural in place, but your legs will still have some feeling and movement.

Local anaesthesia (Pudendal block)
Local anaesthesia is a numbing medicine injected in the vaginal and rectal areas by your obstetrician at the time of delivery. This is usually done to lessen the pain as the baby is being delivered and numb the area for an episiotomy, if necessary.

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