Preparing Your Birth Plan: Delivery and Pain Relief Options by Dr Kanika
On 17 March 2019, Dr Kanika was an invited speaker at the “Healthy Mum, Healthy Baby” seminar organized for pregnant couples. The main topic of her talk was about the importance of preparing your birth plan before your EDD. While labour can be scary, preparation can make it less daunting. Having your husband being more aware of what you are going through can also prep them on how to help you best when the push comes! Here’s some tips for couples who missed her session:
1. Signs You are in Labour
- Pain from your contractions comes and goes and the frequency increases
- You will see bloody discharge with mucus – the discharge would not be a large amount (approx. 1 tablespoon)
- Your water bag will rupture – this is a sign of active labour and you need to go to the hospital as soon as possible
- In some rare circumstances, due to a low lying placenta or when the placenta separates even before labour begins, you might experience fresh bleeding. This is not to be confused with the discharge mentioned above. The blood would be very red and the amount would be enough to soak 1 sanitary pad. This indicates an emergency and you have to rush to the hospital.
2. Simple Tips to Ease Labour Pain
- Taking a shower prior to labour would ensure you are more relaxed and therefore lessens the pain of labour
- Ensure that you do not have a heavy meal but light snacking is alright
3. Inducing Labour – When and Why is it Done?
While there are a few reasons for inducing labour, Dr Kanika shared some examples of why, such as if you have already reached your due date or the desire to give birth on a certain date due to horoscopes. Dr Kanika advises trying to avoid inducing labour unless it is specifically recommended by your doctor as it comes with its own set of side effects.
4. Pain Relief Options During Labour
- Entonox: Commonly known as laughing gas, this is given via a mask and is usually done before labour even starts
- Pethidine: Administered via injection but only for the first part of your labour as it makes you drowsy and you cannot be drowsy when you are pushing your baby out
- Epidural Analgesia: Administered via an injection line ONLY by an anaesthetist and is completely pain-free
Lastly, Dr Kanika also touched briefly on natural and alternative birth methods such as water birth, hypno-births and aromatherapy births. However, she advises that it is important to always consult with your OB/GYN before choosing such options as they are not suitable for everyone.
Here’s wishing all our pregnant readers a smooth delivery!
Dr Kanika’s Place of Practice