POSTS WITH TAG: pain management

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    For many women (myself included), getting an epidural felt like a no-brainer: Why suffer the pains of labor if you don't have to? Michelle Babcock thought so too, which is why this 33-year-old in Los Angeles went through with the procedure in 2012 while giving birth to her son. Yet complications from her epidural have been haunting her ever since.

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    We are faced with choices every day. Let's take coffee for example. We can choose decaf or caffeinated. We choose the brand of coffee we drink. We have a choice on what size coffee we want and what kind of mug we want to drink it out of. We have various choices on what to put in our coffee (milk, soy, nothing -- also what brand, what content of milk fat), and how much or how little of whatever it is we like in our coffee we put in. We can basically control how we want our coffee.

    But when it comes to birth, too much is out of our control because of hospital control. Should we, as mothers, be more in control of what we need and how much pain relief we need? We need more options when it comes to pain relief during labor. It shouldn't just be epidural or nothing. Alternatives shouldn't be fentanyl or morphine. We need nitrous oxide -- yes, laughing gas -- in the labor rooms.

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    There seems to be a lot more to the choice on whether to have an epidural or not. When an epidural is administered, there is an oxytocin deficiency. That feel good hormone that is essentially a natural pain reliever isn't released as it would be if an epidural wasn't given. It makes sense since the epi is a block.

    But some new science is suggesting that the block of oxytocin could affect the brains of newborns -- and could be a contributing factor to autism

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    If you're debating over whether or not to have any sort of pain management during your labor and delivery, then a new study conducted at the University of California that is published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology should be of particular interest to you.

    Researchers found that women who have epidurals may take two hours longer to deliver their babies than those who chose to go the natural route.

    As for why it takes longer? It's pretty simple, actually. The theory is that the epidural makes it hard for women to know if they are pushing effectively because they don't feel the contractions coming on.

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    Some of us want drugs during labor. And so drugs they get! There's a new drug of choice gaining popularity in labor and delivery rooms right now ... and it's one that was used long ago. It also was Demi Moore's apparent drug of choice a couple of years ago when she was apparently having a hard time with her Ashton Kutcher break-up. Not when she was pregnant. Say what? It's nitrous oxide. People call it whip-its or laughing gas. And they say it works wonders for mamas in labor. Even many natural birth advocates give it a thumbs up.

    Is it better than an epidural? Sure seems like it. And now more hospitals are offering it.

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    Sheesh. Seems like practically everything human beings consume or are exposed to on a daily basis poses some sort of horrible risk to expecting moms -- just last week, we learned that phthalates have been linked to pre-term birth; this week, it's the "safest" over-the-counter remedy in everybody's medicine cabinet: Acetaminophen. Yup. You know, the magical headache-eraser/fever-reducer that, up until now, doctors have always recommended as probably the least harmful pharmaceutical painkilling option? Well, according to the latest study, using the stuff 28 times or more during pregnancy can lead to delayed motor and communication skills, as well as behavioral problems, in children later on.

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    Just when the nausea and fatigue of your first trimester wear off, a new pregnancy misery appears: Aches and pains in your belly and in your groin area. Congratulations, it's probably normal, and it's probably just round ligament pain. This is when the thick ligament that connects your womb to your groin area, and that supports your growing uterus, stretches and strains.

    It's another one of those pregnancy symptoms that feels like something is wrong, but actually means everything is proceeding as normal. But how do you really know when it's round ligament pain and not something more serious? Here are a few ways you can tell and how you can ease the pain.

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    An epidural is one of many ways women use to manage labor pain. It's not necessarily for everyone, but the vast majority of us rely on an epidural to ease the agony. Unlike other forms of pain relief, an epidural doesn't go directly into your bloodstream, which makes it safer for your baby. But how does an epidural work, and what are the possible risks and reactions?

    I talked with Kristin Mallon of Mindful Midwifery about epidurals -- just about every question you'd want to ask. Mallon is a board certified nurse midwife and mom of three. She's also worked as a labor and deliver nurse and as a D.O.N.A. trained doula. Here's what you need to know about epidurals to make an informed decision.

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    If you're pregnant and curious about natural childbirth, it's easy to walk away from all the beautiful birthing stories thinking that natural is the only way to go. But is it? Some of the crunchiest moms I know will admit it's not for everyone. If you're thinking about attempting natural childbirth, you have to get past all the idealism and politics and take a good hard look at reality. There's your aspirations, and then there's you, with all your life experiences, your circumstances, your strengths, and your limitations.

    Lots of women plan on natural labor only to change their minds and get that epidural after all. Plenty of other women plan on being medicated and then deliver so quickly there's no time. Labor is unpredictable like that. But if you want to try out natural childbirth, there's a few questions you need to ask yourself.

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    You would think when a woman is pregnant it would be a time for people to come out with all the love, support, and goodwill in the world to nurture and uplift her as she brings a new life into the world. And sometimes it is. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of intense judgment as everyone from family and friends to strangers have something to say about your pregnancy and plans for your baby.

    Some of it comes from genuine concern, and that's understandable, but there are some people who just can't see any other way than their own when it comes to how women should bring babies into this world. If we were lucky, they'd keep those opinions to themselves (or at least voice them nicely if they must voice them). Sadly, we're not always that lucky. Here are six things pregnant women get judged for the most.

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