Painless labor was something that was sought and gained in the 19th century. Namely, anesthesia was invented and it helped women go through this painful, but divine process, with much more ease. Ever since, queens, ladies and common people have all been using anesthesia for reducing their labor pains.
Throughout history, many people have stood against anesthesia in labor. For example, members of the clergy claimed how the process of childbirth is a painful, but natural procedure, demanding pain and suffering as a holy sacrifice. Also, we need to take into account that only the well off were able to afford labor anesthesia, while the poor members of the society were sentenced to pain and discomfort. Nevertheless, some individuals even believed that this pain is a force, bonding the child and the mother for ever more. Also, painful labor was considered natural and, as such, proper, being something a mother should enjoy since the action represents the birth of a child.
However, the world of today begs to differ.
The Modern, Painless Times
Nowadays, we use all the technological and medical breakthroughs in order to make our lives easier. Thus, we have medications which help us overcome sicknesses, we build dams in order to produce electricity, we modify the crops we consume in order to make them better and we use all the means necessary for improving the quality of our lives through advancement and technology.
Also, if we look at the whole matter from a logical standpoint, it is not fair for mothers to endure all the pain and suffering, while fathers only need to enjoy spending time with their children.
Yet, anesthetics can also be very dangerous, even life-threatening, when we consider the side effects of many of these medications. Fortunately, modern medications of this type do not have an abundance of side-effects their predecessors had. Nevertheless, one needs to be very careful when using these drugs.
Common Labor Pain Management Methods
Usually, painkillers are the drugs given to a soon-to-be mother in earlier, less intense phases of labor. Morphine is the usual drug for these purposes. However, many avoid it, due to potentially harmful side-effects.
A safer, but less effective method is using oxygen and nitrous oxide mixture, through inhalation. There are other ways of pain reduction and removal available but none of these is worth mentioning due to the lack of effectiveness.
Finally, epidural anesthesia, which can also be combined with spinal anesthesia, is considered to be the most effective method of pain reduction during labor. In fact, more than 85% of future mothers opt for this method. Special drugs are constantly given to the women in labor, through a small tube inserted into the outer layer of the spinal cord, resulting in a complete pain removal affecting the abdomen and the lower limbs, leaving the mother completely conscious.