Week 35 – Signs of Labor

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Hello. This is Dr. Mauldin. You’re 36 weeks pregnant – and most of you will be delivered within the next month!
The amount of pain a woman feels during labor may differ from that felt by another woman. Some women need little or no pain relief – while others find that pain relief gives them better control over their labor and delivery.
During labor, relaxation and breathing techniques will be very helpful. Having your partner massage your lower back is also useful. When the contractions are close together and stronger, rest between those contractions by taking slow, deep breaths. 
There are 2 types of pain relief. Analgesia will lessen the pain without losing complete sensation and without losing the ability to move. This medication is usually given as an injection into your muscle or through your vein. It may make you feel a little nauseous or drowsy. These medicines are not given right before delivery because they may slow your baby’s reflexes right after he or she is born.
Anesthesia will cause numbness in a particular area, yet you remain awake and alert. You may still be aware of your contractions.  Stronger medications will be used in your epidural if a c-section is needed.  The main side effects are decreased blood pressure or headaches. To help prevent the low blood pressure, extra IV fluids will be given. If you develop a headache, it usually is noted one or two days after delivery and won’t go away with the usual treatments. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor to get another treatment.
Many women worry that having pain relief during labor will somehow make the experience less natural. The fact is – no two labors are the same and no two women have the same amount of pain. For many women, having pain relief gives them better control over the entire process. Be prepared to be flexible and don’t be afraid to ask for pain relief if you need it.
Enjoy the week and this last little bit of pregnancy. Your little one will be here before you know it. 

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