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Pain Relief in Labor

  • Ajay Sood
  • Nishi Sood
Chapter

Abstract

Birth of a child is one of the most dangerous moments in the life of a woman. It is most of the time surrounded by misconceptions. Severe pain as a result of labor and delivery is the most feared event in pregnant women. However, the perception of pain is highly variable and unpredictable. Most women report intense pain from their first contraction, while some may not experience pain till the second stage of labor. Labor pain caused by uterine contractions and cervical dilatation in the first stage is transmitted through visceral afferent sympathetic nerves from T10 to L1. In the second stage, painful stimuli due to perineal stretching are carried by pudendal nerve and sacral nerves S2 to S4 (Fig. 26.1). The exact mechanism of this difference in pain perception is not completely understood but may be genetically related. A study by Debiec J et al. found that Asian women experienced greater pain in labor than women of other races [1]. The association of pain has also been found with a single nucleotide polymorphism in the β2-adrenergic gene [2]. Other factors affecting pain include shape and size of the pelvis, presentation of fetus, and augmentation of contractions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajay Sood
    • 1
  • Nishi Sood
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnaesthesiaIGMCShimlaIndia
  2. 2.Department of ObgIGMCShimlaIndia

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