New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dealing with pressure pain with an epidural

One thing that I would often hear from woman who had an epidural is the amount of pressure and pain they would feel as the baby would move down through the birth canal.  This was not a contraction pain, but something that came from sensations that the epidural could not touch.  When I first encountered this, I did not know how to deal with this other than to say sorry. 

After experimenting a bit, I've found some ways to help relieve some of this pressure pain.  One of the best things to do, is to completely move off your tail bone.  This allows your body to expand more, and relieves some of the discomfort.  For women who have epidurals, this is usually on their sides, but I have also had some sitting straight up in bed with the feet down. 

On the side is a nice position because it also allows someone else to use counter pressure on the back.  To use counter pressure, you place your hand on the small of the back and push hard during a contraction.  You can also apply counter pressure when a woman is in the sitting postition by pushing on their knees towards their back during a contaction. 

Heat is always a great source of comfort for lots of things, pressure pain included.  You could place a heating pad or rice sock on the small of the back or between the legs, depending on where the pressure is being felt.

During pushing, this pressure can sometimes feel very intense.  Make sure if you are feeling this, that you are sitting upright completely(not partially-all the way up to get off the tail bone). 

While these measures don't take away all the pressure sensation, they do make it more bearable.

No comments:

Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.