Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pain Medication

What pain medications are available during labor?

There are a few that are used in labor and it depends on the provider what they generally use. It also depends on the stage of labor you are in what they might use.

If early in labor or being induced overnight, they are more likely to give you something longer lasting, while in active labor they are more likely to give you a short acting drug.

Some of the drugs that might be used include stadol, fentanyl, morphine, dilaudid, and demerol.

Are there risks involved with these drugs?

Like with all medication, there are risks. They give temporary relief, but they have the possibility of suppressing the baby's breathing upon birth. This can lead to needed interventions when they are born. Generally speaking this is not severe, but can be.

When can these be given?

Each provider and hospital have there different policies, but once you are dilated to about 7 cm or so, they will not give these for the risk above. Up until then they can be given every 2 to 6 hours depending on the drug.

Have you had any of these drugs during labor? What was your experience?


  1. With my first I felt the urge to push at 6 cm. Since I knew the NICU team would be present due to meconium, I opted to have a dose or two of fentanyl to help me relax and finish dilating. It was the best decision in that delivery and when it wore off I was really ready to push and I was still alert afterward.

  2. Oh man! My first labor was long and annoying. Water broke at 7pm and baby was not born till 10am next day. Some time around 1am, or something, I asked for something to take the edge off the pain of the contractions. They gave me phenergan in my IV. It let me sleep between peaks of contractions. So I would doze and wake at the worst part of the contraction and then pass out again. It was the worst thing ever! Then after baby was born he was sooooo sleepy I couldn't get him to wake up to try to nurse, even though I got him all naked and the lactation consultant said it was the phenergan. I decided never to use that one again!


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