The control of pain in labour

Authors

  • ROSEMARY MANDER MSc, PhD, RGN, SCM, MTD

    1. Lecturer, Department of Nursing Studies, University of Edinburgh, Adam Ferguson Building, 40 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LL, UK
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Summary

  • This paper examines a selection of the recent literature on the control of pain in labour in terms of the source of that control and its effectiveness.
  • Emphasis is given to the effect of analgesia on the mother's ability to control her childbirth experience.
  • Reliable research detailing the effects of more commonly used, less invasive methods of pain control is lacking.
  • The effects of analgesia are considered in terms of controlling pain, effects on the fetus/baby, effects on the progress of labour and the woman's ability to maintain self control.
  • There are difficulties inherent in providing the mother with suitably wide-ranging information.
  • To have the most benefit, research-based information would need to be available to the mother when she is both seeking it and able to utilize it.

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