Labour and childbirth is a painful experience for a woman and responses vary from individual to individual. The level of discomfort experienced during childbirth varies from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy. Some prefer to go through it without medication, while others choose to have medication or anaesthesia. Some prefer delivery in normal or the vaginal way while others opt for Caesarian section. Delivery treatment for vaginal birth may use injections of a narcotic intravenously during labour, inhalation of Nitrous oxide gas during contractions through a mask or an Epidural anaesthesia. Nitrous oxide or the laughing gas doesn't stop the pain, but takes the edge off the intensity of each contraction. An epidural offers the most complete pain relief during labour and birth. A tiny tube or catheter is placed through a needle into a space outside the spinal cord sac in the lower back. The needle is removed and the tubing is taped in place. The medication is given continuously through the tube during labour and birth similar to an IV. The medication blocks the pain of contractions. For a planned or non-emergency Caesarean, an epidural or spinal anaesthesia is used that allows the woman to be awake and she is able to see her baby immediately after birth. This is the fastest anaesthesia to administer when time is of the essence. Maternity is an experience of its own kind for a woman with a range of options for pain relief in labour including non-medical techniques.
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