Pain Management

Numerous pain management options, including both medical and non-medical, are available to women who chose to have their baby at the Oswego Hospital.

And women have plenty of opportunities to discuss those options with their physician before they arrive at the hospital.

Once at the hospital, staff members monitor a patient’s labor pain, just as they do their vital signs. 

Non-Medication Options
Among the most popular non-medical choices are the large soaking tubs that are in each of the maternity center’s private labor rooms. Many laboring mothers at Oswego Hospital find that by using the tub their pain is reduced.

Another non-medical procedure staff members say their patients have found effective is an intracutaneus sterile water block. This method helps reduce the pain associated with back labor. The small amounts of water injected into points in the lower back is know to reduce the level of pain.

In addition to these options, patients are encouraged to keep busy by walking, using a special exercise ball and taking advantages of back rubs from their coaches or the nursing staff.

However, for those women who find that these measures don’t reduce their pain, there are several medical options available.   

Epidural
Through a small tube, or epidural catheter, an anesthetic is delivered through injection. This enables the pain control effect to last as long as the catheter is in place. An epidural numbs the body below the injection, allowing a woman remain both comfortable and alert during contractions. An epidural is typically given in the early stages of labor as it takes about 20 minutes to take effect once administered.

This type of pain control is most effective for a woman who is having a prolonged labor pattern, or who finds herself not coping well with the pain in the early stages of labor.

Spinal or Intrathecal
Administered similar to an epidural, a spinal delivers pain medication directly into the spinal fluid for fast pain relief. This medication is usually given to women that are closer to delivery or closer to being fully dilated since it acts faster than an epidural. Women who have previously given birth may choose this option because their labor tends to be shorter than first-time Moms.

Intravenous/Intramuscular Pain Medication Injections
These injections, which contain narcotics, may alleviate, but not eliminate the pain during labor. The relief from this pain management option varies, but it is known to take the “edge” off and make labor more tolerable.