Is There Any Other Pain Medicines Besides an Epidural?

Updated on April 15, 2010
A.C. asks from Herndon, VA
14 answers

im kind of new up here and i was just wondering if anyone knows if theres any other pain medications besides an epidural?

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answers from Los Angeles on

I'm assuming you mean for labor and delivery?

Epidurals are diffused across cell membranes. This means that the medication can migrate to the baby over time depending on how long it's in place before delivery. The same goes from spinal anesthesia, which is sometimes used (though more commonly in c-sections). The alternative to regional anesthesia is IV drugs which go into your bloodstream and reach the baby through the placenta almost immediately. They have more of a sedative effect of the fetus than does the epidural, though there are many reasons that women avoid getting epidurals and spinals as well. IV drugs that are usually used are Demerol and Stadol. You should know that they don't completely remove the pain for every woman (nor does regional anesthesia) and they can also alter how you feel, for instance they can make you very groggy and sometimes nauseous. If you go to you can read plenty about the different types of pain relief for labor and delivery.

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answers from Anchorage on

Talk with your Doctor about what is out there, there are a lot of options. I liked the Epidural because it limited the pain while leaving my mind sharp. When they gave me Demerol it did nothing for my pain, and made me too loopy to control my pain on my own. They ended up having to give me a spinal block so I could sleep until the Demerol wore off. For some it can work well, but I would be sure of how you react to it before making it your drug of choice for this special day.



answers from Washington DC on

In my prenatal classes they were talking about Demerol, etc...those you can only use during a certain period of time...I chose not to get those because it can affect the baby - especially if you give birth too soon after taking them - plus it affects you...BUT I did decide to get the epidural because it had no effect on the baby at all and you can get it throughout labor...and I was so glad I did because my placenta didn't detach and it was even more painful than the birth!! There;s really no reason not to get an epidural imo....but then again, I had to have pitocin since my water broke (like someone else I read), so the labor pains were a lot more intense....



answers from Casper on

When I had my baby, all the nurses knew pressure points, and that helped a ton as I went natural. They are right under your kneecaps, if you push hard so that it pushes your legs back into your hips. While I was pushing the baby out, they had two nurses on each leg doing this for me. It still hurt a lot, but I could tell the difference enough that I was yelling for them to do it if they stopped. lol, I said "push!" and the nurse says "yes, that's fine honey, go ahead and push." "No you push!" Such fun, I'm glad it's just for one day. Another girl I know did a book called hypnobirthing, she has had 5 children and she did it just on her last one, she said it was the easiest delivery ever. Good luck!



answers from New York on

For pain relief drugs in labor, you can get anesthetics through an epidural or narcotics through IV or injection. Be sure to learn the risks and side effects of pain medication before labor.



answers from Indianapolis on

Yes, there are many other pain options besides epidurals. Your OB/GYNs should review them with you as you start thinking about your options.

Epidurals have been around a short period of time (I don't think my mom had the option 34 years ago when I was born).

I personally knew I wanted an epidural when I was pregnant - being in labor, having back labor and not dilating confirmed it with my first child. I don't regret it, but that was my personal opinion. My sister wanted to walk through her labor, so she chose not to have one.



answers from Washington DC on

Most people on this list had described most of the medication available. All of the medication DOES cross the placenta, and has an effect on your baby. You can get ofne of 2 narcotics-Nubain or Stadol. All of these also can have side effects for you. I assume this is your first baby.
I have to disagree with the posting that told you childbirth sucks. It does not for many many women. I do teach HypnoBirthing. Many of my students do have a birth that is not painful or is very easy to work with.
Saying that, please take the time to read books such as:" A thinking women's guid to a better birth"- Henci Goer,: " Ina Mae's Guide to Natural Childbirth"- Ina Mae Gaskin.
Water is a great way to help yourself relax in labor.
You can birth without drugs, which is better for you and your baby. Every drug that you receive increases your chances of getting a C-section
Go on youtube and type in natural birthing, and watch the videos.
Good luck
L. M



answers from Washington DC on

Let me just put this thought in your head.....if for any reason at all you have to have a pitocin to induce labor get an epidural immediately. Pitocin is awful awful awful without pain meds.....I know this from experience.

Natural birth with first 2, pitocin with number 3 with NO pain meds.



answers from Detroit on

yes... they gave me a pain med by IV - it sort of works.. it still hurt but I was able to sleep for a couple of hours.. (my labor was overnight).

I would not be afraid of the epidural.. it is wonderful.. takes away the pain and you are not groggy.



answers from Detroit on

I had Demerol for my first baby along with the epidural...worked great. For the second, I just had the epidural....and it was painless, yes, really...painless. Now, my last baby I had an epidural and narcotics and all failed...nothing worked and it was make sure you read up on natural childbirth and pressure points (I hadn't, wish I had), just in case the drugs don't work.

Wishing you the best,




answers from Washington DC on

I had demerol with my first two. Mostly it made me drowsy. My third I was induced so I had pitocin. Once my water broke I couldn't handle the pain so I gave in and had an epidural. That ended up being a bad decision for me - my blood pressure dropped and the baby went into distress (little to no heartbeat). I was 30 seconds away from an emergency c-section when they got things stabilized. With my 4th I had NOTHING and it was good. (And that was a 9 pound baby!) For me it is only the last hour that is hard for me, but my husband coached me through that. I read Husband Coached Child Birth (Bradley Method) which helped me A LOT. And once my husband finally read it (or parts I highlighted for him) with the 4th he understood how to help. I also recommend doing squats the last month of your pregnancy to "stretch" you out - helps avoid an episiotomy (at least it helped me).



answers from Fargo on

Your doctor can give a good sized list as to what you wanted to be besides an epidural because natural child birth sucks A LOT trust me on this one. It's not like you have to have something thats going to totally knock you out or that you can't feel anything you just might need something to take away the pain or at least the edge off while your are in labor.



answers from Sacramento on

Try not to use medications for birth. Natural is the best. You can do it be strong for your baby.


answers from Birmingham on

Oh, of course there are! :) The only one I can think of by name is Demerol, and I know nothing about it, so I'm not suggesting it! But ask your doctor what your options will be where ever you intend to have your baby, then research each one to see what seems best to you.

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