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Pethidine in Labour
What is Pethidine?
Pethidine is an opiate and a very strong pain killer. It is given by injection either into the deep muscle of the buttock or thigh. You use pethidine in Labour as a pain reliever.
Advantages of Pethidine in Labour
- It is an effective pain reliever especially in the first stage of labour.
- Helps you to relax and feel less worried about the pain of labour.
- Works relatively quickly, within 10 minutes of administration.
- can be given in different doses - if you are not sure you could start off with a small dose and have more if you need it
- Can be used with entonox (gas and air)
Disadvantages of Pethidine
- Pethidine can make you drowsy
- Pethidine can sometimes make you feel sickly - however the midwives can give you an anti-sickness drug at the same time to counteract this.
- Pethidine crosses the placenta therefore it may make your baby sleepy when it is born. This is more likely to happen if pethidine is given within an hour of delivery. Sometimes this cant be helped as some women progress quicker than others.
- Pethidine may also delay the establishment of breastfeeding as baby can be quite sleepy.If your baby is severely affected by pethidine then a drug can be given to reverse the effects but this is very rare.
- If you decide to have pethidine then it restricts the use of other natural pain relievers ie: using the pool.
Using pethidine in labour is down to personal choices and also how you wish to manage your labour and delivery, but don't rule it out of your plans as some women can cope perfectly well without further drugs and there are situations when pethidine in labour is very beneficial.
Please leave your comments below and tell us if you had pethidine in labour. How did it make you feel and did you suffer any ill effects after you had your baby?
Labour related articles
- Phases of Labour Explained - Latent and first stage of Labour.
What are the stages of labour and how do you know when you are in Labour? How can you cope with the early stages of labour - read this article and find out!
- Second and Third stages of labour explained
What ids the second stage of labour? What does it feel like? How is the placenta delivered and when? Read this useful article and find out.
- Do I need a Birthplan?
There are some women who are definite over what kind of birthing experience they would like but there are others who would like to keep an open mind about their labour. I would suggest even before you start a birth plan you need to get as much inform