Excessive pain during labor effects

  1. 0
    Hello,

    I was hoping to get input from some labor and delivery nurses on pain during birth. I'm researching the negative effects of pain during labor on the mother and fetus. I can't find anything that states what complications can happen if the mom has excessive fear, pain and anxiety during labor. So far I have come up with:

    Cardiovascular- increased heart rate and O2 consumption can lead to decreased placental perfusion
    Metabolic- physical work of labor combined with increased metabolism leads to metabolic acidosis
    Respiratory- hyperventilation can lead to fetal compromise, dizzy, lightheaded and impaired thinking

    Can anyone add to this or point me in the right direction, my book does a terrible job and when I search the internet there is endless articles on the disadvantages of an epidural. I think I found about 10 advantages of epidurals and that's it...
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    It's an interesting perspective, but I think physiologically speaking ONLY, it's better for mom and infant to eschew pharmacologic pain interventions (please note I'm making a generalized statement, I know there are exceptions, and I am not saying that I am opposed to drugs during labor because I'm NOT, I just don't think that, generally speaking, there are physical detriments to a woman experiencing labor pain). The only one I can really think of is that some women have so much fear and pain that it physically prevents their bodies from relaxing enough to progress, causing labor dystocia. Also, some women who have severe cardiac issues, their bodies aren't strong enough to withstand the stress of labor, and it's recommended that she get an epidural early in the labor process.

    But for the most part, labor, and the pain associated with it, is a normal biological process and women's bodies are meant to withstand it with no deleterious effects to mom or baby.
    PNCC2001, SoldierNurse22, and Elvish like this.
  4. 2
    Check out Ina May Gaskin's book Guide to Childbirth. She raises a lot of interesting points about women who experienced a lot of pain/didn't feel secure with their caregivers/were completely cut out of the decision-making process in the hospital. She strongly advocates good rapport and home birth if possible to put Mom in a comfortable situation in an environment she has control over. She also reviews sphincters and how a relaxed Mom usually gives birth better than a tense, unsupported Mom. It's a very interesting book.
    klone and PNCC2001 like this.
  5. 1
    Personally, the pain of my labor was strong (no meds) but it was a pain different than a broken leg or a cut- it was pain with a purpose. I don't see the pain as detrimental, just part of the process.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  6. 0
    I read a nursing article before on ptsd and childbirth
  7. 0
    Quote from anotherone
    I read a nursing article before on ptsd and childbirth
    You made me curious.

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth.
    Posttraumatic stress following childbirth: A review
    An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

    Interesting quote from the 2nd article:
    "Among the identified risk factors were a history of psychological problems, trait anxiety, obstetric procedures, negative aspects in staff–mother contact, feelings of loss of control over the situation, and lack of partner support."
  8. 2
    [QUOTE="Kaysmom8;7423403"]Hello,

    I was hoping to get input from some labor and delivery nurses on pain during birth. I'm researching the negative effects of pain during labor on the mother and fetus. I can't find anything that states what complications can happen if the mom has excessive fear, pain and anxiety during labor.

    Fear, pain, and anxiety can cause a woman's body to release catecholamines which decrease uterine perfusion potentially causing fetal compromise and can also interfere with labor progress as a muscle which isn't oxygenated cannot contract well. It can even cause labor to stop for a while.

    Pain relief doesn't have to start with medication or epidural. It starts with good nursing interventions such as explaining hospital routines, labor process, assisting with breathing and relaxation, getting pt up to walk, shower, tub bath, use birthing ball, etc.
    klone and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  9. 1
    I totally agree that a thorough explanation of procedures, and empowering a woman through knowledge and allowing her choice in her birth options, is the best way of alleviating fear, which helps alleviate pain.
    justapatient87 likes this.
  10. 0
    Don't forget about endorphins


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