Labor pain experience is highly individualized and will depend on a woman's emotional, motivational, cognitive, cultural and social circumstances.
There is no other circumstance where it is considered acceptable for a patient to experience severe pain that is amenable to safe intervention while under a physician's care.
The pain felt during the 1st stage of labor originates from the rhythmic contractions of the lower uterine segment and progressive cervical dilation mediated via T10-L1 spinal nerves.
The pain in the 2nd stage of labor is more intense due to stretching of the vagina, vulva and perineum as the fetus descends in the birth canal superimposed by the pain of uterine contractions, and is transmitted through the S2-S4 spinal segments.
The kappa-opioid receptor agonist nalbuphine appears to provide subpar analgesic effects compared with the mu receptor agonist sufentanil when added to ropivacaine in the management of labour pain in women, a study has shown.
Use of virtual reality (VR) helps reduce pain during childbirth, and may present a novel nonpharmacologic approach to controlling labour pain, suggests a study presented at SMFM 2020 Annual Pregnancy Meeting in Grapevine, Texas, US.