Block Out Pain with the Pudendal Block

Before going into labor, it is very important for you to consider your birthing options. While some women want to have a completely natural childbirth with no medical intervention, others want to take pain relief medication. One option for pain relief medication during labor is the Pudendal Block. This is not one of the better known options, and it's important to education yourself about this, and other choices, to make the best decision for yourself.

Becoming More Educated

One of the most discouraging things that can occur during labor is to be surprised. If you've set your mind on having a certain type of pain relief medication, and then you discover that they don't have this at your hospital, it can be very nerve racking. Before delivery, discuss your options with your doctor and make sure that you know exactly what is available to you at the place where you plan to deliver. This will help you to have as smooth and relaxed an experience as possible.

So, What Is a Pudendal Block?

The Pudendal Block does not help to ease your contractions or to make the majority of your labor easier. What it does do, however, is to help with delivery. This procedure is done right before the delivery of the baby. It involves injecting a local anesthetic such as lidocaine or chloropracaine into the pudendal canal of the woman's body before she delivers the baby. The pudendal nerve is located in this place, and the anesthetic makes this nerve numb. Injected directly into the vaginal wall, the Pudendal Block works almost immediately to offer relief. It is often very useful if you need an episiotomy and it also helps to alleviate the feeling of pressure as the baby emerges.


There are many times when a woman doesn't want to use any medication during labor. She might find, however, that the actual delivery is quite painful and full of pressure. The Pudendal Block relieves the pain in this area and alleviates the burning sensation as the baby is born. It can offer a woman some relief right at the end of her delivery, and can make the birthing experience less scary. It only works for an hour or so, allowing the woman to quickly recover.


Since this medicine is only used while the woman is pushing, it does not help with the earlier stages of labor. It does not help with contractions or with transition. It may slightly decrease your desire to push the baby out and can, occasionally, result in an allergic reaction. It's possible that large amounts of the anesthesia may be necessary in order for you to feel full pain relief. Furthermore, since the anesthesia does enter the blood stream and move into the placenta, it can cause the baby to have difficulty breastfeeding in the beginning.

It is certainly important to know all of your options before you go into labor. You may decide that you definitely want a Pudendal Block, or you may want to be specific in your birth plan and write that you definitely don't want this medication. You are in charge of your labor and of deciding on the best labor options for yourself - as long as you educate yourself and make your needs heard.


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