Active Labor and Pain Management
Active labor (dilated at 4 to 10 centimeters) is slightly more predictable than latent labor (dilated at 0 to 4 centimeters). On average, a woman having her first baby will progress about 3 cm per hour, while a subsequent pregnancy usually progress more quickly about 6 cm per hour. Once the cervix has dilated to 4 cm or more, administering pain medicine is less likely to slow down or stop labor.
Non-medicinal methods for pain relief
Northwestern Memorial Hospital currently has two large tubs available for hydrotherapy use. They are available on a first come first serve basis.
*Hydrotherapy is an option for nurse-midwife patients.
The most commonly used narcotic is called Dilaudid. It is administered as an injection or through an IV.
Regional anesthetic (sometimes combined with narcotic) injected into the epidural space in the spinal column.