Pain management during labor and vaginal birth. Best practice & research. Clinical obstetrics & gynaecology Nanji, J. A., Carvalho, B. n. 2020


Neuraxial analgesia provides excellent pain relief in labor. Optimizing initiation and maintenance of neuraxial labor analgesia requires different strategies. Combined spinal-epidurals or dural puncture epidurals may offer advantages over traditional epidurals. Ultrasound is useful in certain patients. Maintenance of analgesia is best achieved with a background regimen (either programmed intermittent boluses or a continuous epidural infusion) supplemented with patient-controlled epidural analgesia and using dilute local anesthetics combined with opioids such as fentanyl. Nitrous oxide and systemic opioids are also used for pain relief. Nitrous oxide may improve satisfaction despite variable effects on pain. Systemic opioids can be administered by healthcare providers or using patient-controlled analgesia. Appropriate choice of drug should take into account the stage and progression of labor, local safety protocols, and maternal and fetal/neonatal side effects. Pain in labor is complex, and women should fully participate in the decision-making process before any one modality is selected.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2020.03.002

View details for PubMedID 32265134