One should always approach labor& childbirth with an open mind and some degree of planning. Discuss with your gynecologist and obstetrician the possible pain relief option. Find out what can work best for you and arrive at a definite birthing plan. However, do remember that it is possible that you may end up requiring more pain-relief than anticipated or vice versa.
While pain is expected during the course of labor and pregnancy, it would be easier to navigate through it if you stay relaxed and calm. Having adequate emotional support also helps. During the course of labor you can opt for an epidural – which is essentially medication to deliver pain relief to the lower part of the body while allowing you to remain conscious.
Delivered via a catheter into the lower back, an epidural is usually a combination of a local anesthetic and a narcotic substance that subsides pain without taking away your ability to move.
There are however, certain drawbacks of taking an epidural dose. You may find your legs to be heavier than normal. In very rare instances, it can make your blood pressure drop. Also, there is a tendency for epidurals to prolong the second stage of labor.
In our modern times, the use of epidurals is common and safe. However, scores of women still prefer natural birth without any pain relief. It usually boils down to your own comfort level. The final decision should always be made between you and the obstetrician.