I had my prenatal appointment today (FINALLY getting to go weekly now!) and we were discussing the various methods of controlling pain during labour. We discussed my desire to use visualizations and relaxation CD’s to help keep me in a relaxed state and how we would keep the labour room a comfortable and relaxing space.
Additionally, they talked about what they and the OBs can do to help me manage pain, including a method I had never heard of before: Subcutaneous Sterile Water Injections or Papules. I found the whole topic fascinating and thought I would share what I learned in the appointment and online.
Sterile Water Papules
These four sterile water injections are given around the sacrum, base of the spine to relieve back labor. There are no medications in the injections and they can be done by a doctor, nurse, midwife, or anesthesiologist. The pain from the injection is stinging and lasts about 60 seconds. Many women report remarkable pain relief from this simple procedure. It can be very beneficial for those wishing to avoid epidural anesthesia and can be used in conjunction with IV medications, if desired, though many women find that they are not needed once this procedure has been done.
If you are having severe back labour, the midwives (or doctors) and inject sterile water into the fatty area of your lower back which blocks the pain receptors in the area and minimizes the amount of pain you’re experiencing as the baby’s head moves down your spine. Here’s my pro/con list; you knew it was coming!
- No side effects to mom or baby
- Anaesthesiologist does not need to administer the treatment as there are no drugs being given
-In some cases relieves 100% of back labour pain!
- The injections feel like a bee sting and hurt for about 60-90 seconds. Typically they will give the injections during a contraction to minimize the pain you’re experiencing because of them.
- Only lasts 2-3 hours so must be repeated in long labours
- Alleviates the pain of back labour not the contractions themselves
I figure if I’ve been experiencing some excruciating back labour, a minute or two of stinging will be well worth it if it allows me to relax and conserve some mental and physical energy!
Check out some of the links below for more thorough information: