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Sterile Water Injections – Labour Pain Relief

A potentially powerful pain relief method for child birth you may not of heard of is Sterile Water Injections. It’s a relatively new procedure which has shown some wonderful results.

For some women, lower back pain during childbirth can be very painful, this is often caused by the baby being in a posterior position, meaning the bubs spine is pressing against mums spine. This causes no pain to the baby but the added weight and pressure on the mothers spine causes the increased level pain.

This less than ideal position may be caused by the position of the placenta or other factors.

If you want to avoid having an epidural during childbirth, an option you may like to consider is Sterile Water Injections.

WHAT ARE STERILE WATER INJECTIONS & HOW DO THEY WORK?

The procedure used during labour is a tiny amount of sterile water being injected into the skin at the lower back. The concept behind this procedure is gate control theory.

There are thousands of receptor sites in our skin and nerve endings. These receptors scan for pain, pressure, touch etc and transmit the information up to the brain very efficiently.

Chemical and electrical signals shoot up the nerves and spinal cord to our brain, passing through a number of signal boxes, like a little internal traffic control station.

The signal boxes in the nerve pathways are called “gates”, because they choose which signal to allow to pass through. Once our brain receives those signals it decides what it wants to do from there.

The chemicals (traffic controllers) which man the “gates” tend to preference signals from our skin over internal pain signals.

This is an incredibly sophisticated system used by the body. Skin monitoring assesses threats from the outside environment and lets the brain know there is immediate danger.

When a women is in labour and experiencing lower back pain, this in an internally generated pain signal, not prioritised by the body like a skin pain signal.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

When a sterile water injection is placed into the skin it will sting for around 30 seconds. Similar to a wasp sting.

That sting switches on the bodys fast fibres from the skin which shoots up a signal to the “gate” which then recognise it as an immediate threat, close the gate to the more slower signals coming from the internal lower back pain and let the message come through about the skin related pain.

This stops the internal pain signal immediately so that the labouring woman no longer feels the internal pain sensation. This effect can last for around 90 mins.

ARE STERILE WATER INJECTIONS EFFECTIVE?

For many women this can be a very effective method of pain reduction or pain management.  The level of internal lower back pain should be high enough (around an 8 out of 10) to make the sting of the water injection worth it.

HOW QUICKLY DOES IT WORK?

This method is immediate in taking away internal pain.

WHEN CAN YOU HAVE A STERILE WATER INJECTION?

It is normal to experience some back pain when the baby’s head is descending into the pelvis. This is Mother Natures way of letting Mum know that birth is imminent.

When a baby is in a posterior position and a labouring mother has intractable back pain, sterile water injections may be useful.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

This is great safe, effect method which allows the mother to stay mobile and has no other known side effects. Possible infection if safe practices are not followed as is with any procedure.

Sterile Water Injections may not be available everywhere, so if this is something you may like to consider as part of your birth plan, have a chat to your midwife or care provider to see if this option will be available to you.

MaterniTeas birth preparation blend CapaciTea Raspberry Leaf Tea, is designed to help strengthen and tone the uterus in the lead up to birth, to help you achieve more effective and efficient contractions, as well as help in the recovery process to allow the uterus to efficiently contract back after birth and reduce post-birth cramping pain.

Our Naturopaths recommend drinking 1 cup of CapaciTea Raspberry Leaf Tea a day from 27 weeks then gradually increasing to 2 cups by week 30 and 3-4 cups a day from 36 weeks.