|Pain Relief in The Hague|
Michelle gave birth to Michael in March 2006, and was one of the first to receive a new form of pain relief here in The Netherlands. The Bronovo hospital in the Hague was one of the first hospitals to introduce the self administered morphine drip to help women cope with the pain during child birth. At last !! Read more about this in our section on pain relief.
When did you first find out about the new form of pain relief ?
From the gynecologist at the hospital. The day before Michael was born. I had to go in because my water had broken but contractions stayed out. She explained that in case the contractions wouldn’t come within 24 hours, Michael would be born with help. In that case, I was eligible to receive this pain relief. The doctor asked me to read through the information because it was part of a trial program that the hospital was running.
Did you ask for it in advance or was it given to you at the last minute ?
I was asked again when I did come in to the hospital already in labor. But because the contractions started after the 24 hour period, I was out of the hands of the midwife and would have a delivery by the gynecologist. The drugs were administered about an hour after I came into the hospital.
Was there any reluctance to give it to you ?
Absolutely not. I had to wait a bit (about an hour) but that was because they had to prepare everything and call the student (the person researching the effectiveness of this way of pain relief) out of bed (it was about 2 am). When everything was set up, I got the tube in my hand and I could apply doses myself from that point on.
Were you offered any alternatives ?
Yes, and then the gynecologist explained that this new form of pain relief was more effective than a shot in the leg but better for me and the baby than an epidural.
How far into labour were you before the epidural was set up ?
It wasn’t an epidural. It was an “infuus” with a button that I could press myself to administer a new dose when I was experiencing extensive pain. This was set up about an hour after I came into the hospital. Contractions were well under way.
What did it feel like after you administer the pain relief for the first time ?
Immediate relief. Felt much more manageable. Still painful but definitely not unbearable. Also made me a bit weary.
How often could you administer the pain relief ?
As often as I liked. But there was a threshold after which I could press but probably nothing would happen. But I didn’t’ know when that was. So it felt like I had complete control.
How far into the labour were you allowed to administer the pain relief, did you have to do without for the final stages of delivery ?
About 2 hours into the delivery (heavy contractions). Michael was born 6 hours later. The final stages of labor I wasn’t able to use the painkiller. It took so much energy I didn’t have time to push any buttons.
If you had to do without, was the pain really intense after having had the pain relief ?
Did the pain relief effect your baby ?
No. I was told not.
Were there any side effects of the pain relief ?
No, just a bit dreary. Looking back it felt like everything happened much faster than it did. That’s because I must have been going in and out of a sort of sleepy state.
If you have another baby would you choose the same form of pain relief ?
What advice would you give for someone reading this who would also like to ask for this form of pain relief, ie how would she go about arranging it ?
Arrange in advance that you’re not delivering at home. Definitely ask the midwife / gynecologist. See if you can get helped in a hospital that does apply this form of pain relief.