Technology has revolutionized the healthcare industry, particularly in recent years when more advanced equipment has become available. In a new development, researchers have trialed virtual reality as a form of pain relief for laboring mothers.
Unlike most other forms of pain relief, virtual reality offers a natural alternative to medication, such as an epidural or nitrous oxide. According to researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, virtual reality (VR) can alter the way we process pain because it engages the visual cortex and other senses.
For expectant mothers, the idea of an immersive, VR experience during active labor may seem like a viable alternative to more traditional methods of pain relief. However, it could be a while before VR headsets are commonplace in delivery rooms.
What Pain Relief is Offered During Labor?
During labor, patients may be offered either analgesics or anesthetics to alleviate their pain and discomfort. These can take the form of an epidural block, butorphanol, nalbuphine, and/or nitrous oxide, although other pain relief options are available. In addition to this, patients may have a local or general anesthetic if a C-section is performed.
Of course, not all patients choose to have pain relief during labor. Some mothers may choose to forego any type of pain relief, while others may use alternative methods, such as hypnobirthing or meditation to minimize discomfort. These offer relief in the same way that virtual reality could during the childbirth process.
Is It Safe to Use Pain Relief During Childbirth?
The pain-relieving medications given during labor have been repeatedly tested to ensure their safety for both the mother and infant. While some people may experience side effects when taking medication during childbirth, if the patient doesn’t have any unknown allergies, they shouldn’t suffer any negative consequences. Indeed, many patients believe that pain relief makes them more comfortable, confident, and in control during delivery.
However, there are times when a medical error could potentially cause an injury to the mother or the child. If a doctor prescribes the wrong dose of medication, for example, this could have a negative impact on the patient.
Dealing with Birth Injuries
Birth injures occur at some point during the delivery phase. While some birth injuries occur naturally due to pressure in the birth control, some may be caused by medical negligence. When this happens, Chicago birth injury lawyers are an essential tool to help establish exactly what caused the injury to occur. In addition to this, birth injury attorneys can assist the mother in claiming compensation on behalf of her baby.
What Does the Future of Childbirth Look Like?
Technology is set to play a major role in the evolution of healthcare, including the care of expectant mothers during and following labor. With exciting new developments underway, virtual reality may be just one of the ways technology is used to enhance the birth experience. With the potential to increase safety and reduce the risk of birth injuries, it’s not surprising that researchers and medical practitioners are eager to incorporate tech into the future of childbirth and healthcare as a whole.