Pain Management in Labor
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Virtually all labor is accompanied by pain. Uterine contractions, cervical dilation, fetal descent, and perineal stretching (and, when it occurs, laceration) are all associated with pain. Although pain accompanies all labor, the patient’s perception of and response to pain is highly variable. Providers must be aware of all factors that contribute to the patient’s pain and adequately address each of these factors in order to achieve appropriate pain control.