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SSM Health Medical Minute: Moms have new choices to ease the stress of labor

Pregnant women now have more of a say in what they need during the birthing experience. So much has changed in the last 5 years – even moms who had a baby a few years ago will find things have changed this time around.

It's quite common for a woman to stay in one room for labor, delivery and recovery. SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital director of perinatal services, Pam Lesser, RN says often that room is full if colorful new items such as a labor tub of warm water, "It is heated so she can stay comfortable. It is intended just as a comfort measure for her labor not intended as birthing location."

Lesser says the mom can use an exercise ball to sit on or lean on to find a more comfortable position or a peanut ball to use while she is lying down, "So she'll lay on her side with her leg going on top of the ball and just kind of have a very relaxed position and that will help the pelvic open up a little bit wider."

Nitrous oxide frequently used in dentists offices, is a now an alternative to an epidural to manage pain. "It's really something she holds up she breaths in and out for as long as shes comfortable and as she relaxes her hand naturally it will relax and fall away and so she self control how much of this she gets," Lesser said.

Lesser said SSM Health perinatal officials want to make sure a woman gets all her physical and emotional needs met,"We just really like to find out what does a mom want and how can we help her have the best birth experience that she wants."

For more information on the birthing experience, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Thursday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.​