Epidural during Labour: Procedure, Benefits, and Risks
If you are pregnant and ready to deliver your baby, you will think of options available as you embraced the journey of being pregnant, right? Everyone wishes for a natural delivery without a cesarean. But if you are struggling, you will be given an epidural by doctors during delivery. If you want to know more about epidural during labor, you must read it till the end.
What is Epidural Birth?
Anesthesia (Epidural) is given during labor to reduce labor pains (i.e., from bellybutton to upper legs). It takes about 15 minutes for the anesthesia to work. It will help you to be awake while pushing and feel the pressure. The medicine is given to the mother for relief. As the amount of epidural consumed by the baby is less, there is no harm for the baby from it. You need not worry because physicians are well trained about giving anesthesia to the human body. Epidural is commonly given to patients during the first stage of labor. However, sometimes it is also given during the second stage to move the baby comfortably.
Is Epidural Given during Normal Birth?
Epidural makes the movement of the baby easy. Though it is painless epidural pressure when injected into the body during labor causes pain. Epidural helps in bringing the baby down from the C-section. This is just like an anxiety reliever that helps mom to concentrate more on pushing down baby.
The Procedure of Giving Epidural to Patient:
Anesthesia is generally given in the lower back near the spinal cord. The physician may numb the portion where they are going to inject. You will be made to sit in a spherical shape like a ball or bent on a pillow to allow yourself to be comfortable. You should stay still not to cause any inconvenience during the procedure. After giving epidural, it may take two hours to deliver your baby; the time may vary depending on the number of birth (first, second). Anyway, this technique is not familiar in the olden days, but now almost 80% of women go with an epidural to ease the delivery process.
Will Epidural affect Baby?
Be it water birth, natural delivery, or normal delivery with epidural baby will be receiving fluids through umbilical cords. But the amount of medicine reaching the blood will be in small amounts that do not harm the baby. So, there is no such risk to the baby for the epidural. Sometimes when the dose is given high baby may take time to respond and maybe put in NICU.
What are the Benefits and Risks?
We know that every coin has two sides; so does the epidural treatment.
- It gives you relief from pain and gives you a happy birth experience.
- There are fewer chances of being prone to Postpartum Depression.
- It helps you to be awake if you are having a cesarean.
- It is safe and effective for both mother and child.
- You may feel numbness in the lower half of your body for a longer time.
- You may need a vacuum or forceps if pushing becomes difficult during labor.
- There may be nerve damages for the mother (this is very rare; depends on the mom’s health).
- There are chances of experiencing headaches, weakness in the legs which would be cleared after a few hours.
If you are looking for an epidural during birth, it is better to talk to experienced physicians or midwives about pain management techniques and take necessary precautions. Taking good food, doing some exercise suggested by your doctor will help to ease your delivery process.