Epidural Analgesia Vs Normal Delivery: Which Is Right for Me?

According to a 1998 article in the American Journal of Nursing, only 1% of women, or 1 in 100 experience painless delivery. Thanks to innovations in science, this need not be your reality. In this article, you will learn about Epidural analgesia to experience a normal painless delivery.

What is Epidural analgesia?

Epidural analgesia is a method of pain relief during labour and childbirth. It is considered safe and effective and is widely used in the United States and other developed countries. It is particularly useful for women who have long or difficult labour, or who have certain medical conditions that make vaginal delivery more complicated.

Who qualifies for an epidural analgesia procedure?

An epidural can be requested at any time during your labour. However, patients with a skin infection, a history of bleeding disorders, certain brain or spine disorders, or certain back surgeries are usually not given an epidural. It is best to consult a doctor about your situation.

Who performs an epidural procedure?

The procedure is typically performed by an anesthesiologist or a nurse anaesthetist and is usually done in a delivery unit or operating room. Anesthesiologists have received specialised training in the field of anesthesiology, which is a medical speciality that involves the care of patients before, during, and after surgery or procedure.

How is the procedure conducted?

A small amount of local anaesthetic is first injected to numb the area, after which a small catheter is inserted through a needle into the epidural space. The catheter is left in place, and the anaesthetic is then continuously infused through it. The anaesthetic blocks the nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain, allowing the mother to remain alert and comfortable during labor and delivery.

What are the benefits of getting epidural anaesthesia?

One of the main benefits of epidural analgesia is that it allows the mother to remain alert and involved in the birth process, without experiencing the intense pain of contractions. It also allows her to push more effectively during delivery, which can help to shorten the second stage of labour.

What are the possible complications?

Epidural analgesia can also have some complications:

  • Hypotension

It can cause a drop in blood pressure, which can be treated with fluids and medications. It may also slow down labour, and increase the likelihood of cesarean delivery.

  • Nausea and vomiting

Some women experience mild nausea and vomiting as a side effect.

  • Transient neurological syndrome

Some patients also report some back pain, radiating to the buttocks and legs. It is usually symmetrical in the body.

Some mothers also report feeling numb or weak in the lower body, which can make it difficult to move or push during delivery. Other side effects include nausea and mild back pain after delivery.

  • Bronchoconstriction

You can experience contraction of airways in the lungs leading to a feeling of congestion while breathing.

Overall, epidural analgesia is a safe and effective method of pain relief during labour and childbirth. During and after the epidural, you and your baby are closely monitored. Most adverse events are recognised and treated immediately if they occur. It allows mothers to remain alert and comfortable during the birth process and can help to make the experience more positive for both the mother and the baby. During and after the epidural, you and your baby are closely monitored. Most adverse events are recognised and treated immediately if they occur.

It is important to discuss the pros and cons with a doctor to determine if epidural analgesia for a painless delivery is the right choice for you. 

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Kondapur. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What are the side effects of getting an Epidural?

Mild itching, difficulty passing urine, loss of feeling in your lower tummy and legs, and inability to move your legs until the medication wears off are all common side effects (usually up to 8 hours). Other side effects include postpartum nausea and mild back pain.

2. What stage of labour is an epidural given?

Epidurals are typically administered during the first stage of labour when you are experiencing regular contractions.

3. What are the alternatives to an epidural for pain control during labour?

Intravenous pain medications and learned relaxation techniques are two other options for pain management.

4. Does it hurt?

The anesthesiologist will numb the area of your back where the epidural will be administered with a small needle. For 5-10 seconds, this medicine may sting. When the epidural is placed, you will feel pushing and pressure, but it should not be painful.

5. If at first, I decline an epidural, can I change my mind during the course of labour?

An epidural can be requested at any time during your labour. It is important to note, however, that an epidural may take up to 15 minutes to provide pain relief.

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