Posted By Gyno-Blog
🔸 An epidural is a type of pain relief for women in labour or who are having a caesarean section.
What is an epidural ?
🔸 An epidural is a procedure that injects a local anaesthetic in to the space around the spinal nerves in your lower back.
🔸 This anaesthetic usually blocks the pain from labour contractions and during the birth very effectively.
🔸 With an epidural you can usually move and can push your baby out when you need to.
🔸 An epidural is usually done by an anaesthetist.
The procedure :
🔸 Before an epidural, you will usually have a drip for fluids put into your arm.
🔸 You can sit up and bend forward over a pillow, or lie on your side curled up into a ball.
🔸 This makes it easier for the needle to be inserted into the right place.
🔸 You will be asked to stay still.
🔸 Your lower back will be washed with cold antiseptic.
🔸 A small amount of local anaesthetic will be injected into the skin of your lower back.
🔸 A needle will be inserted between the bones of your spine into the space around your spinal nerves.
🔸 Your anaesthetist will insert the epidural needle when your contraction stops, so it is important that you tell them when you have a contraction.
🔸 A small soft plastic tube will be inserted and the needle will be removed.
🔸 That tube delivers the anaesthetic that will numb your pain.
🔸 It usually takes between 5 and 30 minutes for your pain to be relieved by the epidural.
🔸 Advantages and disadvantages of an epidural
Epidurals are available at most hospitals but not in birth centres or for home births.
The advantages of an epidural are:
🔸 It is usually very effective
🔸 It is generally very safe
🔸 You can often still move around and push when you need to
🔸 If you’re having a caesarean, you can stay awake and your partner can be there
The disadvantages of an epidural are :
🔸 For medical reasons, not everyone can have an epidural
🔸 You might need to have fluids given to you through a tube in your arm, and will need to have your blood pressure monitored
🔸 You might lose feeling in your bladder and need a catheter (tube) in your bladder to help you pass urine
🔸 You might lose feeling in your legs for a few hours
It might slow down the second stage of labour.
🔸 You might not be able to push and need help to give birth.
🔸 Your baby will need to be closely monitored during your labour.