Gyno - Talk


Epidural analgesia

Posted By Gyno-Blog

October 28, 2019

๐Ÿ”ธ  An epidural is a type of pain relief for women in labour or who are having a caesarean section.

What is an epidural  ?

๐Ÿ”ธ  An epidural is a procedure that injects a local anaesthetic in to the space around the spinal nerves in your lower back.

๐Ÿ”ธ  This anaesthetic usually blocks the pain from labour contractions and during the birth very effectively.

๐Ÿ”ธ   With an epidural you can usually move and can push your baby out when you need to.

๐Ÿ”ธ   An epidural is usually done by an anaesthetist.

The procedure :

๐Ÿ”ธ  Before an epidural, you will usually have a drip for fluids put into your arm.

๐Ÿ”ธ  You can sit up and bend forward over a pillow, or lie on your side curled up into a ball.

๐Ÿ”ธ  This makes it easier for the needle to be inserted into the right place.

๐Ÿ”ธ  You will be asked to stay still.

๐Ÿ”ธ   Your lower back will be washed with cold antiseptic.

๐Ÿ”ธ  A small amount of local anaesthetic will be injected into the skin of your lower back.

๐Ÿ”ธ  A needle will be inserted between the bones of your spine into the space around your spinal nerves.

๐Ÿ”ธ  Your anaesthetist will insert the epidural needle when your contraction stops, so it is important that you tell them when you have a contraction.

๐Ÿ”ธ  A small soft plastic tube will be inserted and the needle will be removed.

๐Ÿ”ธ  That tube delivers the anaesthetic that will numb your pain.

๐Ÿ”ธ  It usually takes between 5 and 30 minutes for your pain to be relieved by the epidural.

๐Ÿ”ธ  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:

๐Ÿ”ธ   It is usually very effective
๐Ÿ”ธ   It is generally very safe
๐Ÿ”ธ   You can often still move around and push when you need to
๐Ÿ”ธ  If youโ€™re having a caesarean, you can stay awake and your partner can be there

The disadvantages of an epidural are :

๐Ÿ”ธ  For medical reasons, not everyone can have an epidural

๐Ÿ”ธ You might need to have fluids given to you through a tube in your arm, and will need to have your blood pressure monitored

๐Ÿ”ธ  You might lose feeling in your bladder and need a catheter (tube) in your bladder to help you pass urine

๐Ÿ”ธ You might lose feeling in your legs for a few hours
It might slow down the second stage of labour.

๐Ÿ”ธ  You might not be able to push and need help to give birth.

๐Ÿ”ธ  Your baby will need to be closely monitored during your labour.

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