Do epidurals cause C-sections? Will opting for epidurals during labour and child birth harm the baby in any way? Go through this article to know more about epidurals.
By Ashwin Dewan
If you are expecting, chances are that you know about epidural injections and its side effects. Today, talking about labour no longer gives rise to fear in the hearts of expecting mothers thanks to epidural anaesthesia. However, many expecting mothers worry about the effect of epidurals on the baby. Also, pain is often associated with an epidural injection. Even today, when women hear this term, images of a huge needle being inserted into the spine crop up. But, is an epidural painful? Know all about epidural injections, the different types, pros and cons, and its side effects on pregnancy.
Contrary to popular belief, epidurals need not be painful! Regional anaesthesia used primarily to relieve expecting mothers from pain during labour and childbirth, an epidural obstructs pain in a body part. According to a parenting website, an epidural involves injecting pain-blocking medication into a space between the vertebrae and the spinal fluid. The process normally takes about 15 minutes to work and can last as long as needed.
It is up to the patient to opt for an epidural or not. Also, when an expecting mother is heading into the labour room, she should be made aware of all the available options of pain relief.
An epidural is performed only by an anaesthetist. Before an epidural, the expecting mother will have a drip of fluids put into her arm. Her lower back will be washed with cold antiseptic and a small amount of local anaesthetic will be injected into the skin of the lower back after which a needle is inserted between the bones of the spine into the space around the spinal nerves. After a few minutes, a small soft plastic tube will be inserted, and the needle will be removed. This tube delivers the anaesthetic that will numb the pain. It will take between 5 and 30 minutes for the pain to be relieved by the epidural.
The first 24 hours after the baby is born can be an overwhelming experience for the parents. Our expert shares a list of dos and dont’s that new parents must make a note of during this period.
Note: Whether one has an epidural or not, it makes no difference to the chance of having a caesarean section.
There are many conditions that make it risky to get an epidural. Some conditions include women who have blood clotting problems, an infection, uncontrolled diabetes, anaesthesia drug allergies.
During labour and delivery, the medications used are safe and do not affect the baby in any way. However, the mother’s blood pressure may decrease in the first few minutes. There is no need to worry because once an epidural shot is registered, the doctor and anesthesiologist will closely monitor the mother and the baby throughout the labour and delivery.
Every woman desires to undergo a natural childbirth. However, sometimes the pain may become unbearable and it is here that epidurals can relieve pain during delivery. At the end, it is a subjective choice of all woman whether to opt for epidurals or not.
About the author:
Written by Ashwin Dewan on 19 February 2018.
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