We call it as epidural analgesia. Pain is the reason to have epidural and whenever your pain is significant you can request for an epidural. Epidural is not necessary for you to have delivery, but it can be beneficial in reducing the pain of labour.
Epidural is a small injection placed in your lower back, through which a small tube (the size of a twine) is put into your back near the nerves carrying pain from the uterus. fine tube (epidural catheter). Drugs can be injected through this tube to relieve the pain of labour. These drugs are local anaesthetics which cause numbing of the nerves and pain sensation without affecting the ability to move. These drugs are also very safe for the baby. With an epidural in place, you may feel the contractions, but they will not be painful. All the same, you will feel some pressure symptoms and some tightness with contractions. It is given by anesthetist who is trained in doing so. The anaesthesiologist and your nurse will check that the epidural is working well throughout.
All women in labor who need pain relief can have an epidural, except those on blood thinning drugs or abnormal blood tests.
Occassionally, epidural may not work as well as we would like it to. If this happens, the anaesthesiologist will help by giving extra doses or changing your position or the catheter position. If it still does not work, the procedure has to be repeated (by placing the epidural catheter again).
Complications due to Epidural Injection
⇒ Epidural can cause a drop in your blood pressure. To decrease this risk, you will be given fluids through an intravenous line.
⇒ Some women may have itching which disappears when the epidural is stopped. Medication can be given to relieve the sensation.
⇒ An epidural may prolong the second stage of labour and reduce the urge to bear down. Occasionally this may result in you having an instrumental delivery.
⇒ One in 100 women may develop severe headache after an epidural. It is called post dural puncture headache and can be treated.
⇒ About one in 2000 mothers gets a feeling of tingling or pins and needles down one leg after having a baby. Such problems are more likely to result from childbirth itself than from an epidural.
⇒ A small number of women may experience numbness or heaviness in the legs. It usually wears off once the epidural is discontinued. The risk of any permanent damage is extremely low.
⇒ Backache is common during pregnancy and often continues afterwards when you are looking after your baby. There is now good evidence that epidurals do not cause long-term backache, though you may feel soreness at the site of the injection for a few days.
⇒ Just like surgery is never done without anaesthesia, so also techniques are available to manage labour pain.
Receiving pain relief in labour is not a pre-requisite for delivery! It is dependant on your tolerance level and the choice you want to make
What is Cesarean-Section Delivery
A cesarean section, also called a c-section, is a surgical procedure performed when a vaginal delivery is not possible or safe, or when the health of the mother or the baby is at risk. During this procedure, the baby is delivered through surgical incisions made in the abdomen and the uterus. We give a transverse bikni incision on your skin and dissolving stiches are used to make it cosmetic. A cesarean delivery might be planned advance if a medical reason calls for it, or it might be unplanned and take place during your labor if certain problems arise.
These days, having a caesarean section is becoming more and more common. Many of us face an overflow of information on the subject (from friends, family) that can leave us wondering whether we can go ahead with a normal delivery. If you've decided you are going to try for a normal delivery, there is a lot to look forward to. There are many reasons why this is a good birth choice for both you and baby.