First time mothers-to-be are often scared of natural birth. The anticipated pain keeps them from vaginal delivery. However, with advances in medical science, today discomforts of child-birth can be eased effectively. In fact, over 60% of women in labor are administered with epidurals or combined spinal epidurals, according to statistics released by National Center for Health.
Epidural anesthesia is one of the best forms of pain management and is safe for both mother and the baby.
Before opting for this medical intervention, have a look at the pros and cons.
Advantages of Epidural for Painless Delivery
The very thought of labor and delivery pain might send jitters down the spine. But here’s how an epidural can help.
- Easily injectable into the spine and can be administered controllably according to pain levels.
- Helps you relax and provides relief from exhaustion of child-birth.
- Even if you feel the contractions, the pain would be minimized to an acceptable level.
- The excruciating labor pain can be under control for a positive birthing experience.
- Relaxes your vaginal muscles to create more space for the baby to move out.
- Brings down the level of hypertension which could slow down the baby’s heart rate.
- With painless delivery, the procedure becomes quicker than usual.
- Lessens the chances of pelvic muscles damage during a normal delivery.
Additionally, fewer hormones are produced due to an epidural injection. This keeps the baby and the mother away from irritation and stress.
Disadvantages of Epidural
Nothing could be more enriching than a painless delivery with minimal intervention. However, just like any medical process, this has its side effects too.
- You might require help to move post-delivery since it numbs the lower body
- There could be light-headedness, back pains and slight shivering.
- Breathing difficulties might occur for some mothers.
- There could be minor bleeding from the puncture site.
- Leakage of epidural into the spinal fluid might lead to consistent headaches for some time after childbirth.
- Epidurals might lengthen the duration of natural birth.
However, know that these are common occurrences and do not pose any serious threat to the mother. Be it delivery without pain or any other treatment, minute after effects are bound to come along.
The health care professionals are well equipped to tackles these issues. Rest assured, both you and the baby will come out safe and healthy from the delivery room.
Things to Know about Epidurals
It cannot be administered right at the beginning of labor. You will have to wait till the cervix is well dilated before getting the much needed respite. It will take some time to start showing effects. Therefore, know that it is not an instant relief medication. Lastly, finding the epidural spot is the most crucial aspect so that the dura mater is not perforated by mistake.
Epidurals are not for everyone. If you have blood stream infections or have higher chances of blood clotting, you might not be allowed to have a painless delivery through epidural. Consult your gynaecologist, so that you know all your options for a sound birth plan.