During the first pregnancy, many soon-to-be-moms think it is difficult to cope up with labor pain. Many of them would rather avoid medication. Others want to reassure that there are some effective ways to avoid pain during the birth process. And that’s why they chose an epidural. Exactly this topic is about 10 Things you should know about epidurals and its pros -cons!
But as you know the birth process is all a natural process. During it, your partner, friends, or family members offer you encouragement and support which helps a mother to cope up with the labor pain.
Non-medication approaches such as walking, breathing exercises, heat packs can also make it a little easier to bear the pain. But mothers who don’t want to panic during the birth process goes for Epidural. In fact, 50% of expected moms want Epidurals and there’s no shame in that.
WHAT IS AN EPIDURAL?
An epidural is a way to deliver an anesthetic which stops pain signals traveling from the spine to the brain. In this method, a small amount of anesthesia is injected into the epidural space of the spine.
The epidural space is filled with fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. An epidural numbs the spinal nerves and blocks the pain signals. But it can not be used in women who are allergic to anesthetics.
There are many things to learn about epidurals before you go to the hospital. Epidurals have their own pros and cons and it’s important to know what you’re in for?
10 Side Effects You Need To Know About
Do you know why one chooses the Epidural? The reason behind this- Pain from contractions usually tops the list for choosing it.
But if they do not want to fight with labor pain which really hurts. They want to reduce the pain of labor and an epidural is the best way to minimize the labor pain.
Many women are scared of labor pain. Having an epidural gives them heaven’s relief. But some women definitely want to enjoy their labor pain (hats off to them) but if that’s not you and you don’t want to face the labor pain then you can go with an epidural.
When you feel that you need it. most certainly is not given right away, the doctors usually make you wait for an hour or so.
In the hospital, just like everything they have to order the procedure, you have to complete your signs on documentation and after completing paperwork you have to wait for your turn.
When they do get around to giving you an epidural. You feel the relief.
WHAT ARE THE PROS OF EPIDURAL
- It allows you to take rest if your labor is prolonged
- With the help of an Epidural, some women have a positive birth experience
- This allows you to stay alert and active during the birth process
- It is a very effective pain relief for the mother
IT STARTS TO WORK ON THE SPOT
As I already told you, the relief is so sweet and it starts right away. So you get the relief from your labor pain once they do the procedure.
CONS OF AN EPIDURAL
NOT FOR ALL
One more thing which is important to know is that an Epidural doesn’t work effectively for all moms and it is very necessary to know if you have one.
You know my sister chose an epidural to cope up with labor pain but it did nothing at all in her first delivery. But with her second delivery, it just worked fine. Isn’t it strange! This happens because sometimes it is not injected right.
So choose a reputed hospital where there is a skilled Anesthesiologist. Do good research on the hospital you choose, it gives you assurance.
It REALLY HURTS
Obviously, it is not a kind of joke getting a needle stuck in your spine. When they hit in the spot it can be pretty bad.
- First of all, it slows down the labor pain and therefore you have lengthy labor. Because epidural dilutes the contract-causing hormones circulating in the blood.
- It may increase the chances of C-section and can make it difficult for the baby to get into the right position for birth.
- This may increase the risk of pelvic floor problems. (urinary and sexual disorders)
- Many studies show that epidural can affect breastfeeding also.
- When it kicks, it may begin shaking violently all over and cause intense shivers.
- With an epidural, you are unable to feel what’s going down there you won’t even urinate when your bladder is full
- You cannot move for several hours after giving birth
SIDE EFFECTS OF EPIDURAL ON NEWBORN
Medication through an epidural enters the baby’s bloodstream. This way, the newborn is also affected because of an immature immune system and may take a longer time to eliminate the epidural drug. This can lead to the baby’s immune system being affected adversely.
The second effect is that it can compromise fetal blood and oxygen supply via the decrease in maternal blood pressure.
The baby’s sucking ability may be affected due to the epidural. This will make it hard for him to latch and suck breast milk. And it is harder for a new-to-be-mom to breastfeed her newborn.
You may also get a fever due to epidural which can be dangerous to the baby also. The fever can increase the risks of hypotonia, assisted ventilation, and early-onset seizures.
But don’t be scared, this doesn’t happen often. Most women get an epidural and nothing at all goes wrong with them. Your chances are really good if everything is planned well.
Good luck with your baby and motherhood journey. Enjoy your precious moments with your newborn and take very good care of you both…..