Delivery Through Epidural

Delivery Through Epidural

What is Epidural?

An Epidural is an anesthesia used for pain relief during labor. It is an injection in which the medicines are delivered through a catheter (a narrow plastic tube) into the epidural space just outside the spinal cord and spinal fluid.

What does Epidural procedure involve?

  • An epidural is done by a special doctor anesthesiologist.
  • You may be asked to arch or curve your lower back while sitting or lying.
  • After cleaning the lower back, the doctor will inject with medicines.
  • Using a guided needle, the catheter is inserted into the epidural space outside the spine.
  • The needle is then removed and catheter is placed throughout the labor. It is used inject any medicines for pain relief as needed.

What are the Benefits of Epidural?

  • An epidural is an effective pain relief.
  • It has less side effects.
  • It can be used in both vaginal delivery and c-section.
  • It can be used throughout the labor.
  • Most women feels no pain after Epidural.
  • It is a local anesthesia and will not make you sleepy.

Will it Affect my Baby?

An epidural is a safe procedure which does not affect your baby.

What are the Side Effects of Epidural?

  • For a very small percentage of women, epidural may not work effectively.
  • Higher doses of medicine can cause hypertension to the mother which may affect the baby.
  • Sometimes you may not be comfortable to be awake throughout the labor.
  • For some women it may cause irritation such as itching.
  • It can cause a drop in blood pressure which may lead to dizziness or nausea.
  • It can cause fever.
  • It can cause too much leaking of spinal fluid due to the large hole which may lead to headache that last for a long period.
  • Some women can have lifelong back pain.
  • In an epidural delivery, the baby may be delivered using forceps or suction cups which may be risky.
  • It can cause difficulty in urination.

Who should avoid epidural?

Women with the following conditions should avoid epidural .

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Extremely low blood pressure
  • Any problem with lower back