Epidural injection is the most popular method for pain relief during labor. More than 50% of women who give birth in hospitals use epidural anesthesia. Pregnant women should learn as much as possible about pain relief options so that you will be better prepared to make decisions during the birth process. You should understand the types of epidurals, manner of use, the risks and benefits to help you in making decisions during childbirth.
What is an epidural?Epidural injection of local anesthetic will relieve pain in certain body parts. Epidurals block nerve impulses from the spinal segment is lower, it will lose sensation in the lower half of the body. Epidural drugs classified in medicines known as local anesthetics, such as bupivacaine, chloroprocaine, or lidocaine.
How an epidural injection?Liquid intravenous (IV) will be transmitted to pregnant women before the birth of active stage begins and before placing an epidural procedure. You will be asked to look behind you and remain lying on your left side or sitting. This position is important to prevent problems and improve the effectiveness of epidural. Antiseptics are used to clean the back of the waist down to reduce the chance of infection. You will be injected with a local anesthetic in your back so that your back has occured anesthesia. Needles are inserted into the anesthetized area around the spinal cord in the lower back. After that, a small tube or catheter is then passed on through the needle into the epidural space. The needle is then withdrawn slowly, leaving the catheter in place to give drugs either through periodic injections or continuous injection. Catheters are affixed to the back to avoid falling.
What are the benefits of epidural injections?• Allows you to relax if prolonged delivery process.
• Reduce discomfort during childbirth, most women have a more positive birth experience
• Typically, an epidural will allow you to remain aware and still have the energy to push the process of childbirth.
• If you give birth to a son by cesarean, an epidural anesthesia will allow you to be awake and also provide effective pain relief during recovery
• When other types of mechanisms can no longer help alleviate pain, an epidural can help you reduce fatigue, anxiety, relax, be focused and give you strength for the birth of your baby.
What is the effect of epidural injections?• Epidurals may cause your blood pressure dropped suddenly. Therefore, your blood pressure will be checked regularly to help and ensure adequate blood flow to your baby. If there is a drop in blood pressure suddenly, you may need to be treated with IV fluids, medications, and oxygen.
• You may experience a severe headache caused by leakage of spinal fluid. Less than 1% of women experience this side effect. If symptoms persist, a procedure called a "blood patch", an injection process your blood into the epidural space to relieve headaches.
• After your epidural is placed, you must reclining on the bed and have continuous monitoring to detect changes in fetal heart rate. Lying on the side can sometimes cause the delivery process is slowed or stopped.
• You may experience the following side effects: chills, back pain, pain where the needle is inserted, nausea, or difficulty urinating.
• You may find that your epidural makes you more difficult to push and support methods such as Pitocin, forcep, vacuum or cesarean may be required.
• For a few hours after the birth, the bottom half of your body may feel numb. Numbness will require you to walk with assistance.
• In rare instances, permanent nerve damage can occur due to the area where the catheter is inserted.
FAQs about Epidurals:
Are local epidural hurt?• It depends on the individual. Some experienced women expressed an epidural can create some discomfort in the area where the back has been drugged and feeling the pressure when a small tube or catheter is placed.
When an epidural is placed in the birth process?• It is usually placed when cervical epidural injections open to 4-5cm and you are in the active phase of the delivery process.
How Effectiveness of epidural injections?• An epidural may slow the delivery process and make you weak contractions. If this happens you may be given medication Pitocin to help speed up the delivery.
Is epidural injection may affect your baby?• Research on the impact of epidurals on newborns still in the study, and many factors can affect the health of newborns. Side effects are different for each individual based on the dose, the duration of the delivery process, and the characteristics of each individual baby. Due to the dose and drugs can vary, concrete information from research are not available. A possible side effect of epidural affect some babies have difficulty in feeding. In addition, the infant may also become lethargic and have trouble getting into the proper position of the baby in the delivery. These drugs can also cause difficulty in breathing and heart rate decreased newborns. Although drugs can not harm their babies, but epidural injection may experience some side effects such as those mentioned above.
How effective epidural started?• Nervous womb began numb within a few minutes after the initial dose. You may feel the effect lower body numb after 10-20 minutes. When the dose of anesthetic starts to lose, more will be given an epidural dose - usually every 1-2 hours. Depending on the type and dose of epidural, you may be limited in your bed but not allowed to get up and move. If the delivery process continued for more than a few hours, you may need a urinary catheter because your abdomen will be numb cause difficulty urinating. After your baby is born, the catheter is removed and the effects of anesthesia will usually disappear within one or two hours. Some women report experiencing an uncomfortable burning sensation around the birth canal when the drug lost impact.
Can pregnant women straining when needed?• You may not feel that you are having contractions and reduce pain due to epidural anesthesia effect you. So pregnant women have more energy for straining process. If you can not feel your contractions, so pregnant women may be difficult to control for straining. For this reason, your baby may need a method to speed up aid delivery process.
When epidural NOT suitable for pregnant women?• An epidural can not be an option for pain relief during labor if any of the following apply:
• You are using blood thinners
• Having a low platelet count
• Have bleeding or hemorrhaging in fear.
• Have an infection in the back of the body.
• Have a blood infection
• If your cervix is not open for at least 4 cm.
• epidural space can not be detected by a doctor
• If the delivery is too fast and did not have enough time to begin effective epidural injection.