Pregnancy and childbirth
What You Need To Know about Epidurals
Its a common notion in women’s world that having pregnancy is not the issue but the terrifically accompanying pains with childbirths. this is why some women chose to avoid being pregnant. Read all about what Epidural is …..
It’s no secret that childbirth is a pretty painful experience. Talk to almost anyone who’s gone through it, and she’ll tell you it definitely didn’t feel good. However, these days, childbirth doesn’t have to be as painful as it usually is. Women today have the option of epidural anesthesia, and about 50 percent of women who give birth in hospitals opt to get it. But what exactly is an epidural, what are the positives and negatives, and how does it work? Here’s a breakdown of the most important facts you need to know about this procedure.
What is epidural anesthesia?
Epidural anesthesia is an injection that’s given to your lower back. Its goal is to numb the nerves and stop you from feeling pain. It’s often used in childbirth, but it can also be helpful during and after surgery. The chest, abdomen, pelvic region and legs are the areas that can be numbed by an epidural. How numb the areas get depends on the type of drug that’s used and the amount that’s given. You can get an epidural at any time during your labor, and most women ask for one when their contractions are getting strong. The tube can stay in until after your baby is born.
What are the different types?
There are three main types of epidurals. One involves an injection with top-ups. In this method, painkillers are injected into a tube to numb the lower part of your abdomen, which helps relieve contractions. As the effects begin to wear off, you’ll have top-ups (which are basically refills) that last for one to two hours.
Another method involves continuous infusions. If you get this, an epidural catheter is set up and attached to a pump that feeds the painkiller solution into your back. If you need stronger pain relief, you can also receive top-ups during this method. Some hospitals allow patients to have control of the pumps.
Finally, there’s combined spinal epidural, also called a “walking epidural.” You’ll get an injection of painkillers that works more quickly than a regular epidural, and the anesthetist will also set up a catheter. When the first injection starts to wear off, you’ll get a painkilling solution delivered through the tube.
What does it feel like?
It might seem scary to have a needle going into your back, but most women report that it’s not too bad. Doctors will numb the skin first, so you’ll just feel a slight prick and possibly some pressure. Once it’s in, you might be conscious of it, but it won’t be painful or uncomfortable. It takes about 10 or 20 minutes to take effect. When you have contractions, you’ll probably be able to tell that they’re happening, but they won’t be painful. As the dosage is adjusted, your legs might feel a little weak, heavy, warm or tingly. You won’t feel foggy or lethargic.
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