Epidural- Good Or Bad For Baby

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We all have to agree that childbirth is a painful experience. A woman who has gone through it will tell you that it didn’t a good experience. But nowadays childbirth is not as painful as earlier. Today we have the option of EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA, & mostly women who give birth in hospital opt EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA. But women do you know what exactly EPIDURAL is, & what are the risk and benefits of using EPIDURAL? 

What is Epidural Anesthesia?

It’s an injection given to a woman for pain relief during labor. The injection is given around the spinal nerve in the lower back. The main purpose to give, this is to block the pain from labor contractions and during the birth effectively. It’s mostly used in childbirth, but can also be given during the surgery or after the surgery. The women who are allergic to anesthetic or having a blood clotting problem can’t use this anesthesia.

Image Source- American pregnancy

Are Epidurals effective? 

This is very effective and can relieve pain more effectively than any other painkillers. The woman who uses this feels less pain or no pain during labor. Some women need addition painkiller if they are using epidural.  At the time of contraction, you will feel the contraction but they are not painful. 

Side effects of Epidural:

Different types of local anesthesia deliver different types of side effects. Changes the medication can solve the problem. Common side effects of Epidural are:

Blood pressure: There is a drop in blood pressure which faces by some women because of epidural which cause dizziness or nausea. Regular blood pressure check up helps to ensure the right amount of blood flow in the baby. The sudden drop in pressure needs to be treated with IV fluids, medications, and oxygen.

Headache: Experiencing severe headache caused by leakage of spinal fluid.  If symptoms continue, inject the injection of your blood into the epidural space to get relieved from the pain. This procedure is called “Blood Patch”. 

Numbness: You will feel numbness in the lower half of the body for a few hours after giving birth. It requires you to walk with assistance.

Problem in urine: After having an epidural you may not feel when your bladder is full. A catheter is inserted to allow urine to pass. 

Skin Itching: Skin itching is another side effect of epidural. This can be avoided by changing the medication.

How epidural affect the newborn:

Any medication which is taken by the mother during labor enters in a child’s body through the umbilical cord, whether it is pain killer or any anesthesia. Epidural is no known disadvantages, but because of epidural some child takes a longer duration to move into the right position and this leads to taking time in delivery. Also, these medications cause respiratory depression and decreased fetal heart rate in newborns but they don’t harm the baby only have subtle effects on the newborn. 

When epidural CANNOT be used?

An epidural cannot be used during labor  if any woman has 

  • Low blood platelet counts 
  • Infection in back
  • Not having 4cm dilated
  • No time to administer the drug as the labor is moving too fast.
  • Blood infection.

What to discuss with DOCTORS:

  • Procedure of epidural
  • Pain relief that suits you the best
  • Epidural is available in your chosen hospital or birth center or not.