The intensity of labour pain is talked about not only by the moms who have given birth but also by the ones who are expecting it for the first time. But what if you can have painless labour? Yes, it’s possible!
What is painless labour?
Painless labour or delivery is a process in which regional anaesthesia (epidural), is used for moms-to-be in labour, which helps them achieve pain relief without interfering with natural labour.
What to expect during the Epidural procedure?
During an epidural, you will be asked to arch your back and remain still while lying on your left side or while sitting up. After wiping the area of injection with an antiseptic, your anaesthesiologist will insert a catheter into the space around your spinal nerves- epidural space, and inject the drug through it. The process is monitored by your obstetrician and the drug is controlled as required.
After how long of receiving an epidural can I expect pain relief?
After an epidural is injected, you can expect to get pain relief within about 10-15 minutes!
Is it safe to get an epidural?
Epidurals are safe with very rare serious complications or side effects. Very little medication is used for pain relief; the drug used stays in the epidural space and does not circulate in the bloodstream which means it is safe and doesn’t harm your baby as well. This is one of the safest methods of pain control during labour and delivery.
At what stage of my labour can I opt for an epidural?
You can opt for an epidural at any stage of your labour pain.
Does epidural have any effects on labour?
Epidural may prolong your labour by an hour or so. It doesn’t interfere with contractions or pushing.
For how long does the effect of epidural last?
The effect of epidural lasts for about eight hours. You can feel some numbness in your legs in this duration.
What are the advantages of opting for an epidural?
- Epidural is a safe and effective way of pain control
- Doesn’t interfere with labour contractions
- Helps you bear through labour, thereby increasing the chances of normal delivery
- You can opt for it anytime during your labour
Are there any risks associated with an epidural?
Some side effects of an epidural include mild back pain, headache, soreness at the site of injection, trouble in passing during the first 24 hours after delivery, and low blood pressure. To keep a check on any dip in blood pressure IV fluids are administered with epidural.
Should you opt for an epidural?
Unless there are any medical contraindications for you to opt for an epidural, this decision is yours and mostly depends on your pain threshold. Opting for an epidural is safe, you should discuss it with your obstetrician well in advance to take a decision.
This is general information issued in the public interest. Please contact your doctor for more details.