What Happens in an Epidural

Women can experience heightened pain during labour. Epidurals are given to block that pain. While the practice might have been ruled safe for use, many women will still think twice before accepting one.

One of the main reasons that expectant mothers will worry about taking epidurals is due to its effects on the baby’s and their own health.

If you are worried about the same thing, this article might answer some of your questions:

What does an epidural do?

Epidurals affect the part of the message that in the epidural space. It is similar to the space between the two layers that the message relayed by the nerves must pass through both of them.

When anaesthesia is introduced to the epidural space, the pain signals being carried to the brain are blocked.

Am I a failure if I have an epidural?

No way! The degree of pain that a woman will feel during labour cannot be compared to another’s. If you feel as if you can’t tolerate the pain, you should consider accepting the epidural. After all, motherhood is a long journey and there is no point being exhausted, anxious and stressed at the beginning of that journey.

But I’ll have to have a c-section…

The epidural will not in itself have any effect on the cervix dilation. However, once you have an epidural, you will need to remain lying down. That may, in turn, slow your labour because pressure from your baby may no longer be exerted on your cervix. Gravity does an amazing job in labour. That may, or may not, increase your chances of requiring a c-section.  Everyone is different.

So, what happens in an epidural

During its administration, the mother is asked to lie on her side or sit up, depending on your doctor. You will be asked to bring your knees to your chest (as much as you can with a big belly in the way). Or maybe you will arch over a pillow. The aim is to round your spine and open up space between your vertebrae for the catheter to be inserted.

Your skin is cleaned with the cleaning solution and the area is numbed down. Next, the epidural needle is inserted through the numbed area, which might make you feel a bit of pressure. Then, a catheter is threaded in and taped after the needle has been removed. The catheter is the way in for the meds and will be connected to a pump that will keep the epidural supply going.

Then, a catheter is threaded in and taped after the needle has been removed. The catheter is the way in for the meds and will be connected to a pump that will keep the epidural supply going.

 

If you have other questions about epidurals, leave them in the comments, and we will answer them!

Hi! Natural Birth and Motherhood is about empowering women who are going through the stages of pregnancy, birth, or motherhood. Find out more useful information on related topics click on the Blog button below.

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