October 5, 2022

Childbirth: All About Epidural

Are you going to ask for the epidural? Only you can answer that question. There are moms who are for because the pain of childbirth is unacceptable and the epidural is a right. And there are those who are against because they prefer to live fully their delivery. Nowadays, the epidural has become practically unavoidable. In which camp will you be? To help you make a decision, here are the instructions for the epidural.

What is the epidural?

Performed by a physician-anesthetist-resuscitator, it is intended to alleviate the pain of thedeliverywhich come from the contraction of the uterus and the progression of the child. The goal is to anesthetize the small pelvis, namely where the pains of the contractions are.

Can all women benefit from an epidural?

Yes unless they have a contraindication (obesity, fever, infection of the back, disorders of blood clotting, certain neurological diseases ...). Under these circumstances, the anesthetist will not practice it. Malformations of the spine and herniated discs are not necessarily contraindications, but must be reported.

The delivery is too painful. The future mother of the family finally decides to resort to it. Can she change her mind at the last moment and claim the epidural?

It's entirely possible. It is possible to put it in place until the cervix is ​​dilated to 6 or 7 centimeters. After, it's too late. The epidural also requires the presence and availability of an anesthesiologist at the moment T. To benefit from it, it is necessary to inquire with the maternity.

When is it practiced?

To consider the placement of the epidural, it is necessary that the uterine contractions become regular and effective. That is to say ? They must advance the dilatation of the cervix. In general, the physician-anesthetist-resuscitator poses the epidural around three centimeters of dilatation.

How is an epidural going?

A few weeks beforedelivery, the future mother must meet an anesthetist. The latter will give details about the epidural, fill your file, examine your back and prescribe a blood test to the pregnant woman. On D-Day, an anesthesiologist doctor rushes to the mother to examine and verify that there is no contraindication. He asks her to sit or lie on her side to practice the epidural in the lower back between the two lumbar vertebrae. It is important that the patient remains still while the doctor guides the needle. Then the anesthetist then introduces a catheter into the epidural space. This manipulation usually lasts a few minutes. The doctor injects an anesthetic product and monitors the tension and heart rate of the mother. Depending on the duration of thedeliveryit will be necessary or not to renew the painless injections.

The epidural, is it painful?

Yes when the needle enters the lower back. The expectant mother can also feel electricity in her legs and back. It is also normal to have a feeling of heavy legs and weak legs.

Does the pain associated with uterine contractions immediately disappear?

The purpose of this medical procedure is to suppress or reduce pain due todelivery. Unfortunately, the anesthetic effect takes place only fifteen minutes after the injection. By acting, the epidural can facilitate the course of thedelivery because the suppression or the reduction of the pains offers a moral comfort and a reduction of the fatigue.

Are there side effects?

Yes, but they are generally benign. The mother may feel nauseated or feel pain in the back, a feeling of heavy legs, transient itching, a decrease in blood pressure. The feeling of needing to urinate can also disappear. More rarely, some women experience severe hypotension or experience transient headaches and dizziness for several days. As for serious accidents, they are very rare (allergic shock, heart attack ...).

Does the epidural have consequences for the child?

If all the conditions are required, it does not change anything but you still have to know that baby will receive a small dose of anesthetic product.It can even help to shorten the working time thanks to the relaxation that the epidural brings or because it allows to use products that accentuate the uterine contractions. According to some studies, the epidural would make the use of instruments (forceps, cupping deliveries. Feeling no pain, the mother of family has difficulty pushing during the expulsion.

Cesarean and epidural do they mix?

Yes ! This is the same principle as for a delivery vaginally with one exception: the anesthetic doses will be higher. An epidural during a cesarean section allows the young mother to live live birth of his baby.

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