What Do You Know about Epidurals?
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Epidurals...they're a bit like marmite when it comes to birth. Some people love them, others hate them. More often than not, many have formed their opinion on epidurals long before they enter the birthing room.
I'm here to share some information on epidurals, so that you're educated and informed, no matter what camp you're in.
If you need an emergency c-section you don't have to waste time administering an epidural
Can relax the body and cervix, and as I say...relaxation helps labour to progress
An epidural may give you the opportunity to rest
If you are induced, your surges can be 5x as long, an epidural is a good option for these unnatural pain levels
Can slow down cervix dilation
You're less likely to feel the surges and when to push, so you will need to be guided when to push
Can lead to prolonged second stage labour and increase the risk of tearing
Limited positions for labour - likely to be on your back on a bed making it more difficult for baby to travel down the birth canal
Limited movement - cannot remain active and move around the birthing room
Can increase the risk of instrumental birth
There's always the risk that it may not work properly, or wear off too soon
Lower blood pressure
Loss of bladder control - you're may need a catheter
Inadequate or inappropriate pain relief - your body may respond as expected or you may respond with numbness
Headache - this happens to only around 1% of women
Nausea - some experience nausea after having an epidural
Soothing Strokes & Massage
Water Birth (if possible)
Gas & Air
You can conclude that epidurals are neither a good thing, or a bad thing. This is something you need to decide on for yourself.
What is important is that you're aware of both the benefits and the risks. Have a plan, be open to all possibilities, and be prepared mentally should you have to change your plan during labour/delivery.
Birth is not an equation, what works for one, may not work for another. By being open to various outcomes you can reduce anxiety and ultimately, this will reduce pain. This is exactly what we aim to achieve on my Hypnobirthing course.
For more information on all my upcoming courses, click here.
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