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What Do You Know about Epidurals?




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.

Benefits

  • Pain relief

  • 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


Disadvantages

  • 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

Side Effects

  • 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


Alternatives 

  • Relaxation

  • Soothing Strokes & Massage

  • Water Birth  (if possible)

  • Breathing Techniques

  • TENS Machine

  • Gas & Air

  • Pethidine

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.

To get started, how about downloading your FREE Relaxation MP3 to enjoy at home. All you have to do is sign up to The Birth Easy Club and you'll be the first to receive offers, news and all things bump and baby related.


I've got you!


Georgia x


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