What is epidural analgesia:
It is a regional anesthesia for the lower part of the body, its goal is labor without pain.
How it is given:
– given while sitting with arching the back.
– Area will be sterilized.
– then will be injected with a local anesthesia to numb the area
– Later a needle will be inserted in the area above the spine.
– Consequently a catheter will be placed in the area and then the needle will be removed.
– At the beginning you will be given a small dose then the full dose.
– You will be given several doses as needed throughout your labor.
When it is placed:
Once your doctor decides that the labor has started.
What you will feel after having the epidural:
Pain will start to reduce in few minutes then the area will be completely numb after 10 to 20 minutes while remaining conscious.
– Relief labor pain
– If cesarean was needed, Epidural Analgesia already injected can be used to provide anesthesia as it is better than general anesthesia.
– Mother cooperation and engagement during labor.
– Having enough anesthetic for stitching episiotomy.
– Does not cause respiratory depression in the mother and the fetus.
Risks and Side Effects:
– Headache. Less than 1%
– Low blood pressure. Blood pressure will be monitored to keep it normal
– Itchy skin
– Feeling sick and vomiting.
– Loss of bladder control: you may not feel if your bladder is full and you need to urinate thus a urinary catheter will be inserted.
– Infection at the placement area.
– Risk of fever during labor.
– Reduce the duration of the first part of labor (cervical dilation from zero to 10 cm), and might increase the duration of the second part of labor (from 10 cm to delivery of the fetus).
Effects on the baby:
No evidence of harmful effects on the newborn.
It is important to know that Epidural use does not increase cesarean section rate.
When it can NOT be used:
in case of:
– You use blood thinners.
– Excessive bleeding.
– Previous allergic reaction to local anesthetics
Does Epidural cause paralysis?
Causing paralysis is extremely rare.