Painless Delivery/Epidural Analgesia

Painless Delivery/Epidural Analgesia

The ability to withstand pain are relative to every individual, doctors now offer painless labour & delivery options to ensure mothers have a less traumatic and a relatively easy childbirth experience. The pain experienced by women at the time of delivery is the most excruciating, but the advent of modern medicine & techniques has now made it possible for pain relief during labour & delivery.

An epidural is a small injection that is placed into the lower back and helps facilitate painless delivery in the normal mode. The injection numbs the nerves and alleviates pains. However, this numbing sensation does not affect the ability to move. The drugs do not have any bearing on the health of the baby.

Amongst all the pain management options available, epidural is the best method. Epidural can allow you to rest, relax, be focused and give you the strength to actively participate in the birthing process. It helps in reducing the discomfort of childbirth and promotes a more positive childbirth experience.

Any women in labor who needs pain relief can have an epidural. Except women who are on blood thinning drugs or any abnormal bleeding disorder cannot have epidural anesthesia.

Epidural is highly recommended to optimize outcomes for a positive birthing experience in case of a

  • complicated or prolonged labor
  • VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean section)
  • mother predisposed to heart conditions, hypertension & preeclampsia

To administer the epidural, the mother-to-be is made to turn on the side or sit bending forwards. The back is then cleaned, and a small dose of a local anesthetic is injected to numb the skin. Following this, a small catheter is inserted into the area surrounding the spinal cord in the lower back region. It is important to keep still while the anesthetist is inserting the epidural. Through the inserted tube, pain relieving drugs are given continuously by using a pump.

Epidural is one of the most widely used and successfully implemented pain-relief procedure during childbirth, however, in some extreme and rare cases, it may lead to certain side effects as given below:

  • Itching
  • Severe Headache
  • Pins & needles
  • Numbness & heaviness in legs