When it comes to labor and delivery time, one of the things you hear discussed immediately is in regards to having, or not having, an epidural. Should you have one? What are the potential problems associated with them? Here’s a look at this and more.
The basics behind an epidural is that they can greatly reduce pregnancy labor and delivery pains. It is a form of pain relief that goes through a small catheter in your lower back. The medicine is controlled by a pump and delivers the medication on a regular basis as set by the nurse.
Generally speaking, but not in all cases, you will have the option of getting an epidural once you dilate to a 3-5. Why is that? Because the medicine relieves, and nearly eliminates the pain, it can prevent you from going further into labor. That is not what you want to have happen.
Many people mistakenly believe that having an epidural can somehow harm your baby, but this is not true. The only side effects will that you may get a headache or feel nauseous. Sometimes you may also get an itchy feeling.
The main concern you will be monitored for is your blood pressure. There is always a chance that it may create a sudden drop in your body’s blood pressure. If so, you don’t need to be overly concerned. There are medications your doctor will give you to alleviate the issue.
Can anyone have an epidural during labor? No, not all women can have one. If you are experiencing bleeding, placenta previa or fetal distress, you most likely will not be given one. With that said, only your own doctor will be able to make that decision at the time.
One thing is for sure though, having one is a blessing. For anyone who has gone through the process I’m sure you would agree.