When it comes to labor, one of the most common questions women will ask is, “should I get an epidural?” It is a very popular form of pain relief used during labor, but whether or not you get one can be a personal decision. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether or not an epidural is right for you.
Epidural anesthesia is a type of regional anesthesia that blocks the sensation of pain in the lower half of your body.
The main benefit of an epidural is pain relief. It can help many women have a more positive birthing experience. Other benefits are:
Epidurals are typically given during the first stage of labor but it can be given later if needed.
To begin, you will be given an IV. You will then be asked to bend forward or lie on your side and stay still. Anesthesia will be injected into your lower back, around your spinal nerves. A small catheter will then be inserted. This is how the medication is administered. You should start to experience pain relief in less than 30 minutes.
There are two basic types of epidurals. Talk to your doctor about the different options.
While epidurals are generally safe, not everyone is a candidate for an epidural based on your unique medical needs. Some common side effects are:
If you have any questions about epidurals, talk to the experts at Banner Health. We are here to help you have a safe and comfortable delivery.