An epidural is placed in the epidural space in your back. I needle is used to place a catheter in this space and medicine is giving continuously through the catheter. What is put in the epidural depends on where you are and is typically a combination. Ask your provider what they use in their epidurals.
What are some pros of an epidural?
- If placed well there is complete pain relief with the ability to feel pressure when it's time to push
- Ability to sleep/rest during your labor
- If you have been in labor for a long time with out progressing it can help speed up dilation
- If a c-section is needed you already have it in place
What are some cons of an epidural?
- Can cause your blood pressure to drastically decrease- If too low can lead to distress with the baby
- Unable to get out of bed in most places
- Cannot eat or drink (ice chips only)
- Can slow down labor process- (if this happens you may be given pitocin)
- May not be able to feel to push
- Catheter is needed to empty your bladder
When needed, epidurals are great tools to have. Again I encourage you to pray over whether or not this is the best option for you.
What have been your experiences with epidurals?