Epidural analgesia is an advanced technique of regional anesthesia in which anesthetic drug is injected in the lower back near spinal cord in the spinal canal to ensure comfort and pain relief to the laboring mother. Epidural analgesia is the most popular and effective form of childbirth pain relief. It is used either for cesarean section delivery or normal delivery. An anesthetist administers epidural anesthesia.
What does an Epidural do?
An epidural relieves most of the pain in the lower part of the body without drastically slowing labor. Women in labour will remain alert and awake also, she can feel the pressure and stretch during the delivery.
Before delivery, the epidural medicine dose is decreased so that the women in labour can push the baby more effectively while remaining alert and relatively comfortable. The epidural catheter is used to numb the areas between a vagina and the anus (perineum) just before delivery.
What is the amount of Epidural Anaesthesia given?
The amount of medicine given at one time is small; epidural anesthesia goes away during labor until and unless the additional medicine is given to the patient. Nowadays the use of epidural infusion pump is very common. With the help of infusion pump, the medicine (epidural) is given continuously in very small amounts so that the patient need not worry that the pain relief will wear off during the delivery.
Apart from providing constant pain relief other benefits of the infusion pump are that it gives you more control of your belly and leg muscles. In addition to this, the infusion pump also lowers the chances of side effects related to a standard epidural. Epidurals are very effective and can almost always relieve pain better than other medications.