Epidural analgesia is a very popular method of pain relief in labor. It is a regional analgesia which blocks pain in particular part of the body. It blocks pain impulses from lower spinal segments. Drugs are delivered into the epidural space of the spine. Drugs used are mostly local anesthetics and opioids. It has certain effects both on the mother and baby which are as follows-
Effects of an Epidural on the Mother:
Effects of an Epidural on the Baby:
Any medication used on the mother during labor enters the child’s bloodstream as well. Birth takes longer as labor progresses at a slower speed with an epidural. Baby may not be in the best position to deliver and may need instruments for delivery like vacuum or forceps application.
So to conclude we can say that though epidurals are safe in the majority of patients, complications do occur ranging from short-term to bothersome to long-lasting. To bring a baby into this world are two routes – vaginal and cesarean. Vaginal delivery is really painful. So either you are ready for the pain or you opt for painless delivery with all the possible side effects in mind. Still it is a boon to the laboring mother in terms of effective pain relief as majority patients these days are not able to tolerate labor pain as soon as they go in active labor.