Written by Liza John 

Settling in terms of job, satisfaction, life, and the joyous journey of building up a family is a dream we all have in our long-term plans. One of the major and irreplaceable parts of building up a family full of love is adding an innocence of a child. But the painful labours during childbirth are veiled under that lively smile of the kid. Is there any way that labour can be less scary? 

How Are Epidurals Helpful? 

Epidurals have been used for a long time to nullify the pains during childbirth. This procedure involves the administration of an anaesthetic in the lower back (near the spinal nerves) of the female, which further causes blockage of pain during labour. This has been effectively used to make deliveries easier for the mothers and has been widely used because of its results.  

Under this procedure, with the help of a long and thin needle, a catheter is placed in the back of the patient or other. The needle is removed, and the catheter is further taped to avoid its dislocation. The anaesthesia or medication for pain is then provided under the guidance of the doctor.  

Epidurals result in a drop in blood pressure (hypotension) and if the levels of lowered blood pressure are not monitored, it may affect both the mother and child. Hypotension results in decreased oxygen supplies to the baby. It also alters the heart rate of the baby. In extreme cases, it may result in brain damage to the baby, or worst, stillbirths.  

Epidurals have been very popular when it comes to the choices of mothers for easy deliveries. If you are consuming certain medicines (like blood thinners) you may be advised to look for other options. Adding to this, if you have any blood-related issues, you will be asked to not opt for epidural anaesthesia. 

How Safe Is It to Use Epidural? 

The drugs that are injected into the mother’s system during childbirth also reach the baby’s system. But drugs administered in epidural are known to cause no harm to the kid. Many people assume that epidural births may result in disorders like autism in kids. But the doctors have assured us that there is no such issue one should be bothered about.  

Epidurals are known to cause issues of changed blood pressure, delayed second labour, headaches, itching, tearing, etc. The patient is given fluids to resolve the alterations in blood pressure. Allergic reactions and raw handling of the dose may cause complications in the highly successful procedure of epidural. One of the side effects of it is severe headache followed by the procedure, which is very rare but also very uncomfortable.  

Rare complications may result in nerve damage, permanent or temporary. If the drug is administered mistakenly into the bloodstream, it may cause severe health issues. But again, do not worry, this is a very effective procedure for most cases, and complications that occur are very rare.  

Birth Injuries 

Any injury caused during the delivery of the baby can be termed a birth injury. Mild birth injuries are very common and need no medical supervision. But severe injuries during the time of birth may need medical assistance. If serious birth injuries are left unattended, it may cause lifelong defects or disabilities in the newborn.  

Epidurals have been known to slow down labour. Let us take a look at how. The baby is pushed by the muscles of the mother. Epidural causes numbing of the muscles of the mother, hence reducing the efficiency with which the mother can push the baby out. Labours have known to be a painful and tiring process for the mother, but we should also keep in mind that it is equally stressful for the baby as well. The reduced efficiency of the mother to push out the baby results in higher chances of birth injuries in an infant.  

Pregnancy is no doubt a tough phase, full of highs and lows for a mother. It is very common for mothers to be anxious about birthing. If you are preparing for childbirth, you may consider taking birthing classes and prenatal yoga classes. They very efficiently help the mothers physically and emotionally for delivery.  

You can also educate yourself about pregnancy and childbirth in depth. If you are not sure about taking epidural anaesthesia, there are other options available for you. Giving birth to a baby is an extremely important journey for the mother.