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  • Jenn22 Jenn22's Avatar 11-28-04 | 09:47 AM
  • Epidural anesthesia is one of the most popular forms of medications for pain relief in labor and delivery. It can be used for normal vaginal birth, a vaginal birth with forceps or vacuum extraction, or even surgical (cesarean) birth.
    Unlike medications previously used or currently used narcotics, the epidural can leave the mother wide awake and mentally aware of everyhing going on during the birth of her baby. Pain relief varies from mother to mother, some women experience a completely numb feeling from the level of their upper abdomen down to their toes, others feel only pressure during contractions or pushing. What you will experiance will depend on the medication used, the placement of the epidural, and other factors. It is important to discuss with your anesthetist what type of feeling you wouldlike to have after the mediction is administered.
    However, as with any medication or procedure there are also risks. The major complication from epidural anesthesia is a drop in the mother's blood pressure. Most hospitals will try to prevent this by giving the mother IV fluids prior to the administration of the epidural. Sometimes an epidural can lead to fetal distress, fetal malposition, incresed risk of forceps, or vacuum extraction, episiotomy, and in some studies, and increased risk of cesarean section.
    When making the dicision about pain medications it's importnat to keep all of your options open. Learning additional coping techniques can be very useful for the time prior to recieving and epidural or if you fall into the 12 - 20% that have a partial rather than a full block. A good childbirth class can teach you these skills and go more in depth about the epidural and it's uses in labor and birth.


    Last edited by Jenn22; 11-30-04 at 10:23 AM..
  • Lorie Lorie's Avatar 03-26-05 | 07:37 PM
  • i will never get a Epidural again in my life....
  • wundermb wundermb's Avatar 07-01-05 | 02:03 PM
  • I was set to not have one in my first pregnancy. Labor was induced at 41 weeks, it did not progress for many, many hours. The pain was horrible, but I would have continued w/o epi if labor would have progressed. I think after 26 hours I finally could not take it any longer, had it (and thank goodness, I did not have any of the nasty side effects that you can get). But I ended up having to have a c-section (which ultimately was unavoidable...)

    I think its good for some situations and some women. But it also can be overused easily and does not necessarily always work the way one may imagine and hope...
  • emily-anne'smommy emily-anne'smommy's Avatar 07-06-05 | 09:17 PM
  • does anyone know why epidurals increase the risk of tools such as vacuums, forecps, etc.?
  • krankypuss 09-18-05 | 08:06 PM
  • epidurals increase the risk of vaccuum extraction or forceps as you can not feel yourself pushing. That will hinder the process of second stage labour....dreary thought huh? 2 of my children i had epidurals with and one I had vacuum and the other forceps...

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