What is a vaginal birth with epidurals?
Epidural anesthesia is the most popular method of pain relief during vaginal births. More than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals request an epidural. Epidural anesthesia is a regional anesthesia that blocks pain in a particular region of the body. The goal of an epidural is to provide pain relief, rather than anesthesia, which leads to total lack of feeling. Epidurals block the nerve impulses from the lower spinal segments. This results in decreased sensation in the lower half of the body.
How is an epidural given?
Intravenous (IV) fluids will be started before active labor begins and prior to the procedure of placing the epidural. Expect to receive 1-2 liters of IV fluids throughout labor and delivery. You will be asked to arch your back and remain still while lying on your left side or sitting up. (This position is vital for preventing problems and increasing the epidural effectiveness.) With the use of an epidural expect pain relief for 4-8 hours.
What are the benefits of an epidural?
There are many benefits to an epidural. An epidural allows you to stay alert and remain an active participant during the birthing process while reducing pain. By reducing the discomfort of childbirth, some women have a more positive birth experience. Additionally, an epidural allows you to rest if your labor is prolonged.
Request an appointment in the San Fernando Valley
Learn if an epidural is a good choice for your vaginal birth by setting up an appointment with us. Call (818) 346-5000 or request an appointment online. At Premier Women’s Health Associates in West Hills, we proudly serve Calabasas, West Lake, Thousand Oaks, and the surrounding areas in the San Fernando Valley.