Dr Girija Wagh, Obstetrician, Gynecologist, IVF expertMD, FICOG, DIP ENDO, FICS
Available24 X 7
Women looking forward to attaining motherhood mostly have the common fear of acute labor pain at the time of child delivery. The quantum of labor pain differs from a mother to another. Some mothers experience less labor pain and easy delivery, whereas others may have prolonged labor pain.
Labor pain is unbearable for most women without pain relief support. The introduction of modern medicine in obstetrics and the availability of the latest procedures with qualified practitioners have made labor pain relief possible. Pain Management is the most important thing during childbirth. Techniques of painless delivery are provided to respite the mother from excessive pain in both:
The procedure of painless delivery is performed by Epidural Analgesia|Anesthesia. This popular technique, advised by the doctor during labor, gives relief from unbearable labor pain. The anesthesiologist in charge and the Obstetrics-Gynecologist monitor the level of blood pressure and keep a track on the epidural to confirm whether it is working well. The baby’s heart rate is checked intermittently or constantly.
Anesthesiologists prepare different dosages and combinations of epidural medication based on the condition of the would-be-mother. One should discuss the health condition and pain tolerance capacity with the care providers at the clinic/hospital in this regard prior to the application of epidural.
There are different ways of administering epidural anesthesia during labor. The 7 most common types of epidural births are:
Discuss and determine your epidural eligibility with your obstetrician and anesthetist before delivery. Like every other treatment and surgery, epidural delivery has pros and cons.
There are quite a few advantages of Epidural Analgesia. These are:
1. Epidurals can suddenly drop blood pressure levels. That is why the blood pressure is routinely monitored to ensure adequate blood flow to the baby. The sudden drop in blood pressure levels needs to be immediately attended with medications, IV fluids and oxygen.
2. Some women may experience a severe headache due to leakage of spinal fluid. This is a rare side effect noticed in less than 1% of women. If the symptom continues, “blood patch” injection is pushed in the blood of the epidural region to relieve a headache.
3. Once the epidural is placed the mother needs to alternate her sides as she is lying on the bed. It helps in continuous monitoring the changes in fetal heart rate. Lying in only one position causes the labor to suddenly stop or slow down.
4. Mothers might experience side effects like the ringing in the ears, shivering, backache, soreness in the area where the needle is placed, nausea, or difficulty in urinating.
5. Soon after the birth, the lower portion of the body tends to feel numb for a few hours. Numbness affects the normal walk of the mother and she requires assistance to walk.Some studies suggest that the baby might experience fetal malpositioning, respiratory depression or a sudden increase in fetal heart rate variability due to the side effects of an epidural. Hence, it increases the need for cesarean deliveries, vacuum, forceps, and episiotomies.
Painless delivery through epidural anesthesia is constantly monitored by the qualified and experienced anesthetist, gynecologists, and obstetricians. The mother is always under expert the supervision of the anesthetist and her gynecologist during the epidural anesthesia administration. Constant monitoring is done to note the changes in blood pressure levels. Blood pressure checking is done at an interval of about 15 minutes in the beginning and then at comparatively long intervals. The baby’s heart rate is checked as per the Obstetrician’s advice to ensure a healthy and safe delivery.
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