Healthy and Fit Pregnancy
Should You Get An Epidural?


One of the biggest questions you’ll have when preparing for childbirth is how you’ll be handling pain management. While some choose to go natural, others may find that some form of anesthesia, like an epidural, is an option well worth considering. It’s not going to knock you out altogether like general anesthesia would and you will still be alert and have control over your own birthing experience. But is it for you? Check out the following points to help you decide:

What is an epidural?
An epidural feeds pain killing medication into your body through a fine tube at the small of your back. It’s a regional anesthetic that effectively numbs the nerves on the lower part of your body, including your uterus and cervix. You’ll be awake and alert for pushing—and it can stay on after you’ve given birth to help you cope with any pain especially if you need stitches.

Epidurals can help lower blood pressure if you have high blood pressure. It can also be immediately adjusted if you need to have an emergency procedure like a Caesarean section.

How is an epidural administered?
Your anesthesiologist will schedule the procedure as your labor progresses. You will be asked to be on your side or to sit on the edge of the bed, leaning forward to open up the spaces in your back. It’s important to stay very still while the procedure is being done to avoid any mishaps.

Your lower back will be injected with anesthesia and a hollow needle will be guided to the epidural space between the small bones in your spine. A catheter is passed through the tube into the needle; the needle is then removed leaving the catheter securely in place. The rest of the tube leading out of your body is taped up the back and over the shoulder.

Remember to discuss the viability of any option with your doctor to make an informed choice. Any form of medication has its pros and cons, and has to be tailor fit to your needs in order to avoid any problems or complications.

Photo from

Philippine Association for Childbirth Education

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