The question of whether or not to have an epidural is personal. If you're pregnant it's best to get the...
The question of whether or not to have an epidural is personal. If you're pregnant it's best to get the facts about epidurals before labor starts - during labor is not the time to gather information. Personally, I never wanted an epidural, but after a day of labor and c-section threats looming, I gave in. To me, a c-section would have been worse than the epidural, so I'm glad I had one, but there were some negatives too. For example, I was way groggy after the birth due to the epidural, and felt like I missed out on early baby bonding. If you're considering an epidural - or not - here are some general pros and cons to think about: PRO: Currently epidurals are considered pretty safe. Keep in mind that this story goes back and fourth. Before you go into labor, talk to your midwife or doctor about the latest news on the epidural front. CON: Not everyone is eligible for an epidural. If you only research this specific pain option, you could be in trouble if you're refused an epidural. Make sure you know if you can have one - discuss this with your health care provider. PRO: Epidurals will significantly reduce the pain factor in most cases. Although, this is not across the board. Some women report inadequate pain relief. CON: Epidurals do come with health risks. Like any medical procedure, an epidural can carry risks. First of all, you could have an adverse reaction to the medication. Epidurals can also cause major blood pressure drops unless you're given tons of fluids before hand, which in turn causes water bloating which can be very uncomfortable for some women. Itchy skin can occur and some women experience issues with urinating after the epidural which can lead to a catheter. PRO: Epidurals can ward off other interventions - such as a c-section. In my case, I'd been in labor forever, and was super tired and in major pain. The epidural I had allowed me to rest and then I was able to resume labor and avoid the c-section. CON: Epidurals can bring on interventions. On the flip side of the above pro, epidurals can increase interventions like forceps and episiotomy. PRO: An epidural can greatly reduce your stress level. When you're filled with anxiety, it's hard to concentrate on labor. An epidural reduces the pain and chills out your state of mind. CON: An epidural can make you groggy and confused. This may cause issues related to mama-baby bonding and breastfeeding. Epidurals are a pretty in-depth topic. Not only are the medical issues surrounding them controversial, but the ethics of them are as well. Many people think that epidurals are overused as a general rule. Do more research on epidurals and discuss them with your prenatal care provider before making a decision. Also read: How to have fewer labor and birth interventions

Tags: are epidurals safe epidural in labor labor pain relief spinal block for labor

recommended for you