When pregnant, many expecting mothers are faced with a very tough decision, the decision to have an epidural during labor or to have a natural birth. Both methods have negative and positive aspects. This topic has such conflicting views that about 50% of women decide to get an epidural when going into labor and the other 50% of women choose the alternative: natural childbirth. It is important for an expecting mother to look into both options thoroughly to ensure they make the best choice for both themselves and for their child. With all of the speculations circulating about both options, it is hard for mothers to see the truth about both epidural and natural childbirth.
In order to be completely informed a mother needs to know what exactly an epidural is and how it works. An epidural is the most popular form of pain relief during labor. An epidural is a regional pain reducer. An epidural is analgesia, which is meant for pain relief. This is much different than an anesthesia, which provides total lack of feeling to a region of the body. Epidurals are giving intravenously. There are two types of epidurals a woman can get. The first method is a regular epidural. In a regular epidural, after the catheter is in place, a combination of narcotic and anesthesia is administered either by a pump or by periodic injections into the epidural space. The second type of epidural is a combined spinal-epidural, these are often called the “”walking epidural”. In this type of epidural, an initial dose of narcotic, anesthetic or a combination of the two is injected beneath the outermost membrane covering the spinal cord. After threading a catheter through the needle, the anesthesiologist will withdraw the needle and leave the catheter in place.
This epidural will allow the mother more freedom to move while in the bed and ultimately increase comfort as well as the ability to change positions during labor. With the use of these drugs, muscle strength, balance and reaction are reduced. This method should provide pain relief for four to eight hours. (2007, August).
A common misconception is that getting an epidural is extremely painful. According to Samantha Phillips, author of epidurals: fact vs. fiction, this is not true. The truth is, the needle is only in place for a second or two and the surrounding area is fully numbed before this process. Most women describe it as a pressure oppose to pain. There are many benefits to getting an epidural. Getting an epidural allows a woman to rest during labor if labor is prolonged, and it allows women to have a more positive birth experience. If a cesarean method is necessary, an epidural allows the mother to stay conscious during the process while still proving pain relief. Along with all of the benefits an epidural can have, there are also many disadvantages. A popular misconception is that none of the medicine used will reach the baby. This is false. The medicine will be in the mother's bloodstream, and just as...