A look at the disadvantages of epidurals for labor

Childbirth is a wonderful and exhilarating experience. It is a special time that is long anticipated, as the time is here to meet the new member of the family. The physical act of childbirth is magical, yet it is also painful. However, the pain is worth it, as the end result is a precious bundle of joy.

The intense feeling during labor is immense. There is pain relief available, however, while it may help with the pain, it can also have disadvantages. An epidural can have significant disadvantages that can override any advantage they have, dependent on the situation. It is always wise to be knowledgeable of the different types of pain relief and to carefully consider if it is an option to accept it or not.

Here is a look at the disadvantages of an epidural during labor:

What is an epidural?

An epidural is a pain relieving drug that is injected through a thin tube, which is inserted into the small of the back. The needle is left in the back to release the anesthetic into the nerve system to give relief as and when needed. The injection is given during labor, and it is effective in most cases. The anesthetic numbs labor pains, and any feeling around this area. An epidural offers fast and powerful pain relief.

Reasons for having an epidural

In some cases an epidural may be warranted. If labor is proving to be difficult and energy levels are dropping, it may be an option to have an epidural to help get through a difficult labor. An epidural may be useful during an extremely painful and arduous labor, however, it is wise to decide upon this before the event. It can also prove effective at calming anxiety, which can impact the unborn baby. If anxiety and stress are high then an epidural could help to relax and ease the intensity of anxiety.

Disadvantages of having an epidural

Having an epidural takes away labor pains, however, it can also cause a loss of sensation resulting in no feeling at all. This can take away the joy of labor, as there is no feeling or connection. In some cases the pain relief is inadequate and ineffective. It may also lower blood pressure, which reduces the flow of oxygen to baby, and it can cause dizziness and a feeling of nausea. Postpartum, the epidural site can cause backache and tenderness, and headaches. In addition, the anesthetic can have an effect on the newborn by slowing down their awareness and receptiveness, which can delay the bonding process.

Each labor is personal and different, and the way in which it is coped with is also different. Some labors are embraced and the natural experience brings mother and baby close together as they share the momentous experience. A natural birth allows control and awareness of what is happening. Having an epidural can cause delays, loss of feeling and it can take away the pleasure of childbirth. However, in certain situations it may be the best option.

Take time to seriously consider the pain relief options available and be sure of what pain relief is preferred, if any at all. Make it clear at the start of labor if an epidural is or isn’t required to ensure that your wishes are met.