If you are pregnant, it is natural for you to worry about labor and the pain and discomfort you may go through during childbirth. Fortunately, modern advances have allowed expecting mothers to opt for painless normal delivery, offering a positive birthing experience while ensuring the mother and baby’s safety and well-being. This blog will delve deeper into what painless normal delivery is.
What is painless normal delivery?
A painless normal delivery, or epidural anesthesia, is a medical technique used during childbirth to reduce pain. This procedure involves administering an anesthetic drug into the pregnant woman’s lower back. The drug numbs the area, effectively alleviating the pain experienced during intense labor and delivery. Painless delivery is a safe option for women above their thirties who have lower pain-tolerating capacity and would opt for a C-section otherwise.
Who should choose painless normal delivery?
The health care provider will recommend painless delivery in certain conditions, including:
. Women with a history of health conditions such as preeclampsia, cardiovascular disease, or hypertension.
. Women who opt for vaginal birth after a previous cesarean delivery.
. Women who went through long or complex labor in the previous pregnancy.
Who should not choose painless delivery?
. Women with the following health conditions should avoid painless delivery:
. Bleeding disorders associated with a high risk of hematoma or spinal hemorrhage, which can cause permanent neurological damage
. Previous surgery on the lower back
. Skin infection in the epidural area, such as cellulitis (a bacterial skin infection)
. Blood clotting disorders, including hemophilia and deep vein thrombosis (may lead to excessive bleeding during or after painless delivery)
. Neurological disorders
How is painless normal delivery performed?
The painless delivery procedure involves the following steps:
. Before administering the epidural, the healthcare provider will give the mother intravenous (IV) fluids to prepare for the procedure and ensure painless delivery.
. The woman will be requested to sit up, arch her back, and hold the position. This posture enhances the effectiveness of the epidural and minimizes the risk of complications.
. After cleansing the woman’s waistline using an antiseptic solution, the healthcare provider will administer local anesthesia to the lower back, effectively numbing the area.
. Next, a needle will be carefully inserted into the numbed area surrounding the spinal cord in the lower back.
. The provider will insert a thin catheter through the needle into the epidural area. Once the catheter is in place, the needle will be removed, and the catheter will be taped, allowing for the administration of epidural anesthesia throughout labor.
. The drug is administered when the woman is in active labor to numb the pelvis and the area below it. It generally takes 10 to 15 minutes for the anesthesia to take effect.
It is important to note that while the drug relieves the pain, it allows the woman to stay conscious and push her baby out through the birth canal.
What are the advantages of epidural anesthesia?
. It is a comfortable delivery option for elderly mothers (over 30 years old) who cannot bear the labor pain.
. This method helps mothers focus on the delivery by decreasing pain. It serves as a relaxation aid, which helps to prevent the fatigue and irritability commonly encountered during childbirth. Therefore, it may lower the chances of experiencing postpartum complications.
. It relaxes the pelvic and vaginal muscles, which promotes easier descent of the baby.
. It prevents the mother’s blood pressure from increasing to unsafe levels during childbirth.
. Excessive pain and torment experienced by the mother trigger the release of stress hormones, causing significant irritation and distress for both the mother and the child. Epidural anesthesia can reduce pain and torment, lowering the secretion of these hormones. Therefore, the mother and the child can experience increased comfort and relief.
What are the side effects of epidural anesthesia?
. While the procedure is safe for the mother and the baby, it can cause certain side effects, such as fever, breathing difficulties, nausea, dizziness, back pain, and shivering.
. In some situations, the new mother can get intense migraine-like headaches due to some epidural leakage into the spine.
. Using an epidural during labor can prolong the duration of delivery.
. Following childbirth, the mother may encounter difficulty in urination.
. The epidural anesthesia causes temporary numbness in the entire lower body, which can make walking difficult for a while.
. Rarely, the epidural drug can decrease the mother’s blood pressure, which in turn lowers the baby’s heart rate. In such cases, an emergency C-section might be necessary.
Take A way
Painless normal delivery enables expecting mothers to experience childbirth with reduced pain and increased comfort, promoting a positive and memorable experience. However, it is essential for the mother to discuss her options with a healthcare provider and decide depending on her circumstances.