Pain Relief during Labor: Understanding Epidural


MommyDaddy&i is proud to introduce the 1st episode of our new educational series in collaboration with Columbia Asia Hospital Puchong. Follow along this short video where Dr. Ramanesh Mageswaran provide insights to pain relief during labor and understanding epidural.

Having a baby is an exciting and special time, but every birth is different and can come with some degree of discomfort during labour. In this educational video, we discuss different methods to help ease labour pain.

Relaxation and breathing techniques can help you feel more comfortable and in control of your contractions. In addition, Entonox (also known as happy or laughing gas) can help control contractions by inhaling a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide.

If you experience more severe contractions, your obstetrician can give you stronger medication, such as spinal-based medication like pethidine. A trained anesthetist will administer this medication in the labour room.

Epidural is another option for pain relief during labour. This procedure involves placing a small epidural tube into the epidural space, which numbs the nerves in your lower body. The medication used in an epidural is local and blocks the nerves that transmit pain from the uterus and vagina. This means that very little medication reaches your baby, and you can safely breastfeed after an epidural.

During the procedure, you will need to provide consent, have an IV cannula and a drip placed, and be positioned slightly up, hugging a pillow or teddy bear. You will feel some pressure or a strange sensation down your legs during the procedure, but this is normal. Epidurals do not slow down labour, and there is no evidence that they increase the likelihood of a Caesarean section.

While epidurals are usually safe, as with any medical treatment, there can be side effects and complications. It's common to feel itchiness or irritability after an epidural due to the medication infused. You may experience weak and heavy legs or a slight drop in blood pressure that could make you feel nauseous. In some cases, you may lose bladder control, and your nurse will insert a urinary catheter to drain your urine. Rarely, women may develop postpartum headaches that can last several days if not treated. Severe complications after an epidural are rare and seen in less than 1% of cases.

Epidurals can provide excellent pain relief, and they can also be topped up for a Caesarean section if necessary. If you have any concerns or questions about pain relief during labour, talk to your healthcare provider. We hope that this video helps you understand epidurals better and prepare for a more comfortable and positive childbirth experience.

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