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A Good Mum Mug

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The Dad Mug

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Are you considering an Epidural?

Are you considering an Epidural?

The basics you need to know.

What is it?
An epidural is a procedure that injects local aesthetics and other painkillers into the epidural space (an area near your spinal cord) in your lower back.
 
How does it work?
The  local aesthetics that are injected will essentially make your tummy and legs numb. You may feel the pressure of contractions, but the numbness will prevent you from feeling pain.
 
How is it done?
You will either lie on your side or sit up. The anaesthetist will insert the epidural catheter using a needle. Local anaesthetics and other painkillers will then be injected down the catheter.
 
When can you have one?
Typically, epidurals are placed when the cervix is dilated to 4–5 centimetres or more and you are in true active labour. The timing is determined by your unique experience in labour.
 
Advantages
.
Epidurals are usually a very effective form of pain relief
Epidurals can be effective for hours and can be increased in strength if you need to have an emergency caesarean birth
In a long labour, an epidural can allow you to sleep during the active stage of labour, saving energy in preparation for pushing in second stage of labour
If your blood pressure is high, an epidural might be recommended by your doctor.

 

Disadvantages

It can cause low blood pressure
Some women experience side effects, including shivering, fever, or itchiness. After the removal of the epidural, you may feel nauseous or dizzy, and have back pain and soreness where the needle was inserted.
Epidural's may make pushing more difficult
They may increase your risk for a perineal tear
Your lower half may be numb for a while after giving birth
You may have trouble urinating

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