There is no doubt that epidural anesthesia is the single most effective pain reliever during labor and birth. Are you among the women who would rather not experience pain that you don't have to but you're scared of needles? Though epidurals work like a dream for the majority of women who choose them, having a huge needle put into a space in your spine does sound a tiny bit frightening.If you want an epidural despite your fears, we're here to coach you through it!
Some things that might make you feel better about having an epidural:Women who have gone before you said that the local anesthetic applied before the main epidural injection actually hurt most. Some say they could feel the metal cannula moving into their spine. Others report feeling a certain amount of pressure. Most, however, say that they felt absolutely no pain during the insertion, which is what matters most. I've been scared of needles much of my life. Vaccines? Yikes! A trip to the dentist? Rather put it off. One major advantage of the epidural is that it's administered on your back. That means that you will not see the needle going in, and will only have a (hopefully nice) anesthesiologist explaining the process, and a few nurses reassuring you. One major fear women have is moving during the insertion of the epidural. Don't worry too much. It will not be inserted while you are having a contraction, but in between contractions. The anesthesiologist can see this on the electronic fetal monitor you will have. For some, learning more about epidural anesthesia through a childbirth education class or their OB will ease fears. Others don't like to know much about the procedure at all, because it will only frighten them more. Both approaches are fine, but planning ahead helps either way.
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