As if there was not enough to learn about pregnancy already, add epidurals to the list. We’ve all heard about the device used to relieve pain during pregnancy but rarely do patients understand what an epidural is before pregnancy. That is why we are here to tell you the basics and things to know about epidurals before you experience one.
Learning About Epidurals
At Green Valley OB/GYN, we are here to set our patients up for success through their pregnancy journey. Learning about epidurals is a very useful part of that. Here, we have broken it down into five main topics that get your most essential questions answered.
What Is An Epidural?
An epidural is a method of pain relief and control often used in the case of the delivery of a baby. What people often do not know is that it is also used for other types of surgery or injuries such as a broken rib to control the pain.
It is very common for women during delivery as a great way to relieve pain during the experience. However, it is not required and is completely dependent on the patient’s choices and plan for their birthing experience.
How Does The Administrative Tube Get Put In?
When an epidural is used, it is administered by inserting a small tube called a catheter into the patient’s back. This is done in a few steps that make it easy to get access to pain relief. First, the spot of insertion is cleaned. Then the medical professional will numb your back with medicine in a small needle. This is often the most painful part of the process. Then, a needle places the tube into your back. Finally, the needle that secured the tube is removed. The tube is connected to more tubing taped to your back. From there, the extra tubing is connected to the machine that holds the medicine providing pain relief through the tube.
How Long Does The Tube Stay In?
According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, this tube remains in your back until the pain is under control. When it comes to pregnancy, the tube stays in until the baby has been delivered. When there is no longer pain to control, the tube is no longer necessary.
What Is The Removal Process?
The tube will be removed by a medical professional on your team from the pregnancy process. This is not often painful. Once it is removed, the skin where the tube was inserted is left open to receive air. It is very easy to remove the tube, and this is done in a way that prevents damage or unnecessary side effects.
Are There Side Effects?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, it will take 20 to 30 minutes for pain relief and the loss of feeling in the limbs to wear off. There are often cases of low blood pressure that cause patients to feel light-headed. Along with this sometimes people can have hot flashes or rashes. Some of the more severe side effects are rare. Sometimes people experience infection from the epidural, bleeding, and in very rare cases, spinal fluid leakage.
If you choose to have an epidural during your delivery, it is useful to have an understanding of it beforehand. These five questions give you the opportunity to learn and educate yourself before ever encountering the epidural. Are you in the third trimester and looking for more answers about epidurals? Our doctors at Green Valley OB/GYN are here to help. Check out our website or give us a call at (336) 378-1110 for more information.