Health & Fitness

Let’s Debunk 5 Epidural Myths

Epidural is a pain management anesthetic used during childbirth. It works by numbing a woman’s body below the waist. Research shows 60% of women choose epidural during childbirth as a pain relief. Epidural is the safest, most effective and widely used pain management system all over the world. It neither harms the laboring mothers nor their babies. Yet myths persist. Opting for an epidural or not is a personal choice. In this article we are debunking 5 epidural myths to help you make an educated choice.

  1. Epidurals give you life long backache. The association of backache and epidural goes hand in hand. But the truth is after getting an epidural temporary back pain or soreness at the injection site for a few days is a common side effect. There is no study or research that proves epidurals’ relativity to causing permanent back pain. Reality is, long term back pain in mothers comes from wrong posture while feeding, carrying the baby and lifting baby carriers while contorting their bodies. It is advisable to all mothers to look out for themselves and book a Gynecologist Video Consultation if they face prolonged back pain after an epidural.
  1. Epidural medication can harm the baby. This is the oldest, scariest and most bizarre myth about epidurals. The truth is epidurals are considered very safe for laboring moms as well as their babies. Any medication that you take while you are pregnant reaches your baby in tiny amounts, it is because they are connected to you with the placenta. Similarly epidural medication may also be passed on to your baby in a little amount but it won’t harm them that’s a fact. Research shows epidural medication doesn’t have any impact on baby’s brain functionality or their Apgar scores.
  1. All laboring moms are eligible for an epidural. The truth is, nearly all patients are eligible but there are definitely certain things that may become a hindrance. If you are someone who has a history of brain or spine disorders, you have a bleeding disorder or you take blood thinners, epidural won’t be an option for you. This is definitely for your own good. But you can definitely discuss other pain management options with a gynecologist in rawalpindi.
  1. Epidurals cause nerve damage. Tweaking a nerve or two during childbirth is pretty common. But the association of permanent nerve damage or paralysis with epidurals is baseless. There is a rare chance of nerve damage with epidurals estimated at less than 1 in 240,000 patients. Nerve damage/ nerve compression or in easier words a pinched nerve is caused during childbirth due to mispositioning of the body. It heals on its own in a matter of a few weeks. Physical therapy and yoga is helpful for moms going through nerve compression after childbirth. Make sure to take a heads up from your doctor before starting any kind of physical therapy or exercises after giving birth.
  1. Epidural increases the chances for cesarean delivery. Evidence proves that getting an epidural may elongate the pushing time for some patients but it doesn’t have anything to do with a patient needing a cesarean delivery. Being overweight, diabetic or older are the major role playing factors in causing a cesarean delivery. Epidural eases the delivery process by keeping the laboring mother out of distress. As a result the mother’s and baby’s blood pressure stays stable which is not the case when mothers are bearing labor pains.

Choosing to use an epidural to help yourself during labour is not a sign of weakness. Nobody hands out awards to moms on how they give birth. It’s high time we liberate ourselves from these societal standards and enjoy the journey of becoming a mother fully. If you think you have that pain bearing threshold don’t go for an epidural. But if you feel like you need help with the pain management epidural is your best bet. Go for it without thinking of what others will say. Listen to your body. You owe it to yourself and your baby.

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