An epidural is a type of local anesthesia which is most commonly used for pain relief (analgesia) during delivery. Statistics show that nearly 75 percent of women choose to have an epidural during birth in America, the remaining choosing a natural birth.
An epidural is administered by an anesthesiologist directly into the lower spine. The process takes about 15-25 minutes. Epidurals provide some pain relief within 10 minutes but the full effect can take up to 45 minutes. Generally, it is administered in a sitting position, the body straight and slightly bent backward, then the body is bent forwards to separate the diapophysis from each other, the chin rests on the chest and both shoulders are left dropped.
After this position is maintained, back and waist areas are sterilized by antiseptic medicine and covered with sterile clothes. The tissues of skin and under the skin are narcotized with a thin syringe. The patient only feels the entrance of the syringe. Later the physician enters the epidural space with a special syringe and places a thin tube called catheter and it is fastened to the body with plasters.
Labor ends in a short time after the drugs are administered via catheter but the contractions are not blocked and they continue. Through a pain pump connected to the catheter, the blockage of the labor is maintained via the controlled analgesic method. The remaining of the birth-giving is the same as the normal procedure, but the patient doesn’t feel the pain. About the video: Joy needs to have an epidural, in this video we see step by step how an epidural is inserted.