Getting the most from an Epidural in Labor


Having an epidural in labour at St Michael’s Hospital

Video taken from the channel: University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS FT


When can I receive an epidural during labor?

Video taken from the channel: StoneSprings Hospital Center


Should You Get an Epidural for Pain Relief During Labor & Delivery?

Video taken from the channel: Birth Injury Help Center


Anesthesia Pain Relief

Video taken from the channel: Allina Health


Should You Get an Epidural… or Not? How to Make the Epidural Decision for Your Labor

Video taken from the channel: Sarah Lavonne


Pain relief in labour: epidurals English

Video taken from the channel: St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


How an epidural is given during childbirth

Video taken from the channel: Bupa Health UK

Getting the Most out of an Epidural in Labor. 1. Learn About Epidurals. Knowing what happens when you get an epidural will make you less fearful of the process. You should also know about the 2. Be Realistic. 3. Try to Relax.

4. Know Your Hospital’s Policies. 5. Use the Epidural Wisely. What are the pros of having an epidural?

Pain relief. Epidural is one of the most effective methods for pain relief during delivery and childbirth, and it has minimal side effects on both It allows you to rest. It can help you stay alert. It may help reduce postpartum depression.

You can get an. If you’re looking for a safe, effective option for pain relief during labor, an epidural is an ideal choice. Allowing you to be present for your birth. An epidural will help to relieve your pain during birth—whether it’s vaginal or via c-section —while also allowing you to be awake and alert.

A much-needed break. You will be asked to arch your back and remain still while lying on your left side or sitting up. This position is vital for preventing problems and increasing epidural effectiveness. An antiseptic solution will be used to wipe the waistline area of your mid-back to. minimize the chance of infection. Other pain relief options late in labor: Get a single spinal injection instead of an epidural.

You can usually get a spinal block injection placed within five minutes. It’ll take effect within another five minutes, giving you complete pain relief that lasts a few hours. Get a combined spinal/epidural.

If you deliver by cesarean, an epidural will allow you to stay awake to see your baby. After a cesarean, an epidural will also provide effective pain relief during recovery. If you tear during pushing, your epidural numbs your perineum while your doctor is stitching. An epidural is an effective method of pain relief that works for most women during labor. However, in about 5 percent of cases, the procedure provides patch or one-sided relief.

In most of such cases, the anesthesiologist corrects this without repeating the procedure. Page moved: Epidurals pain-blocking spinal injections are the most common type of pain relief for laboring women in the U.S.. Recent nationally representative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates suggest 61 percent of women who gave birth vaginally, and to one baby, received spinal anesthesia, or an epidural.

Getting an epidural is a process. It’s not a quick shot you can receive that makes the pain go away immediately. It takes approximately an hour to feel relief from the procedure once you’ve asked for one.

I do need to complete some pre-procedure tasks before you are able to see the anesthesiologist.

List of related literature:

The advantage of the combined spinal-epidural is that if relief from the spinal wears off before the birth, the anesthesia staff can add anesthetics to the epidural catheter instead of having to give you another shot.

“Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth” by Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Judy Norsigian
from Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
by Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, Judy Norsigian
Atria Books, 2008

Here’s what you can expect if you’re having an epidural:

“What to Expect When You're Expecting 4th Edition” by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
from What to Expect When You’re Expecting 4th Edition
by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
Simon & Schuster UK, 2010

After the epidural catheter is taped, place the patient in a full lateral or supine position, with right or left uterine displacement (using pillows to shift the uterus off the vena cava and aorta), and elevate the head of the bed slightly, that is, 30 to 40 degrees.

“Labor and Delivery Nursing: Guide to Evidence-Based Practice” by Michelle Murray, PhD, RNC, Gayle Huelsmann, BSN, RNC
from Labor and Delivery Nursing: Guide to Evidence-Based Practice
by Michelle Murray, PhD, RNC, Gayle Huelsmann, BSN, RNC
Springer Publishing Company, 2008

In fact, the stress of labour can be effectively reduced by the use of regional (epidural) anaesthesia, using slow incremental top-ups of low-dose Marcaine to avoid any sudden changes in blood pressure, and vaginal delivery avoids both the increased haemorrhage and infection risk of caesarean section.

“Oxford Textbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology” by Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, William Ledger, Stergios Doumouchtsis, Lynette Denny
from Oxford Textbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
by Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, William Ledger, et. al.
Oxford University Press, 2019

Another potential benefit of neuraxial anesthesia (specifically for epidural or combined spinal-epidural techniques) is that the epidural catheter can be used for labor if induction of labor is scheduled to follow a successful ECV, or for surgical anesthesia should an emergent cesarean delivery be necessary.

“Faust's Anesthesiology Review E-Book” by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education
from Faust’s Anesthesiology Review E-Book
by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

If a patient admitted for delivery is very early in labor and perceiving a great deal of pain, the anesthetist might consider placing an epidural catheter and initially using plain narcotic until the labor becomes more active.

“Nurse Anesthesia E-Book” by John J. Nagelhout, Karen Plaus
from Nurse Anesthesia E-Book
by John J. Nagelhout, Karen Plaus
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009

Epidural analgesia is perceived as the most effective at diminishing maternal pain, and for those who request pharmacologic pain relief, patient satisfaction is higher and pain scores during labour are lower with epidural analgesia compared to narcotics.

“Oxford Textbook of Primary Medical Care” by Roger Jones (Prof.)
from Oxford Textbook of Primary Medical Care
by Roger Jones (Prof.)
Oxford University Press, 2005

Since for the most part you have to stay in bed once it’s administered, having an epidural makes it harder to move into new positions to help move your baby down into the sacred passageway (birth canal).

“Mama Glow” by Latham Thomas
from Mama Glow
by Latham Thomas
Hay House, 2012

Your labor will be shorter and easier if you have epidural medication,

“Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review” by Smith
from Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review
by Smith
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016

Three—quarters (76%) encourage the presence of partners during caesarean birth with epidural anesthesia, and 16% encourage them even when a general anesthetic is used.

“The Canadian Encyclopedia” by James H. Marsh
from The Canadian Encyclopedia
by James H. Marsh
McClelland & Stewart, 1999

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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  • I’m 36 weeks atm and I have a phobia for injection because I used to be in hospital a lot when I was younger and then I in my teens I’ve had to go for vitamin B12 injection every 3 weeks just got so painful I couldnt deal the doc said rather get the tablets…long story short, birth is something on another level and I want to feel happy when I see my baby, third trimester is so harsh I already feel like no I dont want another child but I have been wondering about the epidural. I think its something I’d need to go through with I want to be happy for my first baby I dont wanna be traumatized. Thank you for everything

  • This is my second pregnancy but my first was a c-section. I’m curious what hurts the most, the contractions leading to birth or the actual delivery process?

  • With my firstborn my midwife said my 3 hr labour was one of the most quiet labours she’d ever experienced.. I was SILENT. I coped by rubbing my feet together ��‍♀️ until it became suffering.. then it was hello pethadine �� 1 hr later my baby was here!

  • I’m currently 35.3 weeks with second child. I had an epidural with the first with no problems and plan on having an epidural with my current. Thanks for all the great info!

  • Had epidurals with my son and daughter and will again with our LO that’s coming. No complaints. The poke in the back is not that horrible & so worth not hurting. Just my PO.

  • I’m a pain fighter not an pain embracer.. I was induced with both my pregnancies (41.5 weeks with 1st and 39.5 weeks with second) and the contractions had no build up or rhythm. I “suffered” for about 8 hours, and only progressed about 3 cm. I couldn’t even imagine what 10 cm would’ve been like.

    With my 1st, my labor didn’t progress until I got the epidural (relaxing was not in my vocabulary induce labor time 22 hours)

    With my second, I wouldn’t let them break my water until I had the epidural and the labor was half as long (about 12 hours)

    I am currently 30 weeks and regardless of whether I am induced or go naturally, plan on having and epidural. Being mostly pain free and rested vs stressed out freaked out and exhausted is worth it to me.

  • Im 39’weeks and 2 days, my cervix hasn’t open an I only get Braxton contractions I’m scared to get induced, At how many weeks it should be good to get induced? I’m so happy I got to watch your videos before giving birth ♥️

  • OMG you are awesome, I am new subscriber looking for baby #2, not pregnant yet, my first labor was HORRIBLE, I tear so badly I do want an epidural with my second. I love the way you talk. I am going to watch every single video in your channel

  • How dilated do you have to be to get the epidural? I dont want to get it so soon and it wares off. Im 37 wks and Im leaning towards it but heard from many people that it wares off.

  • I had an epidural with my son…..I’m a pansy with pain. I don’t regret it because it kept me happy and calm the whole time. I get anxiety with pain. The recovery didn’t seem too bad to me, but then again I don’t have a non epidural experience to compare it to, but I didn’t have any issues really. I did notice the epidural made me a little groggy and loopy (similar to laughing gas at the dentist)

  • I really like what u said..bring it on pain… ����I can bear I guess this pain to see my baby.. soon in this month a within a week…

  • I’m 26 weeks now and attempting my first VBAC with baby #3 my doc is requesting I get one just case of an emergency. This would be my second time with an epidural. I can’t really remember how it felt then it was 12 years ago ����‍♀️

  • Yes this is great. I went for 16 hours ‘coping’, but then I just became so exhausted from no sleep, dyhydration and so many painful contractions that I lost control of my contractions and just felt like I was being ‘attacked’ and felt the only way I could get though it was an epidural. If my baby had become engaged more quickly I would have likely avoided the epidural so I will be working on movements to get my baby engaged more quickly in labour next time. And also staying more hydrated.

  • I’d like to add that it differs with each labor too. My first, I had an epidural and it was fantastic. Loved it. My second, the epidural kept me from moving and feeling it, and I hated it. My third, I had in a bathtub, no epidural, and, again, I loved the experience. I’m pregnant again (my last one, I hate being pregnant, but I love being a mom, so, that’s a thing) and this time I do plan on going without again, but if I find myself suffering, I’m not going to be ashamed to get an epidural. Having done both, they’re both full of rewards and drawbacks. Skip the shame, and enjoy meeting your baby.

  • This is the generation of easy. Myself and all my Female relatives before me had NO epidural. NOW all my daughter hears are the Horror stories of the Millinials. Seems nobody can deal with pain. Always the easy way out nowadays. My mom labored for over 24 hours.. And she will tell you she remembers me… Not the pain..

  • I’m a mom of soon to be 5…my 1st 3 I got an epidural. I noticed it slowed my progress with labor but With my 3rd idk what went wrong….it was completely different from the others I couldnt stand without assistance (wheelchair tranfer) until 15 hours after having my baby…thank God for my husband…that pushed me to have our 4th natural (medfree) labor wasnt bad because I had prepared my body and mind for the process, I was able to eat real food (cheesesteak, fruit, etc) during labor and I was up 45 mins later able to take a shower, the only traumatic experience was my ecv. So here I am with our 5th and I’ll be having him naturally as well. Im not going back to epidural…not for me.

  • I am currently suffering from a complication caused by epidural called spinal headaches…will think hard about getting another epidural

  • Omg I love your videos! I have been having soooo much anxiety about giving birth. This is my first baby, I’m half way through, and you make me feel sooo much better ❤️❤️ Love love love!

  • Thank you for this. ❤️ I’m going to be 25 weeks tomorrow and I’m so torn on weather to get an epidural or not. I’m one of those people that don’t even like taking an Tylenol unless I’m like dying so if I could make it without an epidural that’d be nice but if I do need one I’m just scared of the possible side effects. I heard you recover faster after birth if you go with out one. &the thought of having back problems in the future.. Ughhh decisions decisions..

  • I had a very traumatic experience with my first where I had an epidural. It was miserable and terrifying. My natural labor was much more relaxed and peaceful. This time around I have no idea what I want. I dont want an epidural I dont think even though this is a better hospital I will be at but I keep trying to find other ways for pain management. Do you have any recommendations besides an epidural that wont have long effects on baby?

  • If I get a c section do they have to do a epidural? Is that the only anesthesia used for c section? I want to ovoid the epidural but I might get c section so I still don’t want the epidural

  • My first labor and delivery was a beautiful experience, induced and epidural. I just didn’t like being “paralyzed” and also feel like my recovery could’ve been better, I tore which explains that. So this time around (2nd baby) I don’t want to be induced and I don’t want an epidural unless I know I need it for my mental sake. I’m afraid of tearing again or developing more lovely hemorrhoids with an epidural but I know those two things can happen with or without an epidural. Thanks for this video I’m 40wks and 1 day.

  • I have had three children and now pregnant with my fourth �� �� with all my births it went so fast that they wouldn’t give me an epidural for the pain because my baby was coming out very quickly. I want an epidural with my fourth child but see what happens ��

  • Effindural… ��
    Me thinks that’s how ladies who didn’t want it up front, but changed their mind when the pain got too intense said it, “�� Get me the effindural!”

  • I have no desire to “experience the pain” AT ALL I’m due in October this is my first pregnancy �� and I’m planning on an epidural birth

  • I once heard a male coworker tell a pregnant coworker, “don’t try to be a hero”, when she expressed the desire to try an unmedicated birth. It took everything out of me to not punch him in his stupid ignorant face. ��

  • I’m due in 5 days with my first. I have this mindset of wanting to go all natural. I really want to experience labor, including the pain. I just hope I’m strong enough mentally.

  • I’m due in February 10,2020 with my 3rd baby, I had two epidurals because 1. I was scared 2nd birth it was the norm, this time I wanna do it naturally. I endured my back in the military so every time after the epidurals my back hurts way more…. so we’ll see

  • WOW! This has been literally the most informative most important video I’ve watched so far and I’m 5-6mths pregnant! THANK YOU SOO MUCH! Ugh wish you were my nurse!

  • I am opting to not have an epidural (pain scares me a lot less than needles and I wanna know what my body is doing) and people keep telling me “oh, you’ll change your mind” and completely dismissing it.

  • hi sarah, my question is is it okay to have epidural knowing that i have scoliosis? my pain tolerance level is 1/10 so im thinking about getting the epidural to get through labor soon. Thank you!

  • I have it in my birth plan that my fiancee makes my epidural decision for me because i will say no even if i do need it because i am terrified of the needle and the catheter in my back.

  • Listening to you made me feel relax and calm…and yes i wont hesitate to take an epidural…when i am giving birth…thanks a lot for this video

  • I decided to get an epidural in my first pregnancy but I had a lot of issues. First there was an issue getting it in and they had to try to put in 3X unfortunately afterwards it didn’t work. They ended up putting it in a false space. I decided to try one more time and it worked when it was redone and I had relief during delivery. I will say it was nice to feel the tearing and having to get stitches but I also had to experience the pain of getting a catheter in and removed definitely not pleasant. I decided this pregnancy to not get an epidural because I felt the experience I had was just less than pleasant for me.

  • I didn’t get no meds and I went in at 4am had my daughter at 8am. I had a Epidural with my 1st due to being scared but uuuff honestly the needle hurt me more when inserting in my back so I went wit no meds with my other 2 & planning to go with no meds with my current pregnancy. It was painful & draining but a very beautiful experience to be able too see what my body can do. ��

  • With my first baby, I got to the hospital at 7cm dilated and 100% effaced and I asked for an epidural and the nurse told me I was too far along to get one. Thank god it was pretty fast, but it definitely wasn’t my ideal birth:( didn’t stop me from having more kids though, I’m almost 30 weeks with baby #3 and I am absolutely terrified to go through L&D again!!

  • My birth plan with my first was to have a water birth. I was in labor for 26 hours. I was completely exhausted and opted to get an epidural at about 8cm
    dilated. For me, it was more so the exhaustion than than the contractions. But my birth experience was wonderful and would not take it back. He came right out. I’m
    Now pregnant with my second and I’m gonna try to go natural. Hopefully the labor is shorter ��