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Epidurals and Medication

Epidural Anesthesia

An epidural, or epidural analgesia, is a regional anesthesia used for rapid pain relief and is the most commonly used anesthesia in childbirth. The purpose of an epidural is to provide analgesia, or pain relief, rather than anesthesia, which is a total lack of feeling. After the injection of an epidural, the mother usually does not feel pain in labor but will still feel pressure. Over half of women who deliver in hospitals ask for an epidural.
“An epidural is a catheter that’s placed in to the back that delivers a combination of an anesthetic and a narcotic that helps to numb the lower half of the body and relieve the pain. It does that by numbing the nerves that innervate the lower half of the body,” says board-certified obstetrician gynecologist Dr. Lauren Hyman.
To receive an epidural, the laboring mother lays on her side or sits up. An antiseptic solution is used to minimize the chance of infection. A local anesthetic is injected into a small area of the back to numb it. A needle is then inserted into the numbed area surrounding ... Read more

Author and blogger Jill Smokler discusses the use of pain-killers during childbirth and how they were extremely beneficial to her when giving birth to her children
Obstetrician Gynecologist Lauren Hyman, MD, shares advice for pregnant women on the truth about the safety of using epidurals during pregnancy
epidurals
Kids in the House
According to the CDC, approximatley 60% of women in the United States recieve
OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, explains the differences between using piton to augment labor and induce labor and how pitocin can be helpful during labor when contractions are... read more
Obstetrician Gynecologist Lauren Hyman, MD, describes pain control alternatives to epidurals.
Pediatrician Tanya Altmann shares her experience delivering with an epidural.
Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Jay Goldberg, explains various pain management options for labor and some of the pros and cons associated with them.
Obstetrician Paul Crane, MD, explains the most popular pain killers that are used during labor, what the effects of the pain killers are on the mother and the baby, and... read more
Ana Paula Markel, Professional Doula, shares advice for women on the pros and cons of using medication before and during childbirth
OBGYN Sheryl Ross, MD, explains the pros and cons of using epidural anesthesia during labor, how it makes the baby and mother feel, and whether or not it is safe to use
OBGYN Sheryl Ross, MD, explains the purpose of giving women an IV during labor, and what the alternatives to an IV are during childbirth
D'Lynda Kaplan explains why she chose to use pain management medication for her four deliveries.

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