Painless Normal Delivery

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If you are a new mom-to-be, you would certainly be experiencing mixed feelings of both excitement and fear. When you conceive, you think about eating right and opt for a healthy lifestyle to help your growing baby with the right nutrition. But as you reach close to your due date, you would probably feel tensed thinking how you are going to give birth to your baby. And the options are either a vaginal birth or having a c-section.

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The pain a woman experiences during the process of childbirth is considered to be the most severe form of pain. And the survival after delivery is considered as the rebirth of the woman. Many women started choosing c-section just because they are afraid of the normal delivery pain.

If you are one among those women, who plan to have a c-section only because of the fear of labor pains or if you have a question “how to get normal delivery without pain?” you have another option to bring your baby into this world without pain, known as “Painless delivery” or “Epidural delivery”.

What is Painless Delivery? 

Painless delivery is the natural way of childbirth almost without experiencing any pain during the labor. In short, painless delivery is nothing but the normal delivery without pain. The epidural anesthesia used in this procedure, helps mothers relieve the normal delivery pain and is the most popular method for pain relief during labor. 

How does an Epidural work? 

An epidural works as a regional anesthesia. When an epidural is injected near the spinal cord in the spinal canal, the anesthetic drug causes a feeling of numbness in the abdominal, genital and pelvic areas. The loss of sensation in these parts blocks those intensifying sensations and prevents the transmission of pain sensations to thebrain. Thus, an epidural during thelabor ensures the process of childbirth is successful with no pain. Movement of legs or walking is strictly NOT affected.

Painless Delivery Procedure

The procedure of a painless delivery is similar to that of a normal delivery procedure except receiving the epidural to ease labor pains. But, as every woman wants to be sure about each and everything when she is planning for her baby’s birth; here is the complete procedure of painless delivery.

Before the active labor begins and prior to the procedure of placing the epidural, the woman is given intravenous (IV) fluids.In general, a woman may receive around 1 – 2 liters of IV fluids throughout her labor and delivery. 

To start the epidural procedure, your anesthetist may ask you to arch your back and remain still either lying on your side or sitting up. This position makes it easier to insert the needle into the right place and increases the effectiveness of the epidural. 

Your lower back will be wiped with an antiseptic solution in order to minimize the chances of infection. Then, a small amount of a local anesthetic will be injected on your lower back to numb the area. A small tube, called a catheter is then threaded through the needle into the epidural space. An epidural space is an area between the bones of the spine and around the spinal nerves. 

The needle is then removed carefully while leaving the catheter in place to provide the anesthetic either through injections at regular intervals or by continuous infusion. The catheter will be taped to prevent it from slipping out. After giving the epidural, it takes between 5 and 30 minutes to be relieved from the labor pain.

Advantages of Painless Delivery:

Women can have a normal delivery almost without any pain and will be conscious which enables them to see the process of delivery.

  • Pain during labour induces the secretion of stress hormones in the mother that distresses the baby and mother as well. This doesn’t happen in painless deliveries.
  • The duration of the delivery can be significantly decreased.
  • Keeps blood pressure, pulse rate and heartbeat under control.
  • It is easy to perform a c-section if needed in an emergency.
  • Prevents damage of pelvic muscles that may occur during a normal delivery.

Disadvantages of Painless Delivery:

  • In rare cases, there may be a sudden drop in blood pressure.
  • Since the pelvic floor muscles are relaxed, the baby’s head might not rotate and there may be a need to use forceps.
  • Epidurals can cause a backache, dizziness or shivering.
  • Mothers may experience post-procedure headaches.
  • Difficulty during urination.
  • Due to the numbness, the normal pushing effect by the woman during labour is reduced. Therefore, vacuum may be used or delivery may have to be converted to c-section.
  • Pain at the site of injection.

Who should not receive an epidural?

  • Those with certain bleeding disorders
  • Those taking medications that can affect blood clotting
  • If you have had a lower back surgery
  • If you have certain neurological disorders

FAQs about Painless Delivery

Painless delivery is a choice for most of the women who think “how to make normal delivery less painful?”No matter how much women are aware of the procedure of painless delivery, they still have a lot of questions in their minds. So here are some common questions about painless delivery to clear their suspicions and ease their stress.

The right time to get an epidural is during the active phase of labor i.e. when cervix is dilated 3-4cms. But it is always better to get an epidural before reaching to pain point. Because a woman must be able to sit still in order to receive an epidural.

There are no negative effects on baby or process of labor. Though there are some side effects of epidural, that are mild and temporary can be treated with proper medications.

As long as catheter is in place and medication is given through it. Once the baby is delivered, the catheter is pulled out. In general it takes 2-4hrs.for the numbness to wear off based on the dosage.

No.As the woman receives local anaethesia on her back prior to insertion of catheter to make skin numb.Though woman may feel slight push and pressure in lower back.

Ask your doctor for an epidural, know the procedure, aware the type of pain relief that suits you best, inform about some drug allergy if you have.

You might not be able to tell whether you are having a contraction or not as epidural anaethesia causes loss of sensation in the abdomen, genital and pelvic areas, you need an assistance for this. Sometimes baby needs addition help to deliver usually the forceps.

It takes around 10-20 mins to feel entire numbing effect.  You will be able to walk and go to washroom depending upon the type of epidural. Medication is stopped once the baby is born.

In order to minimize the chances of epidural risk and avoid negative experiences, your medical history should be clear with your doctor. It helps to determine whether you can get an epidural or not.