Labor & Delivery: Epidurals

Many women choose to have an epidural to ease the pain of labor and delivery. Find out how an epidural works and if it could be part of your birth plan.


An epidural is probably the most effective method of dealing with the pain of contractions. The way it works is that a catheter is inserted in the lower spine. And through the catheter, medicine is continuously infused into the spinal space. It will make you feel numb from the waist down, and very comfortable. The side effects are pretty low. Some people do feel a little drowsy or groggy after getting their epidural. But in general, it's very safe and allows you to rest while you're in labor and save all your energy for the pushing. One of the risks is headache. But the chance of this happening is very, very low. While many women choose to go without pain relief, there is certainly no shame or harm in getting an epidural. In the end, you don't have to decide ahead of time. You can just see how you feel. And if you decide you wanna have the epidural, you can just let your doctor know.

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