When thinking about epidural injection you should know that it refers to the place where the painkillers are inserted into your body. The main point is that it delivers the drug to the nerves that carry it to the location where you need local anesthesia so that you wonâ€™t feel pain during childbirth. As a result your belly will become numb.
How is the injection that is epidural performed?
To achieve pain relief, the anesthetist will give an injection in your lower back. Then there will be a small needle guided between the spineâ€™s bones. This needle goes into the space between the tissue layers of the spine that is known as epidural space. Then a catheter or a fine tube is inserted through the needle.
As part of the injection that is epidural, when the tube is in place, the specialist removes the needle. The tube is secured to your back and over your shoulder. There are different ways to perform the procedure.
During this kind of epidural injection, the specialist will provide you with a mixture of painkillers to make the lower part of the belly numb. In case the painkillers are working as they should, you arenâ€™t supposed to feel the contractions anymore. As the injection that is epidural wears off you could have top ups to elongate the effect.
In case of this kind of injection that is epidural there will be a catheter set up. The other end of the tube is connected to a pump that continuously provides you with the painkillers. In case you need to, you could have stronger top ups to make sure that you arenâ€™t in pain.
If you have this kind of epidural injection, it is possible that the pump will be in your control, and in this case it is known as patient controlled epidural analgesia. Although the entire idea may seem tempting to you, you should know that it is available only in given hospitals.
Combined spiral epidural
This kind of injection that is epidural is also known as CSE. At the beginning you will receive an injection of a small dose of painkillers. This works faster than the epidural. Then the specialist will insert the tube without painkillers passing through it. After the effect of the first painkiller wears off, you will receive epidural painkillers.
How does that epidural injection work?
The painkiller in this case works just like local anesthesia. It is meant to numb the nerves that are carrying the pain from the cervix and the uterus to the brain. In case of the UK the majority of the hospitals are working with low dose painkillers.
The advantage of the low dose injection that is epidural is that you have some feeling in the feet and legs and this is why it is also known as mobile epidural. Nonetheless you shouldnâ€™t mistake it with walking or ambulatory epidural. You can have it only in case there is enough staff to monitor you.
When should you have the epidural injection?
The good thing about the injection is that you could have it at any moment of labor. Usually women opt to have it when the contractions are getting stronger and more painful or when the cervix dilates to 5-6 cm. The doctors will also offer you an injection in case you need your labor to be speeded up.
You may have heard about epidural injection from mothers. Still, some prefer not to have the injection so that they will feel every feeling that childbirth comes with, saying that this way they are more connected to the baby.