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7 myths about epidural anesthesia

7 myths about epidural anesthesia

Myth number 1. Childbirth is a natural process, nature has arranged everything very wisely, it is not necessary to anesthetize it.

Pain is a subjective concept, everyone feels it in their own way. Women with increased sensitivity, that is, with a low pain threshold, during childbirth, as a rule, are very excited, cannot control themselves, relax the muscles of the perineum. This negatively affects the process.

Physiological methods of anesthesia (massage, breathing techniques) in such cases do not help much, and modern medicine offers to solve the problem with the help of epidural anesthesia.

Myth number 2. When epidural anesthesia is used, narcotic substances that can harm the woman and her baby.

This is absolutely not true. Now, anesthesiologists use the same painkillers as dentists when extracting a tooth, just in large doses and concentrations.

Such drugs do not cross the placenta and therefore do not affect the baby.

Myth number 3. During the procedure, you can damage the spinal cord, the result – paralysis.

This is what most fear. But concerns are groundless. Anesthesia begins with choosing the right position.

There are two of them: a woman sits with her back arched as much as possible, like a cat’s, or lies on her side, her knees stretched to her stomach. The place where they will inject the anesthetic drug is treated with an antiseptic.

Then the medicine is injected with a special needle into the epidural space at the level of the lumbar spine. If we present the spine as a roll, the “filling” of such a product will be the spinal cord, and the “surface” of the roll itself will be a hard shell. Usually the top of the pastry is coated with icing.

In our case, anesthetic plays its role. That is, the drug acts superficially, enveloping the spine, does not reach the spinal cord, therefore, it cannot damage it in any way.

The needle cannot hurt anything. If only because it stops very far from the “dangerous” place when the medicine is injected.

In addition, after the introduction of a flexible tube, the thinnest catheter, it is generally removed. The catheter is connected to a syringe, and a special device introduces a dose of anesthetic.

In this case, the anesthesiologist closely controls the process and the state of health of the woman in labor.

Myth number 4. This type of anesthesia completely immobilizes a woman.

When the dose of pain medication is chosen correctly, the woman feels her body, even experiences a little pressure during labor. A mother in labor can relax.

At the same time she does not feel pain.

Myth number 5. Such anesthesia slows down the generic activity and does not allow to push.

After the injection of the anesthetic drug, the woman feels numbness in the legs, they become as if wadded, heavy, and the contractions are not so painful and almost imperceptible. Every muscle is now relaxed, emotions gradually subside, calm comes.

This is where the myth is born that anesthesia slows down childbirth. But it is not. Just because there is no pain, a woman may not notice the first few bouts.

But since anesthesia affects not only the muscles, but also the cervix, the latter becomes softer, more pliable, and due to this it begins to open more quickly. At the same time, this kind of anesthesia retains a sensation of attempts.

Since the woman in labor does not feel pain, she can concentrate and listen attentively to what the doctor and midwife say, to carry out their commands.

Myth number 6. With epidural anesthesia, it is not possible to control the processes of bowel emptying and urination.

Yes, there are nuances associated with the relaxation of all sphincters. For example, it is possible spontaneous emptying of the intestines, which a woman can not control.

To avoid the inconvenience associated with this situation, in the emergency department, the woman is offered to undergo a cleansing enema. A careful midwife to regularly empty the bladder, periodically puts a urinary catheter.

Against the background of epidural anesthesia, it is not felt. As soon as the action of drugs stops, the sensations return, the bladder and intestines again remind of themselves, as before.

Myth number 7. For caesarean section, general anesthesia is preferable and safer than epidural anesthesia.

Indeed, before the parturient women did anesthesia with the help of endotracheal anesthesia. It used drugs that affect the respiratory center of the baby and depress the work of his nervous system. Therefore, midwives had to remove the child as quickly as possible – before the drugs could work on it.

The mother also had such complications as intestinal paresis (a very sluggish contraction of the intestine), which caused gases and liquid to accumulate, and fermentation processes intensified. Due to epidural anesthesia, the likelihood of such complications is minimized. And most importantly, with this method of anesthesia during cesarean section, the mother is conscious and hears the first cry of her long-awaited child, sees it from the first minutes of life.

Well, isn’t it a miracle?

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