Sunday, October 14, 2012

Epidural analgesia side effects

Epidurals may make your legs heavy. It depends on the type of epidural that you have.
An epidural should not make you feel drowsy or sick.
Your blood pressure can drop. This is rare, as the drip in your arm will help you to maintain good blood pressure.
Epidurals can prolong the second stage of labor. If you can no longer feel your contractions, the midwife will have to tell you when to push. This may mean that instruments are used to help you deliver your baby. However, when you have an epidural, your midwife or doctor will wait longer before they use instruments as long as your baby is fine. Sometimes, less anesthetic is given towards the end so that the effect wears off and you can push the baby out naturally.
You may find it difficult to pass water, and a small tube called a catheter may be put into your bladder to help you.
About 1 in 100 women gets a headache after an epidural. If you develop a headache afterwards, it can be treated.
Your back might be a bit sore for a day or two, but epidurals do not cause long-term backache.
About 1 in 2,000 mothers gets a feeling of tingling or pins and needles down one leg after having a baby. This is more likely to result from childbirth itself than from an epidural. You will be advised on when you can get out of bed.

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