PROS FOR AN EPIDURAL
- Highly effective form of pain relief
- Allows you to rest
- Can be topped up throughout your labour
- Providing it's left to wear off, you should be able to feel when to push
- You'll feel clear-headed
- The drugs used will have no effect on your baby.
CONS FOR AN EPIDURAL
- Only available in hospital
- Not always available when you want it
- There's a possibility it may slow down the pushing phase
- Raises the risk of intervention (forceps or ventouse)
- May cause a drop in your blood sugar.
- You'll need a drip and constant foetal heart monitoring
- Possible side effects include shivering and severe headaches
Questions to ask your Midwife
Hospital policies vary, but finding out everything you can in advance will help you feel more in control.
- How many anaesthetists are available and does the hospital have a 24-hour 'on call' policy?
- How soon into the labour can I request an epidural?
- I want to be able to feel I can push - how can I make sure this happens?