More than 60 percent of women in America choose to get epidurals however, are still a lot of misconceptions about the procedure. Here are just a few of the myths surrounding epidurals:
1.Epidurals are the same as spinal taps
An epidural involves injecting pain relief medication into a space between the vertebrae and the spinal fluid. It takes about fifteen minutes to work and lasts as long as necessary. Spinals take about five minutes to kick in and are injected directly into the spinal fluid.
2.Epidurals can’t be received until you’re 4 cm dilated
According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, patients in early labor should be offered the option of receiving an epidural when the service is available, and it should not be withheld based on dilation.
3.None of the medication reaches the baby
Any medicine that you take will reach the baby, but the amount of an epidural that reaches the baby is very small. If you’re concerned about the medicine reaching the baby, consider natural labor or a spinal. The amount of medicine that reaches the bloodstream from a spinal is even smaller than the amount of the epidural.
4. Epidurals are guaranteed to work
While epidurals work a majority of the time, around five percent of women don’t feel relief after receiving the pain medication. To ensure you get the necessary amount of medication, patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) is becoming a more popular option. This way, women can control their pain without the risk of overdosing.
5. Epidurals are painful to receive
The epidural needle is only in place for about two minutes. Since the area is numbed with local anesthetic, you’ll feel pressure, but not pain when receiving the epidural.
If you have concerns about the risks of receiving an epidural, contact one of our physicians