Epidural instructions for use

Epidural instructions for use

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In France, nearly two out of three women give birth under epidurals. Are you still hesitating? Here are the answers to the main questions you ask yourself.

Why an epidural?

  • The epidural aims to block the transmission of painful impulses resulting from contraction of the uterus and progression of the baby to the exit.

At what moment of delivery is it done?

  • As soon as the dilatation of the cervix has reached 2 to 3 cm.

Are there any contraindications to the epidural?

  • All women can benefitexcept for those with fever, blood clotting disorders, infection of the back (eg boils) at the time of delivery. Epidural is also contraindicated in neurological disorders.
  • A consultation with the anesthesiologist is obligatory a few weeks before delivery, whether or not you decide to use the epidural (which will allow you to change your mind).

How is the epidural placed?

  • After performing a small local anesthesia, the practitioner guides a needle between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae to reach the epidural space. Then, he introduces a catheter (flexible and hollow) by which the anesthetic product will be injected, and he removes the needle.
  • Everything is done under the control of the blood pressure of the mother and the heartbeat of the future baby. Previously, an intravenous infusion was placed to treat any changes in blood pressure that may result from the epidural.

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