Epidural Anaesthesia for Childbirth
The use of epidural anaesthesia for childbirth exposes both the mother and the child to health risks and complications because of the drugs they contain. There is an increasing preference for epidural among a majority of women admitted to labour wards for the purpose of relieving pain. Close to a third of all women in the child-bearing age have used an epidural, and its use is particularly prevalent among first-time mothers. Those bearing children through the caesarean section use epidurals as a substitute for general anaesthetic, giving the women the ability to have a good experience during the birth process and carry and breastfeed from the very beginning. May, Anne and Leighton, however, raise questions regarding their use for normal vaginal birth (May, Anne and Leighton para. 111).
There is a wide range of epidural used by women giving birth. A traditional epidural anaesthesia involves the injection of a local anaesthetic into the epidural space, which can be accessed near the lower back, next to the spinal cord. The result is a numbing of the nerves response for sensation from the uterus and birth canal. However, according to Halpern and Douglas, the procedure similarly leads to a numbing of the nerves responsible for controlling the movement of the legs and contraction of the pelvic muscles making it challenging for a woman to control her legs and with the onset of the second pha…
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