The Epidural Book: A Woman's Guide to Anesthesia for Childbirth

The Epidural Book: A Woman's Guide to Anesthesia for Childbirth

Richard Siegenfeld

Language: English

Pages: 152

ISBN: 1421407345

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The majority of women giving birth in the United States receive an epidural during labor and delivery; many others receive a spinal block. The Epidural Book fully explains anesthesia used during labor and vaginal delivery or C-section, with an emphasis on epidurals.

Dr. Richard Siegenfeld answers pregnant women's questions, including • Who administers epidurals and spinal blocks and when?• How does anesthesia affect both the mother and the baby?• Under what circumstances should a woman avoid an epidural?• What happens during the recovery period?• What problems can arise?

Written by an experienced anesthesiologist, The Epidural Book is lighthearted and informative. This easy-to-read guide helps an expectant mother prepare for her all-important day.












during her first labor. With an epidural, the incidence is about one in four.16 The rise in body temperature associated with an epidural, if it occurs, is usually small and develops over hours. There is no direct negative consequence of a maternal fever if it is solely due to an epidural. Fevers from epidurals are gradual. First-time mothers, on average, have longer labors compared with mothers delivering for a second or third time. One theory is that the longer the epidural is in place, the more

bulging discs report no problems from an epidural. When I talk with women who have chronic lower back pain and who have received two or even three epidurals for previous pregnancies, they never indicate that their disc problems got worse from having epidurals. My colleagues tell me that they have also talked with women in this situation, and again, the women report no problems. The collective anecdotal experience of seasoned anesthesiologists, however, cannot replace medical studies, which, to

in the past thirty years has the medical community realized how much safer regional anesthesia, like an epidural or a spinal, is than general anesthesia for both the expectant mother and the baby. Significant improvements have been made in methods for administering regional anesthesia, such as using very thin, long, flexible plastic catheters (tubes) and single use (disposable) supplies. Researchers have conducted thousands of medical studies, and doctors have administered millions of epidurals

mother and child. Anesthesia for a C-section is either general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep, or regional anesthesia, given in the form of an epidural or a spinal. Both general and regional anesthetics are safe; however, in most situations, regional anesthesia (a spinal or an epidural) is safer for both you and your unborn baby. (In chapter 15 you’ll find a more detailed safety comparison between general and regional anesthesia with respect to the baby’s well-being.) Your

you would have one for almost any surgery requiring general anesthesia. At the end of the surgery, as you wake up, the staff will remove this tube. Most people have no memory of having the breathing tube at all. For many women, their first memory after a general anesthetic is of the recovery room. There is a common misperception that people undergoing general anesthesia initially receive different amounts or types of medication depending on how long the surgery is expected to last. People who

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