Epidurals & Pain Relief Options during Delivery


Epidural anesthesia is the most common method of reducing pain during labor. Women ask for an epidural by name more than any other method of pain relief. Over 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia.

You must try to learn about different ways to reduce pain while preparing for the day of delivery. You should understand the different types of epidurals, how they are taken, their advantages and risks will help you to make better decisions.

Epidural anesthesia is regional anesthesia that stops pain in a particular region of the body. The aim of an epidural is to provide analgesia, or pain relief, rather than anesthesia, which leads to a total lack of feeling. Epidurals impede the nerve impulses from the lower spinal segments. This results in decreased sensation in the lower half of the body.

Epidural drugs are classified as local anesthetics, which include bupivacaine, chloroprocaine or lidocaine. They are usually used in combination with opioids or narcotics such as fentanyl and sufentanil in order to reduce the required dose of local anesthetic.

This offers pain relief with little effect. These drugs may be used in combination with epinephrine, fentanyl, morphine, or clonidine to reduce the epidural’s effect or to control the mother’s blood pressure.