Epidurals Explained

Are You Pregnant And Wondering About An Epidural?

Do you think you may want an epidural but you still have lots of questions?

Have you heard a lot of different things about epidurals and don’t know what to believe?

Would you like to better understand what the pros and cons of the procedure are so you can make an informed decision?

If you’re pregnant and in the midst of doing research about labor and childbirth, you’re bound to have heard a lot about epidurals. Perhaps you’ve already decided you’d like to get one based on what you know about them, but you want to learn more. Or maybe you’re hoping for an unmedicated birth but since you aren’t sure how things will go, you want to understand the implications of getting an epidural in labor.

You've Probably Heard A Lot About Epidurals, Both Good And Bad

Perhaps someone you know has raved about how wonderful having an epidural was for handling the pain of labor. You might also know someone who had a bad experience with their epidural—they told you about the negative side effects they experienced during labor and after the birth. Naturally, you are confused about who to believe.

Perhaps you have questions like, “Do epidurals slow down labor?” or, “When is the best time to get an epidural during labor?” And you might wonder, “Do I have to get Pitocin if I get an epidural?” You may question whether what you’ve learned about epidurals thus far. Perhaps your childbirth education class sponsored by the hospital made the epidural sound like a breeze but people you’ve talked to who had an epidural have given you doubts.

The good news is that the Birth Education Center’s Epidurals Explained Course comprehensively lays out everything you need to know about epidurals for labor.

Many Pregnant Parents Have Questions About Epidurals For Coping With Labor

The majority of birthing people within the United States receive epidurals during labor and the procedure has gained even more popularity in the past decade. According to a Stanford Study conducted in 2018, 71 percent of laboring people received epidurals, an increase of 10 percent since 2008. But despite their popularity, not all pregnant people are planning to get an epidural when they give birth.

Many of us have determined we would rather plan for an unmedicated labor and birth than opt for an epidural. It might be because during our pregnancy we’ve heard about the negative side effects that come with epidurals. Or we might like the idea of giving birth without an epidural so we can experience the physiological sensations of birth without anesthesia. Or we may be concerned by how an epidural may affect our baby.

Even If You're Planning An Unmedicated Birth, You May Be Curious About The Epidural Procedure

If there’s anything predictable about birth, it’s that it’s unpredictable. So even if you are planning for an unmedicated birth, you realize certain situations may present themselves in labor that make an epidural more likely to happen.

For example, it might be difficult to get through the prolonged process of an induction without an epidural. Or if your baby is taking their time moving down into your pelvis and you become exhausted before active labor kicks in, you might end up needing an epidural so you can rest up before delivery.

Thankfully, our course provides you with the ins and outs of an epidural for labor and birth so that you will have a thorough understanding of what to expect and the ability to make informed decisions along the way.

The Birth Education Center’s ‘Epidurals Explained’ Course Has All The Answers You’re Looking For

Because epidurals are so ubiquitous in American obstetric care, we decided to create a course all about them. The subject of epidurals even comes up a lot in our natural birth classes where we don’t have time to cover them in-depth. This prompted us to answer all the frequently asked questions thoroughly and completely—all in one simple online course.

Making informed decisions about the care you receive and the procedures you agree to once you’re in labor can have a major impact on your birth experience. At the top of the list is the decision of whether or not an epidural is right for you once you’re in labor.

When it comes to all things pregnancy and childbirth, knowledge is power. And since epidurals are now a mainstay in our healthcare system, it’s beneficial to understand everything about them ahead of time. We don’t want you making decisions that will have a long-term impact on you and your baby when you’re already in labor.

What We Cover In Our ‘Epidurals Explained’ Course

When creating this course, our goal was to be as comprehensive on the subject of epidurals as we could possibly be. There are many factors to consider when getting an epidural—it isn’t simply getting a “magical needle” in your back that takes all the pain away, as some have been led to believe (fact: it’s not even a needle!).

The topics we cover in our course are:

  • What does an epidural do?
  • What is involved: procedures, placement, and materials
  • Why use an epidural (and why you may not be eligible for receiving one)?
  • Reasons you may get an epidural when you weren’t planning on it
  • What are the risks and side effects of getting an epidural?
  • When is the best time to get an epidural during labor?
  • When epidurals work and when they don’t
  • What epidurals don’t do
  • Pushing with an epidural
  • Balancing the risks with the benefits

The Knowledge You Need Before You’re In Labor

We truly have left no stone unturned. Every aspect of an epidural—from a thorough explanation of the procedure itself to the various interventions that may arise after the epidural—is discussed in detail. After taking this course, you will have a clear understanding of every aspect of an epidural and what the impacts will be for your body, your baby, and your labor.

There is so much to understand about epidurals. Waiting to discuss your options until you’re already in labor can lead to outcomes that are less than ideal. Let’s face it—once you’re in labor your brain’s ability to absorb and process information, weigh risks and benefits, and make an informed decision for yourself and your baby is compromised. However, if you begin labor with all of the facts, you can ensure you’re making the choices that best suit your circumstances and feel confident that they are the right decisions for you and your baby.

But You May Still Be Wondering If Our ‘Epidurals Explained’ Course Is Right For You…

What if I’m planning an unmedicated birth?

If you’re planning an unmedicated birth, you shouldn’t forget that the operative word is “planning.” In truth, nothing surrounding birth can be planned. Because this is your baby’s birth, they get to decide what direction labor will go. Through no fault of your own, the circumstances surrounding their birth might preclude you from an unmedicated experience. Understanding what a Plan B looks like in the event of unforeseen circumstances will be invaluable knowledge you will have up your sleeve just in case things don’t go as planned.

I already know I want an epidural so what difference will taking this course make?

Bravo to you if you already know you want an epidural for when you’re in labor. Making this decision in advance is all the more reason to take our ‘Epidurals Explained’ course. You will want to know what to expect, how it works, what it does, what it doesn’t do, the best time in labor to get it, and all the ins and outs of how to ensure you have the best experience with your epidural.

I’m afraid of getting an epidural and would rather not know the details.

You might be the type of person who would rather not find out about the things you’re afraid of. But deliberately keeping yourself in the dark about how an epidural works—the risks and benefits and the potential side effects it may cause—can lead to a negative experience that could have otherwise been avoided. It’s better to confront what scares you with both eyes open than allow your fear to stand in the way of making decisions that can benefit you and your baby.

You Can Make An Informed Decision About An Epidural

With our ‘Epidurals Explained’ course, you will have a clear understanding of the procedure so you can make the best choices for yourself and your baby.

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