It is an injection of pain relief directly into the spine. It numbs your legs and lower torso but still enables you to push. It is a shot right into your spine.. I have had one and my suggestion is if you are thinking of having one go ahead with the epidural that way it stays in and you dont have to go through the pain of later getting another shot in your spine..with the epidural they can regulate how much pain medicine you need through the whole delivery An epidural will alleviate ALL PAIN during labor! Pushing is a bit tricky because you are numb from the waist down. You are given the epidural and a "top-up" button to continue pumping in pain relief. I kept this up for ten hours, until it was time to push, then I stopped topping up. By the time my son was born, about two hours later, the numbness had worn off a bit, but still not much pain. I highly recommend the epidural- having pain relief doesn't make you less of a woman or mother or any such nonsense! No pain= no pain!!!! I have been a midwife for 26 years and if a woman wants a natural childbirth I will support her all the way. However some women don't or are advised not to. The epidural shot does not actually go into the spinal cord but into the space around it and most of the time it works very well. Sometimes it can be balanced so you can be painfree but still be able to move. If it is possible that you may need an emergency C-section it just needs to be topped-up. I had an epidural for both my labours because I had high blood pressure. The first time I had a big baby in an awkward position who took a lot of pushing, but I had a normal delivery. The second time with twins I was quite ill but as they were smaller I had a very quick easy labour.
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