Myths about getting a Labor Epidural

4 August 2021 08:33 am

Dr Roshana Mallawaarachchi
Consultant Anaesthetist Base Hospital Dickoya

Epidural anesthesia is the most popular method of pain relief during labor in developed countries. Women request an epidural by name more than any other method of pain relief. More than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia.Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka only about 6% of mothers have a good knowledge and only 15% have a positive attitude towards labor epidural analgesia. Epidurals generally provide safe and effective pain relief during labor. But nevertheless, myths persist. Here are few truths behind some common myths.

Myth No. 1: They will cause permanent back pain

Labor itself can cause back pain: Pushing for several hours combined with the hormones that cause the muscles in your lower body to relax can strain muscles and ligaments. But epidurals themselves have not been proven to cause long term back pain.

Myth No. 2: They can paralyze me

Serious complications from an epidural, including paralysis, are extremely rare. It is exceedingly rare from an anesthetic procedure.

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