Motherhood

EPIDURAL SHOULD YOU GET IT? (Childbirth/Painkillers) – My experience

WHAT IS EPIDUARL?

An epidural is an injection in the back to stop you from feeling pain in part of your body. Epidurals can be used during childbirth, including caesareans, during certain types of surgery and after certain types of surgery.

Epidurals are given by a specialist doctor called an anaesthetist. You’re usually conscious or awake during an epidural.

HOW EPIDURALS ARE GIVEN

  • A drip will be placed in your arm so you be given fluids while you are being given an epidural.
  • You will be asked to sit down and lean forward, or lie on your side with your knees drawn.
  • You will be given an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the area or skin where the epidural is being inserted.
  • A needle is then removed, leaving just a catheter in your back.
  • You may feel discomfort when the epidural needle is positioned and the catheter is inserted.

The epidural can be inserted at different levels of your back depending on the area of the body that requires pain relief.

The pain relief drugs is given through the catheter and these take about 20-30 minutes to take full effect.

Your chest, tummy and legs may feel numb while the epidural is being used, and your legs may not feel as strong as normal. While the catheter remains in your back, it can be used to top up your pain relief drugs manually or using an automatic pump.

MY STORY

labour did not start as early as expected, so my doctor scheduled me for an inducation. I was forty two weeks pregnant.

An induction or inducing labour is where, a midwife starts labour artificially using membrane sweep, pessary or hormone drip.

Note my midwife had already given me three membrane sweeps which did not amount to nothing.

Membrane sweep is a drug-free way of bringing on labour. The midwife or doctor inserts his/her finger into your vagina, with the aim of stretching the neck of the womb to bring on labour.

The reason the membrane sweep apparently did not work was because my cervix was too prosterior.

A prosterior cervix means that your cervix is angled toward back, rather than pointing toward the front of your body.

God knows how much I wanted my baby out. Honey! I was done with being pregnant. Who doesn’t anyway? After all pregnancy is almost like, a year of pure misery. Well at least it was for me.

I looked like i had been run over by a tractor. My nose and lips looked gigantic, i am not exaggerating. I had start waddling like a penquin hahaha!.

I was weak and irritated throughout “phew” thank God it is over and done with. Don’t get me wrong I love my daughter to bits. I just did not enjoy the pregnancy period.

Finally contractions started getting stronger and stronger gas and air was not doing nothing for me, eventhough i was “High” as a mule from the gas and air.

I finally requested for an epidural as i was 3cm dilated, and on the verge of loosing my mind. I was convinced i was going to die from pain hehe!. Sad huh? but true.

The doctor (anaesthetist) managed to get everything in place. Note it took six attempts for the anaesthetist to get the needle in, because i could not stay still, due to painful contractions.

PROS OF EPIDURAL

  • Epidural provides relief from pain and exhaustion especially if labour is not progressing fast enough.
  • Helps you stay alert as you are no longer focusing on the pain.
  • Can be given anytime during labour.

CONS OF EPIDURAL

  • You may have some side effects (example feeling sick).
  • Constant back pain even after 2 years of childbirth, it may not be the case for you.
  • Trouble urinating, therefore catheter may be inserted to allow urine to drain away.
  • Blood pressure will fall a little.

IN SUMMARY

In summary know what you want. Temporal relief or constant back pain after two years of childbirth (in my case).

Motherhood

KEGELS – My life saver!

Women cannot deny the fact that childbirth put’s enormous stress on our bodies. I am yet to find anyone who thinks otherwise.

During pregnancy my body went through a lot of changes, such as developing a hole in my tooth, eventhough i took my dental appointments quite seriously. I did not have a hole in my tooth pre-pregnancy but it happened. The joys of motherhood!

The major shocker was the look of my vagina. I could not believe the state of my ”down stairs department”. It looked like a horror movie sorry too much information.

I could not hold my urine long enough. I use to wet myself when i sneeze, laugh too hard or bend over to pick something off the floor.

KEGELS DID THE MAGIC!

Kegel excercise strengthens the pelvic floor muscles which supports the bladder, small intestine, uterus. kegel excercise is also known as pelvic floor training.

Kegel helps control urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems such as prolapse, vaginal floor weakness due to childbirth or prolonged labour.

 

HOW TO DO KEGELS

To find the right muscles, you can do that by lying flat on your back. With clean washed hands insert a finger into your vagina. Try squeezing your vaginal walls around your finger. That is the muscles to excercise.

Once you are able to locate those muscles, excersing them can be done sitting, standing or lying down. whichever suits you.

Kegels can be done many times in a day. The more you excercise those muscles the stronger it becomes.

Recommendations

There are a few clinical aids out there on the market to aid you target your pelvic floor accurately. Some come with probes others do not. Whichever does the magic for you is absolutely fine, eventhough some come with additional features. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend.

Tips

  1. To my ladies do not wait until you start bearing children to start kegel excercises.
  2. Start your kegels as soon as you are cleared from your 6 weeks postnatal check-up.
  3. Make kegels an everyday routine.