Can You Get an Epidural With a Water Birth?

One question you may have is ‘Can you get an epidural with a home birth?’ The answer depends on which anaesthetic you are given and your ability to move your legs. If you choose to go through a water birth, make sure the hospital has an anaesthetist on hand for the procedure. If you can’t find one, check if your hospital has a mobile epidural.

Epidurals in a pool

While the benefits of an epidural may seem obvious, they are not the only reasons to use it during labour. Water provides support and pressure and has been described as nature’s epidural. Women who choose to use a birth pool can also choose to use gas and air (Entonox), which can be waterproof. A midwife can see the progress of the labour and can check on the baby’s temperature.

The proportion of SVDs in Italy is comparable to other countries that have investigated the use of birthing pools. This is encouraging, especially in a country where the overall rate of Caesareans is high. However, fewer obstetric units offer epidurals for non-operative deliveries, and injected opioids are generally not available. However, if the risk of a cesarean section is high, it may be worthwhile to consider using a pool for birthing.

Meconium floats to the surface of a tub

Meconium is a green, chunky, thick substance that can be a concern during water birth. When it enters the uterus before birth, it may cause respiratory problems for the baby and can lead to a c-section. Fortunately, the presence of meconium in a tub is very rare, and most mothers don’t need an epidural or any type of intervention after the birth.

If a woman’s labor is in the early stages, the presence of meconium in a water birth will not interfere with the baby’s heart rate and may even weaken the process. However, in later stages, it may be more difficult to intervene and risk disrupting the labor. The warm water in a tub can relax the woman’s body and help the cervix to open.

Risks of infection

One of the most common fears about water birth is infant infection. This is not an entirely true risk, however. In fact, the rate of infection in water births is extremely low, less than one percent. Water also dilutes bacteria, so many women pass stool while pushing out their baby. The midwives are trained to minimize the risks. Infections also tend to occur in newborns born to women who are preeclamptic.

While water immersion is often encouraged by midwives and OB/GYNs, some experts are skeptical. The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) has endorsed water births for some women, but the American College of Obstetricians recommend against them during the first stage of labor. ACOG also recommends birthing on land for the second stage of labor. In addition, many women are not adequately informed of the risks of water births and are not evaluated for their own level of risk.

Side effects of an epidural

An epidural during childbirth is known to interfere with the production of natural hormones that aid in labor. These include oxytocin and pitocin. The latter helps the uterus contract and release the milk from the placenta. An epidural will also block the production of endorphins that naturally offset the pain of childbirth. Pitocin is a synthetic hormone that does not control its own release, resulting in intense contractions and the possibility of an emergency c-section.

In addition to making the labor process more difficult, the presence of an epidural may result in a hematoma. This is a type of complication that can cause pain and damage to the baby. A serious case of epidural abscess can cause paralysis or even death. However, the good news is that the effects of an epidural are rare. Most women will be given intravenous fluids prior to having the epidural, and their blood pressure will be monitored throughout the labor process.