While an epidural might be necessary at times during the birthing process, it does have certain side effects as well.
Some of the side effects that you might notice are:
- Lengthening of your labour time
- Soreness on your lower back
- Lowering of your blood pressure
- It also reduces the chances of you having a normal vaginal delivery
You might also get a strong headache within 24 to 48 hours post delivery. This is if the needle punctures the fluid bag that surrounds your spinal cord. This leak can be treated by injecting a small amount of blood taken from your arm into the leak. But this will be done only after the baby is born.
Even your new born child can be affected by the epidural’s medicine. This is because the medicines that are injected into you will enter your child’s blood stream as well. And since the baby’s immune system is very weak, it takes more than 36 hours for the effect to weaken. Some of the side effects in your baby can be:
- Reduced oxygen supply during labour because your blood pressure drops
- A decrease in her fetal heart rate
- Your baby can also have a lower AGPAR (It is a test that asses a new born on five parameters – Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration) score if you develop fever because of the epidural
However, despite these side effects, sometimes an epidural becomes essential during labour. Don’t worry too much about the side effects as they subside soon. And it is only a very rare possibility that you will develop an infection at the point where the catheter was injected