What to expect during an epidural?

patient getting an epidural
Everything you need to know about epidurals.

Why its good to see your anaesthetist before giving birth?

Your are entering the great unknown and whilst you are an expert in your own field, you may not know as much about your options when giving birth. We always recommend where possible to educate yourself and understand your options as much as possible.

In the video below, Donna (our midwife) and Dr. Nathan Judd (Anaesthetist at Adelaide Anaesthetic Service) discuss this very fact at length. Have a listen to get some great insights into certain risk factors which may further drive your decision

This is also relevant if you think there is a chance you may have a caesarean birth or an induced labour.

Play Video about Dr Nathan Judd speaking about aesthetic options

You get the bill from them, but what does the anaesthetist do for you during birth?

You listened to Dr. Nathan and when and spoke to an anaesthetist. And they spoke to you all about the risks and considerations with the painkillers and procedures you may need during birth.

But don’t be put off, be rest assured, it is still all your decision about how all these things happen. Watch Donna and Nathan speak about consent and how you are very much in control of your own destiny.

Dr Nathan also speaks about some great strategies to over come anxiety or hesitation about medication during childbirth. It is your body and your care, make sure they care caring for your health – whether that is emotional, physical or mental health. You aren’t putting them out, that is their job.

There’s a bit more to anaesthesiology than I thought, even the sneaky photographer role:)

Play Video about Dr Nathan Judd speaking on the role of an anaesthesiologist

Before we go to much further, we need to talk risks. What are they?

It is important to have a really good understanding of the risks associated with taking medications during labour, birth and beyond.

We have all heard of the horror stories about permanent nerve damage or persistent numbness Dr Nathan helps put that in perspective. He also details some of the lesser know side effects and their potential impact on your life style.

 Epidurals are not bad, they are one of the safer forms of anaesthetic but every medication comes with risks and side effect’s – be informed but not alarmed.

Some great insights into safe medication use and storage – worth taking note of. Not just with regards to pregnancy medication, but all medication that we might have in the house. 

Play Video about dr nathan speaking about risks associated with pain medication

How are epidurals given?

We have given consent and now are at the stage of getting an epidural. But where is it given, what is the process and how does it work?

Donna and Dr Nathan go into some depth about how long an epidural can take and why we always talk about, if you want an epidural – you need to go early. They also discuss how it is inserted and can you lay on it.

The epidural works by injecting the aesthetic into the epidural space around the nerves in your spine. The anaesthetic acts like an inhibitor on the pain receptors to block the pain signals going to your brain.

Due to the localised nature of the epidural injection the impacts on the baby are minimal.

Play Video about the process of giving an epidural

Ok, so we know know epidurals are given for pain relief during labour, but are there any other reasons?

I found this section fascinating. I didn’t realise the many other reasons of why the clinical team might consider giving an epidural. I thought it was all just about pain relief – turns out that’s not the case.

Play Video about some reasons for giving an epidural

Phew, its over! Now for recovery and loving this baby.

Finally after 9 long months, it is over! Congratulation’s and great work mum. 

Now for the recovery side of things. Often this is missed and all the focus goes to the baby. But a healthy, well mum makes for a health and well baby. This recovery stage is every bit as important as the 9 months you have spent growing this baby.

Take careful note of what Dr Nathan speaks about of particular note, make sure you are feeling pain free enough to get up and about. I found particularly interesting the conversation about pain medications and the impact of that on your ability to function and breastfeed. Well worth a watch. 

Play Video about recovery from caesarean

Have questions about looking after your baby?

We are glad you asked, because this is exactly what we do. Goldilocks is a next generation baby monitor that tracks your baby’s feeding, sleep, breathing, skin and core temperature.

But we don’t just track, we also provide insights and advice from clinicians (just like those you have see above) right when you need them.

You can find out more about what we do here.

Play Video

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information provided on this website is not intended to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters we recommend consulting with your local healthcare professional

share our news


get our news

The Team at Goldilocks Pty Ltd

The Team at Goldilocks Pty Ltd

We've designed the unique Goldilocks Suit baby monitoring system to help make parenting easier.


more stories