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Childbirth, as long as it is natural or vaginal, can be experienced with or without anesthesia to alleviate the pain of dilation and delivery. Still in some parts of the world it is not an option that is offered to the mother, although it is becoming more and more widespread. In the event that the delivery is performed by cesarean section, epidural or general anesthesia will always be used, depending on the case.
Many women prefer to control pain with breathing techniques learned in childbirth courses, however, others choose anesthesia. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both methods before choosing.
Anesthetists often use three types of anesthesia different to help pregnant women to live through childbirth, avoiding to a greater or lesser extent, the pain caused by contractions, dilation and descent of the baby through the birth canal:
1 - Local: it is applied in the perineal area and is used in case an episiotomy has been performed and the woman has not undergone epidural anesthesia or if she has suffered a tear. This drug does not prevent the pain of contractions, since it is a very localized anesthesia and only avoids the discomfort when suturing the cut.
2 - Epidural anesthesia: Depending on the clinical center or the mother's option, the epidural or walking epidural can be administered:
- Walking epidural: it is also known as walking anesthesia. It is administered in a similar way to the epidural, injecting the anesthetic into the lumbar vertebrae. However, due to the combination of the drug, the entire lower part of the body of the woman does not sleep, who can walk and move freely but does not feel the pain of contractions although she does notice them. This technique allows the pregnant woman to have more autonomy and be more aware of the pushing she has to make.
- Epidural: it is administered by injecting it into the lumbar vertebrae and completely sleeps the pregnant woman's body from the waist down. The woman has to lie on a stretcher for the duration of labor and does not feel any pain throughout the process.
3 - general: completely sleeps the patient. It is usually applied in some cesarean deliveries and only when doctors consider that it is not possible to perform the intervention with epidural anesthesia.
You can read more articles similar to Types of anesthesia in labor, in the category of Delivery on site.