Expectant mothers increasingly opting for epidural anesthesia in JDWNRH

No labour pain after epidural anesthesia has also led to mothers to undergo C-Section delivery

With increasing numbers of expectant mothers opting for epidural analgesia or anesthesia, there is also an increase in the number of mothers who undergo cesarean section or C-section delivery.

In 2016, 51 expectant mothers opted for epidural injection where 10 expectant mothers had to undergo C-section delivery.  In 2017, 101 expectant mothers opted for epidural injection and in 2018, 159 mothers opted for it and in 2019, 47 mothers opted for it, as of June.

Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH, Dr Gosar Pemba said in 2018, of the mothers who opted for epidural anesthesia, 34 of them had to undergo C-section delivery and 11 mothers did the same in June 2019.

Dr. Gosar said when they use epidural injection, the mother will not feel pain and and so the mother may not be pushing when required.

This is the reason why expectant mothers had to undergo C-section delivery after opting for epidural injection. The nurses explain every expectant mothers about the pros and cons of opting for epidural and they also have pamphlets on the indications and complications of epidural for educated mothers.

However, Dr. Gosar said so far they have not experienced any cases going wrong with the use of epidural anesthesia.

He said though the process assures reduction in labour pain and a comfortable birth, complications like headache, wrong placement of catheter, allergy and cardiac shock cannot be ruled out.

There are examinations done before administering the mother with the epidural anesthesia. The overall health of a mother, size of mothers’ pelvis, mothers’ pain tolerance level, intensity level of contractions and size or position of the baby needs to be considered.

Currently JDWNRH has 4 anesthesiologists for administering epidural anesthesia, said Dr. Gosar. “If we have more anesthesiologists, we can provide the services even more,” he added.

Dr. Gosar said for now they have enough doctors specialized in the birthing centers and they also have standby teams, when needed. The hospital has allotted ten beds in the epidural ward, he said.

Epidural anesthesia is for expectant mothers with normal delivery without any complications. Every delivery without anesthesia is not the same as some mothers deliver easily while there are mothers who have severe pains during the first time, and it can take about 18 hours.

An epidural is provided free of cost and is given as an option to every expectant mother.

Epidural anesthesia is a medical technique of relieving pain administered to expectant mothers during delivery. It is injected into the spine after placing a catheter into the epidural space before the mother goes into labour. Epidurals block the nerve impulses from the lower spinal segments resulting in decreased sensation in the lower half of the body.

Meanwhile, more than 12,000 babies were born in the country last year and Thimphu alone had recorded 5,081 babies. There are approximately 20 deliveries in a day across the country.

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