Epidural, a husband’s point of view

As a husband, one of my apprehensions about labour was the pain associated with it. Here is my take on the use of epidural anaesthesia during childbirth.

When we were in our third trimester, our obstetrician asked us to think about the use of epidural pain relief during the labour. One reason for her concern was the considerable cost to us. Other was her experience with couples who had a hard time deciding about it.

At Indusparent, we have already covered the technical details about epidural anaesthesia, so I would not go into much details of it. These are my views, as a husband, about epidural anaesthesia and why we would go for it if we could.

#1 Pain Relief

One of the happiest moments of my life was when my girlfriend agreed to marry me. The three years after the marriage were bliss, but the happiest moment was soon to be replaced by something phenomenal!

When we would hold the baby, I wanted my wife to be fresh and excited instead of being exhausted after the pain of the labour. I feel that only women can endure so much pain and agree to do so again!

That said, there is no scientific evidence that this pain is an ‘essential’ pain. The pain is not going to make the bond stronger, as the popular belief goes.

Epidural anaesthesia provides a safe, non-sedative solution for the childbirth. The mother can feel the pressure and can bear down, but would not feel the pain that comes with it. As a husband, I wouldn’t ask for anything more.

#2 Safety

No medical intervention is without its set of complications. That said, the procedure has been practised for a long time now, and has been improved considerably. You should discuss the advantages and complications of epidural anaesthesia with your doctor.

Personally, I have seen mothers tiring out during the early stages of labour, and the final few pushes are feeble. This may pose a safety risk to the wellbeing of the baby.

When all goes well, the mother will feel some numbness in extremities right after the delivery. Also, she may feel a slight discomfort at the site of administration. This is a small price to pay for a safe and a relatively painless delivery.

Read on for more

#3 Comfort

If it is your first pregnancy, your wife may experience a long labour. My mother was in labour for 18 hours when I was born. This is an uncomfortable time. Imagine you have something extremely important to do, and you are in pain for a day leading to it. Epidural anaesthesia provides the mothers with a solution for this discomfort.

Even though it is rarely administered before the active labour, the anticipation of a pain-free delivery has a calming effect on its own. Most mothers have a positive experience about the pregnancy when they use an epidural anaesthesia.

Epidural is also a blessing for the husbands. A friend of mine recently opted to bear the pain. Her husband still has scratches on his arms as a souvenir of the labour.

Childbirth is a beautiful process. Your wife is going to bond well with your child irrespective of the way he is delivered. At the end of it, it is your wife’s choice to choose it. However, as a husband, you should be aware of the tremendous societal pressures on her.

These things often affect her leading to difficulties in breastfeeding, post-delivery blues to name a few. It is your duty as a husband to discuss various options with your wife and get all her doubts solved, and tell her that it is alright to be judged by other people, who would have nothing to do with the childbirth itself.

What other people think about your choices is their problem, not yours!

Also read “The birth of my son was a beautiful experience, thanks to an epidural.”

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(Image courtesy: Sheknows.com)