Is epidural anesthesia advised during labor or is an non-medicated labor an option for us?
This is a personal preference for each pregnant woman and the couple as a whole. If you decide you want a form of pain relief during labor, I personal advise my patients to choose an epidural since it is only a nerve block and therefore doesn’t affect the fetus during labor. The patient loses the pain sensation to the area of the uterus so you do not feel any pain from the strong force of uterine contractions. Lighter dosed epidurals are called “walking epidurals” and are used for those women that prefer less sedation. You do not have any problems feeling drugged or foggy as you would with Intravenous sedating medications. With an epidural, when the time comes to push the baby out you still can feel the rectal pressure that assists you in pushing effectively.
If you are interested in a non-medicated delivery, I suggest you learn the various alternatives that will assist you in handling the pain associated with labor such as breathing techniques, meditation, hypo-birthing, yoga positions and other modalities that help you deter focusing on the pain associated with labor. Ultimately it is you and your partner’s decision. I encourage plenty of research and open and honest conversations with your obstetrician.