An epidural is a type of anesthetic, and any anesthetic can come with risks. The most commonly experienced side effects of epidurals are low blood pressure, itching, headaches, and irritation at the injection site, but some women have experienced more serious complications. For this reason, many women in recent years have been deciding to opt for natural alternatives to the epidural, to ensure a safer labor and delivery for both mother and baby. There are many natural epidural alternatives; you just need to find which one is most suitable for you and your labor and delivery.
Warm water is an excellent epidural alternative, and laboring in the water is completely natural and very safe. Warm water eases tense muscles, and the natural buoyancy the water provides will help you to feel lighter during the labor process. Many women choose to labor in a birthing tub, or even in a shower, and many doctors recommend this natural method of dealing with labor pain.
Another lesser used but seemingly effective method of a natural epidural alternative is acupuncture. In recent years, this method has risen in popularity, and some studies have been done to further understand acupuncture’s effectiveness in relation to labor pain. The studies have shown that acupuncture does in fact appear to ease the pain of labor, as the women who received the treatment reported being in less pain than those who did not, and these women also had fewer requests for other pain relief methods when compared to the control group. Acupuncture works by placing very thin needles into certain points on the body, and it is said that this method helps to restore balance within the body’s energy. Acupuncture is a method that has been used for thousands of years for all different types of pain relief, and the method has been shown to work very effectively for labor pain as well. On top of pain relief, the studies on acupuncture during labor also showed a decrease of labor time in the women receiving the treatment, and it is believed to speed up the process of labor as well as help to manage pain.
While laboring in water and acupuncture are two effective natural epidural alternatives, they are far from your only options when it comes to managing labor pain naturally. If you wish to labor naturally, and want to manage your labor pain, always speak to the professionals overseeing your labor and delivery about different natural epidural alternatives and options.
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