Longer birth through PDA

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Epidural anesthesia extends childbirth by two to three hours

Pain during childbirth is completely natural and also fulfills an important function in that it can obviously promote the bond between mother and child. However, if the pain becomes unbearable for the woman or if the birth comes to a standstill, there is the possibility of epidural anesthesia (PDA), in which the pain in the desired areas of the body can be temporarily “switched off” using a local anesthetic. This makes birth easier for the woman - but apparently it takes much longer.

Pain in labor during childbirth "natural" and sensible Intense labor pain during childbirth is normal and fulfills an important purpose, because the close bond between mother and child can be promoted by the release of endorphins. The reason: Especially during the last, very painful phase of childbirth, the so-called "happiness hormones" are released, which - like opiates - have an anxiolytic and pain-relieving effect. When the child is finally born, the pain abruptly subsides, but the endorphin level remains very high, which means that the mother feels as if she is in a “high” and the bond between mother and child can be promoted.

"PDA" switches off pain If the pain becomes unbearable for the mother-to-be or if the birth is stopped, there is the possibility to take a so-called "PDA" (epidural anesthesia) during the birth. With this, the doctor injects a local anesthetic into the so-called "spinal epidural space" (epidural space) of the spine, whereby the pain in the desired region of the body can be temporarily dampened or almost "switched off". This makes the birth a little easier for the woman - but, as a US research team has now found, it apparently takes much longer than if the woman had experienced the "normal" pain. According to the researchers from the University of California in San Francisco under the direction of Yvonne W. Cheng in the specialist magazine "Obstetrics & Gynecology", the birth of first-time mothers would extend by two hours or even more if women had used a PDA.

Difference of up to 2 hours and 54 minutes For the study, the team evaluated data from around 42,000 women who had given birth to their children naturally and came to the conclusion that the birth of first-time mothers without local anesthesia was significantly faster : “Compared to women without epidural use, it took 336 minutes for the first-born women with epidural anesthesia to give 95% to their children. Without epidural use, it was 197 minutes, which is a difference of 2 hours and 19 minutes. In the case of the multiple women, it took 255 minutes with epidural anesthesia and 81 minutes without anesthesia until 95% of the births ended - a difference of 2 hours and 54 minutes, ”the researchers said in the abstract of their study.

Women should get detailed information about side effects and risks of PDA. Experts had previously assumed that a PDA would prolong the birth by about one hour. The danger: If the anesthetic is overdosed, the woman giving birth no longer has a feeling for the contractions and loses the ability to press. If this is the case, tools such as the suction bell are used. Accordingly, women should always carefully inform themselves about a possible PDA, because in addition to the risk of overdose, there are a number of other possible side effects such as bruising, infections or drops in blood pressure, allergic reactions or a slowed pulse (bradycardia) during the PDA. (No)

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