Epidurals are injections that are given in the lower portion of the back using hollow needles. These injections are given to ease the pain of labor.
It is an extremely common practice to give epidurals to women who are not able to endure the pain of their labor. While in the past, a conventional or classic dose of anesthetics were injected in the epidural space in the spinal column of the pregnant woman, the current trend is to inject smaller doses.
The low dose epidural consists of a small dose of anesthetic and a small dose of pain reliever. This combination is more advantageous than the classic dose because this allows the woman to move her legs. This is important because in the classic dose, the amount of anesthetic was so high that the woman wasn’t able to push the baby and many a times vacuum or forceps were required for delivery.
These days a pump is attached to the injection so that only specific amount of epidurals is released. As the cervix becomes fully dilated, the epidurals are withdrawn so that the woman is able to use her legs.