Delivery Procedures; Benefits and Risks


What Delivery Process is the Best?

What matters to a woman in labor is the fact that she wants the whole pain to end as soon as possible so that she can hold her bundle of joy and cover it with its first motherly kisses. The delivery process she undergoes sometimes does not concern her at this point as her sole desire is to get the baby out through any process. This is why most pregnant women decide on which delivery process they want before their labor days. As much as the thought of labor and delivery brings so much anxiety, alongside pain and discomfort, it(delivery) has to be done anyways. This is why the procedure for delivery has to be decided on earlier. The safeness and painlessness of the delivery procedure vary from woman to woman. The different delivery procedures include;

  • Natural childbirth
  • Epidural

The pains from natural birth can be debilitating in some women, while in others, natural birth could just be as painless as peeing. However, it is usually on few occasions that natural birth comes with little or no pains. This is why most pregnant women get scared when their expected delivery date draws nigh. In order to help them overcome this anxiety which is not healthy for their condition and their babies, science invented a wonder that could beat down delivery or labor pains to the barest minimum.

This scientific wonder is called “Epidural.” Epidurals are a medication for pain relief during childbirth. It provides a painless and more comfortable delivery and labor compared to natural childbirth, which in most cases is usually painful and comes with so much discomfort.

However, the positive effects of epidural during labor to most people sounds too good to be real, that most people still prefer natural childbirth because they believe or assume that anything that takes away a natural pain as huge as childbirth pain must have a side effect. In order to avoid these side effects, they prefer undergoing natural childbirth rather than using epidural shots.

Unfortunately, their assumptions are right. There are actually side effects of epidural, but notwithstanding, these side effects are not damning and cannot cause serious harm to you or your baby.

Whichever delivery or labor option you want to choose, it is best to discuss it with your Doctor or Midwife first. Also, do not forget that the painlessness, effectiveness, or safeness of each procedure varies from woman to woman.

Natural Birth

Natural birth involves natural vaginal delivery without any form of painkillers or medications.


People still opt-in for natural birth despite knowing about epidurals because they think it would interfere with their natural body responses to delivery. They are actually right. Being a natural procedure, no part of the delivery process will interfere with the body’s responses. Thus, being natural, its risks are very low and occur on very few occasions.


The risks associated with births that are not medicated are not in all cases serious. Asides from the usual pain and discomfort it brings, of which every pregnant woman opting for that option would have prepared for, other things that may occur may not be too serious about leaving you damned and confined to a hospital bed all the days of your life.

Risks increase when a medical problem arises, and the child is not able to pass through the cervix.

Asides from the natural pain, some of the other things that may occur during a vaginal birth include;

  • Tears, especially in the perineum, which is behind the vaginal wall
  • Hemorrhoid
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Psychological trauma
  • Bowel issues
  • Extra pains

In order to prevent these risks, a number of things are done in preparation for natural vaginal delivery. This is why during antenatal, short delivery education classes are held to help pregnant women prepare for what is coming ahead, and as well teach them the roles they have to play on their parts to ensure their safe delivery.

The following preparations are carried out to replace medications during natural vaginal delivery;

  • Breathing exercises and techniques
  • Acupressure
  • Warm baths
  • Massages
  • Also, compensation for the changes in the pelvis, a frequent change of position is required.


operating processEpidural is a medication that is used to reduce the pains in some areas during childbirth. It becomes inevitable when there are complications, and the woman has to undergo a cesarean section.

Epidural is administered through a tube through the spine and takes about 15 minutes to begin to work.


The one and only benefit of epidural, which happens to be its greatest benefit, is its ability to ensure a painless delivery. Though some other feelings like contraction feelings may still be felt, the usual intense pain of labor would be significantly reduced.

It can be administered both during vaginal delivery and cesarean section delivery. During vaginal birth, the pain reduces, but you can still feel some sensations and would be fully aware of what is ongoing, while for cesarean section, it is majorly used to reduce the pain associated with having to cut the stomach open and surgically taking a baby out of the womb. If a woman is awake during a cesarean section, then epidural must have been administered prior to the process, but in cases where the woman is not awake, then it must have been general anesthesia that must have been administered.

According to statistics, the percentage of the increase of cesarean section over the years has increased by 70%, courtesy epidural.

Common Risks and Side Effects

Some side effects of epidural are not severe enough to get you worried as they can be remedied easily. Some of the common side effects include;

  • Itching

Opioids and other medications that are used to relieve childbirth pain can cause your skin to begin to itch. This can, however, be reversed by certain medications.

  • Nausea and Vomiting

Some of these medications used for an epidural can irritate your stomach and cause you to throw up. Just like its itching effect, it can be reversed.

  • Fever

This is very common among most women who opt-in for epidural. The cause of the fever is still unknown, but it can be controlled and reversed.

  • Back Soreness

One of the most recorded side effects of pregnancy is back soreness. Thus, feeling a backache after epidurals is not alien. Though with epidurals, the soreness might be more intense than the natural birth backache. However, this soreness lasts for just a few days, after which you feel relieved.

  • Low Blood Pressure

Women who get epidural tend to experience a drop in their blood pressure. Though this is not a serious concern as your blood pressure will be monitored and checked at intervals. The reason for the drop in blood pressure is the effects of the epidurals relaxing the muscles that were contracting during labor.

  • Difficult Urination

Numb will be the state of the nerves that help you identify when your bladder is full. Thus, you may need assistance with urination until you are able to gain control over your bladder after few days.

Rare Side Effects

These are side effects that happen in very few cases. These side effects range from nerve damage to breathing issues.

  • Difficulty Breathing

Due to the effect, the anesthetic has on the chest, women who had epidural during childbirth may experience labored breathing or slow breathing.

  • Severe Headache

headacheRemember that the epidural is administered through the spine. If, while administering it through the spine, the needle mistakenly punctures the membrane that covers the spinal cord and the content (fluid) begins to leak, then you may experience severe headaches as a result of this mistake. This is usually not out of control as medications can be administered to stop the headache, and if the headache does not stop, a sample of your blood is used to patch up the hole (the blood sample will be injected into the hole). When the blood clots, the hole closes. This process is known as an epidural blood patch.

  • Seizures

If the epidural gets to the vein, it can trigger seizures, which can also be managed.

  • Nerve Damage

When the needle that is used to administer the epidural hits a nerve, there may be temporal or permanent damage to that nerve.

In conclusion, the whole idea about childbirth is discomforting, but the joy it brings, in the end, is sufficing.