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South City Hospital > Treatments & Specialties > Anesthesia > Epidurals: We answer your questions

Epidurals: We answer your questions

An epidural is a pain relief medication provided during labor. However, there are certain conditions under which we will administer it. You will have to generally be over 3cm dilated. 

The first ever epidural was administered in 1948 and the science has since made considerable advances.

Will an epidural affect my baby?
No, an epidural will not negatively affect your baby. Epidurals increase the placental blood flow and improve oxygenation to the baby.

Will I develop a backache after taking an epidural?
No. Epidurals are administered for back pain.

When will you not give an epidural?
An anesthetist will first check certain factors before agreeing to administer an epidural. If, for example, you have been on blood thinners or your blood has problems clotting, the decision will have to be reviewed. It is a standard operating procedure to check the blood, platelet levels, and clotting ability before any decision is made to give an epidural.