Q: Are there any side effects on delivery with epidural injection? How much epidural can a woman in labour be given?
A: The objective of an epidural during labour is primarily for pain relief. Adequate medication through the epidural is given till optimal pain relief is achieved.
The dose will vary from person to person. It is possible to be "pain free" during labour depending on the dosage administered. This usually works best when given early in labour. Some women may require the dose to be 'tailed down' in the late stage of labour so that some sensation returns and they can push better.
As with all types of medication, there are possible side effects from an epidural.
More commonly encountered side effects include nausea, vomiting, shivering, headaches, hypotension (low blood pressure) and a prolonged second stage of labour.
Q: What does a standard antenatal package consist of? I have gone through several websites and I still cannot decide which one to sign up for because they all look the same to me.
A: There are various packages available but it is best to discuss with your doctor on what you require. In NUH, we have a package which can be available here: http://www.nuh.com.sg/
Q: What is the difference between normal delivery and assisted delivery?
A: A normal delivery occurs when a pregnant mother is able to push her baby out herself. This usually means that the delivery is smooth and uneventful. Obstetricians will strive for a normal vaginal delivery as far as possible.
However, in certain instances, the mother may need some help in delivering her baby.
It may happen because the mother has been trying very hard to push and has exhausted her strength, there is prolonged labour in the second stage of labour, or when there is a need to deliver the baby quickly, such as when there is bleeding or a change in the baby's condition.
Either the forceps or vacuum may be used to help deliver the baby and this is called an assisted delivery.
Got a question on your reproductive health? Email it to us at Just Woman and we will get it answered by Dr Fong Yoke Fai, a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the National University Hospital.