With women postponing motherhood till late 30s and conditions like obesity and hypertension, chances for normal delivery become less. As one grows old, the threshold to bear pain also reduces. Even when not in advanced age, some women just don’t want to bear the pain that comes with bearing children. Advancement in science has come with a medical procedure known as epidural anesthesia which allows one give birth with no pain.
What is epidural procedure
In an epidural procedure, a small injection is placed in your lower back, through which a fine tube (epidural catheter), the size of a thread, is passed into your back.
Drugs can be injected through this tube to relieve the pain of labour. These drugs are anesthetics which cause numbing of the nerves and pain sensation without affecting the ability to move. These drugs are also very safe for the baby. With an epidural in place, you may feel the contractions, but they will not be painful. It provides respite to expectant mothers from unbearable pain during delivery.
The anesthesiologist and your nurse will check that the epidural is working well. Painless birth is the reason to have epidural and whenever your pain is significant you can request for an epidural. All women in labour who need pain relief can have an epidural, except those on blood thinning drugs or abnormal blood tests.
Service available in Uganda
The epidural procedure is available in several hospitals Uganda. Maureen Tushabe, a midwife at Kampala Independent Hospital told us they have successfully carried out countless epidural procedures.
“Yes, the service is available. We have several procedures done successfully here,” she stated.
According to Tushabe, the service is mainly a client’s decision or referred in case of a complication.
“One needs to come to the hospital and the doctors make necessary tests and assessment of the client before we recommend the service,” she stated. This implies that you don’t just walk in because your water broke and you ask for an epidural. She further stated that the service is affordable and on-demand.
For Rose Nantezza(not real name), the procedure was her best hope for having a child. She had history with cervical cancer. The doctors at Nsambya Hospital told her she could not push so they preferred the epidural procedure which was accompanied by C-section.
“I was receiving my treatment and antenatal from Nsambya Hospital that set up a team of 10 doctors. They then took me to La Memorial Hospital, Wakiso to see their colleague whom they said was professional at it,” she stated.
According to Nantezza, she felt no pain during the procedure and she delivered her baby with no complications.
“My baby came out alive and very healthy. I did not feel any pain and he is now one year old,” she told us.