Anesthesiologist Dr. Edna Ma demonstrates how an epidural is performed.
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Dr. Lisa Masterson: Having a baby can be a exciting and a little scary. So today we're showing women what you need to know before getting an Epidural. Nadia is doing just about 3 weeks. So pretty soon and we also have Dr. Edna Ma here today, she is Anesthesiologist, and what a great name for a mummy to be anesthesiologist. So she is going to tell you everything you need to know, but I'm going to tell you a little caveat before that. What I have as pet peeve as a OB is daddies who tell mummies they don't need any pain medication during the birth. Because if you asked a daddy to pass a bowling ball through his penis, I guarantee you he would want some pain medication. So just remember, you don't any gold stars for being in pain. Lot of women in other countries who don't have epidurals at their disposal would kill for epidural. So just remember here it's going through your body and it's what you want. Nadia: Don't have to be hero. Dr. Lisa Masterson: Absolutely, absolutely. It's all about healthy baby and happy mommy alright. So Dr. Edna will tell us exactly what you need to know for epidural. Dr. Edna Ma: Well, when I tell patients to position themselves for an epidural. I have mom sit on the edge of the bed or have them lay on their side like this mannequin and then roll your back out like a shrimp that really opens up the space in the lower back. And this mannequin is her side. And then what I do is feel for the bonies parts of the low back and you can feel it. There are some epidural there. Then what we do is clean the skin off with the antiseptic paint. It's a sterile procedure. Then numb the skin up with some numbing medicine. Nadia: This little tiny needle feels like this poking-- Dr. Edna Ma: Not anymore than an IV and then we're ready for the epidural needle placement. Now with the magic of TV we're going to take a look at what's going on inside your body. And this is the area that we're feeling for. At the bony places and the space in between is what we're aiming for. If you are my patient, I would be taking this epidural needle and placing it -- feeling that area through the skin and then introducing that needle. Now this point it won't hurt, because we're already numb up your skin. You feel some pressure of the anesthesiologist pushing against you, but nothing she feels sharp or painful. Once the needle is in certain amount you take the syringe, advance a little bit more and you may feel pop sound. That means you're in epidural space then we place a catheter in epidural space and you feel that slight pop and that tells us the tip of the needle is within epidural space. You put this catheter through, it's a very, very small catheter and if you look very closely it looks like a slinky wound up very tightly. Then we take the needle out, the catheter stays in place. It's very soft and flexible, we tape it to the skin and we take this catheter and infuse very dilute medications through this catheter. A lot of people don't realize this, but you can request have a lighter epidural or if you want to feel a little bit more of the contractions just tell your doctor and or your anesthesiologist and they can adjust based on your preferences. Nadia: So aside from, because I have heard about that this it's harder to feel push, but there is lot of I've heard there is controversy with the medication going in how will that affect the baby or the baby be more drugged when it's born, and there is some concern about that? Dr. Edna Ma: No, your baby won't be more drugged, because the medication is designed just to stay around the nerve routes, just where you're having pain from the ways down. So now that gets into your blood shrimp is negligible if any at all. That means the drugs don't crossover to the placenta and don't affect your baby. And the overall labor experience is a lot more pleasant for a mom. Dr. Lisa Masterson: Right. And actually and she is absolutely right, it doesn't cross placenta and that's why a lot of moms and dads do