|I am so afraid of hospitals and the idea of a general anaesthetic
is really worrying me. Why might my doctor resort to this?
Now that an epidural is such a safe and accepted method
of pain relief during labour and birth, the general aneasthetic
is used mainly for emergencies. The fact that it can be
administered within minutes makes it an excellent solution
if the baby shows sudden signs of distress or another serious
problem crops up. Although the general anaesthetic is stressful
for the body, and you may wake up feeling unwell and confused,
this may be a small price to pay for a healthy baby and
mother. Your baby will probably escape most of the effects
of the medication because the baby is usually removed so
quickly from the mother’s body after the medication
is administered, that little or none of the medication reaches
the baby. You might also be given oxygen during the operation
to assist the baby and help reduce the medication’s
effects. The problem of not eating during labour in case
you need a general anaesthetic, has been largely discarded.
It is better for the baby if you do not fast, and there
are ways for the doctors to reduce the danger of general
anaesthetic without an empty stomach.
One of the best ways to reassure yourself is to talk this
over with your doctor. Instead of being afraid of a general
anaeasthetic, try to tell yourself that the fact that such
a procedure is possible in this day and age is extremely
reassuring and means that your doctor has the means to deal
with whatever situation could arise. You are safer because
of it, and the likelihood of needing it is small.
Pain Relief - Discussion
Pain Relief - Effect on Baby
Pain Relief - Epidural
Pain Relief - Other than Medication
Pain Relief - Some Reasons