The differences lie in both the procedure and the medications used. The walking epidural is a combination of spinal and epidural analgesia. While the medications, often referred to as a cocktail, are a narcotic, a local anaesthetic and epinephrine, used in smaller amounts than the regular epidurals.
FAQs/ Walking epiduralWalking epidural
The walking epidural is not designated to make you feel deadened. It is designed to provide enough pain relief that you are comfortable and yet still aware of the contractions. So it will not mask extraordinary pain that you and your doctor would need to be aware of.
This really depends, women receiving the walking epidural will not be able to walk for the following reasons: woman refuses ( 15-25%), leg weakness ( often described as not feeling normal ), and maternal hypotension.
Ambulation and mobility promote contractions and therefore labour, decrease pain, shorten labour, and increase the vaginal delivery rate. I would also point out that having the ability to move is very important to the emotional and mental health of the woman in labour.
No, you do not have to walk. However, there are still advantages even if you do not walk. You are still able to move around better in the bed, or get to the bathroom or chair. This is specially useful in the second stage of labour ( pushing ) were adopting more upright or squatting positions can help in the birth of your baby.
Every medication that you take will reach the baby and have potential side effects on you, labour, and your baby. However, this are actually lessened with the walking epidural compared to the classic epidural. Because you are able to move around we are not finding the increase in caesarean section rates that we have previously found with the classic epidurals.
The catheter is left in place in your back so that additional medication could be administered for either additional pain relief or a surgical birth. This is the same as the continuous classic epidural.
This is really a matter of hospital policy and/or the anaesthesiologist. If it is very important to you, make sure that you discuss this prenatally with your doctor. Also preparing your partner for the procedure would be a good idea.