An epidural is an anaesthetic procedure, where a local anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space near the spinal cord. An epidural anaesthetic numbs the nerves so pain cannot be felt in certain areas of the body.
An epidural during labour helps to block pain signals from contractions. If birth intervention is needed, e.g., caesarean or forceps, an epidural is a common form of anaesthetic.
An induced labour, also called an induction or Induction of Labour (IOL), is a process where labour is started artificially. A maternity care provider, either a midwife or obstetrician, uses techniques to mechanically dilate the cervix, break the membranes (waters) or start the contractions. Often, an induction is a combination of two or more of these procedures.
Some new parents find the idea of visitors a welcome distraction from their day. Others find the concept more than a little overwhelming. Wherever you sit on the spectrum of enjoying the company of others, you can be forgiven for becoming a little less social after having your baby.