The epidural: what do women think

Today, almost all women can benefit from an epidural during childbirth. Yet, a demand for alternatives is emerging in some women. This was revealed by an investigation conducted by Ciane *.

A revolution in the delivery room

  • Epidural is a local analgesia that anesthetizes the pain and not the sensations. By entering the birth room, she totally changed the feelings of childbirth in women.
  • It is offered both to women who give birth vaginally but also by cesarean section.
  • Since 1994, thanks to Simone Veil, all women can benefit from it thanks to a full management of this analgesia by health insurance.
  • As we approach the 20th anniversary, Ciane * conducted an online survey of more than 8,000 women to find out what they thought about this analgesia.

Increasing epidural rate

  • Since 2005, the survey reports a steady increase in the number of women wanting an epidural when they arrive at the maternity ward as well as an increase in the number of epidurals practiced. In 2012, 88% of primiparous women (women whose first birth) and 58% of multiparous women (women having given birth several times) benefited, compared to 76% and 50% respectively between 2005 and 2007.

Partial satisfaction ...

  • 78% of the women who wanted and had an epidural declare themselves very or rather satisfied. On the other hand, 56% of those who had one when they did not want it initially feel dissatisfied for different reasons: lack of choice, support, information, lack of sensations ...
  • As for the women who decided not to use this analgesia, 97% said they were satisfied with having made the right choice.

Improve information to reduce the level of dissatisfaction

  • The survey conducted by Ciane * shows a desire among women to know the limits of this analgesia so that you can make an informed choice.
  • It also highlights an expectation of alternatives to the classic epidural. The dilatation tub, the pelvic mobilization balloon or the self-destructive epidural (controlled by the woman) appear to be forms of pain relief appreciated by women and whose practice should be developed.

* Collective interassociative around the birth

Frédérique Odasso

(News of 18/04/13)