We call it as epidural analgesia. Pain is the reason to have epidural and whenever your pain is significant you can request for an epidural. Epidural is not necessary for you to have delivery, but it can be beneficial in reducing the pain of labour. Epidural is a small injection placed in your lower back, through which a small tube (the size of a twine) is put into your back near the nerves carrying pain from the uterus. fine tube (epidural catheter). Drugs can be injected through this tube to relieve the pain of labour. These drugs are local anaesthetics which cause numbing of the nerves and pain sensation without affecting the ability to move. These drugs are also very safe for the baby. With an epidural in place, you may feel the contractions, but they will not be painful. All the same, you will feel some pressure symptoms and some tightness with contractions. It is given by anesthetist who is trained in doing so. The anaesthesiologist and your nurse will check that the epidural is working well throughout. All women in labor who need pain relief can have an epidural, except those on blood thinning drugs or abnormal blood tests. Occassionally, epidural may not work as well as we would like it to. If this happens, the anaesthesiologist will help by giving extra doses or changing your position or the catheter position. If it still does not work, the procedure has to be repeated (by placing the epidural catheter again).