An epidural is a tiny tube that delivers pain medicine directly into the area in your back around your spinal cord. The effects of the epidural usually wear off within 2 hours after the epidural medicine is stopped. After the epidural wears off, you may have some hip or back pain from childbirth. You may have a small bruise and the skin may be sore where the epidural was put in your back. This will probably get better in 1 or 2 days.
In rare cases, an epidural can cause a headache when you sit or stand. This can last for several days. If you get a headache after the epidural, call your doctor or nurse call line. He or she can treat it.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Z020 in the search box to learn more about "Epidural for Childbirth: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: November 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.