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Choosing Between Natural Birth & Epidural in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV

Natural childbirth is vaginal delivery without medication. An epidural is anesthesia inserted into your spine to numb the lower half of your body to relieve the discomfort of labor and childbirth.

If you are pregnant and weighing your childbirth options, Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican can help you make healthy decisions for you and your baby. Find an OB/GYN to learn more about natural birth vs. epidural in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV.

Natural Childbirth vs. Epidural

If you choose to have a natural childbirth, you will feel pain during contractions and delivery. Be prepared with a plan for pain management, such as relaxation and breathing techniques, massage, distractions such as music, or moving around to find a comfortable position.

If you choose to get an epidural, an anesthesiologist will insert a thin catheter into your spinal canal in your lower back. Anesthetic medicine flows through this catheter to numb your body from the waist down. You may experience a headache when this happens.

It can take about 20 minutes or longer for the medicine to take effect. You may also receive a urinary catheter since you will not be able to get up to go to the bathroom.

Despite your decision, we recommend attending prenatal or childbirth classes at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican, so you feel as prepared as possible. Register online or call (702) 616-4900.

Pros & Cons of Natural Birth vs. Epidural

Preferences regarding pain relief and management vary among women planning to give birth in a hospital. Talk to your doctor about your options. There are advantages and disadvantages to both natural birth and getting an epidural.

Natural Birth


  • There are no side effects from medication.
  • You are able to walk around as you labor if you’d like.
  • Some women feel empowered with a great sense of achievement.


  • You will feel intense pain during childbirth.
  • You may feel fatigued if labor progresses slowly.
  • Delivery may take longer if you are in extreme pain or exhausted.



  • You will feel little or no pain during labor and delivery.
  • You may feel more rested during labor and pushing.
  • Some women say that having less pain gives them a more positive birth experience.


  • You will not be able to get out of bed after the epidural takes effect.
  • The epidural could slow contractions.
  • Sometimes the epidural does not work and may need to be repeated.

Your doctor may advise against an epidural if:

  • You are on blood thinners.
  • You have an infection.
  • You are not dilated past four centimeters.
  • Your baby is too close to delivery.

Recovery After Natural Birth vs. Epidural

After natural childbirth, you may feel exhausted and sore. Sleep and rest will help you manage these symptoms.

After an epidural, you will likely feel numb for a while as the anesthesia wears off, and your lower back might feel sore. Time and rest will ease these symptoms.

Determine the benefits of natural birth vs. epidural in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican.