If you are having a vaginal birth then an epidural can take away most if not all the pain. This allows you to relax and enjoy the birth. You will be less tired than if you had to experience a painful birth. You will not need other pain-killers which have the side-effects of making you sleepy. With an epidural there are some risks but the benefits of an epidural are usually greater than the risks.
If you are having a cesarean delivery then a spinal anesthetic
will make the procedure painless. You will be awake but not in pain. You will be able to see and hold your baby soon after delivery. Again, there are risks but these are usually outweighed by the benefits.
Dr K A Pottinger