Epidural or no epidural?

  1. Since the moms on the PF have been so helpful with my C-section question, I wonder if I could solicit your thoughts on epidurals? My doctor gives me the impression that I'd be crazy not to have one, but we haven't discussed the pros and cons yet. I'd like to know what you think.
  2. I took a class about epidurals so I could understand what they were all about. I also took a lamaze class as well. I went into the last trimester thinking I wouldn't get one but felt that I knew enough about the pros and cons of epidural/non-epidural/other drugs to be able to change my mind if needed.

    My labor ended up being about 36 hours long because my daughter was facing out rather than in and she couldn't drop into my pelvis area. I finally decided to take the epidural (at husband's advice, he could see that I needed it) after about 24 hours and at about 7 cm. My contractions weakend after the epidural and I had to go on Petocin. At that point the epidural was only blocking a part of my butt and I could feel every contraction and everything else so it was more like not having one at all. Anyhow, I don't regret taking it and as a matter of fact I'll prob. take it earlier with this baby. Helps you relax and have the strength to push when needed.

    If you're on the fence taking a class will help so you know everything you need to know. Good luck!
  3. I am expecting my first child and haven't taken the classes yet. What would be the cons for taking epidural?

  4. I tried the "no epidural route" when I was admitted to the hospital. Half way through at 3 cm, that idea quickly changed. After the first contraction when the Dr. broke my waterbag, I was DYING for an epidural. I was shaky, nauseas, and in PAIN (0-10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being severe, my pain level was 30!!!!). I couldn't even sit up for the epidural injection. The nurse had to hold me up.:hysteric:
    After the anesthesiologist gave me my epidural, I was in HEAVEN. I actually enjoyed the delivery. You could have given me popcorn and popped in a DVD. It was a easy as that. Now that I know that epidurals work, I can pop out 10 more.
    :dothewave: :dothewave:
  5. Smurfet I don't know your situation are you going to havea C section? if so then I believe its either an epi or a general. I would have to go for an epi in that case. (when you have a general for a c you can't have any pain meds til you come round so for a few mins you'll be in excruciating pain, much worse than the labour itself would have been).

    If you are having a natural birth for this one then I would say don't have an epi. Sure, labour hurts, its kills actually, but it all depends on your pain threshold. I have a really low one & I still managed to give birth with just gas & air in the early stages & nothing at all for hte delivery itself. There is just somethign that kicks in &gets you through it. I mean, the babys got to come out some how right? :biggrin: Have you considered a water birth? I had one & it was just the most wonderful thing in the world. I would recommend one to everyone.

    Theres a tremendous sense of achievement when you have pushed the baby out in the most natural way. You won't be able to believe that you did it.

    In terms of medical reasons I read a medical journal that said women who have epis are something like 4 times more likely to have problems in delivery & after care (tearing etc) as they can't feel to push themselves & have to rely more on the nurses & midwives & their instructions, rather than being able to listen to your own body. I don't know how true that is but I have to say, My two friends wh ohad babies, both had epis & both had to have stitches & one had to have surgery afterwards to repair some internal damage. I had on the other hand had no cuts, tears, anything. Like I say, I don't know that that proves anything, but it does seem to support it.
  6. IMHO pain relief is a very personal choice. Every woman has a different pain threshold and different labor/delivery.

    I, personally, wanted to stay mobile and wanted to give birth on my hands and knees so didn't have an epidural. I had two very fast and straight-forward labors (4 hours). Perhaps if I had a long, difficult labor I would have had an epidural. You can always order one then if your labor progresses nicely and you can do without then you can always refuse it (better to have one on hand and not need it then to not have one and want it).

    Good luck and congrats on the upcoming arrival! :flowers:
  7. Every woman's labor experience is different, and every woman should decide for herself based on the conditions she's in at the time if she would like to have an epidural or not. I chose not to. I had already decided this when I was pregnant, that I wanted to experience some labor unmedicated, to know what it felt like...My labor was relatively short (only a few hours), but not pain free!! I wanted a water birth, and with a water birth you cannot have an epidural (in my hospital anyway). The feeling of being in the water helped me a lot and took a lot of the pressure off of my body. The contractions didn't seem as strong, and I could relax more and concentrate on what I was doing.

    With an epidural, you also cannot walk around or use amy of the pain techniques that may be available to you (birthing ball, rope, tub, etc).

    The actual feeling of the baby moving down the birth canal and coming into the world is amazing...

    Also, another reason why I didn't want to have one: the headaches that can come afterwards. I know I shouldn't base my decision on one person's experience, but my exboyfriend's sister had an epidural and had horrible migranes afterwards...I saw how bad it messed her up and how horrible she was feeling, and I didn't want to risk going through that
  8. Some of the cons of epidurals are,I believe,that they can slow down contractions and they can inhibit sensation when it's time to push.

    Mine did neither of the above. I wanted an elective C-section,but in Holland that doesn't happen without medical reason,alas. Next best for me was to have the epidural.

    As it were,I was induced at 35+5 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. After my waters broke I was in the worst pain EVER. At 3+ cm I received an epidural,and I promptly fell asleep. I was woken for the delivery with one hour to go. I could most definitely feel where,how and when to push and my son was born with no problems.

    I had a second degree tear and felt not a single suture,and i had no discomfort whatsoever really,after the delivery.

    I am having another next time!!!:yahoo:
  9. PS C-sections are done with spinal anaesthesia;not usually with epidurals. Or in an emergency with general anaesthesia.
  10. I agree that every woman's pain threshold is different.

    After you've educated yourself on the pros and cons and have made your decision...whether you have one or not...don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it.

    It saddens me that there are people (IRL) on both sides (get one...don't get one) who are so militant in their opinions that it's more important to them to make the new mother feel guilty about her birthing choices than to revel in the PURE joy that is a newborn baby!

    However you choose to give to birth is your decision. IMO, the main focus should be on the outcome. How it's achieved is really up to the mother, her medical team and nature. I would add the father as well but, IME, my husband said he would support whatever decision I made as it was my body that had to birth the baby.

    Best Wishes to you for a healthy baby!
  11. i have a high threshold but bec my son was with the face up not down my labour took long. he didn't move his head around my pelvis in the end so i needed a c section. they gave me the epidural beforehand, he was already way down then. seriously, labour was nothing but bone on bone was so painful that I couldn't relax.

    if you think about the epidural sign all papers beforehand. I was set against it and wouldn't have needed it except for the circumstances but the talk: you could end up paralysed etc is not great when you are in labour/ stressed/ pain.

    frankly the numbness in the legs was terrible - also I am numb very quickly and could feel the anasthetic moving to heart/ lungs - not a good feeling.

    but for c section the epi is better than a ful anasthetic - for both you and baby.
  12. Exactly. My mother had had an 8 hour delivery. She walked to the hospital 10 cm dialated (means fully dialated) and took a phone call 5 mins before pushing me out. She had no epidural. That being said, I´m sure I´ll take every needle and drug possible!

    I think you should decide when you get there, there is no way of knowing how you will react to pain. The only con of epidural I can think of right now is that some complain of going numb on the legs, so the pushing power diminishes, hence the labour prolongs.

    Whatever you do, I congratulate you on the baby:heart:
  13. I was given spinal anaesthesia (different from epidural I was told). I didn't respond well to the anaesthesia. I was throwing up for a couple of hours after that, couldn't keep anything down.

    I also felt my baby leave my birth canal (AMAZING feeling!!!) But since he was induced, everything went VERY quickly. I can take a lot of pain but my doctor thought I was just plain crazy.

    Who cares... he gave me Stadol w/ my previous birth and I literally slept through my labor the last time, no way! I wanted to be awake and feeling everything!
  14. :roflmfao::roflmfao::roflmfao:
    my experience exactly!
  15. I've given birth both ways.

    The first time with an epidural. It was a long labor but I had such a nice time. My parents and dh were there and we joked and talked. The birth was still painful, but it took the edge off. I could move my legs and feel her coming out.

    The 2nd time without an epidural. Water broked at 9pm, contractions started at 3am. I was trying to be all natural and didn't even go to the hospital till I was 8cm dialated at 8am. I delivered her 45 minutes later. No epidural, not even an aspirin. I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't stop shaking. The worst part was that I couldn't hold her for a couple hours because I couldn't stop shaking. :sad:

    This next time I am going to have a bedside Martini bar, some valium and a few Chippendales dancers. :graucho: