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To Have Epidural or Not...thoughts/comments?

  • Just wondering what everyone's view or previous experiences are. I would like to have a painless delivery, but the needle & tube inserted in my spine gives me the chills. Any thoughts/comments?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by TeacherMom on 27th November 2007
  • I went drug free and did not consider it to be painful. And I'm a wimp.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by heels on 27th November 2007
  • I had epidurals with both of my children, and to me, getting the IV is far worse. The epidural allows you to still feel your contractions and have the urge to push, but not feel any pain. As my OB friend says, "those drugs were invented for a reason". New studies show there are no adverse affects on the baby to have an epidural, and it will not slow down your contractions. I would recommend it to anyone who is having a baby, but that is a personal decision. Some women find that hypnosis or massage works just as well, or even having a doula with you to support you through labor.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by alanaransley on 28th November 2007
  • This is a personal decision for sure and one you should discuss with your doctor. The experience is so different for everyone...I did Hypnobirthing but, due to an extremely extended and tiring labor I opted for an epi and am so glad I did. I specifically requested that it BARELY be used so that I could still feel everything and so less of the drug was used and the experience was still fabulous. I didn't even feel it going in, except for a slight pinch. And I was able to get up and walk around as soon as the baby was delivered. For me it added to the experience and allowed me to enjoy (yes, you can enjoy l&d!!) the experience. You'll make the right decision for you. Again, discuss your concerns with your doc who knows the anesthesiologists and procedures at your hospital.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 28th November 2007
  • My philosophy is to be prepared for anything! We all have plans and ideas of what we want. Many times, things change. With my first child, I didn't want an epidural, but I also knew I had a threshold. I was being induced and I had myself mentally prepared that I knew I could handle 8 hours of pain (I am not sure why 8 was the magic number). I did end up asking for an epidural and oddly enough it was around the 8 hour mark, although I had NO concept of time that day. I had been induced and coped well until my water was broken, the pitocin was increased and I was given an enema, plus due to high blood pressure I couldn't move around and try to alleviate the pain myself. Once I had the epidural, I was glad. VERY Glad. With my second child, I asked for the epidural sooner because I no longer feared it as I had the first time. And I was GLAD. With my third I had to have a scheduled c-section... which was actually less scary than I had anticipated because I didn't fear the spinal since I had had previous epidurals. Do what's right for you... don't let others make that decision for you. Don't resist pain meds because your husband or mother want you to... don't take them because the nurses or doctors are pushing you to. If you make a birth plan, be flexible and realize that you might change your mind and that's okay.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Yes, Mommy has to work today on 28th November 2007
  • I'm going to try to have a natural L&D. Notice, I use the word try. I haven't completely opted out of having an epi, but to me it's a last resort. I fear the chain reaction many L&D interventions (like induction, epidurals, etc.) can have. I don't want to wind up having a surgical procedure done if I can avoid it. I think even if you're planning on having an epidural, try to go as long as you can without it. Everyone's bodies are different and you never know how yours will react. I've heard great epi stories and horrible epi stories.

    In the end though, it's like Yes Mommy said, it's your birth plan. Do what makes you feel comfortable and happy. And we all have to remember, no matter what, end goal is healthy baby, healthy mommy.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 28th November 2007
  • I think this is a very personal decision. I chose to have epidural before going in. However, i didn't get it until I was 8cm dilated. I didn't have it administered till then bc i wasn't feeling much pain. I arrived to the hospital being 5cm dilated. At 8cm i got a bad contraction and asked for epidural primarily so it helped me not to feel pain during pushing. My dose wasn't high and I was still able to feel contractions. My last 15 contractions were very painful even with epidural but pushing was not painful at all! The pinch I felt while epidural was administered wasn't bad at all... In my case, I really had an easy time with the whole thing and was glad I got epidural.... but again, you should discuss with your doctor and do whatever is comfortable for you!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 2nd December 2007
  • I have two children and I didn't have any anesthesia on the first one and I felt everything, from the moment my stomach started cramping to the stitches they do after you give birth to 'closeup' your female area. There is a certain satisfaction you feel after giving birth naturally without any 'pain medications' but of course it is painful, but honestly speaking, the pain is temporary in giving birth, after you expel (ahem, pardon the words) your child from your womb, you feel a release of some sort that only mothers can feel I think.

    Now for my second child, my delivery was painless, there was still some pain of course, specially during labor but I barely felt anything after that, I remember pushing but I didn't remember expelling my son into this world, when I woke up in the recovery room, I actually didn't realize that I gave birth! I thought I was still in labor.

    Now this is my thought, if this will be your first child and you're a healthy individual and you don't have any major medical considerations, it would really be nice to go natural, why? You can say, it's a right of passage of some sort for moms, it would enable you to really 'feel' it, if you get my drift, but after that, for your second or third child maybe you can go painless, so as to lessen child birth pains. But as most of the commenters here said, it's really a personal decision, do what you, your partner, and your doctors think will be best for you and the baby of course.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Cynthia on 12th January 2008
  • Educate yourself on all your options!! Learn pain management techniques and practice, practice, practice.
    If you do need a meds an epidural is the safest IF you wait until your at least 5cm dilated.Otherwise you are 50% more likely to have a csection
    To the poster who said epi do not interfer with pushing, and the baby, well honey you need to do more research!!! Studies also show that mothers who have epidurals have a harder time breastfeeding and are more likely to have ppd.
    Recovery rated for natural birth is exteamly faster then medicated birth.With meds mom often have swelling, headaches, a disconnected feeling from the event and more.
    Have you concidered a doula....having a douls reduces the need for pain meds dramaticly and can help you make educated decisions in case you feel the need for meds.
    Blessing and congrats on your pregnancy
    Brandy @
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Brandy @ on 11th September 2008
  • We planned an epidural from day one. If there is a safe, proven way to make a very painful experience more comfortable in a controlled environment, I say why not? I would never opt out of anesthesia during a surgical procedure, I personally view this in the same way: a medical decision, not a badge of honor. It's certainly a personal decision, so I advise to do what is right for you instead of making this particular choice due to any peer pressure either way.

    Every experience is different. Here is mine:
    I arrived at the hospital 8 cm dilated and was worried I was going to have to bear all of the pain. The staff worked quickly through blood tests, etc. so I could have the epi. I barely felt the epidural insertion, pushed for 20 minutes, had no complications and my son was breastfeeding easily afterward. You can't walk around for a few hours, but I can't imagine that I would have felt "up for a walk" at that point anyway.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BrendaG on 11th September 2008

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