(Closed) Epidural…yay or nay?

posted 7 years ago in Pregnancy
  • poll: Did you/Are you having an epidural?
    Hell yes! : (94 votes)
    52 %
    Not sure..... : (26 votes)
    14 %
    No but might use other medication pain relief : (13 votes)
    7 %
    No because I am going all natural no meds : (48 votes)
    27 %
  • Post # 32
    5654 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2011

    @Extension54:  *thumbs up* Thanks! I was already in bed so going & pulling the book out just wasn’t going to happen!

    I, myself, had a very long labor but b/c I had a good support team I was able to maintain confidence until transition.. and even this it was about my mental disappointment over the actual “pain”

    (37 hours to get to 4cm, 5 more hours to get to 7cm, 2.5 more hours to holding my baby… that’s 45.5 hours!!)


    @MsSparklyBee:  Definitely. Overall, the women who prepared to go unmedicated with supportive birth teams have said things like “It was definitely hard, but manageable” while moms that didn’t prepare expressed things like feeling “like dying” and those that got epis that failed “I felt like I was being ripped in half” (these are all quotes I hear daily from moms that fall into these categories.

    There are occasions where those who planned natural with supportive, trained providers, had more difficult deliveries, but I’ve only heard one (that comes to mind at the moment) that was traumatic & she suffered PTSD from and that wasn’t because of the pain associated with going natural rather it was because her choice was taken away & she had no control of her labor b/c her provider forced her to deliver a certain way when she clearly needed intervention (the provider wanted to keep her transfer rate low).

    I’ve also read countless times from women who had very minimal “damage” when their providers were specifically trained in the naturalness of birth & used methods that helped birth rather than inhibited it. 95% of the severe tearing & tailbone damage I’ve heard about were from women who birthed in the lithotomoy position, which logically isn’t surprising considering it closes the pelvis & create obstruction for the baby to maneuver around… If you read Ina May’s book Guide to Childbirth & refer to the Farms stats in the back you see a VERY different image of “damage” than we see in commonly practiced deliveries. Very few severe tears (more than half of their births have NO tearing & only a small few had severe 3rd-4th degree tears).. my homebirth MW has also only had ONE 4th degree tear in her 20 years… not the common story of moms who birth with teams that aren’t well versed in or supportive of natural birth.

    Also, I think it’s forgotten and often ignored that it is NORMAL to want to cave & quit. Even in a very “easy” birth… it’s called transition & is the most mentally challenging experience of most any womans life! It sucks! BUT it’s sad that our systems don’t acknowledge this stage of labor & support it for what it is. Before the day of pain meds women declared things like “I quit…” “this baby is just going to have to stay in there..” “I can’t do this..” now we say similar things but also add “I want meds…” “I need an epi…” etc… to me it’s sad that a woman would have a team that so quickly folded when she is so close to acheiving what she desired to have (this of course does not include birth where intervention is needed & life saving). You can read countless birth stories of moms that wanted to go natural but caved between 7-10 cm b/c her team just couldn’t/didn’t provide the support she needed. Transition SUCKS, but it’s the shortest part of labor & no woman should discredit herself b/c she felt like she couldn’t do it then… that is exactly what the hormone cocktail in that stage produces & is part of the process. FWIW, there is a feeling of accomplishment that comes from an unmedicated birth that just doesn’t come with any other delivery route. It’s not being on a high horse or looking down ones nose… that’s just the way it is. We don’t diminish the accomplisment that comes from finishing a marathon or any other challenging task one sets out to do, why would we diminish the acheivement of birthing unmedicated. I know MW & doulas that DO give medals & awards to their moms that accomplish this feat AND I can say that I felt like freaking Wonder Woman when I had mine… both times I felt wonderful, like a new mom, getting a new baby (it really is surreal regardless of birth method), but only after my unmedicated birth did I feel like nothing could ever stop me from achieving something I wanted.

    Sorry for the rambling… I just want to be sure that the correct perspective of birth, pain, & delivery “damage” is had b/c the views that we’re given by the common medical community & media is vastly different than those who practice evidence based natural birth methods and it only attributes to moms being fearful of birth & having poorer experiences. If a mom chooses to get an epi, it really should be because she’s informed & not because she scared of birth… especially when it doesn’t have to be like we hear from so many commonly practiced births.

    Post # 33
    1406 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    I was in labor for 22 hours so you better believe i got one! 

    Post # 34
    1245 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    With my first son, I was prepared. Learned breathing techniques, and pain management. Was drug free. 




    During my second son, I got cocky. Said to myself, I did it once, I can do it again. Took no refresher classes, just went in knowing I was going drug free. I didn’t. Had an epidural at 6 centimters. 


    Both choices were right for me.


    Post # 35
    140 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @runsyellowlites:  Excellent response. Birth is all about the mother and the baby. Here in the US, they don’t prepare us well for birth. Hospitals have sort of become businesses where mom goes in and is expected to deliver a kid within a time frame. There’s no preparation, support or encouragement for mom. Also, every woman is different and handles labor and birth differently. Every mom should have a choice. I’m hoping more moms can be educated about birth before getting to the hospital. There’s so many options and most of us end up going in blind.

    Coincidentaly, this morning I watched “The Business of Being Born” courtesy of my doula. I know my mom only had an epidural for my brother. The other 3 of us were al naturale. That said, most of my friends and family members have gotten epidural from the get go.

    I pretty much decided I was not getting an epidural when I took human anatomy and physiology in undergrad. No way someone is going to numb me by inserting a gigantic needle on my spine. There’s so many risks and I hate needles. I still got time to prepare myself and learn different techniques for when this LO decides to come. I’ll be ready and hopefully can go the natural route. I’m hoping my midwife and doula are as supportive as I’m hoping.


    Post # 37
    3696 posts
    Sugar bee

    I prefer and hope not to have one, and will be hiring a doula to try to maximize my chances of making that happen.

    That said, birth is unpredictable, and if something goes awry and I have to have a C-section, I will be grateful for an epidural that will allow me to be awake for it.

    Post # 38
    1090 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    @Mrs_Amanda:  best response ever!!! 🙂 THANK YOU! This is how I feel exactly. 

    Post # 39
    576 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I had my heart set on a natural birth but after 24 hours of induced labor that was not progressing, I begged for an epidural. It was wonderful, I had no side effects, and if I hadn’t had my daughter’s name picked out already, I would have named her after the anesthesiologist. I ended up needing a c-section anyway. If I could do a VBAC for the next baby, I would try to go natural but wouldn’t be afraid to have an epidural if labor fails to progress again.

    Post # 40
    2692 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I had 3 kids…all deliveries were natural without any sort of meds.  I thought I had a low tolerance for pain, turns out I do very well while in labor.  I don;t even make a peep so people tend to think labor is easy for me…NOT.  I just know how to deal with the pain but is hurts like all hell.  

    This will be my 4th and I plan on doing the same (no meds) but I am nervous as you never know what to expect (every labor and delivery is different).  C-sections scare me so I hope for a natural vaginal birth again.

    Post # 41
    2515 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    Drugs all the way for me. My sister had drug-free childbirth ( not by choice ) and an epidural birth. She looked like hell after the first one and was worn to the bone. She was glowing, relaxed, and feeling great after the second one – hair and makeup all in place and everything. I’ll take door number 2, thank you very much.

    Here’s a horror story – her first birth wasn’t typical. She had a 12 lb child, and the doctors were estimating an 8 pound child. They gave her no pain meds, no episiotomy, she was in labor for over 24 hours, actually pushing for 5 hours, and she tore from her vagina all the way through to her rectum. She waited nearly 10 years before getting pregnant again.

    Of course, she might not have looked quite so awful after the med-free birth had she had a normal size child and doctors who weren’t cruel idiots.

    Post # 42
    1721 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    @Mrs_Amanda:  Perfectly worded! It does not make you any “less” of a woman or mother to ask for pain medications, to have a CS, etc.

    Post # 43
    7369 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    Id like do natural, but I leave room for any medical intervension or pain relief. No medals are awarded best vaginal birth, c-section or med free birth. The goal is for both mom and baby come out safely.

    However, I do agree that there is too much fear mongering when it comes birth. I fully intend to educate myself.


    Post # 44
    2402 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I am almost 100% positive I will be getting one. My pain tolerance is very low – I used to pass out from my period cramps (to me they were pretty bad).

    Post # 45
    2285 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: Central Park

    @runsyellowlites:  I ask every friend I know who has had a baby what their labor was like and their responses range from “it’s just a lot of pressure but it wasn’t that bad” to “my vagina ripped and it was intensely painful for days” to “I had a c-section with my second and I’d have rather had 1,000 vaginal births in a row then go through that again.” I’m not really worried about the pain. Labor will suck, but then it’s over and you have a baby. The experience is different for everyone so you really can’t go by what anyone else says.

    Post # 46
    140 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @runsyellowlites:  Overall, the women who prepared to go unmedicated with supportive birth teams have said things like “It was definitely hard, but manageable” while moms that didn’t prepare expressed things like feeling “like dying” and those that got epis that failed “I felt like I was being ripped in half” (these are all quotes I hear daily from moms that fall into these categories.

    I think this is a good point and is definitly something I’ve noticed.  And this is exactly why I want to be as prepared as possible for all possible outcomes 😛

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