Recommend epidurals? - page 2
I'm pregnant & assumed that epidural would be the way to go @ delivery. My doc feels certain that there are more effective ways of pain control -- deep breathing, self-hypnosis, etc... What are your... Read More
May 24, '04Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 5,926; Likes: 15For the person that said you can't get an epi until five cm...not true...at least not in my case. I think it is a matter of how you are progressing (at least with my midwives and dr's it was).
To the OP...if you want to read my birth stories, you can see how I did with an epidural. Not well in one case and great in two others. In fact, the epidural actually helped to speed up my labor in the last case because I was much more relaxed once I got it. Here's the website addy for you: http://www.geocities.com/trl71999/
You can get to all three of my kids' sites through this one and each has a birth story on it. Good luck to you in whatever you decide!
May 24, '04Occupation: RN Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in ICU, PICC Nurse, Nursing Supervisor ; From: TX, US ; Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 5,001; Likes: 1,902I have 5 kids and had a epidural with only 1 the rest were natural. I love the relief of pain with the epidural (if it done right) but I HATE HATE how they are started. I had a epidural with my second that did not take and only the lateral side of my left leg was numb, so I said yank it. I have only seen one epidural go bad ,the lady couldnt walk for a couple of weeks then it resolved. I have seen doctors give epidurals as early as 3 cm and as late as 6cm. The IV pain med is good in the begining but it wears off, and once you get to a certin point in your labor, guess what no more IV pain med. I would work with what ever is best for you , remember you pay the doctor for his advise but it is your choice in whether to take it.
Quote from lady_jezebelI'm pregnant & assumed that epidural would be the way to go @ delivery. My doc feels certain that there are more effective ways of pain control -- deep breathing, self-hypnosis, etc... What are your opinions on this? Do epidurals have potentially major complications? From what you've observed or personally experienced, would you recommend an epidural?
I'm 33 yo and this is my first child.
May 24, '04Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 41,761; Likes: 48,078Kevin - great and informative post. I have to reiterate that it did not hurt to get an epidural. Like getting an IV, if you are numbed with lidocaine first, you only feel the little sting (I wouldn't call it a bee sting though - that really hurts) of the tiny needle. I felt pressure but no pain.
I had my epidural at 2 cm.
We don't do "walking epidurals" or continuous epidurals so I do need to have the CRNA or doc redose if it starts to wear off and the patient isn't "there" yet. I find, as Kevin stated, that women do get to rest after the epidural and then have more energy to push later.
Continue to educate yourself and don't limit yourself to an idea of how you want your labor to go . . .the point is a healthy baby and sometimes your birth plan needs to change if that is the goal. Stay flexible and don't be hard on yourself if you need to ask for help with pain.
And please don't read scary birth stories . . . . !!
May 25, '04Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 574; Likes: 74To Kevin and everyone else who responded, great information! Kevin, thank you so much for taking time to give a lengthy explanation & to include the drugs involved. And thanks to the gal who shared her personal experience via website. This was exactly what I needed. Your posts are helping me "inform myself" so that I can make the right decision.
This discussion board is such a great resource!
May 25, '04Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 5,926; Likes: 15You are very welcome. My births were really amazing, but I think they may have been much different if I didn't have the pain meds. Of course that is just me...I'm not very good with pain! LOL! I hope you have a wonderful birth, whatever you decide and look forward to hearing about it when it's all over and your baby is here with us!
May 25, '04Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 479; Likes: 22I LOVED all three of my epidurals!! If I had been brave enough to go for number 4, I would have another one!
I think CNM said in one of her posts that her epidural helped relaxed her and helped her labor progress. Mine were the same for me. My first child, Derek, was the longest I pushed, and that was for 45 minutes. Victoria was out in 2 pushes and Ethan was out in 5!! No, I couldn't feel myself pushing, but apparently, the pushing I was doing was effective!
Whatever you decide, do it for you! You will hear some wonderful epidural stories and you will hear nightmares. Whatever you decide, I wish you and your baby the best health, and a wonderful experience!
May 25, '04Occupation: non-nursing Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 685; Likes: 20Remember you will most likely still have to endure some labor pain before you are able to get an epidural and then pressure during pushing, Check out a childbirth class, you will learn all the breathing and relaxation techniques and they will help you during these times if you opt for the epidural and will help a great deal more if you choose not to have one. I like several other people stated think you should enter the LDRP with as much information as possible and an open mind. See for yourself if you will be able to handle the pain of labor and then go with your options from there. I have found that women with very strong opinions on what they want during labor are most often the ones disappointed by how things actually go. I always try to talk to my patients about this as soon as they arrive weither they want a completely drug free birth or are adamant about wanting everything under the sun, every person is different and every birth is different, and you won't know how much you can handle until you are there, so at this stage decisions are not necessary just as much education as you can get. Congrats on your pregnancy!!! Keep us up to date on whats happening.
May 26, '04Occupation: RN Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 290; Likes: 2Like I said before, there are risks with epidurals. There are risks with IV pain meds as well. You have to assess your own perception of pain, and what you can tolerate. Explore your options. You might discover you are one of those people that has mild labors, KWIM? Go into it with an open mind.
Personally, I had myfirst son with the aid of Demerol. I didn't like it. It made mefeel drugged, and I don't remember anything that happened during that period. My second, I had an epidural because I was scared of the pushing stage, even thought i was handling my contractions fine. The nurse even told me she couldn't believe I was 5 cm when I came in because I didn't act like I was in labor. I got th epidural, was pain free, andslept through most of the rest of my labor. I hated it. I felt like labor was just happeing to me, rather than me being an active participant in it.
My third I had completely unmedicated, in the tub. Even though my labor, was uncomfortable, and at times, down right painful, I felt like I was in control, like I was working with my body to birth my baby. It might sound corny, but I think the mind body connection is an important one. I was assumed I would be told I just started active labor when I reached the hosp. Imagine my surprise, when they told me I could push whenever I wanted, 5 minuted after walking in the door.
Preparation is the key. Regardless of the mode of pain releif you seek.
May 26, '04Occupation: Lactation consultant, L&D RN, some postpartum Specialty: OB, lactation ; Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 1,951; Likes: 95I had my first two with epidurals and my third without.
With the first, I was so scared of the pain of labor that I knew I'd probably get an epidural although I did walk around a little while and stuff in early labor before I got it at about 4cm (different places have different policies on when they will do an epidural). I did and it worked great with no side effects to speak of. I was and am still very happy with my choice.
With the second I took the advice to "try and see how it goes and you can get the epidural if you need it". Personally, looking back now I don't really like this advice. This is why... if you don't really inform yourself and decide ahead of time, you are most likely going to get the epidural because for the vast majority of people labor does hurt! I feel like if I had made my mind up ahead of time and not said that I'd "try" it without meds, I would have done really well without. I also was not encouraged by my nurse who kept saying things like "if you are going to get it, you better do it now or you might regret it later!" If she had told me I was doing great (which I was), and encouraged me, I would have been fine. So I wish I was a little firmer in my conviction instead of having the "I'll try it..." attitude. For myself, and I think a lot of other women, if you are unsure, you are going to go with meds because it is not easy to handle even when you feel confident about it ahead of time! (By the same token, I don't think someone should feel bad if they are convinced they want it a certain way and don't end up doing it that way in the end). I don't regret it but I do think I could have acheived a med free birth like I wanted inside if I had been more informed and had better support from my nurse.
Third time around I knew that I wanted to avoid the risks of epidural and have the advantages of med-free birth. I also knew that I wanted to become a midwife and I wanted to be able to say I had done it both ways... just a little 'thing' of mine, not that it really matters. When the nurse asked what I was doing for pain I said "no meds"(nicely), not "I want to try it with no meds". I was and am still very happy with my choice.
I agree with whoever said to take a non-hospital sponsored birth class.
I think women should do it however they want, but just really inform yourself because as you can see there are many opinions and experiences Be able to make an educated decision and you will in all likelyhood be happy with it. Best wishes!
May 26, '04Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 5,926; Likes: 15I want to clarify about the epidural helping me to relax and progress...this happened only with my last and I was this close *pinching fingers together* to a c-section. Luckily, the epidural almost certainly saved me from having to have it. It was, at least, one of the reasons. I feel so badly because I have not had a baby without meds. as I wanted. My second could have been if we weren't waiting for dh to drive five hours to get to the birth, because the CNM would've broken my water right when I was admitted and she would have come...but we waited for Bryan to get there.
May 26, '04Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 5,926; Likes: 15Ooooh, I keep thinking of things I forgot. I should say that my pain was completely different with number two as well (I believe it is because I had no pitocin, but I could be wrong of course) so that is why I think I could have gone no meds. The other two were really miserable pain for me. I do not have a high pain tolerance as it is. I so hope that you are able to make a well informed decision and have the birth that you desire!!!! Much luck sent to you!!!
May 26, '04Occupation: SAHM, for now. From: WI, US ; Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 2,574; Likes: 322Epidurals do have some risk to them. I wouldn't wash the idea totally down the drain as I've seen them work to help relax the mom so that the baby could descend. I've seen dramatic progress with them when used like this, but I can't recommend that everyone coming through the doors of L&D use this method without research.
May 27, '04Occupation: Lactation consultant, L&D RN, some postpartum Specialty: OB, lactation ; Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 1,951; Likes: 95help relax the mom so that the baby could descend. I've seen dramatic progress with them when used like this