Epidural Pro Verse Con S

30 Replies
tiffany - August 31

I am having trouble deciding on thaving the epidural when it comes time to give birth, the con's seem to outweight the pro's however i don't like the other pain options as a don't think they are as effective...i am not brave enough to give birth naturally, can anyone share an experiance, story or opinon to assist with my decision ? thankyou


Julie - August 31

I had an epidural with my son and didn't really have a birth plan. I was going to see how bad it got and then decide whether or not to have the epidural. The pain was so bad that I didn't care I just wanted the epidural. It did not hurt at all to have put in just some pressure on the back and then I was in heaven for the rest of the delivery. I didn't feel a thing! I had no side effects and was able to enjoy the labor experience. Minutes after delivery I was up walking around. I don't see any cons and I will do it again this time.


Mary - August 31

hi Tiffany! Let me give you my thoughts (I am also on the same boat as you). There is a huge chance that just like Julie said there will be no side effects if you choose an epidural. So, go to the hospital with the choices available to you. Do not make a decision yet. Wait until labor is nicely established and you are dilated 4 to 5 cm before making a decision. I want to try a medication free delivery, but if I cannot handle it, I want the option of the epidural available to me. So that is my decision and I will not duel on it anymore until I am 5 cm dilated! :)


Julie - August 31

Also what you don't want to happen is to get to the point when it is too late to have the epidural.


Jennifer - August 31

I've decided to start out natural...it never hurts to try. I just don't want to go in already giving up. I know that if the pain gets to bad there are alternatives (many different pain meds they offer) but I dont want them to give me one right away when I dont even need it. If I do decide I need something I don't think I'm gonna try the epidural...maybe something milder. Not sure yet.


miranda - August 31

My dr pretty much threatened me with a c-section if I didn't get one because I was stuck at 7 cm and she thought it might help the baby come down. It did, I guess, but I really didn't like having it. I had absolutely no freedom, and as soon as they put it in I felt like they just took over and I wasn't allowed to make any decisions anymore. They even took my daughter away from me for 5 hours afterwards (she was perfectly healthy) and the only thing I can figure is that it was because of the epidural because my sister didn't have one and they never tried to take her son away. I am going to avoid an epidural like the plague this time.


Julie - August 31

My son was healthy and they didn't take him away? They did eventually to do routine exam but I don't think the epidural has anything to do with that. I guess my experience was different. I was only numb from by waist to the end of my b___t. I felt free. My husband slept on the couch for a few hours and so I got some rest as well.


pbj to julie - August 31

I have been wondering the same thing as Tiffany. Can I ask whether or not you had a hard time feeling contractions and whether you felt as if the epidural slowed delivery? I have heard a few women say that since you couldn't feel anything that they didn't know when to push.


Amy - August 31

I had an epidural with my first child, and I will again with this one (God willing). I thought it was heaven. It made me not focus on the pain and focus on the end result. I was able to relax and enjoy the last couple of hours of having my baby inside of me. You will miss it, believe it or not. The only complication I had was that before the epidural they didn't numb my back enough and I could feel the catheter going up my spine. But all turned out beautifully. I was the best thing I could have done. I enjoyed the whole birth experience. But the decision lies with you and only you. I just think that it was better for me so that I could enjoy the birth of my daughter instead of thinking of all the pain. Good luck!


miranda - August 31

Julie - I don't know why they took her away, but this time I plan to not be numb in case they try it again! : ) I guess she got lost in the shuffle, but I specifically asked in my birth plan that they NOT take her away and the epidural is the only thing I could think of that would give them a reason to take the baby. Maybe it's different at different hospitals.


Julie - September 1

I didn't have a hard time feeling the contractions at all. I only pushed for about 20 minutes and my little guy was out. I felt alot of pressure each time I had a contraction and had the urge to keep pushing. They say if you can't feel enough to push they turn it down. Right after he came out they removed the epidural and I was feeding my baby and even got up to use the restroom.


to julie from pbj - September 1

Thanks so much for your response. I asked that same question a few weeks ago, but couldn't find anyone to answer.


tiffany - September 1

Thankyou all so much for the great advice....just one more question! when you have the epidural in what position do you give birth ? obviously on your back is out of the question?


miranda - September 1

Actually they only let you give birth on your back if you have an epidural.


Raye Lynn - September 1

Pros: epidurals almost always completely elimate pain while leaving you awake and alert. This allows you to rest or sleep. In a difficult labor, epidurals can transform what otherwise would be a harrowing experience into a positive one. In some cases, epidurals seem to promote progress in labors that have gotten "stuck." Cons: Epidurals slow labor, which results in increased use of IV oxytocin (trade name: pitocin or "Pit") to stimulate stronger contractions, and usually leads to higher episiotomy rates, forceps or vacuum-extraction rates, and cesarean rates, especially in first-time mothers. Epidurals require electronic fetal monitoring and a precautionary IV. You are also more likely to need bladder catheterization. Body temperation rises over time, so you are more likely to develop a fever. These procedures, problems, and cures have secondary consequences. Electronic fetal monitoring increases the odds of cesarean section. IV's, especially when given in large amounts over a short time, as they are when administering an epidural, can cause fluid overload. Fluid overload leads to fluid in mother's and baby's lungs. maternal anemia, and blood chemistry disturbances in mother and baby. Bladder catheterizations can cause urinary tract infections. Oxytocin can lead to overly forceful contractions and fetal distress. Fprceps delivery and episiotomy increase the probability of a___l tears, which can have long-term effects on s_xal satisfaction and fecal continence. Cesarean section has both short and long term risks. Maternal fever may stress the baby during labor. and because fever may signal uterine infection, the baby is more likely to be separated from you after birth for observation and subjected to blood tests, a spinal tap, and other diagnostic procedures to rule out this alarming possibility. some data suggest that epidurals increase the probability of actual infection in the baby. The procedure itself, apart from the drugs involved, can cause problems. An epinephrine test dose can cause fetal distress. Using air to locate the epidural space can cause neurological and other complications. The catheter can injure blood vesses and irritate nerves. (this is what happen to my friend Joe, it took her months to regain feeling in her left leg) Potential postpartum complications include temporary urinary incontinence, nerve injury causing temporary muscle weakness or abnormal sensation, a blood-filled swelling, and cause headaches that last for days. Can cause drop in blood pressure. There are other factors that can effect you and the baby but the basic ones have been covered.


pbj - September 1

Wow Rae Lynn, are you a nurse or doctor? Thanks for all the great info.


Raye Lynn - September 2

No, I just did LOTS of research on the subject and my sister is a doula.



You must log in to reply.

Are you New to the forum? Sign Up Here! Already a member? Please login below.

Forgot your password?
Need Help?
New to the forum?

Sign Up Here!

Already a member?
Please login below.

Forgot your password?
Need Help?