The Epridural Painful

31 Replies
belgian - January 18

Hi, Ive made my decision on giving birth with an epidural. Ive heard form several woman that having an epidural is in fact painful? is this true? Or does it depend on the doctor who distributes it? I am really nervous not only about giving birth soon (39 wks-first baby) but also about the fear of having this on my back. One wrong move and I heard it can feel like a power staple in your spine. Any advice?


Lisa - January 18

I'm having my 5th baby, i have only ever had an epidural once, but it was absolutely necessary, i'm not sure if you can 'elect' to have one as there are other pain relief medications that can be offered such as pethidine or gas. Personally, i welcomed the epidural after hours of excrutiating pain....the baby was 'stuck' and was becoming very stressed. The alternate would have been an emergency c-section. I think there is always an element of risk with an epidural and you are unable to feel the contractions during birth.....afterwards, you aren't allowed on your feet again for some hours afterwards. Maybe these days you have the option to have an epidural? Maybe your doctor can tell you what your options are. It's been 18 years since my first baby, so things may have changed somewhat since then. Good luck :o)


Mellissa - January 19

Epidurals have there pros (few) and there cons and they can have their place. The fact is, women who are WELL prepared and WELL educated about childbirth rarely NEED any drugs because pain relief should only be used to help improve labour. For instance, if your labour has been going far to slow and you are becoming far too tired to be able to get rest between contrations and later, push the baby out, medication may be neccessary in order for you to rest. This being said, childbirth is a natural process that is FAR too medicated and controlled these days and although medical intervention saves the lives of countless babies in highrisk pregnancies or last minute emergencies, it is absolutely NOT neccessary for most women. There are so many studies and so much proof now that the mind can actively control the body (even in non-pregnancy related things like consiously slowing down your heart rate or blood pressure) which, with proper training, can lead to you having more control over your birth experience and having a happier, easier birth for both you and your baby. Different things work for different people (which is why you need to learn as much as you can now) but if you have an epidural, keep in mind that you will be helpless to aid the progress of your birth or change the position the baby is descending in, if required. You can't get up and walk around (to utilize gravity), you can't labour or birth in any position besides flat on your back and, if the epidural is given at the wrong time (which can't always be predicted) you could still be completly medicated when it comes time to push. This could make the one part you are expected to be an extremely active participant in impossible. All of this leads to higher cesarean rates. I find it funny that people are worrying about the pain of the epidural when they are actually taking it to begin with in order to get rid of the pain. Yes, having a needle inserted into your spine (a needle that is a little wider than you're used to!) is painful (I've given bone marrow!) but it seems as if women are weighing the pain of the epidural with the pain of childbirth. The difference is, the pain of childbirth is 100% normal and neccessary to progress labour and push the baby out. An epidural is an unneccessary medical intervention with pain you are inviting. The women above, Lisa, had an epidural for a good purpose and didn't pre-plan for it simply out of fear of the pain that childbirth brings. As it should be.


Jamie - January 19

Its better than the pain that labor puts you through. They put local numbing stuff og your back and then insert the epideral. I felt pressure, then kinda bee sting and saw my sister turn white as a ghost and pa__s out, not recommened for the week stomach. I also did not look at the needle that they were inserting in my back, it made things alot better. I was numb neck down for hours! I enjoyed every minute of my birth. I had tears of joy, not pain. The pain came after I left the hospital. Expect to feel like you have been run over by a car. Just trying to be truthful!


belgian - January 20

thanks for the advice girls. Now in my 39th week OFFICIALLY, i am getting closer and keep changing my mind! But I think I want to do it naturally without any meds. I always beleived in altern med. so why not this time around right? Like the one moment I should be experiencing head on. But heck, I dont kno wat awaits me so again; this is the fear I have of, should i shouldnt i. Good advice Melissa, but I must admit I am all too too new to it so this is why i decided to do the epidural in the first place. But now, after a week ago posting that msg, I am STILL debating wether I should or not. But I really really want to do natural all the way, and I have the BEST husband by my side until this day and im suure he will be on B-DAY. Well, we'll see how it goes. Typing this has my hands sweaty! I am a very nervous person! hehe..wish me luck!!and I wish you all luck in my situationas well!!


Anon - January 20

Mellissa While I do understand everything you said, Some of us women are just not that strong. I had a miscarriage one time, and I was sick to my stomach actually vomiting from the pain just from that. The nurse I had said multiply that time 100 and that is what having a baby feels like. I am going to try to last as long as I can without medication, But I dont believe that I am as strong as you are.


Charlie - January 20

I'm having my first baby in March and I have vowed that I will not attempt to be a hero. If the situation calls for it, I will absolutely have the epidural. Also I have many friends who have in fact said that the pain of the needle compared to the pain of labour is miniscule. Actually my friend had a baby last month, and I was there for her epidural and prior to it she was vomiting and swearing, after the epidual she was laughing and smiling and said that she HIGHLY recomends it. She was the girl who prior to labour gloated about how she was going to do it "natually". She promised to use her breathing excersises. After the birth, she told me no amount of breathing will help me. That seems to be the consensus of all my friends. But to each their own.


Mellissa - January 20

I don't think a women has to be a hero or "strong" to be able to go through a routine child birth naturally. It's unfortunate that doctors (who often like to have complete control over a women's birth experience) lead us to believe that only the exceptional among us can acheive this. It's very much a proven fact that having your partner by your side (or someone as equally as important) makes labour MUCH easier because you feel safe and unalone not to mention the fact that a partner who is just as educated as you in childbirth can remind you of all that you learned pre-birth, when your mind get's sidetracked during labour. The motivation provided by a good, educated birth partner, doula or, midwife can help even the most confident of women because childbirth is our ultimate challenge. No matter how much we learn or read before the big day arrives and no matter how much confidence we have in our bodies to do what we're built for, even the strongest women can second guess herself in the end. Having the rea__surance and encouragement of someone we trust can make a birth experience more positive and, most importantly, more like what we had planned and hoped for. We are not an inactive participant (or paitent) in the process of birth and believing it best to reside ourselves to lying flat on our backs at the complete control of Doctors is not neccessary when things are progressing as nature intended. You are strong enough to do it without the medication. Women have a huge threshold for pain and aren't recognized nearly as often as they should be for the job they do as mothers. I'm in the military and, at 5'5" and only 103lbs (because I lost 10lbs during my course!) , I carried a 60lb pack on my back with another 16lbs of gear around my waist and a loaded rifle in my hands(also, not light) I carried it many times over as much as 26km and I did it in boots to boot! The pain was excruciating at first because, although I was very active before, none of my past daily exercise routine (which I did simply to keep up my "girlish figure") could prepare me for carrying such a weight on my shoulders and back and feet. My body and mind had no idea how to deal with this foreign pain. My instructer (who actually did this for a living!) taught us how to play through the pain and to use our minds to focus elsewhere. Looking back, I can recall 20km marches where I only remember leaving and arriving. My mind was so focused elsewhere that the surroundings of the wilderness and the pain in my body are something I simply do not remember during our marches. I watched 40yr old women and women who were carrying far too much body weight pull of the same feat as I did (with much more blisters than I ever got!) so I know that it's just as possible for any women do give birth naturally. Just remember that if you go in expecting to have a flawless, uneventful birth where you wont need medication, you will be all the more disappointed if something changes in the end. Don't be ashamed if your plans don't go through and you really need that pain medication to make it through. Lot's of women try and there is definetly no shame in that. They should be commended, just for trying.


becky - January 21

when i got mine, i didnt feel a thing i guess it just depends on who gives it to you


Des - January 22

I had an epidural my first pregnancy which was twins. 3yrs ago. Yes it is painful but I had a nurse in front of me that told me to squeeze her legs so I wouldn't move. It was a moment of pain compared with hours of pain. It allowed me to concentrate on the contractions and work with them (push through the pain) And yes I did feel the pushing contractions, but not before I got a much needed sleep before the pushing. They don't keep you overly numb so that you can feel and push with the contractions. I had a week of my body itching which I could have been medicated for but I was so enammered with my baby's that it was minor for me. I did not have a back ache or a headache and I am almost positive i jumped a little when they insurted the epidural. I am 37wks Preg with baby boy and am planning on getting another EP.


Sandy - January 25

I have had three babies two without the epidural and one with. I am now pregnant with my forth child and I am not even going to consider not having the epidural. You are in so much pain from the labor that you don't even feel the needle from the epidural. I personally do not think doctors would offer epidurals if they were going to harm mother or child. With everything their is a risk but with an epidural it is very small. Having gone through the birthing process with and without an epidural I was a lot happier and more in control with the epidural. Without it you have no control what so ever. I do not believe that being properly educated or prepared can decrease the pain. I took lamaze cla__ses and after my first two children knew how painful it is but that did not make it less painful with my third. No matter what giving birth hurts and it's just a matter of if you want to feel that pain or not. My three kids are happy and healthy and I am fine. In two weeks I will have my last child and I will be enjoying it much more then I enjoyed the others because I will be without pain and in control of the situation. Good luck and don't let others tell you you are weak or that childbirth is suppose to hurt. A toothache is suppose to hurt to but we are allowed to take medicine then. I don't see much difference.


moe - January 26

hello i have two little boys and I got an epidural on both of them. I personally think it depends on who gives you the epidural whether it will hurt or not because on my first child they gave me an epidural and it didn't hurt at all and on the second one I was crying because it hurt so bad, I mean balling and screaming at the woman who was giving it to me, it really felt like she had a screwdriver in my back and was twisting it up my back! I told the woman that my last epidural didn't hurt like this at all, she didn't reply. After I had my baby I was having a lot of pain in my back from where she put the epidural and on certain days after I have been cleaning house etc. it still bothers me. Like I said on my first one I didn't have any problems and thats why I think it depends on who gives it to you. And when I have another child I am going to try and go through birth w/out an epidural. I will use local anst. I hope i haven't worried any of you first time moms but you'll be yelling for the epidural when your real labor starts! My sister was my coach on my 1st baby and she got so sick when they put the epidural in me that she couldn't be my coach she turned so white and almost pa__sed out and she had 3 kids! Well on her last pregnancy she did not get an epidural because she saw mine being put in, she did it natural and she got through it and to this day she says her back still hurts from where they put the epidural from her previous births. Hope this helps. good luck


LOLO - January 26

I had a c-section because my baby was breeched. I had an epidural and the only thing I felt was the fluid going up my spine and it did not hurt. I also belive it depends on the person that gives it to you. Best of luck. (I aslo would have got the epidural if I had a v____al birth)


Jenny L - January 28

I don't think getting the epidural hurt much, it's more like a sting and then you feel a warm sensation as the stuff is entering your body. Just make sure you stay perfectly still, so that they don't hit a nerve or something. I knew a lady who was paralyzed from the waste down after getting a spinal. I had an epidural twice, but the second one didn't really work. I was having a c-section and could feel them slicing me open. They stopped the operation twice because I wouldn't get numb, so eventually they had to give me a spinal too.


a grandma - January 30

Hi, I had 4 children and had epidurals for all 4. The procedure was not that painful and the benefits far outweighrd any discomfort from the injection. My last pregnancy I "labored" with the help of hypnosis, but still insisted on an epidural. Go for it, girl!


aaron - February 7

now im scared of the EP which was the only thing i was counting on to get me though this


Jackie - February 8

I had a c-section with #1, so I had an epidural but only after I dilated to 5cm on my own then they gave me pitocin (YUK). I didn't want a c-section, but the doctor said he wasn't going to come out any other way. He was a big boy. Anyways, I vowed that I would not make delivery a bad experience, and if you can do it without any pain medicine power to you, but if you need something - go for it. I was feeling alot of pain from the contractions one on top of the other, so I didn't really feel the epidural other than a pinch, and then total relief! What a wonderful way to deliver if you need it.



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