OBEM - why are they so anti-epidural?

(151 Posts)
babyblabber Wed 20-Mar-13 21:28:06

Just watching OBEM and I've been wondering every time I watch it, why are the midwives so anti epidurals? Is it the same all over England? There was another episode recently where a girl was practically begging for one and they talked her out of it (at 3cm) & I just don't know why. I know there are risks but they are minimal and thousands of women give birth every day with epidurals but watching that show would make you think they're a last resort.

I'm just curious really. I'm from Ireland where it's more normal for first time mums to have an epidural than not and it's almost presumed you will. Having had two kids I am a big fan of epidurals and secretly think giving birth without one is a bit mental!

(ps don't want to start a big debate, just wondering!)

Curtsey Mon 25-Mar-13 11:04:45

However when women embrace the concept that accepting the pain and embracing the process will result in a relatively pain-free, or manageable labour, and then they find the pain overwhelming, or their labour lasts a long time and they are exhausted, and they then opt for pain relief - that is when some women struggle afterwards and feel that they failed somehow.

Yep, exactly, Thurlow. I'm a bit of a people-pleaser and interested in health generally and I like doing things according to how the experts say it should ideally be done. I think I did want a medal, actually grin - and I felt so annoyed with about myself for not having been 'tough' enough. Even though the actual pushing part and bonding experience with the baby went really well.

I've witnessed lots of absolutist thinking re. childbirth, I think it is fairly common! Perhaps more so in RL and on other forums than here on MN. Both the kind of person who deconstructs your birth to see where you went wrong, and also the kind of person who will tell anyone who's listening to 'never make a birth plan, as soon as you go into hospital it goes out the window, take every drug on offer'.

But ultimately, even though I had a great experience with the epi, I do not want to have another one if I ever have another dc. If it works out that way so be it, but the risks are undoubtedly there.

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