Negativity toward epidural in UK?

(80 Posts)
wispaxmas Sun 08-Dec-13 17:59:31

Hello, ding a search, I found a discussion on this from 2010, though there might have been others more recently. I'm from Canada, it's much much much more common to have an epidural there, and in fact I only know one person who didn't have one in childbirth, and there was no difference between the labours - I don't know anyone who needed assistance like ventouse or forceps, either.

I understand that statistically there is an increase in the need for assisted delivery, but I'm not convinced it's entirely causally related - a more difficult labour is more likely to cause both the mother to request an epidural and also to cause the need for assistance, and the other risks to mom are so small especially with mobile epidurals, that I can't understand the extreme negativity towards epidurals in this country.

I'm only just shy of 15 weeks, so obviously thinking a ahead at the moment, but I've been thinking about my booking in appt recently, as I have my next appointment next week. After going through all the notes and labelling my as low risk, the midwife asked where I would preliminarily like to give birth. I said a definite no to home birth and no to the midwife led unit, as I wanted to have the option of an epidural if I wanted one.

Her response was to write down that I was told to go with the midwife led unit, with no mention whatsoever that I wanted a hospital birth. She told me also that women who wanted the option of epidurals more often than not got them. Uhh, no shit Sherlock. I've done a fair amount of research into it, I feel quite confident that I'm aware of the risks, and at this point I'm comfortable with them and would be happy to have an epidural in labour, and quite frankly, I'm upset that I've been told I shouldn't have one without being given the data to support the advice. I'm being treated like a child when I am in fact a very well educated and independent woman able to make informed decisions about my care (this pertains to almost all advice given to us while pregnant).

Argh, sorry for long post. I guess my point in posting is to know if anyone else has experienced the same, or what your views are.

minifingers Thu 12-Dec-13 15:03:57

"It sounds like you're defining it as widely as possible, ie all women who deliver vaginally without augmentation or instruments, regardless of whether they have anaesthesia or not."

Yes - because other ways of describing it aren't actually all that useful or meaningful.

Juliet123456 Thu 12-Dec-13 15:17:44

Chund... there is a photograph of me at the moment of giving birth with the poo emerging (home birth) - there your evidence. Didn't bother me at all. Perfectly natural. Better than than those awful enemas they used to give women or being hungry with no energy giving birth.

Chunderella Thu 12-Dec-13 15:20:30

Well, that's a matter of opinion. I don't really care, tbh, but the idea that 'natural birth' is one that doesn't involve epidural is pretty common (and even espoused in this thread). I have even seen it used to refer to all vaginal births including instrumental, which seems ridiculous. Anyway, by all means substitute your preferred term to describe vaginal births without epidurals or opiates in the offending paragraph, if you like.

Chunderella Thu 12-Dec-13 15:26:59

I wasn't seriously suggesting that we need proof of how many women poo in labour juliet! Of all the things we need more research on, that's pretty close to the bottom of the list. Actually I don't doubt that most women do, and nor do I think the presence of poo qualifies something as barbaric. I mean, I poo most days. I don't think my toilet is barbaric except sometimes when DH has been in there a while.

Although saying that, i wouldn't mind an enema either. Not that I would need one as my body did one all by itself.

minifingers Thu 12-Dec-13 16:10:04

Chunderella - I think I prefer the term 'normal' birth (by which I mean a birth that starts spontaneously, proceeds without augmentation with syntocinon, concludes with a spontaneous birth and delivery of the placenta. It's a useful term because it's actually rooted in physiology and not culture and therefore a bit less open to misinterpretation.

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