Epidural for episiotomy and stitching?

(15 Posts)
LillianFullStop Mon 19-Sep-16 23:02:08

I'm a FTM so not quite sure how I will be with the pain. I'm booked in to give birth in a labour ward so all pain relief options are available to me (IN THEORY and ignoring stories of being talked out of or fobbed off an epidural).

I'm open to trying to labour without an epidural to start but one thing I am absolutely NOT game to try without an epidural is an episiotomy or forceps delivery. I am also quite needle phobic so the thought of getting stitches put in and even remotely feeling any of it scares me more than the labour itself. I've read for some people even local anaesthetic is not enough to numb an episiotomy or being sutured.

Am I crazy to go for an epidural anyway even if I'm coping well with labour pains just to make sure I feel none of the stitching and none of an episiotomy on the off chance I'll need one. Alternatively would they give you a spinal just for it if you asked?

wayway13 Mon 19-Sep-16 23:17:45

I didn't have an epidural but I did need an episiotomy/forceps. You get a quick injection of anaesthetic down there which you won't feel because you'll already be in pain and high on gas and air. I didn't feel the cut or the stitches. I was aware of the stitches being put in (tugging but not sore) BUT remember they do that after the baby is out ie you will be holding your new baby at the time and won't care who is doing what to your whatevers. It is sore for a few weeks afterwards though but it would be regardless of the epidural iyswim?

How far along are you? IME, the closer you get to EDD the less you worry because you just want the beast out!!! (37w with DC2 and very very uncomfortable).

wayway13 Mon 19-Sep-16 23:21:04

Sorry, I suppose that didn't answer your question. I don't think they offer epidurals easily, you have to ask. Reeeally ask. Demand. Be a total cow about it if need be. If you think it will help, demand it.

PikachuSayBoo Mon 19-Sep-16 23:22:43

If you need a forceps they're unlikely to have time to site an epidural for it.

I've never known anyone ask for an epidural for suturing but would be suprised if it was agreed to. Possible if the ward wasn't busy......but normally once someone has delivered they want them mived to the pn ward ASAP, nit spending a lengthy period having an epidural sited, extra obs, then time spent on labour ward waitng for sensation to return.

Kathysclown Mon 19-Sep-16 23:26:38

I had a spinal block in for stitches after the baby was born (just had gas and air for the labour and birth) - but I had a third degree tare hence the extra an aesthetic was required.

LBOCS2 Mon 19-Sep-16 23:29:30

I'm fairly sure they wouldn't give you an epidural for stitching unless it was a significant tear which required surgery afterwards.

I had an epidural with DD1 and it had pretty much worn off by the time I gave birth (which was good; it meant I could feel to push) and they gave me a local to stitch me up. It's a bit scratchy but it's really not bad and the whole area is a bit sore afterwards so it's not so bad.

FWIW I had no problems getting the epidural I wanted when I was in labour. They were fine with it.

panad317 Mon 19-Sep-16 23:30:02

Just wait and see how you get on. Ask your midwife for advice too. You might have a long labour. I was induced with DC1, after 24 hours of established labour I was falling asleep inbetween contractions, the midwife insisted that I had an epidural so that I could sleep before pushing. And I'm so glad she did as it could've ended up with having a csection. The pushing part was just so calm, I only pushed when the midwife told me to, and it resulted in no tears or forceps.

LillianFullStop Tue 20-Sep-16 08:19:58

Thanks for the replies - I'm 35+2 and have just done my antenatal classes. I am probably freaking out because the reality of it is becoming clearer instead of the labour being something remote and far down the line. I hope you are right wayway and that I'll be more calm and just keen for the baby to come the closer I get to the due date.

I think I will demand opt for an epidural for labour if I can get it. I think I would be more relaxed overall if I got it even if I find the contractions bearable. No hero here! That way it will already be sited and can be topped up if I had to have an episiotomy.

I've been told the more relaxed you are the easier labour you will have as tension and anxiety slows down the labour.

peaceloveandbiscuits Tue 20-Sep-16 08:26:23

Write in your notes that you'd like an epidural, and tell your birth partner to advocate for you, because you might not be in the right frame of mind to demand anything or know what you want.
They don't give episiotomies routinely anymore, so with any luck you can avoid that entirely.

somefarawaydream Tue 20-Sep-16 08:27:32

I had an episiotomy, no epidural. Yes I could feel the stitching slightly but it was nothing compared to what I'd just done!! I would keep an open mind, you could be high on gas an air and definitely adrenaline so you'll never know how you'll feel! I personally wouldn't get one because I thought I might need it, it's a big deal! I hate needles also so feel your pain there, but honestly, needles were so far from my mind I couldn't have given a shit!

If I was to have an epidural, it would have been for the pain of contractions, rather than episiotomy repair 100%

Blackfellpony Tue 20-Sep-16 20:15:30

I was planning on demanding an epidural too but when it came to it I ended up not needing it and labour was fast! I was more scared of stitches or forceps than actual delivery!
I also didn't need stitches, but if you do my midwive assured me you would be numbed.

I would go in with an open mind and see how you feel smile

Nzou1050 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:25:04

I was given a spinal block for forceps delivery with episiotomy. This was after over an hour of pushing with no pain relief because the midwife took my gas and air away. The previous two hours to pushing I had been demanding an epidural but it was shift change over and I never got one! The spinal was the best feeling ever, I didn't even care about the needle at that point.

Second time round I decided I'd have to epidural and not take any chances but only got to the hospital with 30 mins to spare! Just clung to my gas and air for dear life and had a much better midwife who let me keep it. No stitches necessary though, thankfully.

Halloweenbaby Tue 20-Sep-16 21:14:33

I laboured and gave birth with just gas and air but had to be cut. I would rather labour, be cut and give birth again than have stiches without a spinal block/ general anaesthetic, I dont want to scare you but the stitches were the worst part for me I was in absolute agony and have never felt pain like it, although I believe the cut I had was quite deep I think they said 2 layers if that makes sense, they stitched me inside and out and I felt every single stich and pull after 3 local anaesthetics. I asked for them to stop stitching, but was refused because I had a 'gaping hole' I wasnt bothered at that point as I was never going to use my vagina again anyway to be put to sleep as I didnt even think about spinal block and was refused even as I was literally pulling my hair out and cried in agony after silently labouring and giving birth. I had to give baby to my partner as I couldnt control myself. Before the birth i was terrified of being cut as I watched a video of it and it haunted me but I didnt feel being cut, I wasnt even aware I had been cut until after.
So me for next time I will say if I need stitches again after I want to be either put to sleep or spinal block after the birth and I would wait as long as it took for someone to give me it rather than be stitched again without one.

LillianFullStop Tue 20-Sep-16 23:38:33

Blackfell I'm like you I am more terrified of stitches and episiotomy than labour. I guess the difference is I can handle muscular and cramping pain but there is a special terror for me with puncture pain (needles, cuts, etc)

Halloween that's what I'm afraid of - that they would give me a local and I would still be able to feel it. Sorry you had to go through that I would be screaming through the roof and maybe have tried to run out the room. if a request for spinal just for the stitches isn't realistic I would definitely opt for the epidural while still in labour. Maybe stitches would be bearable but suturing is another beast and they would have to get the local anaesthetic down the deeper layers for it to numb it properly.

I get that recovery would be the same whether I'd felt the stitching or not but I think I would be less traumatised by the whole thing if I didn't have to feel it.

I had forceps after an episiotomy and didn't have any relief not even gas and air - there just wasn't time, DD needed to come out! I had an injection for the stitches and I think I felt a few tugs but it was only a small cut I think and didn't hurt one bit for me. After the contractions I feel like nothing could hurt in comparison to that! I guess everyone is different.
The only thing I can say is don't expect too much from your birth plan. Nothing on mine happened because my labour was fairly quick so I didn't have time for the unicorns to parade around me singing the baby out. But no, seriously, if there is something you are worried about talk to your midwife and make sure your partner is aware so he can speak for you when you need him to.

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