hi there. im a 35 week ftm. i was all set on having an epidural but now im not after anye natel class. whats everyones thought about it and if you have had one would you change anything?? xx
What has changed your mind?
It was a godsend when I had one.
There was a thread asking for people's experiences in the last week or two - you might be able to get some info from that if you have a search.
I think the key is, to be open minded. Until you are in the situation, you have no idea of your tolerance of pain, or how long the labour goes on for or all the other things that might affect your thinking.
Keep your mind open, you never know. Best to do your research and know your options!
I didn't have one but I wouldn't necessarily rule it out in future. I ended up having a water birth, which I hadn't planned at all.
First labour = very protracted - ended up having an epidural after about 40 hours. Bliss!! Remembered to keep shuffling my bum around etc - most post epidural problems are caused by long periods of immobility. Very controlled birth though epidural did wear off for a while.
2nd labour managed fine with a bit of gas & air.
No regrets at all about having epidural the first time.
Don't forget epidurals are used all the time in routine surgery, especially for people at risk of thrombosis. Why be a martyr and go through labour without the best possible pain relief?
Epidurals were pretty much discouraged in the antenatal classes I went to (lots of focus on your body's natural ability to deal with labour pain, using gas and air, etc). But I had one very early on, as I was induced. And I would absolutely do it again if I have another baby.
Did hypnobirth with DS1 and loved it, had epidural with DS2 and loved it - so probably no help for you. What's changed your mind since your class?
I think just go in there and see how you go. Don't worry about needing one, I didn't for my first, with my second my contractions at 4cm were as strong as they were at 8cms with the first one and every 2 minutes. It was 11pm and I thought "fuck spending the night trying to breathe through these!!" and my obgyn got the epidural straight in when I was about 5cm. Slept through the rest of it and woke up to push. 'Twas bloody fantastic.
In my experience, the more open you are to whatever drugs you might need, the less "disappointed" you will be if things don't go according to your plan.
And having had both experiences I would say that I certainly don't favor one over the other. Recovery was the same with both of them, albeit slightly more uncomfortable with ds1 as I had stitches, but only for a few days. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus (in a good way) with ds1, with ds2 I had skin to skin until the epidural wore off (2 hours) and then showered. I wasnt sore or uncomfortable at all.
Was more "euphoric" after the first one because of all the adrenaline and hormones and was most certainly in a high, with ds2 I just felt that wonderful exhaustion after giving birth on very little sleep. I had the high but it was the sleepy kind where I just dozed and stared at him instead of bouncing off the walls and chattering like a monkey like with ds1!
As everyone says just be open minded. I was induced and my contractions were very strong and close together straight away. Not only is it painful it's exhausting! Planning for childbirth is very frustrating as every birth is so different that you can't predict anything. Just go with the flow on the day, you'll be more relaxed if you don't add pressure to yourself about not having drugs.
Sorry forgot to say I ended up having one after only being 2cm after 7 hours. It was the easiest decision I've ever made!
I didn't have an epidural with either so not sure I'm qualified to answer this, but first labour I had diamorphine, loads of gas and air and had a long and fairly uncomfortable (understatement) experience. My second labour was managed on a warm bath and a lot of focused breathing, and was a significantly better experience, baby popped out quicker, and most significantly I didn't feel groggy for ages afterwards, I think you have to see how you feel at the time, but I'd focus on how you will be after the popping out has been done, as this is important too. Best of luck, whatever you choose.
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