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Epidural yes or no

(19 Posts)
Simone231 Mon 16-May-16 10:16:04

Hi everyone

I need some advice. I'm 33 weeks pregnant with DCDA twin boys. This is my first pregnancy and I've been told by my midwife that they would want to give me an epidural at the start of my labour. This will make the groin area numb but not my legs. She told me that they recommend this for all twin births, because it means if they have to do an emergency csection they just need to top it up.

I don't want to have it because I've read and been told by the same midwife that having the epidural effects you being able to push properly in labour. This then makes me think that as a result you are more likely to end up having an emergency csection. Which I really do not want due to recovery time.

My question is for mother's with twins was you told the same thing? Also did you have problems delivering the baby having the epidural?



RayofFuckingSunshine Mon 16-May-16 10:23:55

I don't have twins so can't comment on that part, but have had two epidurals - one with each of my labours. Had no issues with pushing at all.

It's also worth considering that even if you say no to having one at the start, you may change your mind at a later point in your labour and end up with one anyway. Not saying it's definite, but it is a possibility. Try not to rule it out completely as if you do and then end up with one, it could cause bad feeling after labour which is the last thing you'll need!

minijoeyjojo Mon 16-May-16 10:50:18

I had an epidural - again not with twins, but I had no problems at all pushing despite not feeling a thing!!

I could be wrong as this is just based on my slightly failed attempt at an epidural to start with, but would there be an option to insert the tube, but not actually have the anaesthetic topped up? This happened to me for he first couple of hours with my epidural and it was completely ineffective!

Actually that's a good point, usually you'd let the epidural wear off to push to allow some feeling. it's maybe worth exploring those options with your midwife?

Simone231 Mon 16-May-16 11:06:50

RayofFuckingSunshine - your right about not ruling it out. Thanks for your advice.

minijoeyjojo thanks for getting back to me. Someone in my twin group did ask the midwife and she said no you can't just have the tube in just in case, but I'm going to ask my consultant.

Junosmum Mon 16-May-16 11:10:36

There is evidence to suggest that epidurals slow labour and can inhibit the desire to push however having laboured and birthed without pain relief and had no urge to push either I'd definitely get one!

doodlejump1980 Mon 16-May-16 11:13:40

Hi, mum of dcda twin boys here. If you have lots of fluid (like I did) epidurals do not work. (Disclaimer in my experience) I had three. Not one of them worked as the fluid on my back made it difficult to get the needle in- the 3rd one they tried, they used an 11cm needle and showed it to my husband who immediately fainted I was induced at 37+6, laboured for 8 hours (got to 8cm) then ended up with an emcs anyway - different person putting in the spinal and did it very quickly so you don't necessarily need the epidural in so they can top it up. Good luck, a cs recovery isn't too bad- you'll have lots of help on offer with it being twins anyway?

QueenMolotov Mon 16-May-16 11:18:43

Not a mother to twins here. However, I opted not to have an epidural for the birth of my first child, partly through worrying I'd end up having an assisted delivery.

I had a protracted labour, and, as I only had G&A, was awake for the whole thing (no sleep overnight, as well as no sleep the night before due to early labour niggles). I had a long, unsuccessful pushing phase, I became exhausted and baby got distressed and I had an assisted delivery anyway.

If I had that time again, I'd have an epidural, rest and sleep, and save my energy. I dare say the experience would have been better, too.

Good luck with making your decision.

Simone231 Mon 16-May-16 11:37:24

doodlejump1980 - thanks for your advice.

I have been told I have too much fluid but they have been monitoring and don't seem bothered by it now. I have another scan on Wednesday so will check again. They also were worried that my cervix was shortening and thinning.

I think my husband would be the same seeing the needle.

I also was worried about the recovery time after a csection and being mobile to still get on with things.

Simone231 Mon 16-May-16 11:40:03

QueenMolotov - thanks for the advice. I think your right maybe I will just have to have the epidural and let the midwifeedback guide me when to push. I always like to have a plan but I think I just have to accept that I will just have to go with the flowsmile

QueenMolotov Mon 16-May-16 11:48:43

I had an ELCS for dd2 and was surprised by how quickly the body can heal. You need to take it easy for a few weeks but I was able to stand and walk a short distance just the next day, and each day I improved. No problems breastfeeding or lifting dd. I preferred the experience of it to my first VB. Of course, my VB was drawn out; I had an episiotomy and coccyx pain post-delivery. I couldn't compare a 'normal' VB to the one I had, and that is probably why the ELCS, for me, was preferable.

I just wanted to say that a CS experience can be incredibly positive smile

Simone231 Mon 16-May-16 12:20:11

QueenMolotov - that's good to know about your csection experience.

CountessOfStrathearn Mon 16-May-16 13:09:36

"There is evidence to suggest that epidurals slow labour and can inhibit the desire to push however having laboured and birthed without pain relief and had no urge to push either I'd definitely get one!"

Some of the evidence against epidurals might actually be due to women who have long, hard labours, perhaps because of poor presentation, are more likely to have epidurals and that the increased risk of intervention is due to the issues that led to the epidural itself.

I've had an epidural, two really, because the first one only worked done one side, and once that was sorted, it was a lovely light epidural (and I don't remember it being topped up). I could still feel my contractions, they just didn't hurt. I could still move my legs (I didn't get out of bed, so can't say if I could have walked). I didn't need any help pushing and labour was very quick.

I'd had a (prolonged) home birth before and would say that I recovered far more quickly that time round than after my otherwise uncomplicated home birth, so I've had a really positive experience of epidurals.

Good luck!

CountessOfStrathearn Mon 16-May-16 13:10:09

Meant to add this link which an anaesthetist friend gave me a few years ago:

1001questions Mon 23-May-16 19:13:45

I don't know why you wouldn't have one - it's easier to have it removed later on than to get one put in later on when you realise you do need it, if that makes sense.

Not aware of any reliable statistics on this but I suspect the stuff about it slowing down labour is idealogical claptrap rather than anything else.

kiki22 Tue 24-May-16 08:37:18

I had an epidural that only partly worked then changed it to a spinal in theatre really quickly. The consultant asked if it was my second baby as I was really good at pushing it was due to not being able to feel a thing though pretty sure if I could have felt what was going on I wouldn't have been able to keep up the good pushing for long.

DavidPuddy Tue 24-May-16 08:45:58

I didn't have twins, but I did have an epidural. Labour was very slow and contractions irregular for almost two days before I went to the hospital (I gave up waiting for the contractions to become regular and frequent). I was four centimetres dilated when they gave me the epidural, but less than four hours later my baby was born. The epidural speeded things up for me because it helped me relax. I also had no trouble pushing.

That said, it was a few minutes wait between the head being born and the rest of the body. Baby had hiccups during this time!

NotAClue82 Tue 24-May-16 08:52:19

Hi Simone, I'm also pregnant with twins. I haven't got any advice as I'm only 12 weeks but if I'm able to birth them vaginally, I would also like to avoid an epidural (had a great experience with just G&A with my first born). There's a twin board on this website & there's a bunch of mums on there who birthed twins without an epidural, so it might be worth reposting your question there.

bunny85 Tue 24-May-16 10:02:05

Hi, I didn't have twins, but had epidural with my son, pushed him out all by myself and no interventions (vacuum/forceps/episiotomy) needed. Good luck with the birth!

Annarose2014 Tue 24-May-16 10:11:58

I had an epidural (with a singleton) due to poor presentation so it was really going to be either instrumental or CS really. My epidural was patchy so I had to get it topped up a few times and by the end my legs were like dead weights and had to be hoisted up into stirrups like sides of beef!

However I found pushing was not a problem and in the end I just needed a ventouse and I attribute that to my pretty forceful pushing.

More importantly the epidural relieved a lot of my distress and pain and I was able to have a b8t of a sleep at one point. So I was pretty relaxed going into the pushing stage. Put it this way, there's no way I could have pushed that hard without it as I would have been too shattered and too distressed and upset.

It wore off with no after effects about 6/7 hours later. I did have a bit of urethral trauma from pushing so hard against the catheter and that lasted about a week but then it went away.

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