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Can you have an epidural placed without having the numbing drugs put in?

(5 Posts)
Bippitybopityboo Mon 04-Dec-17 11:16:20

Hi all, I was just wondering if you can have an epidural put into your back and leave it a while before having the drugs in it?
I am over weight and so have been advised to have an early epidural to avoid being put to sleep if I need an emergency section.
I had one with my 1st which resulted in a forceps delivery which I feel wouldn't have been as hard had I been more active during my labour but wouldn't want to risk needing to be asleep for a section? Any advice or experience?

ladybunnikins Mon 04-Dec-17 17:21:48

Epidurals don't always work, they can be patchy or one sided or they don't work at all, so without putting the drugs in the anaesthetist won't know if you have an epidural suitable for topping up in an emergency. You could have the numbing drugs initially and then let it wear off before the pushing stage. Did they say if it was tricky to get the epidural in last time? If you decide not to have an epidural we can still usually get a spinal in quickly for emergencies, even with a high BMI.

Bippitybopityboo Tue 05-Dec-17 08:10:16

My epidural was placed and worked 1st time last time the anethnatist said it wasn't bad at all but I understand I might not be as easy every time! Letting the drugs wear off to push is a good idea I just wanted to be more mobile but I didn't think of the epidural being patchy or only working down one side, that did happen to one lady I know. Thankyou for your reply smile

eternalopt Tue 05-Dec-17 08:19:27

They might not let you do this mind. I asked them to let the drugs wear off for pushing and they didn't advise I did as they said I'd missed the ramp up of pain, so it would be too much of a shock to suddenly experience that much pain. I went with the advice. Not sure whether they would've let me do it if I'd really argued. They did lessen the dose though so I could feel when to push.

Bippitybopityboo Tue 05-Dec-17 08:22:44

Towards the end when I was ready to push I felt the pain coming and told the midwife she said she would give me gas and air rather than topping up as I needed to know when to push but then babys heart rate dropped and I had the strong stuff put in the epidural to prepare for a c section but ended up with forceps in theater instead I can imagine it being quite a shock though that much pain hitting you after feeling nothing. I really need to have a good think!

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