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Does having an epidural hurt? Thoughts on having one

(60 Posts)
StarlyBeee Thu 05-Dec-19 09:55:30

Hi all - I previously have said no way will I have a epidural cause the thought of a catheter in my back terrifies me but the closer I'm getting to giving birth the more I'm considering it. Looking for experiences - does it hurt to have the epidural put in your back and what did it feel like? Also how long after the birth were you still feeling like a dead weight

Thanks all


OP’s posts: |
CameraTime Thu 05-Dec-19 09:57:50

I loved the epidural! Don't remember feeling any pain when it was being done, other than the usual "scratch" that you feel with any injection. It kicked in fairly quickly, and lasted for a few hours maybe? I don't remember, to be honest. I didn't feel like a "dead weight", it wasn't unpleasant at all. I couldn't feel my legs, but that was fine - I was busy cuddling my baby!

CameraTime Thu 05-Dec-19 09:58:57

Also, you don't get a catheter in your back, it's in your urethra... They just inject the epidural into your back and then pull the needle out, they don't leave anything in there as far as I remember.

CountYourRoosters Thu 05-Dec-19 10:00:34

I honestly didn't feel a thing. I had been in so much pain before that for such a long time, that it was this blissful relief when they gave it to me. Afterwards is completely fine too, you just stay in bed for a few hours until out wears off

FrederickSinclair Thu 05-Dec-19 10:01:01

I can't remember what it felt like at all, all I remember was that it was uncomfortable sitting still on the edge of the bed during contractions while they put it in. But the feeling when it kicked in was heaven - there is no relief like it.

I was in control of topping up my epidural with a button whenever I needed to, and so you can leave it to wear off a bit towards the end if you want to feel more or not be numb after the birth. I pressed mine during the pushing stage though so I was numb for a while after. Can't remember how long for, but my catheter was removed and I was walking around about 5am the following morning (gave birth at midday) - but I got sepsis during the birth so wasn't exactly raring to go with getting out of bed before then.

Whoops75 Thu 05-Dec-19 10:01:12

I’ve I had 3 very positive epidurals

The anesthetist uses local anesthetic to numb the are do you don’t feel much.
It’s a bit like dental pain, the first injection in the hardest.
I dilated fine and had a great ob who turned off the epidural early so I could feel the urge to push.

Good luck with whatever you decide

xJune88 Thu 05-Dec-19 10:02:29

I'm petrified of needles, I was in so much pain I needed an epidural they sprayed my back it was freezing. Didnt feel a thing apart from the little tiny thread wiggling down my spine no pain at all it doesn't always work though everybody reacts differently I ended up having a spinal x

YouJustDoYou Thu 05-Dec-19 10:03:59

No it didn't. They numb the site first. The pain of a stuck baby was so mind alteringly horrific that the jab of the needle was an absolute breeze in comparison.

Wineislifex Thu 05-Dec-19 10:04:08

I had one for my csection and it doesn’t hurt but it does feel uncomfortable I’m not going to lie! After the initial sharpness I felt some tugging around the insertion site and then a tingling sensation then warmth and then it all went dead! The doctors and nurses were great tho, talked me through it all and tried to distract me by chatting for the injection bit!

HavelockVetinari Thu 05-Dec-19 10:06:38

It was a bit painful when it went in, but then no problem. Mine didn't work unfortunately, so I ended up having a general anaesthetic, but if I ever get pg again I'll be having an ELCS with (hopefully) an epidural this time round.

over50andfab Thu 05-Dec-19 10:07:36

It was a while ago now...I had the ambulatory epidural first (where I’d still be able to move around (actually couldn’t though due to having a fetal heart monitor in too). However it didn’t work well enough for me so I then had the full one. I didn’t feel a thing and also didn’t see anything due to lying on my side and it happening behind me. I don’t remember any lasting effects after and feeling like a dead weight, although they had to catheterise me due to having a drip in ( long labour).

I think you have to balance up the loss of sensation and being able to push, ie actively contribute to the birth process, against the pain of contractions which can be lengthy for some.

I’d say wait and see how you feel when it comes to it. I didn’t plan for one but glad I had it. Gas and air is good stuff, which I had for my second, much shorter birth.

haba Thu 05-Dec-19 10:08:01

It took them a long time to get the site for me, and that was not comfortable at all but once in was fine.
The bruising afterwards though meant I struggled to lie on my back (somewhat annoying when you want to feed/cuddle your newborn!).
The pain from the bruising was worse than the pain from my section!
I was told I was unlucky though, and had extra nerve pathways just there hmm

TheABC Thu 05-Dec-19 10:10:09

I had two emergency C-sections. The hardest bit was sitting still for the first needle. After that, it was a breeze. If you don't have surgery, I understand that they can taper the drugs, so you can still feel/push your baby out.

DeanImpala67 Thu 05-Dec-19 10:18:22

I had an epidural for my second, and I didn't even feel it as the contractions were miles more painful at that point and the hardest part was sitting still but hunched over so the anesthetist could administer it. I was numb from the top of my ribs to mid thigh and it lasted about 4 hrs I think, I was up walking within an hour of delivery. It was handy for the couple of stitches I needed after delivery as well as there was no need for the lidocaine jabs to do them. I could still feel my bump tightening when I had contractions so could still push and all in all it was painless and straightforward.

StarlyBeee Thu 05-Dec-19 10:22:15

Thank you everyone, so just to clarify an epidural is just an injection or Isit a catheter left in your back with endless supply?

Thanks again x

OP’s posts: |
Lunafortheloveogod Thu 05-Dec-19 10:26:24

Compared to the contractions I think they could’ve put it in my eye n I wouldn’t have flinched. Back to back induced labour though so apparently more painful. They numb the area first and it’s just a pressure more than a pain, I could control mine and when we needed to move to theatre the anaesthetist just topped me up to fully numb. When it started working I can remember it felt like a dead leg that I could half move, couldn’t move once they put the monitor in though.

. I was able to move around decently within 5 hours, I didn’t try before then but I felt my legs coming back within 2 just that I could feel something odd but nothing painful or alarming. By the time I was back through n on the ward it was night time so the 5 hour mark was when ds poonamied and I realised my buzzer was too high up so I wobbled to get it and all the bits I needed (didn’t pick him up until I’d sat back down)

VisionQuest Thu 05-Dec-19 10:27:37

I had a spinal block in the last 15 mins of my labour as they thought they might have to do an emergency c section. As it was, the baby was delivered with forceps.

Anyway, I can honestly say I have no memory of any pain whatsoever. In fact I was begging them to put it in and was giddy with excitement!

They also had to do it with me lying on my side as I was in agony and I couldn't sit up.

The relief was absolutely immense, to feel the pain just melt away.....

Please don't worry, you will be absolutely fine.

NotYourHun Thu 05-Dec-19 10:34:01

The anaesthetist put mine in whilst I lay on my side. She did the whole thing in about 2 mins. It worked beautifully. I couldn’t feel the pain but was still aware of pressure and could move around, get on all fours etc.

Initially a wide bore needle is inserted into the epidural space, through which a very fine plastic tube is threaded, allowing for a continuous infusion, it’s flexible and really well stuck down!

NotYourHun Thu 05-Dec-19 10:39:58

In my experience (midwife) the epidural usually wears off very soon after it’s switched off. A particularly dense block might take up to a couple of hours but that isn’t usual.

Elhan Thu 05-Dec-19 19:40:55

Didn't hurt a bit but was agonyyyyyy sitting through contractions when they put it in. Mine didn't even work, they kept topping it up and they said unfortunately it doesn't work for everyone. It took the edge off slightly but my god I would be one of those it didn't work for lol

Hearhoovesthinkzebras Thu 05-Dec-19 19:43:30

It did hurt me both times. The 2nd one didn't work at all other than give me one numb leg.

The first time although the injection itself hurt it did work because I had it in place for a c section.

Hearhoovesthinkzebras Thu 05-Dec-19 19:45:19

Thank you everyone, so just to clarify an epidural is just an injection or Isit a catheter left in your back with endless supply?

A catheter is left in your back.

maybebabyagain Thu 05-Dec-19 19:48:36

I’ve had lots all different !
1. I was in labour and having gas and air so didn’t feel a thing and it was fine no issues after

2. Was ok at insertion. Had a severe headache after for days and had to have a blood patch procedure

3. Fine no issues

4. Again fine no issues

5. As above no problems

6. Awful. Inserting was impossible. 3 attempts failed then I had a leak of csf and fainted. Fourth attempt by a consultant was down with me lying in my side not sitting. Again severe headache and blood patch needed after. Lasting backache over a year later

Kolo Thu 05-Dec-19 19:59:57

My first epidural was during awful contractions, and the only thing I remember was how uncomfortable it was to sit on the bed, curved over my bump, so they could inject. I don't remember any pain, but it might have been disguised by the horrendous contractions. I can only remember huge relief that all the pain of an induced labour vanished. I'd have given the anaesthetist my house, baby, hand in marriage at that point.

The second one I had no contractions, as it was for a planned section. Much more comfortable to 'receive' the injection, all very calm, a little scratch.

During neither of them did I ever feel like my legs were a dead weight. It wasn't unpleasant and didn't last very long. I was up and about a few hours afterwards. I guess like when you're at the dentist, it starts to wear off pretty quickly. I was definitely moving myself around in the bed when I was taken down to the ward, which was not too long after delivery.

Besidesthepoint Thu 05-Dec-19 20:07:57

I loved, loved, loved my epidural and highly recommend it. There was a short sting getting it in but after that I felt fine. I didn't feel the very fine plastic flexible tube in my back and although I don't think I could have walked, I could move on the bed just fine. I just felt that I shouldn't put any weight on my legs but I could move just normal. For me it was a difference between hours of pain and a very short sting. When they gave me the epidural they thought I would only be a few hours away from birth, turns out I waited more than a day after that. It did give me a slight itch on my belly (don't know why there) but I just scratched once in a while and it was fine.

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