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Epidurals - any disadvantages for DC3

(7 Posts)
expectingagain Fri 30-Oct-09 20:52:11

I'm expecting my 3rd DC and am trying to figure out whether or not to request an epidural. Had one with DC1 after induction by drip, but just gas and air for DC2. I know one of the main disadvantages is the increased risk of intervention but managed to get dc2 out without any and they were back to back so not exactly easy. Does anyone know if there is such an increased risk of intervention when its not your 1st? At the moment I'm just remembering how much it hurt with DC2 compared with the relief of the pain disappearing after the epidural.

Bainmarie Fri 30-Oct-09 21:04:57

I think that the risk of intervention remains increased even if it is not your first baby.

Grendle Sat 31-Oct-09 11:31:44

There is an increased likelihood of breastfeeding problems, as drugs used in epidurals (like fentanyl) are in the same family as pethidine and do cross the placenta in small amounts. It can lead to baby being slightly more sleepy, so is one thing to look out for. Also, the use of these drugs and particularly if the drip is used to accelerate contractions can interfere with your production of the hormones that reduce pain -hormones which also help your baby to have a more pleasant experience, so again there may be knock-on effects.

Any pain-relieving drugs taken in labour can affect the normal hormonal changes that occur immediately after birth too. Without drugs or disturbance after birth, the levels of oxytocin in the mother reach their highest lifetime levels within 3-5mins after birth. With these things, that surge doesn't happen.

I haven't heard of any difference in likelihood of intervention for first or subsequent pregnancies.

Lots of people do have great experiences with epidurals and it's a very personal choice. Good luck with your decision & birth smile.

reikizen Sat 31-Oct-09 11:37:33

Oh god, if you managed last time I'd go without again this time if you can, especially if your baby was in a posterior position. Why put yourself at risk of the post dural headache, DVT, bedsores, instrumental delivery etc etc if you don't need to? You can get up, move about, get in the bath, eat, etc without one, you don't need to be constantly monitored (which brings with it the increased risk of operative delivery). Good luck, enjoy it whatever you decide!

blinder Sun 01-Nov-09 16:32:08

I ended up with an epidural during my posterior labour 7 weeks ago, despite being VERY focussed on a natural birth throughout my pregnancy, and having delivered without pain relief before. Just want to reassure you that I did get the endorphins, and the oxytocin rush I felt was actually much bigger the second time round. I did feel the contractions however, and as you probably know, the epidural can be turned up or down to give you more sensation. I did have more intervention (forceps) but as my baby was very badly positioned and very large I believe this would have happened anyway.

You can always decide on the day.

Hope you have a lovely birth, whichever route you pick.

blinder Sun 01-Nov-09 16:34:27

Oh and my DD suckled immediately. I think it CAN work well, and I definitely felt less traumatised and more blissed out and bonded after my epidural birth (despite the complications). Maybe because of the relief you mentioned...

elmotaughtddtousethepotty Sun 01-Nov-09 18:35:31

yep. i had epidural with no probs. no headache, didn't hurt going in, just brought wonderful blissful relief from the excrutiating labour pains. dd suckled fine immediately too.

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