Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.
Ladies, i know this has prob been done to death on here. Im 27 weeks and starting to think about labour. I watched a video online with a women who had an epidural and she didnt seem to feel a thing. What do you all think? What are your experiences/feelings on an epidural?
I had an epidural due to complications with my labour, I didn't feel anything but was able to move my legs and I could walk properly a few hours afterwards. The only negative was that I couldn't feel how hard I was pushing so I tore a lot, but then this could have happened anyway. It does slow down your labour though, in my case this was necessary but it isn't always a good thing and usually leads to forceps/ventouse delivery.
Are you in the uk? If so, they don't give you them routinely or just because you ask, there has to be a medical need. There isn't always an anaesthetist on hand for the time you need and if you don't get it at a certain point in your labour then they won't give you it. It does mean you can't move from the bed so water birth/ bath are not allowed.
I think that there are pro and cons and a lot will depend on when you go into labour, how long it lasts, what other preparation you have done, etc.
Epidurals can, although not always, lead to further interventions (women who have an epidural have a much higher chance of an emergency C-section) and problems with breastfeeding, so it's worth doing some research.
I did a lot of reading into it all before DC1 and decided that it wasn't worth the risks if I could avoid it. I was lucky that I went into labour after a good nights sleep and a good meal and that my labour didn't last too long but I also did lots of hypnobirthing work to really minimise my chances of needing one. I plan the same course of action with DC2 (coming soon!) but I know that if I had to go through 30 hours of labour my opinion on drugs might be different.
It's a very personal decision and ultimately you need to go with what you are comfortable with doing.
I was "strongly advised" to have an epidural.
Ds was prem and back to back. they had tried to stop labour but it didn't work so they then induced me due to infection risk.
I did feel contractions, was able to push when needed but in the end I was taken to theatre for a forceps delivery.
I had an episiotomy and no real trouble with healing but have been left with sciatica which at times is bloody awful- I'm fairly certain this was down to position I was in for actual delivery.
All future children of mine will need to be c sections but if I was able to I'd not have another epidural.
Fabulous at the time but not so much afterwards.
My first epidural I didn't feel any pain but could tell when the contractions were happening. The second epidural I felt pain on every fourth / fifth contraction. I had them both times as I was induced ended up on the drip both times. I felt positive about having had them but I have lots of friends who didn't have an epidural and were perfectly happy with how things went for them. I think you've just got to see how things are going at the time. Before my first I had intended fully natural and no pain relief just hypnobirthing but things really didn't work out that way. I think things rarely work out as you plan in the wonderful and weird world of childbirth. Good luck - you'll be great!!
With ds1 i had an epidural and i still felt pain it didnt work for me.
Ds2 labour was too quick.
Ds3 thought i would try epidural again and it failed to work again i got a 3rd degree tear they tried to top up epidural in theatre but soon realised epidural doesnt work for me and gave me a spinal and that was brilliant.
Ds4 didnt even ask as it didnt work before
Epidurals are fantastic!!!
With my 1st ds I just had gas and air and pethidene and he was back to back . It was terrible .
So I decided on epidural for 2nd ds and it was great , I actually enjoyed giving birth . The epidural worked brilliantly didnt feel any pain just my tummy tightening so I knew when to push .
I will be having one again in a few weeks when I have my 3rd ds .
Good luck in your choice
Ps I had no further complications and breastfed both my boys succesfully with no problems .
Don't be pressured into it if its not what you want. Some people tell you if you're induced, you won't be able to cope without an epidural. This isnt necessarily true.
O God they're wonderful. Ds was back to back and without the epiduaral, I just couldn't have coped. It had worn off by the time I had to (for 2hr and 20mins) push.
My advice is to not have any firm plan made, be open to things not being as you thought. Trust your midwife- they're flipping marvellous.
I had an epidural with my first baby a few months ago. I requested it and it was the best decision I made - I'm still so happy I did. It meant that I felt rested enough during the early parts to really give it some welly when I came to pushing. I also felt a greater sense of calm and control over the situation. Speak to your midwife about it so you get detailed information. I asked and was put in touch with the anaesthetist to chat about the procedure and the pros and risks involved. This made me feel much more informed about making the right decision for me.
Birthing centres don't have anaesthetists, so if you have an epidural the birthing pool is out, but having an epidural doesn't mean you are stuck on a bed for the duration either (which is what I was a bit concerned about).
I had a 'mobile' epidural so I could walk around the room, go to the loo, use the birthing ball, rocking chair, and also a birthing stool. I'd agreed with my midwife that when the time came we would taper my top-ups to give me greater sensation to know when to push and how hard (without feeling the pain!).
I'd ask for a discussion at the hospital so you can decide whether it's for you.
I had one and loved it, They kept offering me one as ds was back to back and wasn't progressing so they said they would give me a drip to speed things up but suggested an epidural at the same time, I kept putting it off but once I had it I was so relieved and this time around I am going to have one a lot earlier on.
I still felt in control as I felt pressure to push but none of the pain, I needed forceps in the end but have had no complications from them, I was up on my feel quickly afterwards.
I also had no pain when having the epi put in even though it took 45 mins and 3 attempts....apparently I have a curvature of my spine and didn't know
Epidural is my favourite word! It was wonderful. I was 5cm when I got to hospital and the pain was awful. It was such a relief when I had the epidural, I could see the contractions on the monitor but couldn't feel them.
I did go on to have a caesarean, but that was due to other complications and he turned out to be 11lbs!
Just keep an open mind and see how things progress.
Epidurals are MARVELLOUS! For both births I tried hypnobirthing and wish I hadn't bothered as it did sod all. My labours were agonising but once the epidural kicked in they were amazing, positive experiences. DD was breech so eventually needed an EMCS, which if I hadn't already had an epidural would have been under GA. DS was a VBAC and resulted in forceps but was amazing - I could feel everything except the pain.
New research shows a correlation between intervention and epidural, not causation. If you feel you need one, ask for it, they are amazing.
I had one and it was fantastic- another back to back labour after being induced by a drip.
I read an interviewwith an obstetric anaesthetist where he said it was not necessarily the case that epidurals caused the so called 'cascade of interventions' but often women had the epidural because their labour was more difficult anyway and not progressing in an ideal way- so the interventions and c-sections may have happened anyway.
I had an emergency forceps and that wasn't anything to do with the epidural - it was because DS's heartrate disappeared due to cord strangulation and they had to get him out pronto. And I was able to push effectively despite being totally numb from the chest down.
Epidurals are the norm in many countries, and even here it is acknowledged that they are the most effective form of pain relief in labour - sadly they are not available to every women giving birth, e.g. they aren't usually available on midwife lead units or birthing centres, and it seems that in many places unless you are 'high risk' you are told to go to MLU rather than Consultant lead wards - also many midwifes will try and talk you out having one - to have an epidural means more monitoring and lets face it midwives are stretched and they might not have the resources to offer them to everyone.
I had an episiotomy and a back-back labour without pain relief, as the midwife didn't want me to have any so none was on offer - my GP later called it barbaric, if i have another back-back labour i will be insisting on it.
I had an epidural with ds 6 months ago and would do it again. I didn't really make a birth plan and said I would go with the flow with pain relief and didn't rule anything out so the midwife arranged for me to speak to the anaesthetist when I arrived on the delivery suite - good job she did because one minute I was coping really well and said I didn't need pethidine the next the pain was so bad the midwife said she thought I needed the epidural.
I'm of the opinion that it's really hard to say with certainty that if you are induced or have an epidural that labour will be harder or certain things will happen as a given because those things may happen regardless and the evidence is all well and good but as no two pregnancies are exactly the same then it's difficult to prove either way - it's not like you can exactly recreate the same situation. So go with what feels best for you.
so I glad this has been posted as I had an awful first labour, ds was back to back, 32 hour labour, only had gas and air, pool and pethidine which didn't help me at all. I was also pushing for two hours so had to be transferred to labour ward for a drip. too late for an epidural. I did beg for one throughout the whole labour but midwives didn't seem care the pain I was in and said I can do it without. Basically this time I am having an epidural!
After throwing my 'water birth and no pain meds breathing and mindfulness' birth plan in the bin and after having been induced, I embraced my epidural with open arms...
I had an epidural with DC1 although I'm not sure I reaped the benefit others talk of. They struggled to get it in and hit a nerve during the procedure which was excruciating. The pain was all in my lower back which it seemed to do very little for, I was pushing for two hours, had a second degree tear
and an episiotomy although this may have happened anyway.
DC2 was born after a diazepam, a quick nap and two paracetamol.
I had one with my daughter after 26 hours back to back and the relief was amazing, I could still feel it but my toes weren't curling and I wasn't clenching my fists, I had another 4 hours labour after that and enjoyed it.
It had all passed in a pain filled blur before that and I regret not doing it sooner as it's something I wanted to remember clearly.
There is no shame in having pain relief, it winds me up when I read posts from women who say they are 'proud' for having little or no pain relief, if I had a toothache I'd take a painkiller.
I'm going to ask for one a lot sooner this time.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.