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Slipped disc: natural birth v caesarean

(12 Posts)
Mamamia321 Fri 29-May-15 22:13:25

I am 34 weeks nearly with my third. First was 23 hr ventouse episiotomy. Second 8 hrs gas and air. Since then I have a disc lesion lumbar and very very minor cervical. My obstetrician says this does not necessitate c section. My orthopaedic said verbally can't rule out all that pushing may make it worse but his letter to obs says no long term risk. My big fear is that after 2. Years of mind numbing pain, numb leg and pins & needles my bak is finally much better and that attempting normal delivery may risk this.
Dh is against c section. We saw registrar today who went on about risks of c section which gave dh the willies. I am not keen on a section and afraid of epidural and operation etc also 2 v active bos 6 and nearly 3 so know will be difficult.
I just wonder has anyone else a similar story can offer advice please?

AuntieVenom Fri 29-May-15 23:33:20

Hi Mamamia321

I was in a very similar position to you before I had my baby in April.
My L4 disc was badly herniated a few years before I got pregnant and I was concerned about the damage labour would do to it.
I opted for an elective c section and I can honestly say it was the best thing I could have done.
I had a consultation with an anaesthetist prior to the section to check that I could get a spinal and I was told that the herniation wouldn't be a problem and it wasn't.
Operation wise, I was in and out of theatre in under 45 minutes and was up and about with my catheter and cannula removed 16 hours later.
I'm also not in the UK and had a private obstetrician so I didn't have any push back on my choice.

Mrsjayy Fri 29-May-15 23:41:48

I have spina bifida so a bit different but still spine issues i was prepped for a section but delivered them vaginaly as that is what i wanted to try but I dont think there is any right or wrong as long as baby and you are safe that is all that matters the decision is yours if a section is going to be better then go for it.

whathaveiforgottentoday Fri 29-May-15 23:48:37

I had a herniated disc between l4 and l5 which I did when I was 6 weeks pregnant. They were happy for me to give birth naturally, but ended up having an emergency caesarean anyway. I was overdue and even with being induced I wasn't really going into labour (only got to 3cm). I had general anaesthetic rather than epidural as they didn't know what exactly where my back had the herniation at the time.

Mamamia321 Sat 30-May-15 20:48:57

Can I ask auntie were you advised a c section in case you herniated disc further?
Thank u mrsjavy.
And whathaveiforgottentoday is an epidural not advised for herniated discs?

teejayem Sat 30-May-15 23:23:57

I Have posted on a similar thread around spd with c section vs v birth, so I'll try not to repeat myself, but I have spondylolistheis (slip of the actual vertebrae between L5 and S1) and prolapsed disc between L2 and L3, plus degeneration in a number of other discs. I've also got SPD (the joys)! I was originally told that I should undergo surgery to correct at least some of this before becoming pregnant, but these things happen.....
I've been advised against a section by both the obsterician, and my orthopaedic consultant, as my core will not be able to support my back with a significant healing scar afterwards. I've been okayed for an epidural, my prolapses are all one sided, so the plan agreed with the consultant is mobile patient controlled epidural, and will deliver kneeling over the back of the bed with pillow support. Failing that, on all fours, and failing that on my side. I will not deliver on my back, and I will not be put in stirrups, if there's a sniff of that situation arising, then we'll move to section. Labour will be a trial anyway as my sacroiliac joint is not in a 'normal' place and it's possible I won't be able to get his head past it! I'm 38 + 2 now and we have agreed that if he isn't here by my due date then I will be induced, which again, I'm fine with as I can hardly walk at the moment. Don't know if this helps, but just another perspective OP!

whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 31-May-15 22:23:50

Not sure about whether there is an issue with epidurals. My disc went when I was pregnant so obviously they wouldn't scan to find out exactly where the disc had herniated so the anaesthesist wasn't keen on sticking in a needle in my spine just in case it made it worse.
I met with an anaesthetist at my last hospital appointment to discuss plans as I was obviously a bit concerned that I may have problems with the birth and we decided then that I would have GA instead of epidural if I had to have a caesarean. At that time, I was still hoping for a normal delivery. They definitely didn't think there was a risk with the normal delivery and to be honest I wouldn't recommend the CS as I really struggled with a crap back and recovering from the CS.
I would imagine, if they know where the problem with your disc is located, there shouldn't be a problem with the epidural.

SisterConcepta Sun 31-May-15 22:31:44

I had an operation for a slipped disk a year before Dd1 was born. I was worried and wanted a c-section but was advised by my consultant that vaginal was better. I've had 2 vaginal births and neither caused an issue. However having a weak core after pregnancy and birth resulted in some back pain which has been resolved by physio and pilates.

AuntieVenom Mon 01-Jun-15 11:11:49

Sorry Mamamia321, I just saw your post now. Yes, the obstetrician felt that given the type of damage my back has labour could cause more problems.
Since giving birth I'm seeing a physiotherapist that specialises in back injuries to help get my core strength back up as I had to stop my exercises during pregnancy.

Mamamia321 Sun 14-Jun-15 23:03:52

Thanks all. Since last posted met with anaesthetist and they will not give epidural as say other condition I have would be risked... They did not feel anxious about disc as know where it is. Only option for cs is a ga so I am going o try for vaginal.
Teensy why not on your back ? Have you delivered yet hope it was ok.
Interesting comments about core had not considered that. Did do Pilates but stopped whn pregnant how long venom before you can start after birth?

AuntieVenom Mon 15-Jun-15 07:16:00

I went to the physio 8 weeks after having my c-section and was told that I could start straight away with the core strengthening. I've found that it has made a huge difference to my back already and I'm finding picking up my wee one much easier as well.

Mamamia321 Mon 15-Jun-15 23:00:00

Thanks auntie I will endeavour to get back to some core strength after the birth

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