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A c section without an epidural?

(51 Posts)
Sweetpeabec Tue 28-Mar-17 09:52:03

I really don't want an epidural, but if there are complications during birth and I have to have a c section I still wouldn't want an epidural.

Has anyone had a c section without an epidural given? What pain killers have been given instead?

JohnLapsleyParlabane Tue 28-Mar-17 09:53:57

My understanding is that GA is the only other option with a CS. At least, that was my only other option in an NHS hospital in London. I physically can't have an epidural or spinal.

IrnBruTortie Tue 28-Mar-17 09:54:33

I had planned sections, so had spinals not epidurals. I've no idea what other painkillers are available, but C-sections are major abdominal surgery. I'd guess (and it is just a guess so hopefully someone else will be along with more knowledge in a minute), that a GA would be the alternative.
Why are you so against an epidural?

daisygirlmac Tue 28-Mar-17 09:55:10

It's major surgery, you can't just have painkillers. What is it you don't like about the epidural?

OuchBollocks Tue 28-Mar-17 09:59:19

When I was on meds that meant I couldn't have an epidural or spinal, I was told if my baby came early (ELCS was booked) then I would need a general anaesthetic. You can't have someone cut through skin and fat and muscle and nerves and into your uterus and sew it all up again on painkillers, you would jump ten feet in the air when the first cut went in.

Rockinghorsehay Tue 28-Mar-17 10:02:15

A general anaesthetic is the alternative to spinal anaesthetic (block/epidural).

d270r0 Tue 28-Mar-17 10:03:14

Yep, c section is a spinal not an epidural. And honestly, having had 2, thee is no way on earth you would ever want to have a c section without one.

scaredofthecity Tue 28-Mar-17 10:04:22

An epidural is a form of anesthesia, pain killers just aren't the same thing.

Lules Tue 28-Mar-17 10:10:35

Why do you not want an epidural? Do you have questions you could ask your midwife about it? But I second the not wanting a c section without a spinal. It really is major surgery, although it's common.

Vagndidit Tue 28-Mar-17 10:13:12

I've had a c-section under general anaesthesia and would not recommend it as a choice if at all possible. You and your partner (b/c they're not allowed in theatre with g.a. administered) will miss the birth of your child, if that matters at all to you. Fgs, just have the spinal.

ClarenceOddbody Tue 28-Mar-17 10:14:38

I was so against having an epidural because I found the idea of someone injecting something into the spine so totally grim (urgh shudder). But I ended up having an EMCS and I can honestly say I barely noticed the spinal being given. And I am super squeamish. It honestly may not be as bad as you think.

AliciaMayEmory Tue 28-Mar-17 10:25:45

I think that you need to make peace with the fact that there may be things that happen during the birth of your child that you, under normal circumstances would think absolutely awful (eg someone giving you an injection into your spine), but when in the throes of childbirth you would be more than willing to have happen to help things along or to relieve any pain. I wanted a water birth and was worried about all the pain killers and their side effects. I definitely didn't want forceps or ventous as the though scared the heck out of me, but when it came to it I took everything going and had to have an assisted delivery as my baby was stuck. I would have said yes to anything at that point and had no thoughts other than getting my baby out safely.

You will hopefully have a wonderfully easy birth, but should you need any intervention it is easier for you if you go into it with an open mind. Talk to your midwife about your worries. In my antenatal classes there were quite a few women who were set against or absolutely terrified of having an epidural. Those who ended up having one who I spoke with at later meet ups said it was fine and wouldn't worry about it next time.

Good luck with it all op.

ShanghaiDiva Tue 28-Mar-17 10:26:21

As others have said GA is the only other option. I've had both GA and an epidural and recovery was longer with GA and both of course I missed the birth of my son. Dh was not allowed in theatre when I had the GA so it was a worrying time for him too.
The epidural was fine and was up and about faster which helped with the whole recovery process.

DixieNormas Tue 28-Mar-17 10:31:08

A GA is the only other option.

I've had both and my spinal didn't work properly, I was given all sorts of other things including gas and air because I didn't want to resort to another general.

It wasn't pleasant at all and I wouldn't advise it. I very much doubt they would even attempt it without a spinal

AnoiseAnnoysanOyster Tue 28-Mar-17 10:32:54

It's major abdominal surgery so you would have to have a GA. Why don't you want an epidural? They won't give you a GA unnecessarily.

Northernlurker Tue 28-Mar-17 10:36:32

Op you can get support with anxiety about an epidural. Ask your gp or midwife. I'm assuming this is a needle thing?

GreenGoblin0 Tue 28-Mar-17 10:49:04

you have to have a form of anaesthetic ie spinal, epidural or general. you can't just have painkillers for major surgery it would be dangerous.

Sweetpeabec Tue 28-Mar-17 10:53:53

Thank you to everyone's responses. Yeah it is a needle phobia and also heard horrror stories about having back issues in the future after an epidural or needle inserted into the spine.

If baby is stuck and I have to have a c section and the only option is a spinal (needle in the spine?) then I'll take it. Whatever is best for baby. Just worried about health issues after, anaesthetic on baby making it harder to establish bf.

Northernlurker Tue 28-Mar-17 10:58:49

Lots of women have epidurals and breastfeed successfully. It's really not a major problem. Definitely ask for some help with needle phobia now because there are lots of reasons for needles in labour and you will be better equipped to cope.

GreenGoblin0 Tue 28-Mar-17 11:02:53

the alternative if you have needle phobia is a general anesthetic however you would then be unconscious for the birth of your child and your partner would also not be able to be present during the operation.

I had a general not through choice after the epidural was not effective enough for the c section. would not recommend it as a choice.

as PP has said it's pretty difficult to avoid needles during labour and pregnancy so you should really get help with this now.

OuchBollocks Tue 28-Mar-17 11:03:49

OP I had 2 surgeries on my leg at 34 and 35 weeks pregnant under spinal, as well as resetting it under sedation at 33 weeks, then DS was delivered by ELCS at 39+2. He weighed 8lb 5oz, has no health issues and breastfed successfully in the recovery room after delivery. I know it's anecdata but from my sample size (of 1) I can say it's nothing to worry about. My back is fine too.

OuchBollocks Tue 28-Mar-17 11:05:04

Also if you have a GA it will still involve needles as.they have to put a cannula in. Do try to get some help and I hope you have a lovely straightforward intervention free birth.

KarmaKit Tue 28-Mar-17 11:05:28

The epidural is a needle in the back as well so would be just the same as a spinal in that regard. I've had an epidural and breastfed fine, no issues with pain or anything afterwards. It's been 12 years so I think I'm ok to say that now!

I think getting some help for your needle phobia would be really helpful for you,not just for labour but pregnancy in general. I had a slight phobia and then developed several health problems, some pregnant related and some not, and turned into a human pincushion! I'm now ok with them. How far along are you in your pregnancy?

KarmaKit Tue 28-Mar-17 11:07:02

Oh yes, agree with Bollocks a GA would be worse needle wise because they'd put a cannula in your hand/arm so you'd be able to see it.

GreenGoblin0 Tue 28-Mar-17 11:09:48

forgot about the cannula don't know how because my whole hand was bruised afterwards!

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