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to have an epidural or to not? Rss

Hi guys, it has been at least a year since i have been on here but was having a discussion on facebook with my sister and some others as she is pregnant with her third and is considering having an epidural, after only having the gas and pethidine with her last two.. everyone is telling her she has done it before so she can do it again etc, anyway to get to my point. i was wondering what all of your thoughts were on it because i am pregnant with my 4th and only had gas with the first and completely natural with the last 2 because i feel like i am 'cheating' or something if i take pain relief especially an epidural but wonder if i should consider it for the experience of a 'pain free labor'. so what are your thoughts and/or experiences?
cheers smile

Mum of 3 girls, 1 boy, 1 angel, 1 on the way!

My experience with an epidural wasn't a great one, luckily my labour suddenly progressed and it didn't last for long so didn't have much of an effect on me. I certainly didn't have the 'pain-free labour' or relaxed experience etc... My second labour Was a natural one with no pain relief.
In my opinion, I found the recovery sooo much better and stress so much less second time round, not having the epi, despite it being a much longer labour.
I will be going in to this labour with an open mind as possible and if I decide sometime during it that an epi might be a good option I'll go with it... But will defo be trying without initially.
I'm expecting my first baby in March and I'm not having one at all.
Mostly because the thought of having a needle put in my spine, scares the crap out of me more than the thought of the pain. But also because of all the possible side effects and horror stories I have heard.
I'd rather just not take a chance. And love the idea of being able to do it all on my own with little or no pain relief.
But thats just me.

I believe it depends on your pain threshold and the importance of wanting to feel the labour. If your considering having an epidural your probably best to go into labour and just see how you go. Child birth can't always be planned so let your body tell you what it wants on the day. Good luck.
I had an induction and epidural with my first. Was awful, I will never do it again. It was not pain free, very uncomfortable, I CANNOT push on my back, painful episiotomy that still aches today, awful recovery, not very alert baby, ect..... The next two were drug free. Much better! You've done it before, what's one more? And with every intervention comes risk, it's a whopping great needle in your spine.... Good luck.
My first was an elective csection due to preeclampsia and her being breech. I had an epidural for that. My 2nd was a natural vbac, I used gas as a distraction (didn't do anything for the pain) and I would do this over having an epidural anyday. In saying that I have a high pain threshold and my labour was under 2 hrs from when my waters broke (25hrs of pre labour though). I'm due again in march and given the choice I will go natural again.

Personally I think you need to go into labour knowing what your options are for pain relief and see how things go. If you feel you need an epidural to help you get through then go for it.
I genuinely believe that every woman and every labour is different and you can't make a blanket statement and say epidurals or any other birthing choices are right or wrong. I also hate this stigma that is attached to epidurals, like women think they deserve a medal for not accessing pain relief when they feel they need it. I think it makes women who choose or are forced to use an epidural feel ashamed or disappointed in themselves. I went into my daughter's birth open minded and did it without an epidural but if I felt I needed it I would have used it. Once again, I go into this birth feeling open minded. I hope I don't need it, only because I would like to avoid adding an intervention to my birth but if I need to then so be it. One thing I always say is that in no other circumstance are people expected to tough out pain - you would not be expected to recover from a broken leg with no pain relief, why should birth be any different?




Follow my blog "Bed Rest for Baby" at http://www.babysteps1804.wordpress.com

PAIRS wrote:
I believe it depends on your pain threshold and the importance of wanting to feel the labour. If your considering having an epidural your probably best to go into labour and just see how you go. Child birth can't always be planned so let your body tell you what it wants on the day. Good luck.


+1 to this^^^

I wish I had have had an epidural for my first birth. Most traumatic experience of my life, which could have been much different had I have had that pain relief. But I agree that every birth is different and to just see how you go. The choice is yours and yours alone - you're the one going through it so choose what is best for you.

Good luck smile
Skubala wrote:
I genuinely believe that every woman and every labour is different and you can't make a blanket statement and say epidurals or any other birthing choices are right or wrong. I also hate this stigma that is attached to epidurals, like women think they deserve a medal for not accessing pain relief when they feel they need it. I think it makes women who choose or are forced to use an epidural feel ashamed or disappointed in themselves. I went into my daughter's birth open minded and did it without an epidural but if I felt I needed it I would have used it. Once again, I go into this birth feeling open minded. I hope I don't need it, only because I would like to avoid adding an intervention to my birth but if I need to then so be it. One thing I always say is that in no other circumstance are people expected to tough out pain - you would not be expected to recover from a broken leg with no pain relief, why should birth be any different?


I agree totally with this. I am having my first baby in January and plan on going into it with an open mind. Whatever is needed to get my baby girl out safely is what will happen. If that means I end up with a totally natural labour with no pain relief then great, but if I need a little something to get me and baby through it then I am not against that. I have to admit there have been times when I have been talking to Mums or other pregnant women and been made to feel really judged for my opinions on epidurals and the possibility that I might have one if I feel like I want/need it.

At the end of the day its your experience and I feel you should do whatever you feel is right for you and your baby. That's the approach I'm taking any way smile

I have had 2 'natural births' and two with an epi.. No more babies for me I hope, but if I did I would have the epidural for sure. They were wonderful, the recovery was no different than without any pain relief, I have good memories of the births because I wasn't in agony, and my babies were just as alert as the ones when I took nothing.
Lil Dash wrote:
Skubala wrote:
I genuinely believe that every woman and every labour is different and you can't make a blanket statement and say epidurals or any other birthing choices are right or wrong. I also hate this stigma that is attached to epidurals, like women think they deserve a medal for not accessing pain relief when they feel they need it. I think it makes women who choose or are forced to use an epidural feel ashamed or disappointed in themselves. I went into my daughter's birth open minded and did it without an epidural but if I felt I needed it I would have used it. Once again, I go into this birth feeling open minded. I hope I don't need it, only because I would like to avoid adding an intervention to my birth but if I need to then so be it. One thing I always say is that in no other circumstance are people expected to tough out pain - you would not be expected to recover from a broken leg with no pain relief, why should birth be any different?

I agree totally with this. I am having my first baby in January and plan on going into it with an open mind. Whatever is needed to get my baby girl out safely is what will happen. If that means I end up with a totally natural labour with no pain relief then great, but if I need a little something to get me and baby through it then I am not against that. I have to admit there have been times when I have been talking to Mums or other pregnant women and been made to feel really judged for my opinions on epidurals and the possibility that I might have one if I feel like I want/need it.

At the end of the day its your experience and I feel you should do whatever you feel is right for you and your baby. That's the approach I'm taking any way smile


Good luck for your birth... so close now! Unfortunately you will find people have very strong opinions about everything from how you birth and beyond. Certainly there are extra risks with epidurals and other pain relief options but at the same time as you say, you do what you need to and regardless of how your baby is born you can be damn proud of your achievement! I hope you have an amazing birth experience whatever shape that takes smile




Follow my blog "Bed Rest for Baby" at http://www.babysteps1804.wordpress.com

Skubala wrote:
Good luck for your birth... so close now! Unfortunately you will find people have very strong opinions about everything from how you birth and beyond. Certainly there are extra risks with epidurals and other pain relief options but at the same time as you say, you do what you need to and regardless of how your baby is born you can be damn proud of your achievement! I hope you have an amazing birth experience whatever shape that takes smile


Thanks Skubala smile Yeah the birth is getting scarily close (where has the last year gone), but wow am I so excited to meet our little girl!

I was saying to my partner the other day that nothing brings out people's strong opinions like pregnancy, birth and parenting! I can't believe some of the things people have said to me since I've become pregnant!

Thanks again and I look forward to my birth experience, how ever it shapes up! I hear the end result of labor and birth is pretty amazing smile Can't wait to hold our girl.

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