Epidural really effect bonding?

Chantelle - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Hi,

I had a natural labour with no drugs with my daughter last July. It is still fresh in my memory and i have very fond memories of that labour.

I am now pregnant with Twins due in November. I am concerned cause i have been to 2 doctors so far and they are telling me it is a requirement to have an epidural with twins.

My main concern is i wont bond with the twins as quick as i bonded with my daughter. I already feel a bit of regret because having twins so close to my daughter (she is only 10 months old), will draw my attention away from her. I also worry that i will be disappointed and have regrets if my labour doesnt go the way i hope. I understand with twin labour their is an increase risk of a c section and even the idea of an epidural and not being able to feel the labour (also i read that it can effect you natural hormones released during labour which helps with the bonding).

So my question is anyone who had an epidural or c section, did you have trouble bonding with your children?

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Jenna - posted on 09/02/2014

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I've had three kids and epidurals with all three. The idea of someone telling me I didn't bond as well with my babies because I had an epidural is offensive. All of my babies were alert and able to breast feed right away. I love all my kids immensely and couldn't feel more bonded with them. Also my mom had five kids and her last baby went transverse after her water broke and she had to have a sudden c-section which devastated her. They also overdosed her on pain meds and it was two days before she was alert enough to hold her. I asked her if she bonded as well with my little sister as she did with us other kids and she said of course she did! She said the c-section never once affected her bonding with my sister. I think all this not bonding due to epidural is hogwash. I had a friend who chose to have a drug free labor and her labor was so hard and intense, she encouraged me to get an epidural, saying she was so sick and exhausted after her birth she couldn't even hold her baby for a day. I for sure didn't want that. I say to each their own, if you want drugs use them, if not don't. To those that want a natural birth, don't make those of us that don't want them feel bad.

Kate - posted on 01/21/2012

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hi chantelle, i am sory to hear that. these days everything is so clinical it's hard to believe that birthing is supposed to be a natural process.

For my first child i had an epidural and i regret it so much. for me it really effected the bonding process because i had a migraine for the weeks following. I firmly believe that our relationship is not as strong as it could have been but I guess there's no way to know.

My second child was born without epidural and was so much better.

I really hope that you find someone willing to do it. There is no reason why it should be required. Good luck!

Ania - posted on 01/17/2012

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I didn't have epidural, but it seems that you should be fine. When I delivered my son I was so out of it that they didn't even give him to me to hold him I saw him 20 min later after they have done everything...annoying. They made me push on my back, baby was crushing me i was passing out, then babys HR was dropping so they used vaccum....I hate this so much. I'm still angry so epidural when you don't feel anything...might be ok. Wait he wants you to have epidural because he wants to trick you into c-section...sorry to say that but i think it is true. I saw a woman delivering twins on TLC without epidural so it is definately not mandatory

Nabila - posted on 08/30/2011

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Yup yup yup!! I had two natural births and my last third pregnancy, I had twins with a c-section. It was awful. I bonded with one twin and still havent with the other! One I breastfed for four days and the other was in the incubator for ten days. By the time she came out, they told me I couldnt breastfeed cuz I was on medication for my thyroid.

Tanya - posted on 08/21/2011

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I have heard of it being required, but that would never fly with me. I'd rather have a midwife who was willing to let ME run things.


But, that aside, I had an epidural with my first, and didn't have trouble bonding with him. I will say, though, that it was a completely different experience having a med-free birth with my second. The high I experienced afterwards was totally magical. It lasted for two weeks! With my first, I was in pain for the first two week instead.


My first cried nonstop for the first two days. At first I thought it was because he was hungry, but now I think it might have been because he was in pain. When you have an epidural, the baby doesn't get any endorphins, because you stop releasing them. When you don't have pain meds, you AND your baby get the benefit of the endorphins. Birth can be painful for babies, so I'm glad that my second had the benefit of a med-free birth. He was happier, and my milk came in within 24 hours!!

Nabila - posted on 08/07/2011

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Yes yes yes!! I had twins two years ago and had to have a c section ( under full anesthesia) and still trying to bond with one of the twins. Didn't want to go near both when they were born. Breastfed one ( the other was in the incubator ) and felt a connection made after only four days of breastfeeding. Then I was told I couldn't breastfeed cuz I was on thyroid medication and it was affecting the babies. Good luck!

Shannon - posted on 06/12/2011

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it breaks my heart how some doctors and hospitals can be twards child birth.

Shannon - posted on 06/12/2011

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i remember when i got induced they gave me pictocin and an epi i regret it fully with my second they came in and just gave me pictocin without asking or anything like the doctors were in a rush i was so mad because it hurt so bad and the doctor literally told me to be quiet

[deleted account]

Having both an un-expected c-section due to frank breech being discovered when I was ready to push, and an all natural the next time around, I have to disagree.
When my oldest daughter was first born, I felt very detached from the situation- very emotionally numb- in the 15 min. it took them to get me ready for surgery and rolled back to the OR, her cord became compressed & her heart rate dropped and she was not breathing when she was born. I knew what was going on, but felt really apart from it, and I think it was all due to the meds.
When I was finally able to hold her, she nursed like a pro and was the best baby ever. I never doubted any of it until my youngest was born.
I held her imedietly, had no emotional detatchment from the situation at all. But I've noticed that the bond between my 2nd and I is alot stronger than it ever was with my oldest daughter. I don't love her anymore than the other, and I don't have a favorite, we are just much 'closer'. And I've parented them both the same. I nursed on demand, co-slept, baby wear etc. All the same.
The bond is still there, it's just feels more 'concentrated' with my youngest.
So as far as the epidural- many moms have un-medicated natural birth with twins. I would shop around and find a doctor or midwife who will give you the options you want, not tell you 'how it's going to be'.

Good luck!

Adrienne - posted on 08/05/2010

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I was worried about the same thing before my LO was born. I REALLY wanted a natural birthing experience. After 12 hours though, my body was telling me something wasn't right. I finally asked for an epidural, and Logan was born 14 minutes later. As it turns out, he sleeps like his momma, so just as I started to pus he put his elbow up by his face. When it was all over though, and they handed my my son, not much else was important. If anything, I think he was LESS stressed out than he would have been otherwise, had I been in so much pain and stress. We bonded fine, and even stuck out bfing through an AWFUL case of thrush.

Don't worry! You've carried your babies with you for so long that it is impossible for them not to know and bond with you:)

[deleted account]

I agree with pp, I have never heard of an epi EVER being required. It's YOUR labor, therefore YOUR choice.

Niki - posted on 06/28/2010

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seriously? i cant believe they want to force you to have an epidural, thats utterly rediculous- why, what is their reasoning??
from what i've read synthetic pain relief like an epidural or gas generally causes birth to be much more traumatic experience for the baby, epsecially with epidural as you cant push properly and babies tend to get stuck or take longer to come out, which freaks them out. Not to mention all the opther risks associated with it. That generally just means a more unsettled baby, more prone to crying, colic etc - but no i really dont think it will have any affect on your bonding, apart from the fact that you might be more tired and strung out.
Good luck eh, and make sure you talk to the head doctor and the hospital to find out what their reasoning behind a forced epidural is

Jonna - posted on 06/28/2010

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I had epidurals with my first three children and could not have bonded with them more!. I breastfed and had my children placed on me right away to nurse. The bonding was great! Also, sometimes not having an epidural can cause the need for a c-section. My plan was all natural labor and delivery wit no drugs, but if I had not finally agreed to an epidural I would have ended up with a c-sec. Get a dr you can discuss your concerns with and trust to guide you through this process. I don't know what the laws are in your state, but my mother delivered twins all natural after her due date, weighing about 7 lbs each! (her dr had told her over and over that she would deliver early and she refused to accept early babies). That being said, she hemmoraged a lot, had to have a huge blood transfusion and almost died, but she and the babies ended up all ok. She nursed the twins for two years exclusively, never had to supplement formula. This was 28 years ago, so some states may have laws about natural labor with twins, but having an epidural is not the worst thing ever, I would have another one if necessary. Good Luck... and remember, the goal is getting two healthy babies safely into this world... whatever you have to do to accomplish that goal is ok.

Erin - posted on 06/23/2010

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I would say for me... yes and no. I labored for 30hr then found out my baby was a surprise breech and I went in for a c-section and was given an epidural at that time. I was devistated because I am very! natural birth and had spent the last nine months preparing for it. I had even kind of fought with doctor's along the way to make sure I wouldn't be given antibiotics, pitocin, etc.

I don't think the c-section or epidural really effected our emotional ability to bond. When I was finally brought to the room I would stay overnight in, I was getting checked by the nurses and grandma was changing baby's diaper. I was told that she could hear my voice as I talked to the nurses and she recognized it and was looking around for me. Shortly after she was given to me and we breastfed and had an easy time of it. I still felt absolutely in love regardless. The only down sides and areas where I did feel it disturbed our bonding was the amount of time it took to finally get to hold her (she was brought over to me and placed on my shoulder/neck during the surgery, but it was difficult to even reach my head over enough to kiss her. as well right after the surgery in the recovery room my parnter tried to let me hold her and I had a hard time and couldn't breastfeed at that point cause I was having a hard time moving from the drugs). It ended up being close to an hour before I got a good chance to hold and cuddle her and offer her a breast. The other thing that bugs me, although I'm not sure if it actually hindered bonding was that I didn't get to see her right when she was born, and didn't know the exact moment she wasn't with me any more. I felt very detached. And still now, almost a month later I feel like I missed out on a natural rite of woman and motherhood. Like I was pregnant, and now I'm a mom... but I never really experience child birth. That hurts me more than I let on to anyone in my life. Although I still love our daughter and am thankful that we are both all right, as I nearly labored at home unassisted and now wonder if we both would have made it if I hadn't been at the hospital.

Crystal - posted on 06/21/2010

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I had to have a c-section with my son because his head was too big and wouldn't engage in to my pelvis to begin labor, even with 2 days of patossin being pumped through my body. My son and I are as close as can be. My recovery did take a little longer than normal and by the time I had my c-section at night I was exhausted. We got to bond for awhile before it was time for some much needed rest and I don't believe having the c-section or the required spinal for it affected our bonding at all. I wish you luck and I don't think you should worry about bonding with your two new little ones!

~Crystal!

Mary - posted on 06/16/2010

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I have never heard of twins requiring epidural, that is very strange. You can still say no, it is your birth, not the doctors. Or just find a diff. doctor who is more open to natural twin birth. Have the doctor check the set up of your twins just as you begin labor and you will have a much better idea if you can natural birth them or not. Do some research on successful natural births of twins and get a knowlege base yourself. Doctors sometimes have their own best interests and convenience at heart, rather than yours.

That said, sometimes twin births do not go the same as others, and my sister and friend had c sections with theirs. They bonded with their babies just fine and love them to death. It is not all about one issue or another. Its just that if you are very much pro natural and anti epidural do some research, because I don't think that just being in labor with twins is a good enough reason to be forced to get an epidural against your will. No way.

[deleted account]

i had a natural birth and bonded with my daughter instantly, but i personally dont believe its the pain that makes u bond, its the entire pregnancy and birth process. u will still be having to go through it, just without the pain. they are still your little babies and im sure once u see them it will be just like your first! congrats, i would LOVE to have twins!! best of luck x :)

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