I think I want an ALL natural birth...what are the benifits of having an epidural?

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[deleted account]

Quoting Michelle:

"why suffer when you don't have to"

Sorry but this is an excuse and so half soaked!

If a woman says this, they are simply opting out of doing whats best for the baby, and also the fact that childbirth is meant to hurt in some way. We wouldnt have been given a womb nor vagina if we were meant to just 'give birth' without pain nor the real feelings that coinside with childbirth. I find it really sad that most women nowadays can just let medicine control thier bodies. If you dont want to feel the pain, dont have a child.



i agree.. anyone interested in an epidural should really look into the history of it and how relatively SHORT it is..



after giving birth naturally its amazing how unbelievably empowered u feel as a woman! our bodies are designed for this.. we ARE mentally strong enough.. we CAN do it the way nature intended and i believe it actually creates a special bond for mother and child.



COME ON AMERICA!! Work hard for ur babies!! THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!!

Amanda - posted on 04/13/2009

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Well it all depends really, an epidural can be an amzing thing if you really arent able to deal with the contractions, they can have a downside though. although it wont directly effect the baby, epidurals tend to slow down your labor, so what usually will happen in the hospital is this:



 



epidural



labor slows



doctors give you pitosin to boost the labor



this causes more intense and painful contractions



then you need a boost of epidural



then pitosin which also causes long contractions



So basically what happens is the doctor will come in say your labor is taking too long (they dont like to keep the beds filled it takes away from their money) so then they will give you the pitosin and that causes the longer contractions which takes away from the baby's oxygen so either the labor will take "too long" or the heart rate will drop and the doctors will suggest a C-section (by suggest i mean make it seem like they are telling you to do it) and then you feel like a bad mom if you choose not to and so you just do it. i know it seems a bit confusing but this is really how it works, I am a midwife and worked as a labor and delivery nurse for 2 years.



i just had an ALL natural birth at home in november and my labor was 48 hours long, the way that i got through it was preparing myself while i was pregnant, Think of it this way, its natural, its not a disease its a healthy normal part of life, its something that i never would want to miss, that and with an epidural you cant feel anything, so they dont let you get up and move around, you have to lay in a bed strapped to an IV and monitors the whole time, i cant imagine going through labor laying in bed, i had to stand and i got help from gravity as a bonus, sorry its so long....Watch this movie you can rent it from blockbuster or netflix



its called "The Business of Being Born" it really helped me to make my decision i hope this helps. Also, i am an advocate for natural home births but i understand that its not for everyone, and any way you do it its a miralce, completely worth it, and good luck!!



Amanda

Dianne - posted on 04/10/2011

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i only had the gas with mine and im proud of myself i willl never have a epidural its unneccassary but i do have quick births 2 hours with my first and 45 min with my second everyone thinks im lucky but thats far from the truth women who have quick labours are A LOT more painful than women who have long labours my daughter also had her back to mine which is in itself a painful birth i dont get the choice to have an epidural there isnt enough time and im glad i didnt i got through it and im a stronger person for it. You can have a natural birth the epidural takes away the actual feeling of birth which is an amazing experience and sadly most women will never experience it i know people will be pissed of with my comment but im saying what i feel each to there own i truly believe feeling the pain and actual feeling labour is worth it they wouldnt call it labpur if it was meant to be pain free

Chelsea - posted on 04/10/2011

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Pain relief is the only benefit to an epidural what you should be asking is what is the benefits to natural child brth or what are the negitives of epidurals because there are more answers to the questions that will help you make an informed choice. i suggest renting or watching on netflix the movie "the business of being born" i knew before i watched it that i wanted a natural birth but this taught me why my baby needs one

Korbyn - posted on 04/16/2009

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I had a natural birth,  with my daughter and planning to so again. the truth is, for me the pain hit a max point and it didn't get any worse, and it triggered my brain, and I went into a place I like to call "the world doesn't exist here" lol I know I sound crazy but it is the truth. I spent 15 minutes pushing and that was it, and as soon as that baby comes out all I thought to myself was that felt so good, I feel so empty and then the placenta came out I was like "yes that felt great" I think I even said it out loud and my husband laughed. lol. It's very empowering and you feel like you can take on the world right after, seriously you adrenalin going through your bady you could run a marathon lol. anywho you don't remember the pain anyways, it's kind of like your wedding day, you don't every single detail. It's a personal choice whatever you do, just like I chose to do it naturally. I'm not saying that my labour was painless and everything was perfect, it was just something that I wanted to do, and you can do anything you put your mind to.

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Tierney - posted on 04/18/2009

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I am a HUGE whimp when it comes to pain. Yeah, contractions hurt, but I went through with No pain meds. And I went in wanting them. I am planning on not doing it with my next child. I liked being able to walk around and walk with my child after he was born and not be stuck in a bed until the epi wore off. That was a plus I guess.

Naomi - posted on 04/18/2009

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Oh and getting up off that bed straight away was the most amazing feeling

Naomi - posted on 04/18/2009

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I think it depends on how your labour progresses, I had two natural drug free births, the first 3 n half hours, the second 1 n half hours, My waters broke as I went into labour and contractions started only a few mins apart so I knew there was nothing stopping the baby coming. I totally understand though for women who have such long drawn out labours as contractions can be very hard to face and an epidural would definatelly help. I think it would be important to listen to your body as you go into labour and work with what the midwife tells you such as how far your dilated and any complications which could hinder the babys arrival.

Jessie - posted on 04/18/2009

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i had an epideral with my twins and it was great,i had almost no pain,but you can still feel the pressure,i had a natural birth with my son,and i will admit it did hurt LOTS but if i could do it all over again i think i would go natural,but i had easy births.

Kara - posted on 04/18/2009

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i was hoping to go all natural, but the pain did get really bad and i started freaking out so i thought it would be best to get it so i could relax and actually breathe. a half hour after getting it they said it was time to push, and pushing is very hard when you feel nothing. if you are strong enough to go natural do. i wish i didnt get the epidural, i felt nothing, i didnt even know when my son actualy came out and the doctors had to tell me when i had a contraction so i could push. the upside you dont feel pain, the downside it takes the whole experience away. or at least it did in my case. i REALLY regret it.

Autumn - posted on 04/17/2009

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That is so true Jennifer. Plus the moment you see your baby all the memory of that pain flys out the window. I went from lite pains to transition the moment my water broke and my son was born 1hr56min later. It was so intence but I think helped me alot. I feel that I am a better mom b/c of it. And no Im not saying that a woman who has an epi is a bad mother. I had an epi with child #1. So I have experienced both. I dont like drugs at all.

Jessica - posted on 04/17/2009

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I have had two children in a hospital with an epidural and two at home in a birthing tub and of course all natural. I think that natural is the way to go if you train yourself to handle the pain. To many women go in unprepared and think since women do it all the time it shouldn't be to bad, that's what I did with my first one. There are a lot of discussions/arguments about side effects of epidurals, but just think about it this way they are putting a catheter into your spine and giving you enough medication to help you but they are medicating your baby as well no matter what anybody says. I also recovered alot quicker because compared to labor recovery pains are nothing, when you have an epidural your body doesn't feel the intial pains so afterwords it doesget pretty intense. Hope this helps and I do understand that everybody has to do what they are comfortable with. Good Luck.

Kate CP - posted on 04/17/2009

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Quoting Kristin:



There is a documentary you should watch, I think it's called the business of childbirth, I think.  Either way, it talks about how crazy the US is about c-sections and epidurals, it basically says that we are the only country that doesn't aproach it as a natural part of life but more like a disease.





It's called The Business Of Being Born and you can watch it instantly on Netflix.com.

Michelle - posted on 04/17/2009

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"why suffer when you don't have to"



Sorry but this is an excuse and so half soaked!



If a woman says this, they are simply opting out of doing whats best for the baby, and also the fact that childbirth is meant to hurt in some way. We wouldnt have been given a womb nor vagina if we were meant to just 'give birth' without pain nor the real feelings that coinside with childbirth. I find it really sad that most women nowadays can just let medicine control thier bodies. If you dont want to feel the pain, dont have a child.

Sumer - posted on 04/17/2009

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You'll change your mind once your actually in labor, I had an epidural and found that child birth was much more pleasant then before I had, why suffer when you don't have to

Kirbie - posted on 04/17/2009

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I had an epidural that worked really well with my first child. I was in hard labor for 38 hrs and i greatly appreciated the epidural! With my second child she was ready to come out fast! It was very painful. They put my epidural in place and it did not take! It was very painful but all happened so fast! It was hard for me to hold her when she was born bc the pain just doesn't stop! The pain and hard work is worth it all in the end!

Zania - posted on 04/17/2009

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My baby girl is now almost 2 years old. I had an all natural birth. Yes , the pain of the contractions is severe, but , in the end , it was worth everything. It's as if it made my giving birth so much more meaningfull, I'm not saying moms that take other methods don't have the same experience or bond, but it feels as if now I appreciate the priviliege of being a mom, knowing what it really means, so much better.

Charlene - posted on 04/17/2009

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i didnt have an epidural because of everything tht could go wrong with you afterwards, when i thought of having one, i raed about lots of people losing controle of their legs do i only had gas and air and i forgot the name of the other one lol i didnt feel that much pain but he was worth it. i also didnt have an epidural because i thought i wouldnt be able to keep still.

Amber - posted on 04/16/2009

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The benefits of having an epidural is that your not in pain, but there are negative things about having one too.I had one with my son and to this day 9 months after his birth I still experience excrutiating residual back pain,sometimes so intense I have to go to the ER. They tell you that this can happen along with some other less then attractive scenarios too and for good reason they're poking a needle into your spinal area. If I had to do it all over again I would have done it differently with no epidural. Yeah it's gonna be painful but our bodies were made to have children our bodies know what to do and how much it can handle.Either way you go it's your decision and you follow your instincts and your heart..



Good luck.

[deleted account]

i have done it both ways.. the first wit pitocin and an epidural.. the second all natural.. and although it hurt really really really bad.. i preferred it natually. ur too focused on ur task to worry about the pain ( its not really pain u wanna cry about.. but when the baby is about to pop out u will probably wanna scream) once the baby is born the pain is gone. with the pitocin my contractions came hard and fast as compared to natually where there is a gradual progression.. and the epidural only lasts so long.. as well as slows the process of dialation etc. so u run the risk of doin it natually in the end anyway if it wears off before the baby is born. also with the epidual my hospital time was more for recovery from t he after effects of it than to rest after child birth.. my foot was numb for two weeks.. and as a new mom u need to be able to get around!! i dont feel like i got to enjoy the experience the first time.. sometimes ya gotta go through pain to experience the greatest pleasure!!

Melissa - posted on 04/16/2009

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I had to have one because baby was breach and they had to do a C-sec. I did get to go through some labour about 2 hours and i did dialate from 3cm to 7.5cm in that time. All I can say is that it was wonderful to have that Epidural you won't regret it. I remember being on the operating table and freaking out because I could still feel (or thought I could still feel everything) and didn't want them to start cutting. Then the Dr. looked at me and said you can't feel any contractions though can you, and I was like no, no I can't. Totally relaxed after that it was great.

Melissa - posted on 04/16/2009

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I had to have one because baby was breach and they had to do a C-sec. I did get to go through some labour about 2 hours and i did dialate from 3cm to 7.5cm in that time. All I can say is that it was wonderful to have that Epidural you won't regret it. I remember being on the operating table and freaking out because I could still feel (or thought I could still feel everything) and didn't want them to start cutting. Then the Dr. looked at me and said you can't feel any contractions though can you, and I was like no, no I can't. Totally relaxed after that it was great.

Sarah - posted on 04/16/2009

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Michelle, your nurse made you just lay flat? my nurse kept making me kind of shift side to side so that just me ass wouldn't get numb lol. i guess it settles and wouldnt be comfortable. I agree it was uncomfortable, especially at first, when your body's reaction is the same as being extremely cold and your body shakes. it did help me get rest before pushing though.

Sarah - posted on 04/16/2009

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the benifit for me was to finally get some rest. I was up all night at home with contractions that I could NOT sleep through and I was so exhausted by the time we got to the hospital the next morning.

Michelle - posted on 04/16/2009

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I thought that i wanted to go all natural too. I got induced and after 6 hours of labor I then decided to get an epidural. I HATED it!!! I did not like the way that it made my legs feel and I wanted to sit up in bed but the nurse told me that it would effect the way that it worked and made me lay flat on my back. After another 4 to 5 hours of labor my epidural stopped working. If and when I have another baby I wont have another epidural. There are other meds that they can give you through your IV. Its all up yo you, I just wish that someone would have told me that you have to lay flat with them and even after you have one the epidural could stop working. Good luck

Kristina - posted on 04/16/2009

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Quoting Brittany:



I understand that you don't have to go through the pain. But in the end once your child is born isn't it worth all the hard work and pain? I'm just curious and trying to see what people have to say about it. My sister wanted to go all natural also and told me that I would change my mind-like everyone has said that. I am still undecided right now though. Trying to get an idea from those who HAVE already had kiddos.






I had an ALL natural birth - my first time!



I ENJOYED EVERY BIT OF IT. Seriously! The contractions were tolerable. It was so empowering to feel what my body was going through. I loved the fact that my son was wide awake and came out smiling at me! I wouldn't describe the experience as being in pain b/c it's not that. It's more like your body has been taken over by this baby and you just have to go with it. Helps you understand and listen to your body.



I plan on having more kids and I WILL go natural for all of them. I think an epidural is a cop out (not to offend anyone). Do what's best for your baby and your body. I didn't want to be restricted from feeling the experience. Who wants to be numb from the waist down?? PLUS you have to have an IV and strict monitoring when you accept drugs! Who wants that? I had no IV and no restrictions and I gave birth in one of the most top hospitals around here that are pro c-section and adminitering drugs to pregnant women.



Anyway. I'm biast of the situation. Unless the baby is stuck or something serious where they need to get him out, I don't see any reason why a woman would want drugs to try to limit the pain when it doesn't even get rid of all of it. Who would want to drug up their baby?!

Belinda - posted on 04/16/2009

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I went all natural.  I'm glad I did.  There are side effects of using epidurals although everyone may not experience them.  I say plan to go natural and if you feel you need it, ask for it. 

Kelly - posted on 04/16/2009

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My friend had an epidural and it only worked down one side so she had no benefit only pain relief on one side which is no rest at all!!! Both my labours were long (16 and 14 hrs) my 1st time was determined all natural but after 8 hrs of breathin tried a tens within an hr i was on gas and air in the end i had pethedine coz id done as much as i could bear and had to have somethin for the cuts they had to make and i felt horrible after the birth couldnt even stand properly. when i was in labour wiv my second they spent ages wiv a trainee midwife puttin a clip on babys head so as i sent her out to get pethedine i suddenly got the urge to push!! i was so scared expecting horrendous pain and didnt think i could do it but then as the head was half way out and i was sayin i cant take anymore she was out. it was so much better than the first time coz i was straight headed immediately!!! in fact the contractions are worse than the actual birth but u do forget the pain and it is worth it. ill always recommend natural if u can our bodies are made to deal wiv a standard natural birth women all over the world do it without the option and so can we!!

Mandy - posted on 04/16/2009

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Do what feels right to you! Personally, I had all 4 of my kids drug free. All they gave me was something in my IV (can't remember the name...sorry!) to take my mind off of the pain and I got to doze off here and there. It's going to be hard no matter what you decide but in the end it's all worth it. I never regreted my decision to have all natural births!

Ashleigh - posted on 04/16/2009

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No medication is ever 100% risk free.  I did it all natural, and had 2 days of horrible back labour.  To me, I just did not want to take the risk of hurting myself, or the baby (their can be a risk of an epidural to a baby, apparently it makes them less alert etc.)  I had midwives, and if you are going to try to go all natural, I highly recommend it.  They let you go overdue (alot of doctors induce you when you are only 4 days overdue).  I was 10 days overdue and finally went into labour naturally.  I find the midwives are sooo supportive ( they are with you the whole entire time, my friend when she had her son told me the doctor only came in when it was time to push).  I loved the support from them.  They also let you do whatever you want.  I always watch those birthing stories, and my midwives let me push when I wanted to, and as long as I wanted to, in any position that I wanted to bed in, no counting to 10 etc. (obviously that helps some people, but I didn't enjoy it).  They never once mentioned medication, which I think really helps when you are striving for a natural birth, because not once did I ever think about medication!  That being said, every women is different! If you need the medication, take it!

Alexandria - posted on 04/16/2009

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I had a epidural when I had my daughter because my back labor was so bad I was almost in tears and demoral shots were just not cutting it. After getting it (which I didnt feel much of because my back was hurting so bad) it seemed like almost instantly I was pain free. It was sort of funny to me, because my right leg would move all I wanted it to but when the doctor tried to get me to roll over I had to use my right leg to kick my left one around! I would HIGHLY recommend the epidural just because to me it seems like it puts you in a more comfortable state of mind. A friend of mine is terrified of needles and with her first child got nothing but demoral and she was so doped up she doesnt even remember delivering! The only thing that I didnt like about it was the fact that they put a cathader on your urethra and when they take it out they make you pee within a certain amount of time and if you dont then they stick it back on. My doctor told me I was only going to have a 6-6.5 pound babt and she ended up being 9lbs 5.2 oz and I was only 158lbs at delivery and I didnt feel a thing, but I was totally alert and got to expericence the amazing thing that was happening. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Alexandria - posted on 04/16/2009

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I had a epidural when I had my daughter because my back labor was so bad I was almost in tears and demoral shots were just not cutting it. After getting it (which I didnt feel much of because my back was hurting so bad) it seemed like almost instantly I was pain free. It was sort of funny to me, because my right leg would move all I wanted it to but when the doctor tried to get me to roll over I had to use my right leg to kick my left one around! I would HIGHLY recommend the epidural just because to me it seems like it puts you in a more comfortable state of mind. A friend of mine is terrified of needles and with her first child got nothing but demoral and she was so doped up she doesnt even remember delivering! The only thing that I didnt like about it was the fact that they put a cathader on your urethra and when they take it out they make you pee within a certain amount of time and if you dont then they stick it back on. My doctor told me I was only going to have a 6-6.5 pound babt and she ended up being 9lbs 5.2 oz and I was only 158lbs at delivery and I didnt feel a thing, but I was totally alert and got to expericence the amazing thing that was happening. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Sophie - posted on 04/16/2009

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i have had both types of births,with my first child andy i was induced and the pain was way too hard to cope with so i had an epidural,i now wish i didnt have it,it slowed the birth down,personally i had a bad experience it doesnt always turn out so bad.but with my second child i had her at home,all natural,and yeah it hurt but i felt a closer bond with imogen right away but with my first it was harder to bond as i was so out of it.but like i said its personal thing and only your body can let you know what to do.try all natural but if you cant dont feel bad.good luck

Sarah - posted on 04/15/2009

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Hi there.. there really is no such thing as an "all natural birth" unless you are planning to deliver at home with a midwife. I had an epidural when I was dialated to almost 3, then started on pitocin to increase my contractions. I delivered 7 hours later and she is my first. I am a registered nurse and I work Neonatal intensive care. I chose to have the epidural because I was a nervous reck and terrified of the pain. Sometimes the more you know the scarier it is! My doc gave my epidural pretty early, but it helped me stay calm and relax, and I dialated really fast. At least an hour and a half of my 7 hours was pushing (she was 8-12 and I am pretty petite... or I was). She was born healthy. The epidural will have no ill affect on your baby, only possibly you. Sometimes they do not work, or only work on one side of your body, can cause back problems, bad headaches, and low blood pressure. Narcotic pain medicine like stadol can cause respiratory depression in the baby if given really close to the birth and makes mommy really sleepy. I know that my epidural wore off when I was dialated to 9 or so, and the pressure was so bad every time I had a contraction that it was really hard for me to stay calm, so I had a small dose of stadol. It made me so sleepy that when I started pushing I was exhausted, and it didn't really take the pain away. The epidural was much better because I felt awake and in control and CALM. You should discuss your options for pain control with your Doc. I even did a birthing class, and when that pain hit me it was REALLY hard to stay focused on anything! The best advice I can give is to do what YOU feel is best for you and your sweet baby. But go in with an open mind, because very often things in labor & delivery can change quickly and not go according to plan. Just know that you will be NO LESS of a wonderful mommy no matter how you deliver! You gave your sweet baby love and a warm place to grow :). Good luck, I'm sure you will do great no matter what you choose. :)

Kristin - posted on 04/15/2009

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i was gonna go natural but the labor pains came on strong. i was actually able to enjoy the labor of my 1st born. the only pain that i really felt was my sons head got stuck betwen pushes and he had a full head of hair at birth so i had a little burning from his head/hair but otherwise i was very comfortable

Carissa - posted on 04/15/2009

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Go with what u want... when i had my daughter in 2006 i went 9 days overdue so was induced, had the gas but all that did was dry my mouth out & make me dizzy then opted for the epi, the epi is good in some ways cause it blocks out most of the pain, but if your one of those ladies that did stupid things when you were young which made you have back troubles then the epi wont stop you from feeling those pains!!! I was one of those girls that changed my mind alot from natural birth to water birth but the nurses told me they dont let people give birth in water anymore :( anyways i just suggest to go with what you want, in the end your the one that feels the pain & yes in the end all the pain is worth it :)

Eleanor - posted on 04/15/2009

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I went all natural, but hadn't completely ruled out an epidural. I agree with the others, it was painful, but I have to say I wouldn't have done the experience any other way. I like the idea of experiencing the raw pain associated with womanhood. Granted, I delivered my daughter within 5 hours of my water breaking. If I'd had a longer labour I may be writing something else in response to your question...all the best with your decision!

Dotti - posted on 04/15/2009

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My plan was to have a completely drug-free birth and i lasted from 9pm Sunday night with no rest and terrible pain until 2pm Monday afternoon when they wanted to give me hormone drip to bring the already almost unbearable contractions even closer together and I was too exhausted so epidural gave me a few hours rest and it was amazing!! It hurt again for the pushing stage anyway. Baby came out 7pm Monday night.

I think for first baby the labour is usually longest and hardest so do your best but keep an open mind. If my labour wasnt so long I probably wouldve lasted but having gone all night too it was too much. All the best!

Ashley - posted on 04/15/2009

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IMO there are no benefits to an epidural. There are risks with having an epidural, some are less likely than others, but they are still real risks... one being maternal death! Just because it's rare doesn't mean you won't be one of the unlucky ones that has it happen to you. A friend of a friend of mine was one of the unlucky ones... she had a bad reaction to the epidural, something went wrong in her brain, and she died... NOT WORTH IT!

I had an all natural birth with a midwife, no hospital or doctors for me... 13.5 hours of back labor! It was hard, but I knew it was best for both my baby and I. I plan on doing it 2 more times in my life, so it couldn't have been all that bad. Also, I didn't have any tears... I could feel how to push, I could move around as I pleased... natural is the way to go.

You can do it! Good Luck!

Farrell - posted on 04/15/2009

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No benifits for having an epidural. I had mine natural no drugs period. It was a fast labor and actually wasn't that bad at all. IT's a good pain and it doesn't last forwever. My baby came out drug free and fast and I don't regret it one bit.

Claire - posted on 04/15/2009

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I was desperate to have an epi with my second (i had one with my first but still managed to push a 9lb 14oz baby that got stuck out in 30 mins so i don't think it will awalys effect your ability to push) but there simply wasnt time. I am already planning to have my next child as soon as both my other children are in full time school but next time round i would prefer at least gas and air to take the edge of the pain. Also no-one warned me about the after pains you experice with your second, something everyone should know! I felt like i was in the early stages of labour for 3 days after :S. I think all in all im not pro natural or pro epi im pro choice lol whatever each mother wants and feels is best for her probably will be best and really you wont know that until you are in labour.

Angela - posted on 04/15/2009

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Well Epidural... From what I remember when I was 16 and had the Epidural.. Basically the only thing that it helps with is the pain of contractions... All up until they tell you its time to start pushing. Then they take you off of it so you can feel the contractions and know when to push. So basically its pointless to me.



I also had an all natural birth with my second child. Which was by far easier than I thought it would be. I think personally since I am expecting my 3rd in July I am just going to stick it out and have another all natural birth.



 



I duno if that helped but its whats I have been through and what I plan on doing.

Michelle - posted on 04/15/2009

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And Sabrina.



I dont see why every mum on here whos had an epi, thinks the women that did it naturally are attacking them? Were not!



 



Brittany, The reason as to why i put the pros and cons of natural birth and c-sections is for you to see what the pros and cons of natural and epi might give, as we know the epi can certainly increase the chances of a c-section.



 



i also would like to add this for your info. Its from the NHS website - and IS FACTUAL! NO ARGUMENTS!











How it's performed

















How an epidural is performed 













Epidural anaesthetics are carried out by experienced anaesthetists and other healthcare professionals, such as orthopaedic surgeons and specialists in managing chronic pain.



Before being given an epidural anaesthetic, you will be asked either to lie on your side, with your knees drawn up and your chin tucked in, or to sit on the bed or a chair and lean forward.



These positions open the spaces between the bones of your spine (vertebrae) so that the needle that is used for the epidural can fit through them.



You will be given an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the area of skin where the epidural will be injected. To give the epidural anaesthetic, a hollow needle is then passed into the area that has been numbed.



A thin, plastic tube is passed through the middle of the needle and into the epidural space. The anaesthetic is then passed through the tube. You will be asked to stay still while the epidural anaesthetic is being injected.



After the needle is taken away, the plastic tube stays in the epidural space and is held in place with adhesive tape.



 



What does an epidural feel like?



 



An epidural injection may feel a little bit uncomfortable, but the local anaesthetic should prevent it from being painful. You may feel a ‘pushing’ sensation on your back while the needle and tube are being inserted.



You should tell your healthcare professional if, while having an epidural injection, you feel a ‘pins and needles’ sensation or a sharp tingle in one of your legs. If you do, the needle may need to be repositioned.



After the epidural injection, you may be asked to lie flat. The anaesthetic will usually start to work after 10-20 minutes. Your legs will be numb, heavy and difficult to move, and you won't be able to walk around.



The nerves in your bladder are also likely to be affected by the anaesthetic, so you wont know when you need to go to the toilet. A small, plastic tube (catheter) will be passed into your bladder to drain the urine when your bladder becomes full.



 



How long does an epidural anaesthetic last?



 



For short operations, a single epidural injection is usually given. After a few hours, your body will break down the anaesthetic and feeling will gradually begin to return to your legs.



For longer operations and childbirth, the plastic tube is often left in the epidural space so that the anaesthetic can be topped up. The tube is usually connected to an automatic pump, so that the medication can be topped up every hour in order to keep your lower body numb.



This pump can also be used to provide pain relief for several days after surgery.



 



Most women who are in favour of an epi seem to me to have had a low dose one as they all say they were able to feel the pushing.



Low-dose (mobile) epidurals



Low-dose epidurals are also known as ‘mobile’ epidurals. These are sometimes given to women during labour. A smaller amount of anaesthesia is given so that sensations in the nerves are not completely blocked.



Having some sensation in your legs and abdomen means you'll be able to move around to a certain degree. For example, it may be possible for you to walk a short distance if you're completely supported by your midwife.



A low-dose epidural is a way of giving you a brief rest from the pain during early labour. It also allows you to sleep. You should be able to feel the contractions and the need to push during the final stage of labour.



If you have a higher-dose epidural, you will not feel your contractions and your midwife will need to tell you when to push.



Possible side effects of an epidural 













Epidural anaesthesia is a safe and reliable method of pain relief but there can be some side effects.



 



Low blood pressure



 



Low blood pressure is treated with medication, or by giving fluids through a drip. Your blood pressure will be regularly checked during the procedure.



 



Backache



 



After having an epidural some people experience back pain that lasts for several weeks or months in the area where the injection was given. This sometimes happens because the back muscles relax after the epidural anaesthetic has been inserted. Backache is also experienced after childbirth by many women who didn't have an epidural.



 



Inability to move your legs



 



Following an epidural, you will be unable to move your legs. This will only last until the anaesthetic wears off.



 



Itchy skin



 



Some of the medication that is used for epidurals can cause itchiness. Your healthcare professional will be able to change your medication in order to deal with this.



 



Uneven pain relief



 



Sometimes, the epidural anaesthetic doesn't spread evenly around your spinal cord, and you'll have less feeling in one side of your body than the other. A top-up dose can usually fix this.



 



Vomiting



 



Vomiting sometimes happens after an epidural anaesthesia. However, there is less chance of vomiting than there is after  a general anaesthetic.



 



Loss of bladder control



 



After an epidural, you can't usually tell whether you need to pass urine so you'll have a catheter (a thin tube) inserted into your bladder so that your bladder to drain it when it's full.



 



Side effects of epidural anaesthesia during childbirth



 



In addition to the side effects listed above, the following side effects sometimes affect women who have an epidural during labour.



 



Labour can take longer



 



If you have an epidural during labour, the final stage of labour can take longer if you're unable to feel your contractions. There is no need to worry if you can't feel the contractions as your midwife will tell you when to push.



 



You will need medical intervention



 



If you have an epidural during labour, you will need medical intervention. This is important because your baby’s heart rate and your blood pressure will need to be monitored throughout the procedure in order to make sure that you are both doing well.



 



Increased risk of an assisted birth



 



With an epidural, there is a slightly increased chance that you will need to have an assisted birth using a ventouse suction cap or forceps. If assistance is needed, your midwife will discuss this with you.



 



You may have an ‘inactive’ birth



 



If you have an epidural, moving around can sometimes be very difficult, or impossible. You will require assistance from your midwife, or birthing partner. You may be unable to give birth in the position you had planned to.













Michelle - posted on 04/15/2009

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Quoting Carissa:



Because I did not have an epidural I was able to push out my baby in 30 minutes even though he was posterior.  My midwife said that with an epidural it is essentially impossible to push out a posterior baby because of the numbness.  I walked out of the birth center 3 hours after my son was born.






Anyway, I know you asked for the benefits of the epidural.  I assume the main one is that it will take care of some of the pain.  Natural childbirth does hurt, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.  One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned is that the intensity of the experience is just amazing.  It is totally surreal and overwhelming.  I am so glad I got the opportunity in my life to experience that.  I'm already looking forward to getting to do it again.  The pain is temporary and your memory of that fades.  What you keep is the memory of the intense emotion that comes after.  It almost takes you out of your body.  There's no drug better.  ;)





This is soooo true. I cant wait to do it all again either!!!!!!!! I think about how that feeling of love and that nothing else in the world mattered anymore apart from me, my baby and my DP.



Id do it again now if someone magically made me 9 months preggers.



 



 

Michelle - posted on 04/15/2009

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Here you go Brittany...



Pros of natural childbirth:

* Most natural childbirth techniques are not invasive, so there's little potential for harm or side effects for you or your baby.

* Many women have a strong sense of empowerment during labor and accomplishment afterward. And despite having to endure pain, many report that they'd opt for an unmedicated birth again the next time. For some women, being in charge helps lessen their perception of pain.

* There's no loss of sensation or alertness. You'll be awake and active during labor and birth — so you can move around more freely and find positions that help you stay comfortable during labor and aid the delivery process when it's time to push your baby out.

* Your partner will feel involved as you work together to manage your pain.

* You don't necessarily need to be hooked up to an IV or monitoring machines, so it's easier to move about — walk if you'd like, take a shower or a bath, and use the toilet instead of a bedpan.

* You're less likely than women who get epidurals to need Pitocin, a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery, or bladder catheterization.

* Breathing exercises, visualization, and self-hypnosis can be practiced ahead of time — and used again later. Many new mothers find themselves drawing on their relaxation techniques in the early days of breastfeeding, while coping with postpartum discomfort, or when caring for a newborn feels especially stressful.

* Natural birth is better for babies, because their internal organs don't have to process the drugs that pass through the placenta (and, yes, everything passes through the placenta). They are more alert at birth, and often have an easier time breastfeeding.


Cons: it can be exhausting, but no one ever said childbirth was a piece of cake!


Pros of c-section: It can be life-saving when the mother and/or the baby are truly in disress.

Cons of c-section:

* Physical problems in mothers: Compared with vaginal birth, cesarean section increases a woman's risk for a number of physical problems. These range from less common but potentially life-threatening problems, including hemorrhage (severe bleeding), blood clots, and bowel obstruction, to much more common concerns such as longer-lasting and more severe pain and infection. Even after recovery from surgery, scarring and adhesion tissue increase risk for ongoing pelvic pain and for twisted bowel.
* Hospitalization of mothers: If a woman has a cesarean, she is more likely to stay in the hospital longer and is at greater risk of being re-hospitalized.
* Emotional well-being of mothers: A woman who has a cesarean section may be at greater risk for poorer overall mental health and some emotional problems. She is also more likely to rate her birth experience poorer than a woman who has had a vaginal birth.
* Early contact with, feelings toward babies: A woman who has a cesarean usually has less early contact with her baby and is more likely to have initial negative feelings about her baby.
* Breastfeeding: Recovery from surgery poses challenges for getting breastfeeding under way, and a baby who was born by cesarean is less likely to be breastfed and get the benefits of breastfeeding.
* Health of babies: Babies born by cesarean are more likely to:
o be cut during the surgery (usually minor)
o have breathing difficulties around the time of birth
o experience asthma in childhood and in adulthood.
* Future reproductive problems for mothers: A cesarean section in this pregnancy puts a woman at risk for future reproductive problems in comparison with a woman who has a vaginal birth. These problems may involve serious complications and medical emergencies. The likelihood of experiencing some of these conditions goes up sharply as the number of previous cesareans increases. These problems include:
o ectopic pregnancy: pregnancies that develop outside her uterus or within the scar
o reduced fertility, due to either less ability to become pregnant again or less desire to do so
o placenta previa: the placenta attaches near or over the opening to her cervix
o placenta accreta: the placenta grows through the lining of the uterus and into or through the muscle of the uterus
o placental abruption: the placenta detaches from the uterus before the baby is born
o rupture of the uterus: the uterine scar gives way during pregnancy or labor.
* Concerns about babies in future pregnancies: A cesarean section in this pregnancy can affect the babies of future pregnancies. Studies have found that they are more likely to:
o be born too early (preterm)
o weigh less than they should (low birthweight)
o have a physical abnormality or injury to their brain or spinal cord
o die before or shortly after the birth
* Planned cesarean compared with unplanned cesarean: A planned cesarean offers some advantages over an unplanned cesarean (a cesarean that occurs after labor is under way). For example, there may be fewer surgical injuries and fewer infections. The emotional impact of a cesarean that is planned in advance appears to be similar to or somewhat worse than a vaginal birth. By contrast, unplanned cesareans can take a greater emotional toll.
* Planned cesarean compared with vaginal birth: A planned cesarean still involves the risks associated with major surgery. And both planned and unplanned cesareans result in a uterine scar and internal scarring (adhesions). This means women with planned and unplanned cesareans face similar risks in future pregnancies and for problems related to scarring and adhesions at any time



 



and the bit referring to exhausting....I felt wide awake straight after having my daughter, like shed never been born. I went and had a shower 30 mins after having my stitches and BF my baby. The only exhausting bit I found was not been able to sleep in the hospital at night because there were so many babies crying (except mine) she didnt cry for days. I was in hospital for 4 days with my baby girl, because of them intervening with me.  The consequences of me having stitches (because I was confined to the bed) made them forget all about my baby who was lying in the cot, not on me :( and they never suctioned her mouth and so she ended up that night being rushed to neonatal because she couldnt breathe. all because no one was watching her!

Ellen - posted on 04/15/2009

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I was induced due to pre-eclampsia and had an all natural birth -- I thought it was very rewarding and it wasn't as bad as I had imagined.  Everyone told me I would give in and get an epidural, but I didn't!  Considering that an epidural can slow down labor and make it harder to feel when to push therefore causing you to have to push longer I figured my little one would be worth it.  My doctor supported my decision no matter what and even my birthing class held at the hospital explained that any medication that crosses your blood stream can be passed onto your baby (which is why narcotics can only be given at the early stages of labor).



My labor was fast and furious, lasting 4 hours and I only pushed for 18 minutes -- I believe that relaxing with the contractions allowed my body to go through labor quickly and that being able to go with what my body was telling me allowed me to push more effectively and get my little one out quickly.



It is really up to you and who knows how you will feel when you are in the heat of the moment -- I will suggest that if you plan on a natural birth you should look into gettnig a doula (birth coach) -- mine really helped me focus and breath through the contractions making active labor a lot less painful or stressful.



Good luck!!!

Carissa - posted on 04/15/2009

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Because I did not have an epidural I was able to push out my baby in 30 minutes even though he was posterior.  My midwife said that with an epidural it is essentially impossible to push out a posterior baby because of the numbness.  I walked out of the birth center 3 hours after my son was born.



Anyway, I know you asked for the benefits of the epidural.  I assume the main one is that it will take care of some of the pain.  Natural childbirth does hurt, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.  One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned is that the intensity of the experience is just amazing.  It is totally surreal and overwhelming.  I am so glad I got the opportunity in my life to experience that.  I'm already looking forward to getting to do it again.  The pain is temporary and your memory of that fades.  What you keep is the memory of the intense emotion that comes after.  It almost takes you out of your body.  There's no drug better.  ;)

Maggie - posted on 04/15/2009

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First of all for me I had no choice but to have the epidural. I had high blood pressure and high protien. The epidural allowed me to relax and have a much need sleep before my daughter came. When I did start pushing, it allowed me to really concentrate on pushing. Yes I couldn't feel my legs and my husband and mother and to help with my legs, but it was the best experience. I am not sure if I would have been able to push as well as I did, with out the epidural. I mean once I felt the full force of my contractions, I swear it felt like my pelvis was breaking in half.

Getting the epidural itself didn't even bother me. I didn't notice it once my contractions were going every minute.

However, it is your choice, just remember that if you change your mind, your window of opportunity is small. Good luck to you and enjoy every minute!

Kelly - posted on 04/15/2009

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an epidural is safe and you know what is happenng when you get one....it just gives you a tingling sensation from you waste down, you can still feel things, even the simple touch of a hand...it just tingles...in the end the decision is yours and you may even change your mnd once you are in labor....all i know is that when i was in labor i was given a type of painkiller that takes the edge of the contractions and that made me go in and out of it....the epidural was a much better choice i felt, i knew what was happening at all times and was much more comfy

Kate CP - posted on 04/15/2009

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Quoting Brandi:



Quoting Kate:




Quoting Brandi:

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH EPIDERAL..
whether you have an epideral or natural. you HAVE control over your body cuz YOUR the one pushing~ i am one that had an epi and know TONS of pple that feel the same about it!!! so no matter what you have control.. its mind over matter... like common! dont dis an epideral birth when there NOTHING that proves a child any different from a natural. if your stuck in your own "natural way" then be considerate... i had epideral and i had FULL control over my body, my son is perfect and was VERY alert and has been a very strong boy... he has no weaknesses and is very smart! if people want to dis epi births i know MORE children with issues from natural birth .. but again natural and epideral is NO difference otherthen us smart women get the epideral so we can enjoy the whole experience of bring our lil person into the world.. i know iwas able to jokeand hold a smile til almost the end!!! its great. EPIDERAL is NOT a drug that hurts a child or mother!! its a simple numbing sensation to take the edge of the contraction away!!!!!!

this isnt an Argument ladies... god!!! EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!!!!







A few things, if you please...








Number one, I think it's a woman's choice to have an epidural or not and NO ONE should make a lady feel bad for having one. Just because a woman gets an epi doesn't make her less of a woman or less of a mommy!








Second, the statement that there is nothing that proves a child is effected by an epidural is just false. There is TONS of proof that an epidural delivery DOES have an effect on the baby and the mother. Sometimes good...sometimes bad. But to make the statement that it doesn't make a difference is kinda silly. If it didn't make a difference...why would any one opt to have a needle shoved in their spine? Why would any one opt to have IV drugs or gas or oxygen or go all natural? It DOES make a difference but it depends on the individual's labor as to what kind of difference it may make.








Third "us smart women get the epidural"? Seriously? That's really insulting. Truely insulting. You're saying I'm dumb because I wanted and had a natural delivery? I'm an idiot because I wanted to experience child birth the way my mother did and her mother before her? I'm not as smart as you because I didn't WANT a needle in my spine? Where is the logic in that? Rude. Very






 






FOR ONE!!! i never dised someone that having an epideral,. I HAD ONE!
and i never dis'd a natural either, i said its dumb in my opinion cuz why feel the pain when you dont have too.. are you understanding??? lol  i know about BOTH thanks.. dont correct me. i have doctors living in MY HOME!!!!!






i guess i am rude but your WRONG with the problems from epideral.. and yes its a choice each  women takes.. how many children do you have lady? you are exactly my point of "trying to be a hero"? 






 i have friends and family that back me on this ALSO i have DOCTORS  that are direct family that KNOW the truth and YOU are wrong.. so go ahead and believe what you want... read your lil interenet tips cuz i think your reading a false site!!!






--a needle in your spine... YOU dont even feel the epideral, (i have 2 tattos and they hurt more!!) so what r u talking about . lol. wheres the logic. ENJOYING YOUR BIRTH AND BEING HAPPY.. why would a person want to feel the pain of a something a water melon coming outy?? id rather enjoy ..  i dont have a huge crack and would like to not feel the pain and be happy..






if you want natural go for it but it wil be much harder  on the mind BECAUSE YOU STRESSING TOO from feeling all the pain!! i dont DIS it i just think its a controlled drug of numbing that DOESnt hurt anyone. its like getting a tooth pulled , do you do it natural too?? doubt it!!!!!






and all lthe other drugs do NOT harm the child or you.. there is NOTHING that proves this.. so dont tell me anything, your so wrong so just stop now.. get off this thread then, your wrong in your doing.... i said what i wanted to say and that my opinion, you have such an issue with it and think so negative about an epideral READ about it...






 






AGAIN ILL STATE!!!!






Natural is fine good for you go for it!!!!!!!






Epideral will let you enjoy and relax and everything is EASY!!!! no pain!






*****THERE IS NOTHING A HOSPITAL WILL GIVE YOU TO HURT YOU & YOUR CHILD!!









 





Did you even read my response or just kinda skim it? 



I have had a child. I was induce with pitocin and no, I didn't have any pain meds. That was MY choice for MY labor. Am I trying to push that on anyone else? No. As I said, it's a personal choice that comes down to an individual woman's labor. Epidurals do effect the baby and the mother. I said they effect them. I never said they hurt them although there are cases of spinal damage, lasting headaches, UTIs from the catheter, etc. My argument was that it's stupid to say it doesn't have any effect at all. Why do it if it doesn't have any effect? Are *you* understanding? I know what a needle feels like. I have an immune dificiency, so I think I know about needles and IVs and how they feel. I've had more than my share. 



And if you were to read any book on child birth you would see there is a section on epidurals and the effects they CAN have on babies and mother. I prefer books rather than google. It's never a given that an epidural will harm a child or mother, but it's a medical procedure and there will always be risks involved. There are risks involved with having a cavity filled, too. I'm not "negative on epidurals" if I was I would say no one should ever get them. But I didn't, did I? I said a woman should have that option. I also said that a woman should know what's going on and research different types of birth and find the one that's best for them. I never insulted anyone by implying they were dumb for getting an epidural. For as much as some women push going natural a lot of women push the epidural. Both sides can be extremely militant in their beliefs. 



However...



*****THERE IS NOTHING A HOSPITAL WILL GIVE YOU TO HURT YOU & YOUR CHILD!!



That is without a doubt the DUMBEST statement I have ever read. Read up on Cytotec. Hospitals give it all the time. You are too trusting of hospitals. Hospitals are run by people and people make mistakes. People also like to get paid and hospitals *WILL* cut corners in an attempt to save money. Doctors are not gods, they do not know everything, and some of them are actually not the brightest bulb in the box...I should know, I've been treated by a few of them and it nearly killed me. 



Anyway, this is my last response to you since I really don't enjoy engaging in conversation with people who out and out insult me. This thread was a lady trying to get opinions on epidural versus natural birth. I doubt she wanted either option shoved down her throat.

Jasmine - posted on 04/15/2009

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p.s. someone should check on the pitocin and narcotics labels as they have warnings on them both, they are both used in the hospital and though I do not believe that a doctor would intentionally hurt you or your child they also use things that either are not intended for that purpose or that have adverse side effects.

Jasmine - posted on 04/15/2009

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I had a natural child birth and though many have stated that it does not effect your child to have an epi that is NOT true, the same drugs that enter your system also enter your childs system during childbirth and can hinder bonding after the birth of your child, it also makes it so that your natural "in love" hormones after your child is born do not kick in like they are supposed to.



Yes, I suppose there is "pain" but even if it lasts for 30+ hours in the long run that isn't very long and it is not that intense for the whole thing.



You CAN do it, even sometimes when you feel like you can't, and you will feel that way, hormones. Get some support to be with you the whole time, your hubby and a doula is good.....

Alicia - posted on 04/15/2009

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Be open minded! Nobody knows how their body will react to labour and delivery.



You might go into a really quick labour and by the time you get to the hospital there is no time to administer an epideral. Or you may have a really slow progressing labour (like me) in which, after 42 hours of strong contractions you need a break regardless of how tough and strong you are.



Either way, if you are open minded, you won't be disappointed in yourself or the way your labour went :)

Kerrin - posted on 04/15/2009

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I was hoping to go natural when I had my son, but ended up having an epidural.



I had it. Then fell asleep for 1 hour. woke up and I was ready to have my little boy.  I look back and part of me wishes I didn't have the epidural, but another part is glad I did.  I was able to rest and only pushed for 40 mins.  The epidural gave me the break and rest I needed.

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