Does an epidural hurt?

Shawna - posted on 05/16/2013 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Ok, well I'm expecting my first child with my fiancee next year February and I'm very excited but I'm very scared to get an epidural when I go into labor because I'm petrified of needles... My mom has disc problems in her back and she gets epidurals every month and she's more afraid of needles than I am and she said it's painless, just a prick from the numbing needle you get before the actual epidural... So does it hurt or no?

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Valerie - posted on 05/31/2013

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In my case, the needle I got prior to the actual epidural felt just like an ant bite. When they put in the anesthesia through your epidural, you'll just feel a cool, niggling sensation in your back, nothing painful at all. However, in my case, I ended up getting a C-section since my baby wasn't in the right position and my cervix wouldn't fully dilate. Go for it.

Amy - posted on 05/30/2013

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The epidural isn't too bad (getting it) it's the sitting still in the middle of a contraction that can be painful. I would also check with the hospital but because you're getting an epidural you'll probably need an iv line put into your hand as a precautionary measure.

I'll also add that with my second the doctor had to try twice to get the needle in and I felt like there was a bruise on my spine for a good 6 months afterwards. My suggestion is do your research there are pros and cons and make an educated decision that's right for you.

Kristin - posted on 05/29/2013

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I think you're already in enough pain that you don't notice anything new from the epidural needle. (Plus you can't see it, so that's a bonus!!) It was hard to hold still, but that's all I remember.

Maria - posted on 05/31/2013

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I had a great experience with epidural. Had my first baby at age 44 .....18 months ago. I was frightened of the pain of childbirth. I never even had a cavity! It did not hurt and I felt no pain during delivery. I think it helped that I got the epidural very early. The anesthesiologist was great! Never had any discomfort after either. I highly recommend it!

Rachel - posted on 05/31/2013

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I had bad back labor and a resident doing the epidural (who eventually had to get an attending to do it after multiple attempts) so it made for a very long process, but the epidural itself wasn't that bad. I won't say it felt good or anything, but you're so distracted by the contractions that the epidural pain is more incremental than a major thing on its own. Plus like someone else said, you don't see it!

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Alexandra - posted on 05/31/2013

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I had an epidural and no it really doesn't you feel a pinch and it feels weird because you feel the medication run through but you numb quickly so as soon as the pinch is over you are fine.

Sally - posted on 05/31/2013

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The actual needle going in hurts a lot. It hurts even more if you have a contraction while they're doing it. I would advise getting a good pre-birth class instead of an epidural. Epidurals are really not healthy for you or your baby. Most of the pain of childbirth comes from fear. if you know what you're getting into and have someone to help you with natural coping techniques, giving birth really doesn't hurt that badly.
You'll want to hunt down a class that will teach you how to take care of yourself though and you'll want to bring a trusted friend to the hospital to remind you of all the things you'll forget when you get scared. Unfortunately, most birth classes are primarily focused on teaching you to be a good girl and follow hospital policy and that's not going to help you or your baby at all.
Good luck

Danicia - posted on 05/31/2013

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mine hurt for maybe 10 seconds, the contractions were WAY more noticeable than anything they were doing to get the epidural put in. then everything felt MUCH better after they were done :)

Geneva - posted on 05/31/2013

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No it doesnt hurt, unless you get a contraction while getting the Epidural. That's what happen to me. I will say, you will get Back pain after birth. My daughter is 8 months & i get the most horrible pain right in the area where i had the Epidural!!!

Natalie - posted on 05/30/2013

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Yeah Cynthia your right if your suffer really bad pain you can decide then carnt you all people are different an can handle pain different to other people an all labours are different too so shawna just go with what you need in labour an how much you handle the pain :-) I've had one good labour out of 3 not all is bad :-) x

Cynthia - posted on 05/30/2013

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I was so afraid of getting it, I wanted to go all natural, I had my first child January 2013 and after many hours of labor I ended asking for an epidural, and it didn't hurt at all, I felt so good after and not other side effects after either. I would recommend it for sure. But u have to see and pick what's best for you. Is a lot of things to evaluate but when u are in so much pain for long time, u don't care anymore.

Natalie - posted on 05/30/2013

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I've never had a eperdural I've only ever had gas an air with my 3 kids an belive me I'm pregnant again an due in January! An I think I'm going to try one! The thing that scares me the most is it going wrong an been paralysed! So I probs won't have it coz I don't like the risks it comes with!!!! All my kids have been 9lb babies an if I can do them on gas an air an manage I'm sure you will :-) thinkk about your choices you will choose the rightt onee :-)))) x

Leslie - posted on 05/30/2013

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I did the pain blocker. My contractions were not that bad till the introduce me

Lana - posted on 05/30/2013

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Getting the epidural doesn't hurt...you will feel your leg getting a warm sensation the moment they put the needle in... however when I got my epi and was in labour my left side was not fully numb so i felt as if i was giving birth on one side but the right side was pain free!...at first i didnt want an epi but the contraction at 5mm cm got so intense i wanted to get it...for my next pregnancy i dont think i will get an epi because i felt the labour on the left side and to be honest it felt amazing! it hurt but amazing! :O) good luck to you!

Enna - posted on 05/29/2013

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I imagine it would hurt, but by the time you get it you are already in pain from contractions, so you don't really notice it. And they do numb the area. I thought it felt weird, and I was terrified I was going to move and cause some horrible problem. But I had two kids with epidurals and everything was fine.

Marjorie - posted on 05/29/2013

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I had it w my first baby on 1/4/13 & I was scared to get the epidural & it didn't hurt at all, I didn't feel anything!!! My labor & delivery was beautiful & pain free & now I'm pregnant w baby # 2 & I will be getting another epidural, go for it, honey :-)

Sherri - posted on 05/17/2013

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Hi Shawna, not to scare you but my doc had trouble getting the epidural needle in place during my first pregnancy. It took him 5 tries! While I did find it hurt a bit...the pain was nothing compared to labour itself, and well worth it. By the time you are ready for the epidural you will welcome the relief it brings :)

Jeramie - posted on 05/16/2013

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Just close your eyes and lean on your man while they do it. it won't hurt you. I never felt it.

Shanika - posted on 05/16/2013

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I am a mother of a 12 year old and currently 19 weeks pregnant. I can say for me that it didnt hurt and I dont tolerate pain very well. The key thing is to stay still due to the fact that its a needle going in your spine.

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