When's the best time to get the epidural?

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Jenni - posted on 07/04/2009

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lol, there is no way I'll never not get it. Within two hours of labor, I couldn't even stand during a contraction. Considering my 13 hour labor, I am not putting myself through that. Childbirth is should be enjoyable, not misery. I don't want that special event affiliated with that much pain.

[deleted account]

As soon as they'll let you! LOL! I'm not kidding! You don't want to wait too long, or you might be too far along to have it administered. Some doctors make you wait until you're 4cm dilated to have it put in, but if you have a cool doctor they'll let you decide when you've had enough, even if it's before you've hit 4cm. The important thing is not to let anyone make you feel guilty for getting an epidural. Natural birth is good for some people, but I can tell you from experience that they don't hand out prizes or medals if you go through labor without pain medication! If you're in pain, you're not relaxed which can slow down the labor process, so having medication can really help things along. Nothing against natural labor, I just know that some women can get up on their high-horse about natural being the "only" way. "People did it that way for centuries." Yeah, wll, people also used to live in caves and cook over an open fire! That doesn't mean it's a bad thing for me to have a house and a microwave!

[deleted account]

(Okay, this is only my opinion, you don't have to heed any of it...)

Never!

The epidural, apart from being extremely risky (the space they inject into is so close to the nerves in the spinal column, it's not funny! One wrong move and you're in intense pain for the rest of your life, or even paralysed!) is completely backwards towards the conduciveness and fruition of labour. It numbs you from the waist down and you don't know when to push. Bub then stresses coz he/she's trying to give you the signals that they want out, but you can't feel it. This leads to foetal distress, in turn increasing the risk of a c-section.

The best pain relief in labour is to let go and let nature take its course. Fear = Tension = Pain!

Best of luck!


T.

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Jenni - posted on 07/04/2009

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I actually have no idea when I got mine. My labor was extremely painful. I started at 4:30 in the morning, and by about 10, it was unbearable. However, they said I couldn't have it yet, so they gave me something else through the IV until I could. BTW, don't let them do that, it's horrible. Whatever it was made me completely loopy. I lost the ability to talk properly, which is horribly frustrating. It eventually knocked me out. I vaguely remember a nurse propping me up for the guy to do the epidural.
As for the danger, if they have trouble or think it will end badly, they won't do your epi. I had one guy try three times, but because I have such strong muscle back there, I guess he didn't feel he could do it? The guy he sent in did it right away.
Anyway, the first medicine, when I eventually woke up, made me fully freak out. I woke up and randomly couldn't move my legs, since I couldn't really remember the epi.
I really don't regret the epidural though. I wish it was slightly less strong, though. I couldn't really tell how hard I was pushing, it literally numbed everything from the waist down.
For those of you who still have pain, I'm sorry. That really sucks, I didn't know that could happen. Mine went away that week, but I also have a high pain threshold, I was walking around the children's hospital (which I pretty much lived in for a week) the next day to see my son. I can still feel the four spots where the needle was though.

Jenni - posted on 07/04/2009

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I actually have no idea when I got mine. My labor was extremely painful. I started at 4:30 in the morning, and by about 10, it was unbearable. However, they said I couldn't have it yet, so they gave me something else through the IV until I could. BTW, don't let them do that, it's horrible. Whatever it was made me completely loopy. I lost the ability to talk properly, which is horribly frustrating. It eventually knocked me out. I vaguely remember a nurse propping me up for the guy to do the epidural.
As for the danger, if they have trouble or think it will end badly, they won't do your epi. I had one guy try three times, but because I have such strong muscle back there, I guess he didn't feel he could do it? The guy he sent in did it right away.
Anyway, the first medicine, when I eventually woke up, made me fully freak out. I woke up and randomly couldn't move my legs, since I couldn't really remember the epi.
I really don't regret the epidural though. I wish it was slightly less strong, though. I couldn't really tell how hard I was pushing, it literally numbed everything from the waist down.
For those of you who still have pain, I'm sorry. That really sucks, I didn't know that could happen. Mine went away that week, but I also have a high pain threshold, I was walking around the children's hospital (which I pretty much lived in for a week) the next day to see my son. I can still feel the four spots where the needle was though.

Heidi - posted on 07/01/2009

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Wow!....Every person and Every situation is different. The best advice I can give is # 1 learn how to relax your body, and believe me, it takes practice. #2 Exercise. Back exercises, kegel exercises, they help make labor easier. #3 and most important Listen To Your Body!

There can be side affects to epidurals, but to some people (like me) there are no problems, no back pain or anything. They can make your labor go slower or it might not slow it down at all. (I had epidurals and from start to finish my labors are less than 5 hours)

As long as you have a good staff helping you at the hospital, then just relax, they are there to help you and walk you through the process. When your into labor, you'll know when your ready for an epidural. Just remember to talk to your doctor about all your options first so your ready for all situations. Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 07/01/2009

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Quoting Dominique:

I'm done. You win. You're right, I'm wrong. Feel better?


didn't know it was about winning and i dont feel bad in the first place... some person on the internet doesn't bother me..anyway taking the kids swimming.

Michelle - posted on 07/01/2009

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Quoting Dominique:

Whatever...I didn't realize I was speaking to the all-knowing labor expert. Clearly your labors are indicative of what every woman can expect. Please forgive me for thinking that since I have had 2 children I, too, might've been able to offer this woman some in-sight.
Anyway, good luck with your labor, Tia, and be sure to tell us all how it goes!


did i say you didnt' k now anything or do u just have a stick placed somewhere currently?



epidurals are kinda known to slow down labor so why would you do something to make your labor longer?

Jennifer - posted on 07/01/2009

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I was told in my birthing class that my ob doesn't give them until you are 4cm and usually not after you are 7cm dialated, but I think a lot of it depends on the dr and how the labor is going.

[deleted account]

Whatever...I didn't realize I was speaking to the all-knowing labor expert. Clearly your labors are indicative of what every woman can expect. Please forgive me for thinking that since I have had 2 children I, too, might've been able to offer this woman some in-sight.
Anyway, good luck with your labor, Tia, and be sure to tell us all how it goes!

Michelle - posted on 07/01/2009

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Quoting Dominique:

I didn't say it definitely would, I said it can. If you're going to be so quick to jump on people's "info" at least read my post completely. Sheesh.


read it and i have no issue with other people getting an epi its' not for me and scared me more then labor did but you info isnt' accurate in the least

Michelle - posted on 07/01/2009

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Quoting Dominique:

I didn't say it definitely would, I said it can. If you're going to be so quick to jump on people's "info" at least read my post completely. Sheesh.


read it and i have no issue with other people getting an epi its' not for me and scared me more then labor did but you info isnt' accurate in the least

[deleted account]

I didn't say it definitely would, I said it can. If you're going to be so quick to jump on people's "info" at least read my post completely. Sheesh.

Michelle - posted on 07/01/2009

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Quoting Dominique:

As soon as they'll let you! LOL! I'm not kidding! You don't want to wait too long, or you might be too far along to have it administered. Some doctors make you wait until you're 4cm dilated to have it put in, but if you have a cool doctor they'll let you decide when you've had enough, even if it's before you've hit 4cm. The important thing is not to let anyone make you feel guilty for getting an epidural. Natural birth is good for some people, but I can tell you from experience that they don't hand out prizes or medals if you go through labor without pain medication! If you're in pain, you're not relaxed which can slow down the labor process, so having medication can really help things along. Nothing against natural labor, I just know that some women can get up on their high-horse about natural being the "only" way. "People did it that way for centuries." Yeah, wll, people also used to live in caves and cook over an open fire! That doesn't mean it's a bad thing for me to have a house and a microwave!


ermm i was induced both times so obvious pain no epi and my longest labor was 3 hours.... so at least be honest with your info... pain doens't equal slow if you know how to relax and let your body do what it needs to do

[deleted account]

They say the best time to get it is around 3-4 cm.
Try not to get it too soon so that it doesn't start wearing off when you're almost ready to push!

Michelle - posted on 07/01/2009

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ermm never a needle in the spine doesn't sound fun...i've never had one

Samantha - posted on 06/30/2009

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My doctor induced my labor with pictocin and when I started hurting real bad they gave me some medication through my IV. I had my epidural when I was about 5 cm, but it wore off before I gave birth so the gave me another and I was only in labor a total of 10 hours.

Collette - posted on 06/23/2009

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i had my 2 with no pain releif at all it all depends on ur pain barrier ask ur midwife for more details thats what they r there for X

Tracy - posted on 06/23/2009

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Just go with the flow hun. Get your nurse/midwife to tell you when you are in full flow. I didn't want an epidural but had to have one due to emergency c-section and I wished I had it earlier!!! Its amazing.

Selina - posted on 06/23/2009

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your nurse should ask about your pain she will recomend the best time and if not they told me after u dialite pass 4 cenemiyers or the pain is to much

Shelley - posted on 06/23/2009

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every1 is different, i was in labour 2days with my little boy & still only 4cm so they gave me a drug to help but it ment i had to have an epidural which in my opinion was the worse as i couldnt feel when i need to push, plus they put in in the wrong place so they had to do it again and ever since then i have problems on and off with my back which ment i had problems while pregnant with my 2girls, but i did go on to have 2home births with only gas and air which in my opinion was much better as i could feel everything my body was telling me, but as i said b4 every1 is different only u will know when its time to have it, best of luck

Elisa - posted on 06/22/2009

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When you can't handle it anymore. I was in labour for 8 hours and still only 2cm. they gave me a epidural as they were goign to give me a drug to speed up the contractions so it all depends. i guess but good luck. I had complications when they tell you remember to listen. i didn't and got alot.

User - posted on 06/22/2009

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You have to wait till your 4cm and then they will give it to you but be warned they let it wear out before you have to start pushing

[deleted account]

I decided to wait as long as possible before hand... I was told they want to wait until 5-6 cm minimum... but I took it one contraction at a time, and just before I got to the point where I could have screamed (lol), we called them in. It was perfect timing. I was about halfway through labor, and so I had a chance to actually relax before the real work began. Good luck!

Katherine - posted on 06/22/2009

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With my first child I didn't want the epidural but they said I should get one and as soon as I sat up I had to push and the nurse wasn't listening to me. She was just worried about getting the needle in my back. Needless to say I got the needle but never got the drugs! With my second child I went Natural, and while you can feel it, it makes it that much more worth it. I read too much about what can go wrong with epidurals and decided to opt out!

Nichole - posted on 06/22/2009

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Quoting Toni:

all i would say is think about it long and hard and make sure this is really what you want! i feel that little bit of scar tissue everyday, some more than others. they are after all putting a big needle thru your spine....


Toni, OMG does that pain ever go away. My back still hurts in the spot they put mine in too. Sometimes I feel like I am a 70 year old women, I have actually bent over and can barely get up. They said it can hurt for up to 6 months, its been 4. How long has it been for you????

Toni - posted on 06/21/2009

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all i would say is think about it long and hard and make sure this is really what you want! i feel that little bit of scar tissue everyday, some more than others. they are after all putting a big needle thru your spine....

Lesley - posted on 06/21/2009

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I ask for my epidural when I was 4.5cm. By the time I actually got it (almost 2 hours later) the contractions were 2 mins apart, lasting 1 min. I would ask for it early b/c it takes time for them to get there since they have other paitents. Of course my labor could have been progressing fast. Like others have said it all depend on you.

Tamika - posted on 06/20/2009

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With my first I got it when I could not take the pain anymore, I was about 5.5 cm dialated and it was in my 17th hour of labor. With my second I got it for the same reason, I was 3 cm dialated, but had been in labor for 16 hours. Both of them took perfectlly. My advice is to wait as long as you can so it does not wear off, but most doctors will not give the epidural if your more than 7 cm dialated. I also do not suggest you go into your labor expecting to need the epiduarl.You may be suprised at how much pain you can actually tolerated, not to mention the side effects(back pain, slowing the labor down). Good luck, I hope its a quick labor for you, mine was 20 hours the first time and 25 hours the second.

Angela - posted on 06/20/2009

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When I was in labor with my son, I had to wait until I was 4cm dilated to get one. My advice would be to get it as soon as you're able to and to discuss your birthing plan with your doctor. You need to be as comfortable as possible and to get some rest before you deliver. As mentioned by some of the other moms, they work differently on each person. The epidural worked like a charm for me, but started to wear off after about 6 hours, and then I got a second epidural and I was fine. The woman in labor next door to me had 2 epidurals and neither of them took. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible for you. Best of luck!

Charlie - posted on 06/20/2009

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i had mine before 4 cms dialation but i was also in induced labour for two days before i had it . having said that my epi didnt work my legs went completly numb and kept sliding off the bed but i still felt every contraction and it gave me violent shakes ! but ive heard they work like magic for others .

Nichole - posted on 06/20/2009

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As quickly as possible..haha. I am only kidding. My child birth classes told us to hold of as long as possible and as long as you can stand it which now that I look back on it maybe I should have waited. I got my epidural as soon as I could which I think is 4cm it lasted till 4am and he didnt come till 6:17. The doctors refused to give me any more drugs after it wore off and I became the exorcist, no lie. I was scream and crying like a little baby. But after it was all over it was well worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat...

Gemma - posted on 06/20/2009

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I was in labour for 64 hours total. I had my epidural after 40 hours. I used a TENS machine for the first 40 hours. I also used gas and air. I think you need to talk to your doctor. I live in england so it might be different to where you live anyway. Good Luck and it sounds weird but enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and the birth.

Stephanie - posted on 06/20/2009

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Maybe it depends on the hospital, but we have walking epidurals and IV pumps on wheeled stands, so walking after you get your epidural might still be an option.

Marabeth - posted on 06/20/2009

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whenever you feel, every woman/labor is different. my obs said whenever i feel that the pain is getting in the way of progression. if you tense up in too much pain your dilating could dramatically slow.. and the more stress you're under probably the more stress your baby is under. for me it was at 7.5 cm. also remember once you get it done there's no more walking; you're in bed and hooked up to things until that baby is out. it's also a good idea to take a nap/rest after you get your epidural and before pushing (well for me that is). the nurse tried to get me to start pushing for like an hour and a half but i could just tell my daughter and i weren't ready yet. she was still dropping and shifting with a good heart rate so i decided to keep waiting. finally when i did start pushing it only took 3 contractions worth for her whole head to come out.. it was a good thing i waited cuz my obs walked in right when her head came out.. if he hadn't been there i dunno who woulda sewed me up after my lining tore from her bent elbow!

[deleted account]

I've read that you should wait until your contractions are regular and strong and you are at least 4 cm dilated. I've also read that that the longer you wait the less likely you are to need other interventions like a C-section or pitocin so I would say to wait as long as you can. Goodluck with your birth.

Sarah - posted on 06/20/2009

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As soon as possible!! haha!
No, i had one with my first baby as i really wasn't coping well and had been in labour for a long time. The doctors/midwives can advise you as to when and if you need/want one. If you request one, they will let you know whether they think it's necessary or not. At least that's how it was for me.
You may cope brilliantly and not even want one!!
Best of luck! :)

Stephanie - posted on 06/20/2009

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I was told by my doctor that any time after you are 4cm dilated you can get the epidural. The point at which you can no longer get the epidural depends on how quickly you progress. I got mine at about 7cm and it never took affect... in the end it didn't matter because I ended having a c-section about 2 hours after they tried to give me an epidural.

Jackie - posted on 06/20/2009

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I have no idea hon,i never had one with any of my kids. but i know there is a point where it's too late to get it. you can talk to your dr about it so at least you have a plan and it's not all last minute.

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