Epidurals, episiotomies, foreceps/vacuum extractions. Still commonplace and routine?

Heather - posted on 04/27/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Yesterday at a 20wk. prenatal dr. appt, I was given consent forms ALREADY for an epidural, episiotomy, foreceps & vaccuum extractions, and c-section. My last delivery nearly 11 years ago was in the same hospital, but with a certified nurse midwife and I was able to do everything naturally in 11 hours total, a great experience. Unfortunately, this particular hospital no longer offers midwifery and faced with having to travel about 40mins away, I chose to stick with the familiarity of the same hospital but with a traditional OB/GYN practice that had an ostepathic physician on staff. Unfortunately like most practices I will get whoever is on call when the time comes and probably not the osteopath; so although the doctor at this visit reassured me they would do these procedures "only if necessary" the fact that they gave me these forms to fill out at 20 weeks leads me to believe that this may be common & routine to this practice. I'm sure there are some doctors who would be more likely to use these things than others and without knowing which doctor will deliver the baby I feel totally out of control over what will happen at my delivery now. Is it common to have these forms signed so far in advance? Can I sign but still refuse an episiotomy and/or epidural when the time comes? Would it help to hire a doula to keep watch on what's happening during labor & delivery? Feedback please!!

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Caitlin - posted on 04/27/2010

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I only had to sign one form that was a consent form for them to perform a medical procedure if there was a risk. When I decided to get my epidurals for both, I had to sign a seperate consent because it wasn't required for my health or the baby's health, it was just for my comfort (they were both induced so the contractions were hard and fast and I couldn't suffere through it).



My first daughter was a forceps delivery beause her heart rate plummeted at a certain point and she was almost there, so they decided as opposed to a c-section, they'd use forceps, I tore horribly for that one, it was insane. My second daughter they only did an episiostomy to prevent me from tearing the same way I did with the first (in a V shape). That was insanely easy and I was up and going 2 days after the delivery. Just to make you feel better, both my daughters had HUGE heads and were big babies otherwise, the nurses were quite impressed.

Theresa - posted on 04/27/2010

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You can request none of those things be done unless in emergency. I have a 14 yr old, 11 yr old, 19 month old and 5 week old. I didn't have epidurals with any. With the first 2 epesiotomies were given automatically, but didn't have one with either of the younger 2. I was told it would only be if needed to prevent MAJOR tearing. Forcepts and vaccuum were never even discussed. I know epidurals are pretty common, but you don't have to have one. I know I got quite the surprised reactino from the nurses when I said I wasn't having one. I think most women do. They were fine with me not having one, just surprised. Make clear what you do and don't want. Good luck and congratulations.

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Louise - posted on 04/28/2010

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I don't know where you are in the world but here in England they do not do episiotomies any more as they have found that a tear heals quicker than a cut. You must be stressing out with all this. If I was you I would rather travel the 40mins to get proper care! Lets face it it isgoing to take a lot longer than 40mins to pop out your new arrival. Could you not just travel when you get the first contractions. You should have plenty of time. Even if things went faster than you thought you could always pull over and call an ambulance. I think this paperwork is ridiculous how can they tell that you will want an epidural or a c-section. Seems like alot of red tape to me!

Jen - posted on 04/28/2010

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i had all of them apart from a c section i never signed anything or was asked too till i left the hospital with my son it was to say i wud agree to these again if need be i was like im never cuming bk dont worry but now im broody for a little girl my sons 18 months now

Jennnifer - posted on 04/27/2010

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well my labor was anything but routine..after 23 1/2 hrs of pure labor and water broken my son actually got stuck sunny side up and my reg doc got himslef sick..so the moron who delivered my son had to use 3 vacumns 2 of which broke..then she proceeds to tellme to push with the umbillical cord around his neck 2 times..UGH UGH idoit..he is good now but not then. anyway i ended up with a epideral becuase the pitocin i had to be put on i was not dialted and my water broke, was too much to bear and after 3 hr of pain i gave in..and was very happy i did.

anyway don't sign unless u want those things done..have ur husband/BF sign at time of delievery if they need to be done and u can't sign anyway Good luck

Jennifer - posted on 04/27/2010

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Well I don't know where you're from but here in Ontario, we can get a midwife and it's covered by OHIP. I chose not to get one for my last pregnancy but I may get one for my next. Anyhow, I don't recall having to sign any of those forms at all. I wanted the epidural but if someone had tried to give me an episiotomy, I would have kicked them! It's YOUR body and YOUR baby. You should have the total say in everything. Unless your life or the baby's life is in immediate danger they should respect what you want and don't want. It's ridiculous that they make you sign over consent of your body! I wouldn't sign a damn thing until I had gotten it fully explained by the hospital AND had in writing that you can withdraw consent if you so desire. Hope that helps a little.

Stevie - posted on 04/27/2010

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oh i might also say i travle to a different state for him aslso its about an hour and a half drive i dont regret it infact i refuse anyone else go with who makes you happy and comfy even if it is that extra 40 miles

Stevie - posted on 04/27/2010

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i say dont sign them they cant make you sign a paper you dont want signed tell them your not going to sign this paper until i know what is going to happen when the time comes im not signing anything ive never been givin that paper even when in labor i do alot of paper work after but oh well most of it is for the baby and i never worry about who is going to deliver my baby my dr will be there unless he is like really gone

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