Epidurals and other drugs!

Brianna - posted on 03/08/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )




Hello So i am due in about 5 weeks and I am thinking about getting a epidural so I can't feel anything. I am just wondering if it is safe for me to get one? Its just that hear that some people like them and some people are against them. So if i could get some opinions? Also, I was just wondering what other drugs they offer during labor and are they safe? Any information is greatly appreciated.


Jodi - posted on 03/08/2011




I don't think you should go into childbirth with a plan to have drugs, but rather, go into childbirth educated about your options. It is my belief that you should try to do it as naturally as you can, but then, if you find you can't, you are fully researched on your options and can ask for the help you feel will best suit you at the time. No labour can be predicted, everyone is different, so you just honestly don't know what will work best for you at the time.

I have never actually had an epidural. To be honest, the thought of having the needle in my spine totally freaked me out and I was happy to avoid it at all costs, but that's me. With my first I had Pethadene and gas, and I HATED being drugged. It made me feel sick. it DID take the edge of the pain, but I really didn't like it at all. So my second, I went natural, and it was much better. However, it wasn't a difficult labour, and it was a very quick delivery.

Anyway, my advice is, learn as much as you can about all your options, have a birth plan, but see how you go at the time before you decide whether to tak a drug option or not.

Kate CP - posted on 03/08/2011




I used to be VERY anti-epidural. Honestly, I still kinda am. I think most women can and should do a natural labor and birth. You'll heal faster, you'll have more energy, and the baby generally fairs better as well.

All that being said...this second time I gave birth I had an epidural and I am SO thankful I did. I was in labor for 6 days. Yes, ladies, you read that right: SIX WHOLE DAYS. I finally began to dilate on the 6th day and by the time I hit transition (4-7 cm and the most painful part of labor) I was just too exhausted to do it any more. I requested the epidural and two hours after that my son was born. He was healthy, alert, and nursed for an hour right off the bat. I wasn't able to get up for a few hours after the birth because my epidural hadn't fully worn off yet. With my daughter I was up and moving around within minutes of delivery.

I would suggest you go for a natural birth...but if you want the epidural when things get tough don't feel bad.

Jazzmen - posted on 03/08/2011




I didn't use any drugs of any kind with any of my kids and I am a mother of 6. They are unsafe. They make your baby high. Doctors will lie to you and say that it is fine, but in reality it's not. If you don't need them, as I didn't, I wouldn't touch them. However, sometimes you have to use them because labor is too hard not too from being in labor for more than 24 hours. Also, with a new baby coming, have you thought about breastfeeding? I did with all of mine. It was a great experience for us both, created a stronger bond, and on a selfish note, helps to tighten tummy back up for us.


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Rosie - posted on 03/10/2011




i tried to hold off as long as possible, i was afraid of the huge needle. however after hours of being at 8 cm i gave in. it was the most WONDERFUL thing ever. i could rest, my labor progressed rapidly after that. my body wasn't fighting labor anymore, it just relaxed and did what it was supposed to do. i feel without it, i would've been in labor longer, maybe even needed a c-section.

it is a drug and you do need to realize that. all 3 of my babies were perfectly alert, awake, not doped up. i dont' know, i must of had really good anesthesiologists cause they were perfect all 3 times, for me and my boys.

i did have a less than desireable experience with nubane. it made me feel drunk, and only took a slight edge off the pain for a little bit, the second shot of it didn't work at all.

Savannah - posted on 03/10/2011




I mean I had it and loved it my delivery was easy but I consulted my doctor before time. Its ur choice but most important talk wit your spouse & decide together he is apart of this experience as well

Karyn - posted on 03/10/2011




I tried to go as long as I could without an EPI. I was in labor for well over 24 hours and finally, my body started to go into shock, I was shaking all over the place and I wasn't dilating beyone 3 cm with help, so I had to have an emergency C-section. With that comes the EPI and lman, it was heaven sent! LOL
I would say, give it a good try at first. You just might be one of the lucky ones that hardly feels anything and flies right through. You just never know. Also, do more research on this subject as far as drugs used and so forth. Get some clear thinking going before you make any rash decision.

Good luck to you and baby!

Mary - posted on 03/09/2011




You should talk to your doctor , I was sure I did not want any thing with my first child , But three days later I did I had an epidural . I had not talked to my doctor about the possibilities and what might be best I was sure it could not be that bad but it was . With my second child I wanted every thing I could get with the memory lingering of that had transpired before . Luckley I had a good Doctor both times . The reailiy was and I don't know about now you had to go through the labor and at the end as the baby crowned you got something the needle in the spine . And I was ready for it . You don;t have to be strong but I see today that you don't have to experience labor either I don't know if it is good or bad .

Lise - posted on 03/08/2011




I had epidurals with both of my girls.With my first I had to be induced due to low amniotic fliud. They needed to continually monitor her heart beat so I was stuck lying on my back in bed for the whole labour. I decided to try drug free but still signed all the papers for the epidural before the pain was bad just in case. I'm very glad I did that because once transition hit I could still handle the pain mentally but physically It was causing me to want to puke. That was my breaking point and I asked for the epidural. I had already signed all the papers so all I had to do is ask.

With my second I had to be induced again due to gestational diabetes and didn't want to go through the puking thing again so I got it right away once they broke my water. I could still feel enough to push and she was born after three sets of pushes.

Personally I don't like the other drugs they offer, I didn't want to feel woozey or tired. I also wanted to remember all of it. There are no extra prizes for going natural, so do what you need too. I actually wish some other moms would have had pain meds, there was one when I was in labour with my first that screamed all night and kept everyone else awake. I respect every womens choice to go natural or not but it is very unnerving to listen to screaming like that for over 12 hours while your in labour yourself. My nurse did tell me she was refusing any drugs or epidural. Good luck and you will know what is right for you when you are in labour, but I do suggest you sign the papers first in case you want the epidural.

Michelle - posted on 03/08/2011




I guess I'm one of the lucky ones that don't have long drawn out labours. My first was my longest at 10 hours and had a shot of pethadine about 5 hours before he was born so that had worn off. My second was only a 50 min labour so didn't have time for any pain relief!!!
My third was about 4 hours but was only at the hospital for the last 2 hours. I was asking for something but because of my second labour they wouldn't give me anything. So the last 2 were completely drug free.
I was against having an epidural and never even asked for one and I'm proud of myself.
All I can say is if you go into it saying it's going to hurt and I won't be able to handle it then that's how it will be. The mind is a powerful thing.

Bonnie - posted on 03/08/2011




I had epidurals with both of my boys. With my first son it took completely on the first try. With my second, it only worked on my left side for a while. I had to be given more. Overall it is great once it works. For some, it works pretty quick after you get it. For others, it doesn't work at all.

It is safe for the most part, but there can be complications just like with any procedure or medication. I personally like epidurals. Some women say, "oh it slows down your labour and makes you really tired and then you can't push." For some that may be true, but it wasn't for me and many others I know.

The epidural allowed me to calm down to the point I was able to relax which allowed my labour to progress. It didn't slow mine down. When it came time to pushing, yes I needed to be told when I was having a contraction to push because I couldn't feel them, but I didn't push for too long before my baby was born.

Elfrieda - posted on 03/08/2011




Do some reading. There's a book by Henci Goer called "the thinking woman's guide to childbirth" or something like that. It influenced me quite a lot. Everybody has different experiences, so it's hard to know how it will be for you. I didn't have an epidural or other drugs. I did have some Tylenol during the two days of prelabour so that I could get some sleep to rest up for the big show, but I don't really count that. :)
It was hard work, and it hurt, too, but it was definitely possible. It was such a rush, and I felt so powerful afterwards. I don't intend to have any drugs with my next one, either. As weird as it sounds, I kind of am looking forward to the next time my body can do something so amazing again!

Pia - posted on 03/08/2011




My first baby I had pethidine and later an epidural and honestly I hated it. The pethidine made me really sleepy, so I would fall asleep between contractions and then be woken up by pain. The epidural didn't work fully either, so even though the pain was dulled I could still feel it. It also took me a long time to recover and the transition stage of labour took two hours and nearly resulted in needing a vacuum extraction. According to my midwife only 33% of women who have epidurals birth their baby without intervention of some kind.
My second I had gas and air and used a bath and it was so much better. Yes, it hurt, but it was 14 hours of my life and I recovered really quickly. I was home the same day and able to go grocery shopping the next day!! The transition stage only took 5 minutes and I was able to enjoy my baby so much more because I wasn't as exhausted from pining so long.
I think you should research your options, and even if you opt for an epidural then don't get it straight away - allow yourself the chance to see if you can cope with the labour first. Good luck with your birth and baby!

Karen - posted on 03/08/2011




I'm a momma of 8 and I did it drug-free for all except for the last. I was actually at the hospital early enough to receive an epidural (I usually go to fast and by the time I want something they tell me it's too late. LOL) Anyways, I must say that it was great, but an hour after the epidural I was suppose to push and they didn't have time to turn it down so I could feel when. Delivery was a little longer, but for me I felt I deserved it! I wasn't as tired or worn out like usual. I would try without, seeing as how this is your first one though. There are a lot of ways to make labour easier.

Lissa - posted on 03/08/2011




I would suggest you do lots of research, there are risks with any drugs. Remember what you decide you want before the birth may change due to how you feel and circumstances of your labour.
I had all three with nothing until the final pushing stage then gas and air for the pushing. I felt in control of the labours and was not woozy etc afterwards because of drugs.
Do your research, talk to your midwife, you can always just see how it goes. You may feel you can cope drug free, you may want gas and air, pethidine, an epidural. Be knowledgeable about your options but you don't have to decide until your labour.

Krista - posted on 03/08/2011




I had an epidural and loved it! I had been in labor for about 5 hours when I got it, and my contractions were getting to the point that I couldn't think straight and just wanted to cry! After the epidural, I was able to sleep on and off for the next 7 hours, until it was time to push. I had no trouble feeling the contractions and knowing when it was time to push. The nurses told me I was a very effective "pusher" because my son was turned the wrong way and they were sure I would need a C-section, but I managed to push him out. Of course, everyone's different and every labor is different, so you'll probably have to wait til you're in labor to know what you want. I'm due with baby #2 in 4 days, and I'm definitely planning on having another epidural!

Louise - posted on 03/08/2011




I had two children with Pethidine and gas and air and they were really big babies at 10lb. These births were easy and I was fully consious and in control of what was going on. My third was along drawn out affair and I opted for an epidural. I had three epidurals administered and none of them really worked as I could still feel something but it was nothing like full contractions. I ended up having another top up epidural for an emergency c section but this did not work either and I ended up getting a full anesthetic.

I think at the end of the day it is your body and you know it best. I prefered the pethidine as it took the edge off the pain and my labours went quickly as I could get up and move around and do what I wanted to do. I also felt more connected to my boys straight away as they were placed into my arms, but my daughter was whisked away because I was not consious enough to handle her.

My best advice I can give to you is see how you feel on the day. Try natural labour and then pethidine and then if you feel you really can not cope then go for the epidural. There are no medals for bravery the pain killing drugs are there to be used. Good luck with the birth.

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Personally, I didn't like the way the epidural made me feel. I was a crazy person...lol! Express your concerns to your doctor. It's okay to get one...many people have very positive experiences with them.

Amy - posted on 03/08/2011




Like Jennifer said there are risks for and against. With my first I was trying to go drug free but when I was told I would be able to get some sleep I decided for it. My second I knew that I was going to get one. With my first they didn't wake me up in time so by the time they woke me I needed to push but couldn't feel anything, I had no clue I was pushing lol. I only pushed for about 12 minutes and was done. With my second it was turned down in time so I could feel what I was doing. I don't regret getting it but it was definitely better the second time around!

Jennifer - posted on 03/08/2011




I had epidurals with all 4 of my kids. Of course there are risks to anything you take, so you really should look it up and make sure you are comfortable with those risks. With my 1st and 3rd children, I had long hard labors and the epidurals didn't work, so I felt everything, and because the labors were so long and hard, I was completely exhausted and couldn't really enjoy the baby after birth. I litterally couldn't keep my eyes open. With my 2nd and 4th, The epidurals worked great, and because I was more relaxed, things went faster and I wasn't so tired afterwards.

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