Natural delivery vs. epidural, water birth or labor?

Cynthia - posted on 01/26/2010 ( 192 moms have responded )

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I had a natural delivery with my son who is now almost 3. I am pregnant again, and due in July. I have heard high reccomendations on both having an eipdural and using water as a soothing method to cope with contractions. Ihave also heard horror stories about epidurals, but I know enough to keep an open mind, as every woman's experience is differerent. I had considered getting an epidural this time, but my labor went really fast the first time- I woke up at 1:20am with contractions 2-3 minutes apart, and he was born at 7:38am. (would've been sooner but they wouldn't let me push until the dr got there) , so I dont know if I will have time to get one this time. I was wondering if anyone has any advice on any of these methods or would mind sharing your story to give me a better idea. It would be especially helpful to hear from someone who has used 2 of these methods and can compare!

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Elissa - posted on 02/01/2010

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Epidurals should never be given unless needed. They are great when necessary but are high risk procedures which increase the rate of interventions like forceps, ventouse and c-sections. They interfere with the natural process of birth. Also, you probably havent been told (no one I know ever mentioned it) but they often keep you in hospital longer because they give horrendous headaches which require a trip to theatre for a blood patch into the site - a friend had to have 2 - and this isnt a rare side effect, it is almost routine.



I am totally against any unnecessary procedure. Water birth is great and I also used hypnobirthing. However, because I had a baby who was posterior, with deflexed neck, and failure to progress, I had a long, painful labour and eventually needed pain medication because I was too exhausted to continue with anything else.



I had remi-fentanil. It is a patient controlled analgesia. It has no side effects, is out of the bloodstream in 7 minutes and has no effect on your need to push or on your baby. It goes into the back of your hand so no need for a needle in your back and works as soon as it is in the bloodstream.



It is quite new so many people dont know about it but your hospital should offer it. Hospitals in Belfast are talking about banning epidurals because they arent safe and remi-fentanil is so safe the epidural is now obsolete unless a c-section is necessary.



So ask about remi-fentanil, but bear in mind that women are designed to give birth and if you can do it on your own you should - baby doesnt need you pumping drugs into its system unless they are absolutely necessary.



Good luck

Susanna - posted on 01/27/2010

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hi I used gas for all 4 of my births and had no trouble. Also dont let them tell you how to give birth. You know what your body wants to do so let it. Listen to your body not the doctors or nurses. P.S. i had no intervetions in any of my births I told the nurses to go away and just catch at the other end I can manage the rest. Push if you need to stop when you need to..... Dont let them tell you to keep pushing that is when you tear and end up with stiches,

Andi - posted on 02/08/2010

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I've had 3 natural births and refused Tylenol or any other pain meds. I only thought of doing a water birth and the thought sounds soothing, but never experienced it. I can't imagine doing it any other way, but if your first came that fast, the second is usually quicker...good luck with which ever you may choose!

Vicky - posted on 02/07/2010

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I haven't had a water birth unfortunately, but had an epidural with my first. Although it was a God send at the time, as I had a 40 hr labour and was induced, but I have had dreadful back problems since, to the extent that I could sneeze and my back would go. When I went into labour with my second baby and had to have induction drip, but because I 'sort of' new what I was doing, it was so much better. My labour was 10 hrs (they say quarter the time of the 1st for your second) and I spent most of it on a ball. I read a book about natural labours just to see what you can do to help things along, and one fab piece of advice was to relax your chin down to your neck, though not strain it down, and make a deep 'Ahhhhhhh' noise. This relaxes your throat sphincter muscle, and all other sphincters, cervix included! The book said it helped with consipation too, and you know what, it does!:-) Try it, practise it and see what you think. Hoestly, for me the 2nd labour was so, so, so much better that the 1st, so go into it with an open mind. I don't think you will need an epidural, but if you find you can't cope with it, don't feel a failure if you do. Good luck

Leanne - posted on 02/07/2010

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If you can do natural again, you should try your best to do it again. If you can not then I suggest starting out with the lesser of the evil's and go with oxygen mask then up it from there like to laughing gas, or a demorol (needle in the hip) before you get an epideral. My first was 100 % natural my 2nd was an emergency c section so i was knocked out so didnt get an epideral then my 3 rd after 38 hours of labour I could only get to 3 cm's so they took him by c section and then I got an epideral and I personally would not do it again. I know many women who still get pain in the lower back at the site when they have their periods. I had a hysterectomy 8 months after having my last child but I still have my ovaries so when I ovulate it still swells up and I get some light pain in the site and my youngest is almost 15 : ( That is my thoughts hope it helps. Also google "side effects after epideral" it is better to know all the pro's and con's before making up your mind. a good aneisatist will tell you the risks and the # 1 is paralization if the needle hits the wrong part in your spine. My sister was paralized for 2 months after her first child due to an epideral for a c section. She is fine now though.

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Katherine - posted on 02/09/2010

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I am locking this thread only because I feel the OP has had her question answered.

Courtney - posted on 02/09/2010

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Hi,

I have only had one child and am currently pregnant with my second, due in October. With my son, I had the epidural. They had to break my water then put me on the drip, so it was apparent my baby was quite content to stay where he was. However, it took forever, for my son to be born, I do think it has something to do with the epidural, BUT, I enjoyed every second of my labour. I felt no pain, only pressure when it was time to push. I was laughing and taking pictures of my husband between pushing. Not many mothers can say that. Plus, I can say that my husband enjoyed it too just knowing I was comfortable. But I am curious as to how long the labour would have lasted without the epidural. This time around, I will most likely do the epidural again, I had a great experience from it. I hope this helps, and all the best.

Layla - posted on 02/08/2010

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If you've already had one easy, natural birth then you will most likely have another easy, natural birth. Your body already knows what to do. Why impede on the process that your body does perfectly with a drug that may end up causing more harm than good (epidurals are known to slow labor, lead to c-sections, etc)

If the hospital room has a labor tub or shower, use that for some non-invasive relief.

Being able to move around freely and upright during labor will allow you to have a quicker labor and allow you to try different positions and movement such as swaying and rocking to help you deal with the contractions as well as allowing the most amount of room in your pelvis and sacrum for the optimal position for your baby to getinto the birth canal.

Since you have a history of quick labor, chances are this one will be fast too and sometimes it feels like it's more painful when it goes faster. But just keep breathing and relaxing so your natural painkiller (endorphins - 10 times stronger than morphine) can flood your body. I would only consider an epidural if the labor went on and on and on and you were in threat of becoming exhausted.

Good luck!

Leanne - posted on 02/07/2010

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If you can do natural again, you should try your best to do it again. If you can not then I suggest starting out with the lesser of the evil's and go with oxygen mask then up it from there like to laughing gas, or a demorol (needle in the hip) before you get an epideral. My first was 100 % natural my 2nd was an emergency c section so i was knocked out so didnt get an epideral then my 3 rd after 38 hours of labour I could only get to 3 cm's so they took him by c section and then I got an epideral and I personally would not do it again. I know many women who still get pain in the lower back at the site when they have their periods. I had a hysterectomy 8 months after having my last child but I still have my ovaries so when I ovulate it still swells up and I get some light pain in the site and my youngest is almost 15 : ( That is my thoughts hope it helps. Also google "side effects after epideral" it is better to know all the pro's and con's before making up your mind. a good aneisatist will tell you the risks and the # 1 is paralization if the needle hits the wrong part in your spine. My sister was paralized for 2 months after her first child due to an epideral for a c section. She is fine now though.

Dianne - posted on 02/07/2010

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I had my first naturally, and with my family doctor; the second naturally and with a midwife; the third with a midwife and epidural!

I felt ridiculous getting an epidural after managing to go natural twice, but was induced which made a huge difference (also, it was my longest labour). I was very disappointed with the epidural because it didn't work very well (after about 1 hour the pain came back). Also, it sucked because I was pretty much bed-ridden, and had to have a catheter. Luckily, I do not have ongoing back pain (which was my biggest fear with the epidural- I know so many people who do), and the worst part of recovery was the water retention (my feet were HUGE! never heard of that before!).

I haven't had a water birth, but always found being in a jacuzzi very helpful during labour.

Good luck...hopefully you have an easy labour/delivery.

Carol - posted on 02/06/2010

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Just be aware that epidurals raise the cesarean rate. Many mothers get away without

problems, but some suffer complications from epidural anesthesia. I personally wouldn't risk it.

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2010

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think of it this way...2 ladies trying out 'apples' for the first time ( hyperthetically speaking) the first one eats an apple and is fine the 2nd lady eats the apple and dies of anaphelactic shock...niether had tried apples before and neither new how they would react to it...would you take the risk the same way with an epidural...I honestly could say that no I wouldnt, not with ANY pain meds at all its too risky for both mum and baby...all these ladies who have used epidurals and come out just fine are just the 1st lady...would you take the risk with being the 1st or the 2nd just for the sake of you being in 'pain' for a few hrs to a couple days of your life??? seriously its like me saying yeh Ill just take an E cause my friend did and hes okay...so ill be fine too. I dont get why mums would wanna 'get rid ' of the 'pain'...and possibly put thier babies lifes at risk or even thiers, could develop (which is very common) a nasty post dural headache that lasts up to 8 days where you have to lie flat on your back, cant get up (mum had this) or when docs realise the headache is from epidural they do a blood patch where they take blood from you and insert it into the 'air pocket' thats been left behind from the epidural - a complication were spinal fluid leaks into the epidural cavity and also you can suffer from real bad back pain in later life..you did it naturally 1st time around whats to say you cant do it again.

Dianne - posted on 02/06/2010

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I had an epidural with my daughter (who turned out perfectly healthy w/no side affects from the epidural), and it was the best decision for me. I for one have a low tolerance for pain, so I knew from the day I found out that I was pregnant, that I would have an epidural, no question about it. I was induced, so I felt the real labor pains for a couple hours before I decided it was time for my epidural. I had a long labor (18 hours), but I was able to spend most of it resting b/c I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction. I felt the needle going in my back, and then numb. I didn't have a bad experience with it. I personally would recommend an epidural, but that's just me!

Mari - posted on 02/06/2010

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I had my daughter naturally with no pain medicine at all. I think it was the best experience. I wouldn't use an epidural after going natural. Just my opinion. Good luck!

Rita - posted on 02/06/2010

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Sounds like you had a 7 hour labor the first time, and the rule of thumb is to cut the labor time in half for the second....so with a very narrow window of opportunity for an epidural, you could miss it.

Good luck to you.

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2010

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I have to say you need to do what is best for you at the time...I have heard different stories both good and bad about all modes of birth. As long as you and baby are healthy nothing else matters. I had a epidural for my first as she was breech and I insisited on a vaginal delivery and that was a condition my OB placed on me...the birth was perfect and I spent alot of time in and out of the water all day which was lovely. Second was so fast..no pain relief and very quick..wonderful! Third was again no pain relief, he got stuck poor little thing. My 4th was my first posterior birth and he was laying transverse...each contraction he moved down but popped straight back up when my contraction stopped. Doctor said I had to have epidural and he came straight out and I must say getting rid of the pain was wonderful! My 5th was another epidural, I was emotionally exhausted before the delivery and when in advanced labour I knew I would not cope so I asked for one. All my epidurals were very different. My first I was completley numb but that was in case they had to do an emergency ceasar, second again quite numb....third was great and wore of really fast. The only thing I did not like was the catheter...Good luck...treasure your moment, birth is so beautiful...

Rachel - posted on 02/06/2010

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i used the pain meds, was sooooooooo glad i didnt need the epidural cause i was ready to stand up like asap, lol somethin to keep in mind, you would obviously have to lay longer =)

Lisa - posted on 02/06/2010

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Thomas Jeremiah was my first (and only) birth, and was a scheduled C due to a pelvic injury sustained 8 years prior. Of course, I had the epidural with him. I remember feeling pressure when he was separated from me but other than that, birth was problem-free. I really don't have another option to which compare it. In other words, I don't know anything about labor...

Delia - posted on 02/06/2010

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thanks for the video ideas. I have watched them. I am a fifty year old grandma, but also a nurse who is extremely concerned with all the interventions that are occuring with childbirth. There is no real need for all the pitocin, epidurals and C-sections abounding. My children were 9lbs, 12 oz and 10 lbs, 5 oz both vaginal. The first I did have an induction due to pregnancy induced hypertension. The second by a midwife.

Autumn - posted on 02/06/2010

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I've had 5 children, the first 4 in the Hospital, with my Obgyn, epidurals, pitocin and episiotomies. My last birth, was in a Alternative Birth Center, no pitocin, no epidural, no obgyn and No Episiotomy! This, as it turns out, was going to be my biggest baby, just under 9 lbs. Also, my best birth! I highly recommend watching 2 videos: 'The Business of Being Born' and 'Orgasmic Birth'. Both were revelatory for me and helped me to find a new path. If you want to read my birth story it's here: http://mamazakka.blogspot.com/2010/01/li...

Make the birth you want happen! You can do it!

Danelle - posted on 02/06/2010

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I had an epidural with both my girls. My first, we only found out half way through my labour that she was breech, so I had no choice and had to have an epidural incase of an emergency c-section, and then my 2nd decided that she would keep me in labour for 48 hours, so by the morning of day 2 I asked for my epidural and it relaxed me alot, and I even got some sleep in. There were no side effects for me. I was there for my best friend who had a water birth, and it really seemed to relax her (she had no pain meds) and baby came into the world quite fast. I think you have to take it as it comes. If you have a fast labour, then you probably won't even have a chance to ask for pain relief as it will probably be too late :-) Do what you feel comfortable with at the time, and don't let anyone judge you on your decisions as this is what you have to go through and no one else!

Helen - posted on 02/06/2010

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I've had four children, but the birthing pool was only available to me with two of them.

I would have liked to have used it with all four, I felt much more relaxed using the birthing pool and totally in control, I didn't have any pain relief with any of mine, but that was my personal choice and everyone is different.

Katie - posted on 02/05/2010

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I was induced and had an epidural with both my girls. I had the epidural before I had any contraction pain and my first baby came 1.5 hours after my water was broke and was given the epidural. Since my first baby came sooo fast I decided to get the epidural for my second baby before I was even induced...it was a good choice for me because after they gave me my epidural they broke my water and baby came 34 minutes later with one set of pushes! I am a huge fan of epidurals for myself and have such fond memories of both my births...I had no pain and remember everything so clearly...it was so peaceful and relaxing:) I can't wait to go through it all again with my third!

Katie - posted on 02/05/2010

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I had an epidural and loved it! I am scared to go all natural. I think natural is awesome and wish I wasn't such a weenie. All of my friends have had epidurals and they were fine and babies came out fine.

Lequita - posted on 02/05/2010

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i had a natural delivery with my son. my labor was not short. but he did come out in one push. i would say go with the natural if you did not have any problems. but if the pain was too much go ahead and get the epidural. don't think about what other people might say. it is your body and you have to give birth to your baby. by the way congrats!!!

Katie - posted on 02/05/2010

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I was induced and had an epidural with both my girls. I had the epidural before I had any contraction pain and my first baby came 1.5 hours after my water was broke and was given the epidural. Since my first baby came sooo fast I decided to get the epidural for my second baby before I was even induced...it was a good choice for me because after they gave me my epidural they broke my water and baby came 34 minutes later with one set of pushes! I am a huge fan of epidurals for myself and have such fond memories of both my births...I had no pain and remember everything so clearly...it was so peaceful and relaxing:) I can't wait to go through it all again with my third!

Sarah Beth - posted on 02/05/2010

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I had an epidural with my first son who is now 9. One year ago, I gave birth to my second son. I live over an hour away from the hospital, so I asked to be induced with an epidural. That way I would not have to worry about trying to make it to the hospital and my husband having to deliver the baby on the side of the interstate - lol. However, I went into labor a month early. I too woke up around 1:00am with light contractions. By 5:00am they were really strong, so we went on to the hospital. My second son was born at 7:32am. When I got to the hospital I was 9cm. He was born 44 minutes after my husband pulled up at the hospital door. I had no time for an epidural the second time. If I had known in advance how well that it would go, I would have opted for natural in the first place. I am not planning on anymore children, but if I were to have another baby I would go natural 100%. The recovery was much better. With my first child, after I got the epidural, I laid flat on my back all day long. When I did get the feeling back in my lower body, my back and head hurt so bad that I could hardly see straight.

Aimee - posted on 02/05/2010

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I got to 8cm dialated and wouldn't go any further, bubs was getting really stressed, so was I and the doctor actually recommended I have an epidural to calm me and her down. By then I just wanted her out so agreed. Best decision ever. Didn't feel it go in at all. All the pain went away and we both calmed down and got to 10cm and ready to push. The epidural wore off pretty quickly which was good because by the time I started to push I had all feeling back and could feel myself pushing. I had no after effects from the epidural at all.

Pene - posted on 02/05/2010

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My first was hospital w/epidural. Never did an epidural again and don't recommend them. All the pain was diverted into my right hip joint. Then by the time the baby came it was all used up. Ended up with episiotomy as well. Never Again!! Almost turned me off from having any more children. 2nd & 3rd natural in hospital. Small tear, no stitches. 3rd stayed in tub till midwife checked and water broke due to contraction during exam. Wanted waterbirth but midwife did not feel comfortable with them at the time. 4th & 5th at home underwater births at the ripe ages of 38 & 40. Yet even smaller tearing. I highly recommend waterbirths. #4 was delivered "sunnyside up".

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I would personally only use an epidural if I was going to be in labour for a long time. My labours are too short for me to get an epidural even if I wanted one. I highly recommend water birth. The water helps sooths aches, takes the weight off your joints, keeps you warm (very helpful for transition or extremely fast labours when you get the shivers or go into shock), decreases chances of tearing and works fantastic in unison with gas as pain relief. It also helps you to relax after the birth. I would had water births with all 4 but only had it with 2. My second child I wasn't allowed to because my waters were very low and the midwife needed to measure the fluids when he came out. With my third I didn't have time to get in. With my 4th I didn't want to miss out so I got in as soon as I went into labour. Now I am expecting my 5th and if all goes to plan it will be another water birth with gas for me.

Serina - posted on 02/05/2010

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Both of my babies were born vaginally with epidural...i wouldnt have had it any other way! good luck!

Kathryn - posted on 02/05/2010

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Hello Cynthia - I'm the mom of 7 children. My first two were c-sections, then I started having home births. Go as natural as you can! The best advice I can offer you is to learn to relax, even in the midst of contractions. There are no pain receptors in the uterus itself, so if the rest of you is relaxed, you will experience only pressure, not pain. You may find that your second labor is shorter than your first. My first natural delivery labor was 17 hours. The rest were 4 hours. Natural birth is the best for baby and you! Be blessed.

Susan - posted on 02/04/2010

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I can only speak from my own experience,I had 2 epidural deliveries, and one natural...I can honestly say that the natural delivery was a much easier and stressless delivery...no side effects after and no prolong labor...I found that the epidural tended to slow labor down and prolonged labor.....Susan

Susan - posted on 02/04/2010

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I can only speak from my own experience,I had 2 epidural deliveries, and one natural...I can honestly say that the natural delivery was a much easier and stressless delivery...no side effects after and no prolong labor...I found that the epidural tended to slow labor down and prolonged labor.....Susan

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Pleas remember Every drug has side effects. Sounds like you had a relatively fast and easy delivery. If I were you, I wouldn't change a thing, if things go normally for you! I also had 2 fast and pretty easy natural deliveries. I had severe endometriosis, so my birthing contractions were ALOT less severe than my cramping during my periods!! I was shocked! And my second child was even born face up. I read a magazine during most of the birth. After I went into transition with him, it began to get pretty painful, but it didn't last long enough to even worry about taking anything. The worst part for me was during the time of expelling the afterbirth after the second child. The Dr. told me that gets more painful after the first child. I know my experience isn't the "average bear", but I'd suggest that if your first birth wasn't too long and painful, don't mess with perfection, honey!

Carolyn - posted on 02/04/2010

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Both of my labors were the same. I had epidurals with each, which worked very well, and I had my babies easily with minimal pain. I am not ashamed that I had epidurals, even though I had a co-worker tell me that I "was not a real woman". At the end of the day, I had a beautiful, healthy baby, and that was all that mattered to me. I think that it is a personal decision, and you should do whatever you are comfortable with!

Agnes - posted on 02/04/2010

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I would stick with natural birth, it worked well for you the first time it most likely will work just as well the second time. In fact it will probalby be even faster. That is exactly what happend to me. I had my daughter after about 2 hours of true (a very painful part of labor, not counting the lite contractions) labor and my son in about 1 hour of true labor. Granted it was very very painful, but everything went very fast and if I had to do it again I would go for natural birth again knowing how fast it happens for me. I had no painkillers or anything either time, but it was fast and sometimes if you get something such as epidural it slows everything down.

Kim - posted on 02/04/2010

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I had an epideral with both of my children. It was wonderful! I was so comfortable and able to enjoy my labors and deliveries!

Jenna - posted on 02/04/2010

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Had my first son natural then my second as an epidural.I can't remeber wich was worse.The stitches the doctor put in from the natural or getting out of bed for my first steps after the epidural.

Melissa - posted on 02/04/2010

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Melissa T did your doctor say why not a water birth? Im very curious about it with my next child, so im wondering why it wasn't recommended

Mary - posted on 02/04/2010

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If you've had a fast birth, you know what's what. I haven't had an epidural. I have had a fast birth--6 centimeters to holding her in 30 minutes--with my second. What I learned from that is that when I thought I couldn't go on any longer, that meant I was in transition and birth would happen soon. My third wasn't nearly so fast and did have the same kind of pattern; once I felt like I couldn't go on, I was in transition and was quickly fully dialated. I don't know about everyone else. I felt like Super Woman/Wonder Woman after giving birth. I wouldn't give up that high, the joy of being fully alert and feeling every little thing for the world.

Myriah - posted on 02/04/2010

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If you went quickly the first time, it's likely you'll have a short labor again. Maybe even shorter. Epidurals typically prolong labor, which is why they are often given with pitocin. You already know what the full force of labor is like, and the first time is always the hardest, so I encourage you to read up on coping techneques and anticipate a natural birth. Best of luck to you.

Jessica - posted on 02/04/2010

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i say go with the epidural...i had it with both children of mine and it worked great...two pushes and they were out...infact my boyfriend taped me basically smiling the whole time!! Dont worry if u are even about to give birth to ur baby and want the epidural..i was 9 1/2 cent. dilated and they still gave it to me...by the end of them giving me it i was 10 cm and had my baby girl with in seconds...hopes this helps !! GOOD LUCK

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I had an epidural with my son (first pregnancy) and a natural waterbirth with my daughter. With my son I tried the waterbirth but the pain and situation just made the choice for an epidural the right one. I was so happy I did. I was able to really enjoy the birth and have more presence of mind during the whole thing. With my daughter, my contractions were further apart, things were going faster and I had a bit of an idea what to expect. Doing the waterbirth was incredible and I felt great about it. Both had pros and cons and I think that you just need to see what the situation is like when you get into labor. For me, I was able to enjoy the time imediately after my son was born more with the epidural than with my daughter but I think it can go both ways...My biggest suggestion is having as many options available and seeing what feels best at the moment. : ) Good luck!

Tricia - posted on 02/04/2010

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I had three different experiences. My first child was born with a lot of drugs...demerol was the drug of choice at the time in hospitals. He is 25. That was a nightmare. The drugs didn't really diminish the pain at all, but they did knock me out between contractions and then I couldn't prepare for the next contraction. My next son (23), I had an epidural. It was heaven. I slept through transition. However, he didn't pink up quickly, and I didn't get to hold him for a while. My third, (20) I had all naturally. No drugs, no epidural...and although it was hard, I definitely preferred her experience to her brothers'. I got to hold her right away, nurse her right away, help deliver her. It was a great experience. Things have probably gotten better though, in 20 years! I sure hope so! Good luck to you!

Amy - posted on 02/04/2010

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Well I only have one child I had an epidural because I was induced. I will probably have an epidural again when I have my second child. For more than one reason A I slept almost the entire labor which was nice and B because it was great I still felt pain during delivery but I didn't feel the stress of contractions I could focus on what I had to do

Karla - posted on 02/04/2010

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If you had natural childbirth and know what to expect and your labor went that quickly the first time, why would consider doing it any other way? Plan on doing natural this time too and probably an even faster labor the second time around! How great for you!! You can also use water--tubs, showers--for comfort measures while doing natural childbirth. Also, look into getting a doula--they know so much about comfort measures and helpful laboring tips. Women report much more satisfactory births with doulas. I am so thankful I had mine with me and my husband both times.



I so wish I had been able to have my babies naturally. I labored for 24 hours natually with my son before getting an epidural to avoid a c-section. I assumed my second labor would be nearly as difficult, so I got an epidural 4 hours in--and my daughter was born 3 hours later! I wish I had waited and I could have experienced a completely natural childbirth! Good luck!!

Karina - posted on 02/04/2010

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I strongly recomend epidural. If I were pregnant I will use it again, I love it!!!!!

Michelle - posted on 02/04/2010

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I've only had one baby but I was able to labor in water. The hospital had a policy that when she was crowning, I had to get out for "sanitary reasons". What a difference between the two!! I was at the "ring of fire" as my midwife called it when I had to get out of the tub so it didn't matter. I tore a little bit in the water which was unusual but my baby was 9 lbs 1 oz and my labor was fast, 8 hrs start to finish. I had a back labor even though I had done all my exercise to prevent that from happening, the little stinker spun around during labor :) My water broke as soon as I got the hospital but I was able to walk around to speed the process along. It was such a great experience for me that I want to repeat it for my next one. I liked the freedom of being able to move and the warm water really helped relax the pressure off my back. Good Luck in your decision!

User - posted on 02/04/2010

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Water births are great. If you went through your first birth natural I suggest trying a natural water birth. I had two c-sections. I wanted to have a water birth but where I live I didn't have the option too. Epidurals are great if you don't want to experience pain, but have to be given to you in a hospital. If your hospital offers water births you'll have the option to get one. You'll know once you're in labor. =)

Anita - posted on 02/04/2010

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I've only had one birth and it was a water birth at home with our midwife. I am the type of person who loves to soak in a hot bath. I believe that is why the water birth was so effective for me. I also liked the idea of being able to walk around wherever/whenever I wanted/felt I needed too. If you like to soak in a hot bath a water birth may be a good option for you. The epidural scares me, but you should do whatever feels right for you.

Kathy - posted on 02/04/2010

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I had natural childbirth with all three of my children who are all mostly grown now but with my last child I labored in water and it was my best labor hands down. The water took all the pressure and weight off. I probably would have delivered in the water if the babies head hadn't gotten caught on my cirvex and they had to manually move it out of the way. She was my last and biggest delivery, 9lb 6.3 oz two weeks early. I never had an epidal although my oldest daughter has with both of her childen as she has to have c-sections.

Bethany - posted on 02/04/2010

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Vicki,
You are incorrect in saying doulas are independent midwives. We are not. We are trained to help women cope with labor, and cope with transitions in labor, and encourage them to trust their bodies, and their instincts. We help dad understand what mom is going through, and work with him on what may help mom as she labors.
We don't check cervixes, or deliver babies. That is the midwife's job. Big difference.

Kendra - posted on 02/04/2010

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I had both of my children with an epidural. I have a pinched nerve in my back so I opted for this route. I see several replies that include horror stories about epidurals and legs going numb, being in la la land, sleeping through labor...I had none of that. My experience was wonderful. I could feel everything that was happening, without excrutiating pain. The day my daughter was born, I felt like I could have had 5 babies. I really felt great, and awake. I did have to wait awhile to get my legs under me again-but they weren't completely numb. I know people are scared about the effects on the babies. Both of mine were awake and alert for quite awhile after birth. They are in 3rd and 4th grade now-in the gifted program, with high IQs. Besides that-they were formula fed. (My milk never came in correctly, and they were losing too much weight-scary!) I think if you communicate with your doctor and all those involved that you still want to feel what's going on, they don't have to use such a high dose. That's what we did. Hope this helps dispell some of the scariness. In the end, however, it is a personal choice...just don't choose out of fear.

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