Did you use epidural during labor?

@kaka135 (13444)
Malaysia
January 12, 2009 10:59am CST
My gynae has advised me to think about this, whether I am going to apply epidural during my labor. I have heard about some side effects of applying epidural, and I also heard that it's 99.9% safe. I almost decided not to apply epidural, unless I really cannot tolerate with the pain during my labor. It's my first baby, so I am not sure how painful it will be. Did you use epidural during labor? Can you tolerate with the pain?
4 people like this
32 responses
• United States
12 Jan 09
I didn't use one for either of my births because I heard it was going to make it harder to push when it came time. I thought, "I'm going to want to be able to focus on everything so I can get this baby out, so I don't want anything that will stop me from doing that." I won't lie - it hurt, but as soon as my babies were born, I forgot all about the pain.
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
13 Jan 09
Hi there, thanks for your response. Yeah, I heard that you won't be able to know whether you really push, as you have no feeling already, but the midwives will look at the equipment to tell you when to push. But, I am just thinking this might not be good if I can't really push, then it'll affect my baby. I am thinking maybe I can tolerate with the pain, for my baby.
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
Congrats on the pregnancy! I have had three children. For my first child I did use it and found that it helped a LOT for the pain. I had no issues with pushing at all. For my second child, I had the epidural again, however, it did not work and I felt all the pain and the delivery was very hard. I felt it was a total waste, yet, was risky. So for my third child I had decided that I would not do it. The labor was only 50 minutes long so even if I did want it, it would not have worked because it was too soon. But I was REALLY glad that I didn't. The pain was not that bad and the recovery time was REALLY fast. My youngest is 7 and I still have back pains and I can feel where the hole from the epidural was from my 9 year old's birth. The pain is not that bad and once you look at your little one the pain is totally forgotten.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14338)
• United States
12 Jan 09
Wow, 50 minutes? If only it could be that way for every pregnant woman!
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@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
14 Jan 09
HAHA I know. My first was 17 hours, 2nd was 4 and a half. I said I couldn't have anymore because it would just fall out of me. LOL
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
Hi there, thanks for your response. ^_^ After you applied the epidural, it still takes some time for it to take affect, right? I heard from my doctor, if the labor process is very fast, then there's no point for me to take epidural too. You still feel the pain after so many years? 17 hours for your first kid? That's really long. I hope I can tolerate the pain if it lasts for so long. I think mothers are really great!! sacmom: Yeah, I think it'll be really good for a labor process to take 50 minutes only. Then the mother will suffer much less.
@jessi0887 (2794)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I ended up using an epidural. I wish i didn't. Its not that its bad, but i wanted to do things natural. My first mistake that lead to the epidural was getting induced. Everyone says induced labors or more painful then ones they happen on their own. Second mistake i made was not remembering everything i learned from childbirth classes. Third mistake i didn't have a focus point. And finally i wasn't able to get up and walk around to help my labor procede faster. So i hope this helps if you want to avoid the epidural. I hope that with my next one i can go natural.
1 person likes this
@j47lee (743)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
thanx for all the help and advice you guys give.... im planning to have a baby in the next 2 yrs... lol... so any advice from women who used epidural durin.the birth?? and i heard you get back aches later in life.. if you use them.. is it true????..
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 09
Induced labors are definitly more painful. My first 2 labors happened naturally on their own, my 3rd labor was induced, and it was horrible. My 4th labor felt the same as the induced one, but it was not induced. I think the fact that I'd previously had an induction made the last labor worse. Hopefully there won't be another, lol.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
Hi jessi, thanks for your advice. I am now reading books about labor process, and also I heard that the midwives will be there to guide me what to do. j47lee: I have heard that it's really safe nowadays to use epidural, but I am not sure how safe it is. I've read some mylotters here do suffer from the side effects of applying epidural too.
@katsmeow1213 (28817)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I had an epidural for my first, and I didn't like it. I think the meds were too strong, because it made me completely numb, to the point that when it came time to deliver the baby, I couldn't feel my muscles or do anything. The doctors were getting ready to use forceps to pull the baby out. After the meds had been turned off for an hour I finally got enough control over my muscles to deliver the baby, not a moment too soon. That turned me off from ever getting an epidural again, so I had my twins naturally with no meds at all. When my fourth child was born, it was an induced labor, and it was extremely painful. I got some meds, but they didn't help at all. I asked the nurse for more meds and she suggested an epidural. I told her what happened the first time and she talked me into it anyways. This time wasn't as bad. It was a lower dose of medicine, so it took care of the pain, but when it came time to deliver I still had enough control over my muscles to push the baby out. Labor for my fifth child went so fast I didn't even have a chance to get any meds. I would have asked for an epidural, but by the time I got to the hospital and gowned up, the baby was coming. I almost delivered him in the toilet. My doctor wasn't even there yet when my water broke, she was still gowning up when the baby was born.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
Hi friend, thanks for sharing your experience. You mean even though we use the epidural, it only lasts for about an hour? I have heard that applying epidural will make you totally numb, so you don't even know how to push your baby out. I hope the painkiller can help me to reduce the pain, and I am still able to push out my baby smoothly.
• United States
15 Jan 09
No, the epidural lasts as long as needed, it's a constant line of medicine. They put a needle in your back and continue to give you medicine as long as you need it. If they do it right and give you a low enough dose, it will take enough of the edge off so you can relax, but then have feeling when it's time to push. But sometimes it can go wrong, there's a small chance of risks involved. I only have experience with epidural and staydal, and I personally would't recommend either. Staydal makes you very sleepy, and stays in your system a long time. I had staydal with my 4th child, and the next day I kept falling asleep, even while holding the baby, and almost dropped him. It was scary.
@cynthiann (18635)
• Jamaica
12 Jan 09
Oh dear, only ou and your doctor can make this decision. I had four children the natural way and theree of the labours I wished that I had had pain relief. This is your forst baby sdo it is difficult to know hat to expect. Personally? I would go with the epidural - it wasn't widely available during my chilodvbirth years. Good luck and I hope and pray that all will be well for you both. God Bless you.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
Hi friend, thanks for your response. Yeah, I know only myself can make the decision, the doctor also leaves this decision on me, and she will not suggest any. I just want to know how others take it with or without epidural. Thanks for your blessing too.
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I used an epidural with all three of mine and am glad I did. With my third the guy was rushed and apparently didn't fasten things well enough and the needle kind of moved back and the effects went away quickly. I hated the pain. I was at a seven and found the pain unbearable. I can't imagine how it would have been when it comes down to pushing out the baby. I have to say with all three of my kids I was happy that the epidural finally came in. I'm not good with pain and it already hurt like nothing had hurt before. The epidural let me rest enough. Just make sure you also get a cathedar which they forgot with my first and then she kept crowning and couldn't go further until the nurse noticed that she hadn't taken out a cathedar and I had the epidural running for eight hours, lol. No wonder there was no space for the little girl to squeeze through. As to pushing, there is no problem. It's more like having to bear down and squeeze out a major constipation. My oldest took about fifteen minutes, which included the repeated crownings, emptying the bladder and then delivery. The doctor was already there when they noticed that I had a full bladder, lol. With her they also had shut off the epidural for the delivery, so I could actually mildy feel the contractions. With the other two there was hardly any pushing involved and the nurse told me when to because there was no time to wait out the epidural effect to go down. I will always recommend an epidural. The notion that it makes you a better mother when you go through the pain is an absolute myth. In fact you are less worn out and more ready to take care of your baby right away. Furthermore, if there are complications and you need an emergency c-section, they don't have to put you under but just up the epi a bit. You will be awake to see (well more hear) your baby born.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
Hi there, thanks for sharing your experience and also the advice.
@GAUCI123 (1042)
• Malta
12 Jan 09
I have a baby girl and I gave birth with the forceps, I didn't have any epidural for labour, I only had the mask and a injection to realease pain. Well you will feel pain, however depends on you how can you control it, it is the most wonderful expeirence you can have and belive me altough it is painful. If you have the epidural choice and you will give birth normal it would be good, giving birth without any pain, I know people who done epidural but they had a ceserean. Good luck and Congratulations for you mother to be :)
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
Hi there, thanks for your response. I am thinking of that too, it should be a great experience for a mother to experience the labor process, right? I just hope that I can really tolerate with the pain.
@CRSunrise (2964)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I got an epidural when I was pregnant with my daughter. It was great because I slept through my entire labor. They had to wake me up when it was time to push. Now, when I was pregnant with my son, I did everything natural because I thought we didn't have insurance. Of course, I find out we did have insurance, and I could have strangled someone. With our next child, I'm getting juiced up to gills. I applaud those who can do it, but I surely can't do it again.
@kaka135 (13444)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
Hi there, thanks for your response. You mean you just slept after you applied the epidural? Did the epidural medicine last for a few hours?
@dawnald (84126)
• Shingle Springs, California
12 Jan 09
I had an epidural with both my pregnancies. They helped with the pain a LOT. But I did have a complication with the second one. The needle went in too far and so I was leaking spinal fluid. That led to a spinal headache. And let me tell you, the pain from a spinal headache is almost as awful as labor pains. They had to do a blood patch to stop the leaking and after that it was OK. But anyway, that is the one side effect from an epidural that I have personal experience with!
1 person likes this
@mikeysmom (2094)
• United States
13 Jan 09
i did and i am glad i did. the pain was so intense and unbearable before they gave it to me and the contractions were coming every five minutes from the minute my water broke and 6 hours later i had barely progressed at all so i was thrilled when they gave it to me.
@sacmom (14338)
• United States
12 Jan 09
No, I didn't have an epidural with either of my pregnancies. I did however have an episiotomy with my first born as the doctor thought it would help with delivery. With the birth of my second child the only problem I had was that my water would not break on it's own, so the doctor broke it for me (though he made me wait over 2 hours to see if it would break on it's own). Once he broke it, my baby was born 4 minutes later. All in all both labors were 5-6 hours long. Every woman is different. Some can tolerate pain better than others. If you are worried about giving birth you may want to leave the option of an epidural open, just in case. Though hopefully you won't need it. Good luck!
@sahmof2 (274)
• United States
12 Jan 09
For my first child I had an epidural mostly because I really didn't know the side affects and I would not have gotten it if I did. Right after birth I got a headache and was feeling dizzy the nurse at the hospital said that it was a spinal headache related to the epidural and that I needed caffeine and gave me a coca cola to drink. About six weeks later I got really sick I didn't have an appetite and felt really weak, I didn't think anything about it until the next morning I couldn't move my body. I was hospitalized for ten days. The doctors at the hospital said it was a rare condition known as guillain barre syndrome, it's in the family with multiple sclerosis and that it can be caused by an epidural or spinal tap. Basically I was paralized the doctors said people usually don't recover from this condition, Praise be to God I did. With my second child I didn't have an epidural I was not going back down that road. Yes the labor was extremely painful but after you deliver the baby its like you were never in pain. Myself personally felt better without the epidural and after I delivered my second child I was like why did I even have an epidural with my first but you live and you learn.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 09
With my first child I kept it as an option but wanted to avoid it. I ended up getting one because I was throwing up with each contraction(I always had bad menstrual cramps that would make me gag so I wasn't surprised) and they were going to start me on pitocin. So I got my epi and then they started the pitocin and my baby's heart rate dropped really low and he was in fetal distress so I ended up with an emergency c-section. Well I am pregnant again and this time around after doing lots of reading I have decided to try to go as natural as possible. I have decided to go with Hypnobabies to help with the pain management. I have heard so much good about Hypnobabies! I can't wait to try it out!
@kezabelle (2985)
15 Jan 09
No I wanted to avoid an epidural at all costs I was lucky both times I had not only the amazing support of my partner but also midwives who understood my feelings on epidurals and did everything they could to help me avoid it! My first daughter was born without any pain relief second daughter was born after a shot of pethidine (given only 30 minutes before she was born this made her very sleepy and unable to feed i will not use it next time) and i used gas an air aswell amazing stuff!! However I do think im lucky in that once I start pushing I have no pains what so ever just the need to push and i had quick labours maybe if id laboured 20+ hours id have been begging for that epidural lol!
@redsponge (557)
• Malaysia
15 Jan 09
kaka135, you are lucky to have so many moms to share their experiences with you. Months ago, I started a discussion similar to this one but did not get as much response. Anyway, now I am one of the experienced mom, so I would love to share my experience with you too. I just gave birth to my first baby about 4 months ago naturally without epidural. I actually afraid of the needle. But if it is for this reason, I would definitely tell you that go ahead get the epidural, the injection pain might only last you for few seconds up to a minute where as the childbirth pain would be much longer! My labor process last for 12 hours. However, the pain is tolerable except towards the last one hour before the baby popped out. For the last one hour, I requested for the "laughing gas". It does not really relieve the pain but it helps to calm you down and you get to rest well in between the constraction. So that you have energy to do the pushing later. One thing for sure, I am really proud of myself being able to deliver my baby without epidural. Well, I do not mean that you should suffer from the childbirth pain to be a proud mother, well, this is getting complicated. But, you just need to decide it yourself! All the best to you, mom-to-be!
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I would ask about side effects to the baby as well. Not sure but i think there was one about nursing difficulties. When my children were born they didnt have epidurals. I do remember with one i got a shot of something that didnt help too much. One thing that always helped me was to remember "women have been having babies from the begining of time. How many of them only have one child. So it can not be that bad if they keep having more." Having that new person in your life is worth it too. Its a pretty awesome thing. Congratulations!!!
• United States
13 Jan 09
The best thing to do is to discuss the diffrent options with your doctor as to the types of pain relievers that they offer as well as ways of delivering (i.e. while walking, hot tubs, pools,...) and decide for yourself which sounds the best. Each pregnancy is diffrent not only person to person also that the individual themselves has so it is best to decide for yourself which method of birthing you choose to have and to have the pain remedies available should you decide to use them. Now, for example you may decide that you want to have an epideral available for your use (if/when needed) and then when you are in the hospital in labor you don't neccesarily hurt that bad at first and you may find that you don't need anything at all ( I hope this is the case for you) on the other hand if and when the pain begins to get unbearable you will have the help available should you decide to use it. (By the way, just to let you know, usually when you have gotten to wear the pain is absolutely unbearable it is when you are just about finished (the final push) so you may not need it at all. I truly and sincerely wish you the very best! "Congradulations, Mom!"
@kellys3ps (3731)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I have had 6 kiddos, and I have never used an epidural during labor - the idea of a needle in my back really freaks me out!
• Philippines
13 Jan 09
NOOO... lol.. i never have to... i never experienced labor pain... well, my condition is cephalocaudal disproportion... that's why I had to undergo CS and I received Subarachnoid block as my anesthesia. that was my experience with my 1st child, but my 2nd baby is an emergency CS at my 8th month of pregnancy because of abruptio placenta!!! but despite of it all... i want to be optimistic... lol
@hey_baby (426)
• Philippines
13 Jan 09
yes i did. at first i thought i can get away without it, but when the pain starts setting in, i called back the nurse(who was asking me earlier if i want it) and said "ok, gimme some of that NOW!" :)