3rd Trimester

Why are some against getting an epi?

Prior to my birthing class, I was kind of against getting an epidural.  But now I don't know why I'm against it.  I've read some articles that epi's can lead to c-section, but I don't know if any of the articles cited medical studies etc. 

If you are against having an epi, why?  If you plan on having an epi, why?

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Re: Why are some against getting an epi?

  • I wouldn't say I'm against them. I just want to be able to move around while in labor, and be on the birthing ball or in the tub/shower. I don't want to be stuck in a bed.
  • My husband is leaning against (sweet thing thinks he gets a real vote, ha...j/k)  Anyway, the complications no matter how few and far between really freak him out.

    I'm actually a fan of drugs when needed, I am not going in with any set in stone labor plan.  I have many alternatives lined up in my mind.  That way I can roll with it and not get upset.

  • Getting an epi is not top on my list.  I've read that epis can cause problems with headaches down the road (and I have enough problems with those). I also want to be able to move around.

  • image mrs.sheller:
    I wouldn't say I'm against them. I just want to be able to move around while in labor, and be on the birthing ball or in the tub/shower. I don't want to be stuck in a bed.

    I ditto this.  Also, I have a LOT of medical allergies, so the thought of having anything intravenously placed in my body kind of freaks me out.   I was able to birth my son pain-med free and hope to do the same with this baby.

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  • i had heard people say if you get too relaxed that it will slow down your labor but in my case it was the opposite it was slow going untill i got an epi and relaxed a bit it was the best decision i made all day it made the entire experiance very plesant i was laughing and joking with the Dr in between contractions and played uno with my family untill they said it was time to push i felt hardly any pain and was able to focas on what my needs were and have a level head when he finally arrived

    the only thing i am worried about is weather they always work i have friends who say that theirs only worked for a short amout of time or that it only workedon one side ect my sister said it barly took the edge off of it for her i just hope mine works as well this time as it did with my son

  • My friend had one with her first child, but not with her other two because she spent a year in physical therapy for her back after the birth of the first one. Supposedly because of a side effect of the epi.
  • Weighing the Pros and Cons of the Epidural
    I'm not totally against it.  But the excessive amount of risks scared me.  The main things that stick out in my mind are that it can slow down your labor, limit mobility, and make it harder for you to feel when your body is telling you to push which may result in more chance of medical interventions which you might not need if you didn't have the epi.

  • My reasons are the same as pp--I don't want to be stuck in a bed!  I want to be able to be up and about--in the tub, on the birthing ball, walking around, or whatever I need to be doing to help things progress. 
  • I didn't even know about all the medical risks.  I thought epis were pretty much completely safe, but I am planning on all natural just because of the faster recovery time.  DH refuses to have any say in it because he doesn't want to be "that guy" and the doctor says he will keep the epi on standby, so it is going to be pure personal willpower.  I have my fingers crossed that I won't end up yelling for the shot 15 minutes into it, but who knows?
  • I didn't want to get one because I did not like the idea of a tube being stuck in my spine for hours on end. I always said that the last thing I wanted a doctor playing with was my spine or my brain.

    Once I was actually in labor though I realized that the tube in my spine was preferable to what I was feeling. I am glad that I got it too because when she was born I could concentrate on her fully without being in pain or caring that I was getting stiches.

    BTW

  • I didn't want to get one because I did not like the idea of a tube being stuck in my spine for hours on end. I always said that the last thing I wanted a doctor playing with was my spine or my brain.

    Once I was actually in labor though I realized that the tube in my spine was preferable to what I was feeling. I am glad that I got it too because when she was born I could concentrate on her fully without being in pain or caring that I was getting stiches.

    BTW

    I did
  • I didn't want to get one because I did not like the idea of a tube being stuck in my spine for hours on end. I always said that the last thing I wanted a doctor playing with was my spine or my brain.

    Once I was actually in labor though I realized that the tube in my spine was preferable to what I was feeling. I am glad that I got it too because when she was born I could concentrate on her fully without being in pain or caring that I was getting stiches.

    BTW

    I did have
  • I didn't want to get one because I did not like the idea of a tube being stuck in my spine for hours on end. I always said that the last thing I wanted a doctor playing with was my spine or my brain.

    Once I was actually in labor though I realized that the tube in my spine was preferable to what I was feeling. I am glad that I got it too because when she was born I could concentrate on her fully without being in pain or caring that I was getting stiches.

    BTW

    I did have some complications with my epi and ended up taking longer in the hospital  to recover but even with that in mind I plan to get an epi again.
  • I'm all for the epi. I had it with my 2 prior births, and will for this one too. It's nice to be able to talk and rest, watch TV, etc without feeling any pain. I was watching these huge contractions on the monitor and did not feel a thing. I had no problem knowing when to push (I actually told my Dr 'It's time'.) and it did not slow down my labor at all (I was induced with Amelia, and labor to birth was only 6 hours total).

    No adverse effects at all. No headaches, was able to BF right away, etc. Sure, there are risks to any kind of medical procedure, but the risks did not scare me at all. The prospect of 15+ hours of pain, however, did. ;)

  • I don't want to get one because I don't like the idea of medicating myself unneccesarily. Also, the amount of time they take to wear off varies, and I don't want to be numb and stuck in the bed for hours.  I've just always wanted to have the most natural birth possible, and I've heard so many great stories about natural childbirth.  However, I don't feel that epidurals are risky. It's just a matter of personal preference.
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  • I've had spinal surgery in my lower back, and getting an epi is NOT recommended by my surgeon for several reasons. Also, there's a chance I could pop another disc in my back and not feel it until the epi wore off = not good.

    I also would really like to feel the whole birthing process. I know its going to hurt, but its something I want to experience. I've had some really awful pain in my life and I'd like to think this is something I could handle. (that's what our bodies were made for!)

     

     

  • image mrs.sheller:
    I wouldn't say I'm against them. I just want to be able to move around while in labor, and be on the birthing ball or in the tub/shower. I don't want to be stuck in a bed.

    This and I've heard some scary stories about reactions to them. I don't react well to drugs.

  • I'm all for it, I went natural with dd and it's not something i care to go through again. Bring on the drugs!:)
  • image mrs.sheller:
    I wouldn't say I'm against them. I just want to be able to move around while in labor, and be on the birthing ball or in the tub/shower. I don't want to be stuck in a bed.

    Ditto. My mom had one with me 23 years ago, and every once in a while when she bends, she GASPS and is in quite a bit of pain from where they gave her the epidural. Plus, there's not that much research done on the effects of epi's on the baby. If i need in, then ya, I'll get one, but I really would like to try to avoid it if i can.

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  • I won't have one because I want to give birth to a very alert baby that is ready to breastfeed and really take in the world before she gets wiped out. I also know that not having an epidural means I'll be able to feel when to stop pushing and can avoid tearing. Not only that, but I'll be able to walk around as much as I want and if I have to pee, I can get up and go pee without needing a catheter. There are a lot of reasons!
  • Epidurals slow labor, which results in increased use of Pitocin, and "usually leads to higher episiotomy rates, forceps or vacuum-extraction rates, and cesarean rates, especially in first time mothers.  Epidurals require electronic fetal monitoring and a precautionary IV.  You are also more likely to need bladder catheterization.  Body temperature rises over time, so you are more likely to develop a fever....electronic fetal monitoring increases the odds of cesarean section." (emphasis mine, quote from Henci Goer, from her book The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth)

    Henci Goer goes into it in a lot more depth, and she also cites the applicable medical studies.  The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth is an EXCELLENT resource on the pluses and minuses of various interventions, and she looks at the medical research on each thing she covers. 

     An epidural wasn't an option for me during labor and birth since I was at home, but had I had that option I would've refused for two reasons.  1 being the risks associated, and 2 being that I didn't want to be numb and missing out on what giving birth felt like!

  • Not even going to lie.

    I <3 the epidural. Yup.

  • I don't see anything wrong with them, it's just not for me.  And I have two reasons: 1st and most important reason is that I am absolutely terrified of it.  Not because of any horror stories I have heard or anything, no real tangible reason.  Just the thought of getting one scares me way more than labor pain does.  Given that, I don't even need the second reason, I will not get one. Period.  But for the sake of discussion, the second reason I have is: I was told by my nurses and lactation consultants when I was PG with DS that the sooner he can BF the better.  And the hospital I gave birth in had a policy on epi's.  If you got one, the baby went to the nursery until the effects of the epi wore off and you could wiggle your toes.  A friend of mine who gave birth in the same hospital had to wait almost 3 hours to see her son.  I wouldn't want to deal with that.
  • Some people want to go au natural.  Some people are scared it will cause a C-section.  Some people are scared they will have the bad headache afterward.  Some people think they are more harmful to the baby.  What I learned in my birthing class at the biggest hospital in my city which is the 3rd largest city in the country and a university hospital that services high risk as well and has high risk/problem moms and babies (just to give you the credibility of it) is:

    1) Epis don't do as much harm to the baby as people think.  The narcotics actually do more in terms of making mom and baby sleepy.

    2) you can still "feel" when you have an epi and most people still know when to push and push through the epi.

    3) having a predesposition to migraines does not mean that you will get the post epi headaches and if you do get one they can do a number of things to alleviate it before you go home including putting blood in your spine to fill the area that is separated that is causing the headaches.

    That is strictly what I learned, not my opinion.  That said, I am a total wuss who can't handle a paper cut, so I'm opting for it stat.  Our teacher also said a lot of people "poo-poo" people who get epis, but there are no awards given out for going au natural, so do what you are most comfortable with.

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  • I was going to try un-medicated for as long as possible but my anesthesiologist (who I talked to ahead of time) recommended the epidural due to my allergy to inhaled anesthesia, in the chance I might need an emergency C-section.  I was glad to have the epidural even though at one point it wasn't turned on right so I started feeling everything again.  Once they got it fixed, everything was fine and I could still feel to push.  Of course, I ended up with a C-section anyway so that was that.  At least I was ready!  This time, I'll be getting a spinal or epidural as my C-section will be scheduled.

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  • image mrs.sheller:
    I wouldn't say I'm against them. I just want to be able to move around while in labor, and be on the birthing ball or in the tub/shower. I don't want to be stuck in a bed.

    Ditto. I hate the idea of being confined to bed during labor and want to be able to walk or do whatever feels right in the moment for me. Of course, that could very well be getting numbed up and laying in bed!

  • I'm not against it at all and very likely will end up getting one. BUT..I'm going to see how long I can make it without one. Strictly because I'm curious. I want to see if I can do it. If I can't take it, fine. Bring on the epi. If I can, cool. I've read a lot about them and I'm not super excited about something getting shot into my back and I'm really not excited about the catheter, but if the pain is too much for me, I'm not going to be miserable.
  • I want to move around, I want to feel my baby come out (not just pressure), I don't want to risk the chance of slowing down labor, I don't want to risk the chance of loosing feeling in my legs completely. These are a few of the reasons.

    Another is because I got a bit freaked out by the video showing them putting in the epi and the thought of having a needle going in my back as I'm contracting :)

    Many of my friends have had them and had no problems but it's a personal choice. 

    Married 6-30-07, BFP 9-1-07, M/C & D&C 10-5-07, BFP #2 6-20-08, BFP #3 3-28-2010 Mommy to Ethan born 2-22-09 7lbs 13.5oz & 21" long SAL Buddy to March04b2b image Family Blog|Food Blog
  • I'm being realistic when it comes to pain med options being this is my first labor and all. I'm taking lamaze classes b/c I want to learn ways to cope with the contractions w/o meds, but I will not rule out an epi if my labor goes for too long and am exhausted, etc. I've read that if an epi is given too early that it could stall out labor and require pitocin or sometimes lead to a c-section.
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  • Because no drug has been proven to be 100% safe for baby. period.
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