3rd Trimester

Bring on the drugs or a natural birth?

Up until yesterday I thought I was for sure going to get an epidural. We went to a 'prepared child birth' class last night and now I'm not so sure! It seems like the benefits of natural childbirth far outweigh the cons of an epidural. I didn't know an epidural actually slowed things down. I would rather take the pain and get the baby out faster than be in labor longer. Plus, the thought of not being able to even have ice chips with an epidural!? Really? Hmm.

Are you having an epidural or going natural? I think I'm just going to play it by ear and see how things go.

kaylinsig1tubbab1 Lilypie First Birthday tickers image

Compromise and Balance are key. JH.

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Re: Bring on the drugs or a natural birth?

  • I think I am going to try to go natural. Granted I may change my mind in the midst of things, but it just seems there is so much you can do when you dont have pain meds. Like walk around, stand up, eat......and many other things.
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  • After talking to my OB, she told me to just keep an open mind.  I honestly think I'll go for the epidural mainly because I'm kind of a whimp with pain and the few contractions that I've had scared the crap out of me! LOL  I know plenty of women did this without any form of medication before us, but I feel that someone thought of the idea for a reason.  I want to be comfortable and my doctor reassured me that she would support either decision I would make. 

    I know this is in no way a comparison on the pain level, but would you get a root canal or your tooth pulled without any drugs? 

    Best wishes to you and your new family!

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  • Natural all the way. I will just take the pain. Im planing on trying different types of laboring positions and don't want to be confined to the bed. With a epidural you can't get up and walk around.
  • I went into my first labor hoping I might be able to do it naturally.  Unfortunately, I was induced (pre-e) with pitocin and it makes contractions SO MUCH WORSE!  I was begging for an epidural within 30 min. I never really felt what contractions felt like without the pitocin and epi.

    That being said, with an epidural and magnesium sulfate (both of which can slow down labor) - I still only had a 6 hour labor from 2cm - 10cm.  

    This time around, assuming I get to go into labor naturally, I am going to see how it goes without an epidural.  But, I will definitely consider it to be able to try to sleep a little!  :) 

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  • There are other options besides epidural to manage the pain :) I'm planning no epidural but possibly pain meds (slight) to help take the edge off. I think no matter what your "plan" is its important to keep an open mind.
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  • I am a whimp--I know this I will be having drugs---heck there are some days I wish they could drug me for the back ache!

    I know there are "risks" but its one of those small percentage chances compared to a pretty certain guarentee of pain.

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  • With DD I planned on getting an epidural, especially after going to birthing class and watching all those videos of natural child birth.  They scared DH and I to death.  However, I ended up giving birth to DD within 2 hours of arriving at the hospital - neither the anesthesiologist nor my OB made it to the birth in time.  So, I ended up with a completely natural birth.  I would highly recommend hiring a doula if you want to go natural.  I hired a doula even though I wanted an epidural because I wanted to stay at home as long as possible - because I didn't want the labor prolonged at the hospital.  With the help of the doula I was able to labor at home for 12 hours basically pain free.  It was not until I was at the hospital and forced to lay down that the pain really started, but by then I was already really far along. 
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  • I will be trying to go natural. I want to be able to move around as much as possible. That said, I have never been in labor before, so we are going to go with the flow. If I feel like I need drugs, then I will do so.
    After 2 years of TTC, our daughter was born on Oct 31, 2011!
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  • My very first word when I hit that hospital will be, EPIDURAL!!!!
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  • I am definitely planning a natural birth but in the end, none of us know how our birth story will plan out.

    I have done tons of research though- I hired a doula, am taking a "comfort measures" class next week, am using a vision board with affirmations and listen to a cd of guided imagery/meditation nightly.

    Reading the book "Natural Hospital Birth" really helped me a lot too- it gave me the confidence I was looking for while making me aware of how doctors and nurses try to intervene with natural birth.

    I'm not sure that the epidural slows things down although it would make sense considering you would be choosing to numb the part of your body that you should instead want to feel the most (so you can push at the right time). Good luck to you, no matter what you choose :)

     

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  • I really want to have a natural birth, but if I feel like I need an epidural then I will get one.  I want to walk and move around as much as possible.  I'm starting my childbirth classes this week, so I hoping to get more information about all of my options.  This is my first, so who knows what will happen when it actually gets here.
  • I'll hopefully be going the natural route. I hired a doula this time around and have been working through the Hypnobirthing program. I'm excited.

    I have a blood disorder that will determine whether or not I can have an epidural on L&D day (depending on my counts), so I may not even be able to have an epidural even if I wanted one (which I don't). The way I look at it is it's a day or two of my life, and in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that long. I can suck it up during L&D to do what's best for my LO, and what women have been doing for thousands of years.

    And let me be clear - I don't judge anyone for having the epi at all. It's there for women to use and it serves it's purpose and no one is "less" of a woman because they choose drugs. That's just silly. 

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  • I was in the same situation as the OP with my first.  I always assumed I would get the drugs until I went to a natural-focused prenatal yoga class and then went to a birthing class with similar philosophy and started to learn about the pros/cons of each option.  I totally did a 180 around 32 weeks and ended up hiring a doula and having a natural birth. 

    I'm really happy I did it, it was a very manageable and relatively quick labor and I'm planning for the same with #2 (this time at a BC with midwives).

    I agree with the PP that a doula is really helpful for that added support.

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  • image Karmalife:

    I am definitely planning a natural birth but in the end, none of us know how our birth story will plan out.

    I have done tons of research though- I hired a doula, am taking a "comfort measures" class next week, am using a vision board with affirmations and listen to a cd of guided imagery/meditation nightly.

    Reading the book "Natural Hospital Birth" really helped me a lot too- it gave me the confidence I was looking for while making me aware of how doctors and nurses try to intervene with natural birth.

    I'm not sure that the epidural slows things down although it would make sense considering you would be choosing to numb the part of your body that you should instead want to feel the most (so you can push at the right time). Good luck to you, no matter what you choose :)

     

    It doesn't always happen (some women find that when they were able to relax and let their body do what it needed to do without being so tense, labour actually progressed faster), but it is not uncommon for your labour to stall once you have the epi.

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  • I think keeping an open mind about it is the way to go. With DS, I had planned a natural birth, but my water breaking without bringing on active labor and consequently getting pitocin changed my plans, and I got the epidural.

    This time I'm planning natural again. There are just so many benefits that I think it's worth the shot, and I'm hoping I can manage my body's own contractions better than I did the pitocin-induced ones. But if I end up getting an epidural, I'm not going to feel guilty about it, either.

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  • I really would have liked a natural birth the first time around but after 3 days of contractions and no sleep, after finally going into active labor laboring for 16 hours at home, and then getting to the hospital and still having 11 more hours of labor ahead of me (of course, I didn't know it would be that long), I just needed to sleep and rest, so I opted for the epi. There is no way I would have had the energy to push out my 10 lb DS without it.

    I hope to again labor at home for as long as possible and see how it goes when we get to the hospital--but I'm hoping for a natural birth again...unless they force me to have an induction at 39 weeks because of GD--then I'll want an epi at some point for sure unless by some miracle it happens fast.

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  • image Liz4444:
    My very first word when I hit that hospital will be, EPIDURAL!!!!

    Yes

    Mom to E, 11/2011 - Severe egg & dairy allergies, soy intolerance *** Stepmom to G, 2001
  • I'm going natural.  I've done it twice before and I am actually very excited to do it again! 
    Mama to Lucy (7/06), Lexi (5/09), and Max (11/11) M/C 12/17/10
  • natural. with my first baby, i didn't give much thought to birth until i did my research and then it was obvious that going natural offered way more benefits and less complications than getting an epidural.

    i was induced with baby #1 for medical concerns (IUGR concerns) but was still able to go epi-free. 

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  • image bridetobe6808:

    Up until yesterday I thought I was for sure going to get an epidural. We went to a 'prepared child birth' class last night and now I'm not so sure! It seems like the benefits of natural childbirth far outweigh the cons of an epidural. I didn't know an epidural actually slowed things down. I would rather take the pain and get the baby out faster than be in labor longer. Plus, the thought of not being able to even have ice chips with an epidural!? Really? Hmm.

    This is not always true!! I was so terrified to have an epidural with DS because this got repeated ad nauseum on the bump. My OB says this is way overstated. After I got my epidural I actually finished dilating really quickly and before I knew it they came in and checked me and were like "Wow-well you're at 10. Time to push". If it concerns you, I suggest doing what I did and wait as long as possible to get the epi. I walked around the hospital and bounced on the birthing ball until I could not take the pain any more.

    There is no easy answer to this. Its a personal decision and don't let anyone scare you one way or another.

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  • I'll go natural, no matter the pain.

    And yes, I would do a root canal without meds if it was better lol.

    I'm just stubborn like that.

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  • image Cherryblossoms07:
    I would highly recommend hiring a doula if you want to go natural.  I hired a doula even though I wanted an epidural because I wanted to stay at home as long as possible - because I didn't want the labor prolonged at the hospital.  With the help of the doula I was able to labor at home for 12 hours basically pain free.

     

    Funds are tight. I don't think we could afford a doula. That would be nice, though.

    kaylinsig1tubbab1 Lilypie First Birthday tickers image

    Compromise and Balance are key. JH.

  • i will be having an epidural at some point. i'm supposed to be induced this weekend and, if that's the case, i'm going to tell them i'd like to have the epidural BEFORE they start the pitocin if i can. if not, i'll want it very soon after (i'm a wuss with pain).
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  • I had an epidural with my first.  I will not be getting an epidural this time.  I plan to go med free and with as few interventions (inductions, etc.) as possible as long as the baby and I are healthy.  I'm going to do Hypnobabies to prepare.  I did the very first part of it last night and it made me very very relaxed.  I'm really excited to get as much out of it as possible so I can have the amazing birth experience I'm hoping for.  My birth experience with my first wasn't bad but I did not feel prepared or in control.  I felt like I was completely relying on the doctors and nurses to tell me what to do and I want to be able to listen to my body this time and feel completely connected with what is going on.  Good luck with whatever you decide!
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  • image bridetobe6808:

    image Cherryblossoms07:
    I would highly recommend hiring a doula if you want to go natural.  I hired a doula even though I wanted an epidural because I wanted to stay at home as long as possible - because I didn't want the labor prolonged at the hospital.  With the help of the doula I was able to labor at home for 12 hours basically pain free.

     

    Funds are tight. I don't think we could afford a doula. That would be nice, though.

    Look into a doula in training.  Doulas are required to participate in so many births prior to getting their license so many are willing to help out for free during that time.  Ask the birthing class instructor if she knows any doulas in training.  That is where we got a few names to begin with; however, none of the doulas in training were free by the time we contacted them so contact them sooner rather than later.  

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  • I'm going natural.  And for some reason, I only get grief from everyone who asks.  I don't understand it!
  • The entire time I have been pregnant I have had high blood pressure so it's been very important to me not to have my heart set on anything.  I might have him vaginal or c-section, drugs or no drugs.  I dont want to decide on anythnig in case I cannot follow the plan I want.  I'm just keeping it in the hands of God and the Doctors and nurses who are caring for me!
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  • Epidural for me please!! :)  I never want to experience that type of pain unless I absolutely HAVE to! 
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  • I intend to get an epidural and take pain medication as available.  But I also don't intend to get them until I feel I really need them.  With DD1 I wasn't having contractions until a few hours after getting to the hospital (water broke at home).  They put the cervidil (?) in just to soften the cervix and planned to start pitocin in the AM.  They didn't want to check me until about 9 AM just to see how the cervix was doing.  However, I started active labor without the pitocin and I was ready for some pain meds by 9AM.  I was able to walk around the hospital floor a few times, got a narcotic to take the edge off, started getting an epidural by 6 cm and by the time the epi was in I was ready to push.  The epi kicked in about halfway into pushing.  So, with the pain med and the epi I still had my daughter pretty quickly and I'm not really concerned this time about the epi slowing things down.  I also don't intend to eat while I'm in labor-I didn't last time.  Also, I thought they didn't let you eat in case you had to have an emergency c-section?  So, I plan to get to the hospital, hopefully walk around a little to get a few cm dialeted, get the epi and enjoy the benefits of modern medicine. 
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