2nd Trimester

Are you planning on getting an epidural?

I am going to be 24 weeks on Saturday and have been thinking a lot about epidurals. I'm still up in the air about getting one or not. What has been your experiences?


Re: Are you planning on getting an epidural?

  • Not planning on it. We did the Bradley Method and were able to have a natural birth with DD#1. Hoping for the same with DD#2! 
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  • Nope. I made it through an induction on pitocin and mag-sulfate without needing an epi, so I feel quite confident that I can go without again.

    My advice, plan to go without, but if the pain is too much during labor, you can still get one. I think women are more likely to have problems if they plan to have one, and then it doesn't work or things progress too fast to have one, and they don't know how to manage the pain. 

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  • Nope, I don't plan to.  I had to last time...because after 5 hours of pushing (DS was OP and large) it was either rest or have a c-section.  I'm trying natural again this time, hopefully with a better outcome.
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  • Yes 100%. I admire those who go natural. No way I could do it. Everyone is different and has to choose what is best for them.
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  • Yes!  I get the whole "Your body was made to do this thing" I just prefer to pretend like it wasn't!  I have no tolerance for pain and actually with my second child, I had no epidural except for the last 5 minutes, which were spent pushing.  I came into the ER a 6 in major pain, spent the next hour waiting for enough fluids to get in me so I could have the epidural, all while yelling at the nurse and trying to bite my husband's hand (see, no pain tolerance) and when I finally got the epidural, they checked me, I was a 10, I pushed him out in 3 pushes.  I don't know what we ended up paying for the epidural, but I would have paid full price for that thing just for those 5 minutes of relief.  Not trying to scare you or change your mind, that was just my experience.

     With my third baby, I was induced and never felt one contraction.  They broke my water at 7AM, gave me the epidural and he was here before 1PM.  It was my dream birth because I got to enjoy it without any fear.  I felt completley in control and bonded with him right away.

     I applaud all mamas who can go med free.  You all are Rock Stars!


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  • So here is why I don't plan on having one. They may not work. No joke, this happens. I went into labor at 5am, labored at home until 11pm then went to the hospital at 3cm dilated. I got my epi around 1am, and it only worked on my right side. The nurse told me to roll from side to side and that could get it working but in all honesty we all knew that the guy had put it in incorrectly and he wasn't willing to admit it. It wore off at 8cm, so I went through transition au natural and DD was born without pain meds. It wasn't really that bad. Another good friend of mine was immune to the epidural. They placed three of them, none took affect and they had loaded her up with pitocin (it was a total "pit to distress" situation). Go in with every intention of doing this without an epi, and then if you get one, and it works, yay! If you get my situation you won't feel like you are lost in a sea of pain, since you planned.


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  • If I'm induced again, then when I hit 6 cm I will likely get one again like I did with my first. I ended up with a c/s with him anyway. I was glad the epi was already in place when I was wheeled to the OR.

    I'm going to try for a VBAC this time. If I get to go into labor naturally I'm leaving it completely up in the air. I hear natural contractions are way different than induced contractions and I have no idea how I will react to the pain.

    We will see!

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  • I was sure that I wanted to go without one when I gave birth to DD, but I just couldn't cope with the pain so I got one.  I'm hoping I can make it without the epidural this time around, but if not, I'll get it again.  Luckily, I had no issues with mine and it really helped.
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  • Can't get one because of a back injury. Hoping I can make it through because my only other med option is morphine. :/ 
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  • Not a chance.
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  • Yes, ma'am!! It was a beautiful thing :0) Like a PP said, I too admire those that do it naturally...but that isn't for me.

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  • I got one for my 1st and I'm sooooo glad I did.  I got a 3rd degree tear and can't imagine the pain I'd be in if I didn't have one.  Definitely getting one again.  :)
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  • I'm not planning on getting one, but I'm not planning on not getting one either. I'm open to it, and we'll see how things go. 
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  • I am 100% planning on getting an epidural.

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  • I planned to not have one last time, and was able to go through with not getting one.  My labour was only 10 hours though.  Had it been more drawn out I think I would have needed something!

    Primarily what encouraged me to to med free was reading Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth, watching videos like the Business of Being Born, and I found our prenatal yoga instructor was awesome because she provided us with affirmations that we could take away and use to help us get through it.  She also taught us a breathing technique which got me through my entire labour...it was great. 

    I figured it was best to plan to not have it because we live in a small city with one anethesiologist by the sounds of it so if he is tied up in a surgery or if it's the middle of the night, he might not be able to get there within the "window" to give an epidural.  I have heard of so many moms around here who asked for an epidural but were not able to get it.

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  • Yes. I had one with DS. I got it about 8 to 10 hours in I think? Can't remember. It allowed me to sleep and dilated about 6 cm more. It was a godsend for me and my person situation. I wouldn't have walked in and just asked for it straight out but there is a point in labour where it might be beneficial to realx you if nothing else and that was the case for me! I did labour in the shower on a birth ball for a bit first and that was soothing. 
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  • :::lurker:::

    I didn't get one. My labor was short, intense and sweet though. I have a ton of respect for a good friend of mine who made it 72 hours unmedicated. She didn't even drop an F bomb!

    I would say play it by ear. Have plan A and Plan B. You have to go with how you feel in the moment. Good luck.

    For what it's worth when its time for me with number two I am going to try to do it unmedicated again. It's crazy painful, but there is a light at the end. Eyes on the prize!
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  • image Kie310:

    If I'm induced again, then when I hit 6 cm I will likely get one again like I did with my first. I ended up with a c/s with him anyway. I was glad the epi was already in place when I was wheeled to the OR.

    I'm going to try for a VBAC this time. If I get to go into labor naturally I'm leaving it completely up in the air. I hear natural contractions are way different than induced contractions and I have no idea how I will react to the pain.

    We will see!

    I have the same thoughts exactly!

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  • I'm leaning more towards not getting one as I'm worried about my increased risk of a blood clot in my spine because I am on blood thinners. My MFM told me I could have one if I waited 12 hours, but I'm sure I would have the baby by then.

  • I don't necessarily "plan" to get an epidural, no. However, I always go into L&D with an open mind and I am certaintly not against getting it if I feel I want it. (Well, with the exception of my 1st. I was dead set against an epi when I went in to have her. Half way through labor I finally caved & got it, slept like a baby until the nurse woke me up and told me it was time to push. About 20 minutes later she was born. It was AMAZING.)

     I try for natural, but if I decide I want an epidural, I get an epidural. So far I've had it with 4 out of my 5 kids and had great experiences all 5 times, epidural or not. :)

    My longest labor was with my 1st... just under 8 hours. Shortest was with my 5th, barely 3 hours. The longest I have pushed with was my 1st, about 20 minutes. The epidural has never once taken complete feeling from me.. I am left with just enough sensation to feel the urge to push, and to be able to productively push. My babies were all born alert, got great apgar scores, and were eager to nurse right off the bat. I, personally, have never had a bad experience with an epidural.. thankfully!

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  • heck ya!  This will be my 4th delivery.  With my first I thought I could do it without an epidural so I stuck it out until about 8 cm and then got one.  For my next two I got one as soon as I could.  For me, it made childbirth FUN and not torture.

  • I have done it with an epidural and without. I will be going with an epidural if I am going to be in labor for a long time. Why deal with pain if you don't have to? The only way I wouldn't have one is if I get to the hospital and I am basically ready to push.
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  • Yeeeeah natural isn't for me. Anyone have any experience getting one and having scoliosis?
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  • Almost certainly yes.  Last time, it worked perfectly, didn't slow down my labor or interfere with my ability to push, and I got to nap off and on for the five or six hours it was in.  DD also had several late decelerations and since I was hooked up to monitors we knew it was happening and I could shift position to decrease the stress on DD.  I also liked that if for whatever reason I needed a C-section, it was already in and anesthesia wouldn't cause a delay, plus I had a big, bad tear and that and and being stitched up would have sucked without it.  I wasn't emotionally or physically exhausted when DD was born.  I loved it.
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  • No.  I didn't have one last time and don't plan to this time.  
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  • Yep 100% had it with my first and will do it again.
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  • I'll probably get one again this time. My experience wasn't perfect last time - I had a window of space where it wasn't working, they upped my dose and ultimately replaced it, and I was left so drugged up I couldn't feel anything or lift my legs but it was probably a blessing in light of my 3rd degree tear.
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  • I'm not planning on it but I fully reserve the right to change my mind.


  • I am getting a RCS this time so I will be getting a spinal. I was very against getting an epidural with DD#1 and I waited 14 hours to get one. It was a very hard decision but I was glad that I got one. My labor ended up stalling after 19 hours and it ended in a c-section. I am glad that I wasn't suffering for the remaining 5 hours because I would have ended up getting a spinal anyway. There is no right or wrong decision. I felt guilty about it at first but realized later it was a good decision. Good luck!

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  • 14 weeks pregnant and i don't know if i want to get an epidural...i have a pretty good pain tolerance (14 tattoos, 4 piercings) but i'm worried about something going wrong with the epidural...
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