Pain meds during labor — The Bump
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Pain meds during labor

I am due in May with my first baby and can't decide if I want to try natural or have pain medications. I am nervous to get the epi because i have heard it causes headaches and backaches for awhile after delivery. What are the options for pain meds during childbirth?

Re: Pain meds during labor

  • I had a med free birth for my first pregnancy, but my new docotor went over the options w/me just yesterday. Your other options are a couple different narcotics. They will sometimes take the edge off, but likely won't totally take away the pain. The other warning she threw out there to me is that narcotics will travel through to the baby, so often the baby will come out lethargic, too sleepy to nurse, or (worst case) too tired to breath on his/her own.

    Obviously, we have to hear all of the possible negative side effects, but I found it helpful to hear what the doctor had to say. I have also have several friends tell me the bit about having a narcotic and it not really doing it's job. It made them tired, but still feel everything.

    Best of luck to you!!!

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  • Thank you for the information! Good luck to you too! How was the med free delivery?
  • I had an epidural with zero issues after the fact. Not going to lie the epi hurts like hell when they do it. Med free is not for me. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all of your options.
  • If you are interested in a natural birth, you may want to look into Bradley or hypnobirthing classes. I did Bradley, and found the exercises, labor positions, and relaxation techniques very helpful. Even if you decide to go with the epidural, the you might find the techniques helpful for early labor before you go to the hospital.
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    Parent of Baby Boy M, born December 2013 Angels: Miscarriage @ 9 weeks, May 2015, Chemical Pregnancy November 2015

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  • FWIW, I had an epi....I had a great experience- no side effects, and the worst part of it was bending over during contractions (the epi itself wasn't too bad, pain wise). I went it with the mindset that since I was a FTM, I wouldn't know what I could handle until I experienced it. I did some reading on natural birth and some research on epis, so I was informed no matter what I decided.


    BFP #1 12/02/11, M/C 12/08/11
    BFP #2 04/06/12, DD born 12/20/12
    BFP #3 06/09/14, M/C 06/15/14
  • Thank you for all of your responses!
  • I had the epi with no side effects. It all depends on the anesthesiologist IMO. Mine placed it with no pain at all, only felt the initial needle stick of the numbing med that give you right before. The possible side effects also have to do with the placement.
  • I would highly recommend reading Husband Coached Childbirth (The Bradley Method). I was interested in a possible natural med-free birth but wasn't confident I could do it and that book changed it for me! I feel excited and empowered about birth now. Also Dr. Bradley is an OB and he says in the book that the epidural gets to the baby in as little as 3 minutes, so an Epi doesn't mean the baby won't be exposed.
  • I had a natural birth the first time. Only because my meds were given too late. I'm glad I felt everything I can use it when reprimanding my son ;) but the short time my Nubian (sp) was working was helpful. It didn't get make the pain go away it just made it a little less. My mom had Nubian with her first 3 and loved it. She didn't want all the pain gone but didn't want to feel like she was dying...if that makes since
  • I had an epidural and had no issues whatsoever. Compared to my contractions, the epidural was a breeze. I just buried my head into DHs chest and before I knew it, meds were flowing and I was in my happy place. Hoping I get the same anesthesiologist this time around!! Had no issues after delivery from the epidural either.
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  • Thank you for all the helpful information. I will ask my ob at my next appointment about my options
  • Both scheduled cs so of course epis, but a new study out today reveals 35% of women who go med free end up with PPD, while those who used meds have PPD 10% of the time. Meds and cs are great in my book!


    No periods due to 17 years of ballet and distance running after college.  Zero response to 2 months of Clomid, little response to Letrozole.  IUI left with 9 cysts = too many viable eggs due to age.  On to IVF.  Low dose of all meds still produced 37 mature eggs 12.6.11.  Froze due to overstimulation.  

    FET #1.1 1.22.12 BFN.   FET #1.2 2.22.12=GRACE! (and a vanishing twin).  

    Grace Katherine born 10.25.12 @ 36w6w 6#14oz 19.5".
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  • Both scheduled cs so of course epis, but a new study out today reveals 35% of women who go med free end up with PPD, while those who used meds have PPD 10% of the time. Meds and cs are great in my book!

    Source? I would be interested in reading this study.

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