Epidural or no and why? — The Bump

Epidural or no and why?

Title explains it all. 
Someday to get it put in so that in the event of an emergency you don't use general anesthesia. But several doula says that it can prevent moving which helps the baby descend and lead to more interventions like pitocin and ultimately another c/s...what is your advice? Successes, failures, anyone?

Re: Epidural or no and why?

  • I can only tell you my own experience. I had a successful VBAC in 2013 (and am due with baby #3 next month; hoping to VBAC again!). I had a Foley catheter induction at 41 weeks; that dilated me to 3cm by the following morning. They then hooked me up to the lowest possible dose of Pitocin and monitored me closely. I progressed very, very slowly. By the time I had been at the hospital for 27 hours, I was still only at 5cm, and I was exhausted. My OB recommended that I get an epidural and try to get some rest. I followed her advice, slept for a few hours, and woke up at a 9. She said that, for some women, they can't relax enough to allow their body to progress and dilate when they are feeling/fighting the contractions. I was able to feel my legs enough to push effectively, and delivered vaginally with no further issues.

  • My personal experience :)

    I have heard horror stories of "if you get the epi, you won't get your VBAC" so I was bound and determined not to get the epi. 

    After two two days of prodromal labor I was exhausted. So when real labor started and I got to the hospital I was already a 5 and fully effaced. I was in severe pain. I honestly though I had ruptured BC I was in such horrible pain (that's actually why I went into the hospital) the nurse asked if I wanted an epi and I said no BC I wanted a VBAC. She said just BC you want a VBAC doesn't mean you can't get an epi. I explained the horror stories I'd heard and she said honestly with Laboring the past two days and how tired getting a little rest and relaxing might help you when it comes time to push.
    So I opted for the epi and I'm glad I got it. I was able to sleep which was something I hadn't done in two nights. The nurse on call was so very sweet! She helped me move my legs in a way that helped me dilate with a peanut ball.
    It did take about 6 hours  to get me dilated the rest of the 5 but I'm that time I was able to rest and relax and mentally prepare for for baby's entrance. I pushed for an hour and got my VBAC! 

    Next time around i would would like to try again for no epi just to see if I can do it. Or I would ask maybe for a lower dose of the epi just because it was my original desire with my first pregnancy to try a med free birth. But in this birth I'm glad I got it BC it truly helped me rest and relax. 

    What I think is maybe just waiting and see what happens. You will know if you need it :)
    good luck mama on whatever you decide 

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  • @MrsRucinski85 what was the reason for your csection?
  • My advice is to choose your "ideal" scenario and then stay flexible.

    For my VBAC, my ideal was med free and I was able to do that. My labor was intense but it was only 6 hours, with 30 minutes of pushing. I went in fairly well rested and in a great state of mind. Some women who want epi-free births find themselves in less-than-ideal circumstances- they are exhausted from being up all night, are in a poor state of mind based on some external factor, or the pain gets too intense and they can't relax and allow their cervix to dilate.

    I would absolutely get an epi if I felt like it would keep me out of the operating room- like, if I just needed rest and relaxation in order to dilate. Choose your "plan" but stay open to other possibilities.
    DX PCOS Jan 2012
    IUI #1 Feb 2012= DS1 born 11/2012
    Unmedicated BFP (first post-weaning cycle)=DS2 born 9/2014
    Unmedicated BFP (first post-weaning cycle again)= EDD 11/2016
  • FWIW, I had an epic and still had to go under general anesthesia for DS's birth. There are no guarantees.
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  • Just going to give my personal insight.
    I really didn't want one when I had my vbac, but my csection was under general, because my spinal was misplaced, and I feared that happening again, so I got an epidural durkng my vbac when it looked like the on call doctor was going to force me to have a C-section.  The epidural didn't work either.  So next time I give birth, I hope to not get one.
  • I have had one previous c-section due to baby size and a few other complications. This time around I was hoping/planning for an unmedicated VBAC. I am currently 36 weeks and babe #2 is measuring at 7lbs. 5oz. I am not dialated at all yet (only dialated 1cm, 70% effaced w/1st baby). OB is telling me if I choose to VBAC she HIGHLY recommends I get an epidural b/c otherwise, if I end up having to have a C-Section, I will have to go under general anesthesia which will put me completely to sleep, will make the baby drowsy, and my husband then wouldn't be allowed in the room for delivery. I also wake up having a panic attack when I have been under general anesthesia before. So I obviously don't want that scenario. But I REALLY wanted to be able to feel the childbirth and I've read all the horror stories about VBACs w/epidurals and am worried about that. I kind of feel like what is even the point of getting the epidural? Why go through all the work to not even be able to feel it? Why not just opt for the C-section? I would much rather go natural if I could, but I feel like I'm not going to get the chance either way. I don't know what to do and am really upset.
  • I realize this is an old post. But in my opinion epidurals should only be used if medically necessary! They really aren't good for the baby🙄 I had to have one with my second before they did an emergency c-section. The difference between my first which was a natural birth and my second was incredible! My first was so alert. My second was swollen from the meds and so sleepy the first few days that nursing was a nightmare. I will try to avoid it this time if at all possible!
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