No husband during epidural? — The Bump
3rd Trimester

No husband during epidural?

When I had my epidural with my DD, my husband was allowed to stay and watch, although I don't think he had a good "view".  I did make the nurse hold my hand - she was coaching me from the front to curl my back (which is kind of hard when you have a giant belly) and so she was trying to get me to tuck my shoulders and head (so DH was behind me instead).

Anyway I keep hearing that DH"s aren't allowed in while they give you an epi - or is it spinal - before you have a c-section?  Is that what everyone is hearing?  Anyone know why?  (Just reducing prep time in the OR?)

Re: No husband during epidural?

  • I dont know about a c-section but I was just told that my BF may have to leave the room for the epi for a vag. birth.  We'll see I guess.  I think for a c-section its a spinal and they arent in there for that though.  I vaguely remember my teacher saying that at class last week.
  • My guess is a liability issue. Hospitals and doctors do everything they can to really cover their a$$es these days.
  • My husband was not allowed in the room while they were prepping me for my c/s, including geting the spinal. I have no idea why - maybe to keep germs out? I seriously have no clue.t
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  • I actually heard that one husband passed out and hit his head and died while watching his wife give an epi... I can't remember where I heard this- but I think our hospital allows the husband to stay in the room but he has to be out of the way where he can't see.
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  • I think it depends on your hospital. My DH was there for both epidurals (although given his fear of needles I think he wishes he hadn't been LOL) and I know my brother was in the room for my SIL's spinals before her c/ss, but another friend I know who had a c/s couldn't have her DH in there.
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  • Good question. I've had a spinal before for a surgery, and DH was allowed to be there.
  • When I had DS they made DH leave the room when I had my epi. They said something about Dads passing out when it was being done so they made them all leave now.
  • image Pennylane824:
    I actually heard that one husband passed out and hit his head and died while watching his wife give an epi... I can't remember where I heard this- but I think our hospital allows the husband to stay in the room but he has to be out of the way where he can't see.

    THIS IS AWFUL!!!! 

  • Apparently, at my hospital it depends on the anesthesiologist, but most of them have DH leave the room.  The L&D nurse that co-teaches our class said that she didn't know why but had heard that some daddy had passed out.  she didn't know if there was any validity to this, though.
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  • Besides worrying about them passing out, I'd also think it's possible they want to limit the number of people in the room who might be carrying germs on them.  An epidural is a line straight into your spinal column.  Should bacteria or a virus gain access to your spinal fluid, it could become very dangerous very quickly.  There was a woman in my area several years back who died within hours of given birth b/c her epidural introduced meningitis picked up during her hospital stay straight into her spinal column.
  • My hospital only allows one person to be in the room during epi placement and they have to be sitting down and in front of me.  The reasoning was explained to me as:

    1.  The have to sit because more family members/coaches pass out during epi placement than actual birth. 

    2.  They have to be in front of the woman to reduce germs in the air.  It's a sterile procedure so no one is allowed to breath or god forbid cough towards the insertion site before it's properly taped. 

    My DH didn't want to be there so my mom stayed.  Dh doesn't do very well with needles :)

     

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  • My DH is an anesthesiologist and I recently asked him about this. This is what he said:

    The husband staying in the room is anesthesiologist dependent or hospital dependent.  I kick everyone out, for two reasons: one, the last thing I want is some idiot making faces or complaining that the epidural placement was difficult/he hurt my wife/mostly a perception problem with the husband/father.  its just easier.  the last thing I want when I have a needle buried four to five inches in someone's back is any distraction.  this is usually what i say when I get resistance from anyone. the second reason is liability. there have been a few documented case reports of dad passing out and hitting head, and one instance in wisconsin where the head trauma actually killed dad.  so that's the other significant reason I clear the room.  it takes all of five minutes to do the procedure if everything goes perfectly smooth, and dad won't miss anything.  deep down most family members enjoy the fifteen minute break to eat/drink/smoke ect. 

    I asked if even he would stay for mine and he said he would most likely leave the room (which kind of made me sad).

  • FI was told to leave. They said they needed a "sterile" enviornment.  It wasn't a big deal.  The nurse held me down as I was going through my contractions and the whole thing took about 10 minutes.
  • I don't know but I do know for my cousin who got an epidural for a vag birth her Dh was there and because she is short her belly was really big so had a hard time curling her back.  her DH stepped in and put his arms on the top part of her shoulders and her legs to pull them together so she didn't have to work so hard to curl her back.  She is pretty sure she would not have been able to do it without him doing this.
  • image Kristin131:

    My DH is an anesthesiologist and I recently asked him about this. This is what he said:

    The husband staying in the room is anesthesiologist dependent or hospital dependent.  I kick everyone out, for two reasons: one, the last thing I want is some idiot making faces or complaining that the epidural placement was difficult/he hurt my wife/mostly a perception problem with the husband/father.  its just easier.  the last thing I want when I have a needle buried four to five inches in someone's back is any distraction.  this is usually what i say when I get resistance from anyone. the second reason is liability. there have been a few documented case reports of dad passing out and hitting head, and one instance in wisconsin where the head trauma actually killed dad.  so that's the other significant reason I clear the room.  it takes all of five minutes to do the procedure if everything goes perfectly smooth, and dad won't miss anything.  deep down most family members enjoy the fifteen minute break to eat/drink/smoke ect. 

    I asked if even he would stay for mine and he said he would most likely leave the room (which kind of made me sad).

    That's really helpful information -- thanks.

    I observed an epidural as a student years ago, and I can see how it could lead to husbands/observers passing out. It's not for the faint of heart, especially if you're afraid of needles!

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  • sjpsjp member
    with my DS--my DH was asked to stand by the doorway (away from the line of sight) while I got the epidural --he didnt have to actually leave
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  • i must depend on the hospital.

    our hospital wants your DH there to support you during the procedure, but wants to make sure they don't pass out due to a mandatory trip to the ER if they do.

    the husbands are not brought in during a c-section until right before the doctor comes in.

  • At our hospital, it is a germ issue. They want the room to be sterile, like if you were being put under. Actually, DH not being able to be present is the main reason I'm hesitant to have one. A nurse I don't know is not going to be able to keep me calm the way he would.
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  • image Kristin131:

    My DH is an anesthesiologist and I recently asked him about this.

    I asked if even he would stay for mine and he said he would most likely leave the room (which kind of made me sad).

    My DH is an anesthesiologist too and he wants to leave the room when I get mine.  I want him there at least for moral support but he's afraid of making the person putting in my epi. nervous.   

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