Tip for those considering an epidural — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Tip for those considering an epidural

So a post on this board prompted me to say something. Anyone considering in an epidural - yes they do give you a catheter when you get an epi. They are SUPPOSED to take it out before you start pushing. I would encourage everyone to DEMAND that they take it out first.

I remember asking one of my nurses if they would take it out before I started the pushing process and she told me they would. For some stupid reason they didn't and I ended up pushing it out of my urethra on my own, before I pushed my daughter out. And let me just tell you it F'ed ME UP. It is like this balloon thing that they inflate in your bladder and the massive thing came out whole. I lost all bladder control for weeks and weeks afterward. (Any time I stood up I would pee my pants) 

So it was absolutely awful and I believe it contributed to my 2nd degree perineal tear. Please learn from me and be your own advocate - it is not worth the damage, and all it takes is for you to tell someone (like your husband or whoever is in the room) to remind the staff that is what you want.

Good luck to you all!  

Re: Tip for those considering an epidural

  • Yikes!  Good tip! Sorry for your issues though...hope everything is good now.
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  • I didn't think about that, but I remember mine being in through my labor, and I know that I was torn up inside and it HURT when I peed (didn't burn, but actually HURT) afterward for weeks... I thought that they nicked me when they put it in or something, but it is probably more likely that it is from me pushing with it in!
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  • Great tip. Most nurses and doctors WILL remember to take it out, but it's a good thing to know that they are supposed to. Advocate for yourself!

    Also, be aware that you may have some bladder control issues either way. I had an epi and I had two times that I stood up out of my hospital bed and peed everywhere! I had no clue I even had to go. It was mortifying. But it was fine by the time I went home. Just don't be shocked if it happens once or twice! 

  • They didn't take mine out with my daughter till after. I had two small tears but that was from my daughter being face up not the catheter. I had no issues after the birth or later on. 
  • Omg, thanks for the tip! I'm so sorry this happened to you. I appreciate the heads up!
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  • abrazzabrazz
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    They didn't take mine out till after delivery.  I didn't have any trouble from the catheter.  I will have to ask what their common practice is at this hospital since I have a different doctor than last time and I plan on an epidural. 

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  • Most of the time they will remember to take it out on their own, but its definitely a good reminder to advocate for yourself and ask about it.  Also, unfortunately, you may have severe tearing and bladder issues after a vaginal birth whether you have an epidural or catheter or not.  I have two friends who neither one had an epidural, and therefore no catheter, and they both tore pretty badly and had bladder issues for months afterward.  
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  • Something else to consider: getting a cath increases your chances of getting a UTI. I am VERY prone to UTI's and sometimes I need to take several courses of antibiotics to get it to go away. 

    One of the reasons I am not planning on getting an epidural. 

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  • Hi Ladies,

    I am an L&D nurse and we do not leave foley catheters in patients while they are in labor at my hospital.  We straight cath them.  I would ask if you can be straight cathed rather then having a foley left in to eliminate any issues.  For those that don't know, a straight cath is when we empty the bladder via catheter, but remove it immediately once the bladder is drained.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

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  • image frankie814:

    Hi Ladies,

    I am an L&D nurse and we do not leave foley catheters in patients while they are in labor at my hospital.  We straight cath them.  I would ask if you can be straight cathed rather then having a foley left in to eliminate any issues.  For those that don't know, a straight cath is when we empty the bladder via catheter, but remove it immediately once the bladder is drained.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

     Francesca

     

    Thank you so much! I'll be sure to ask about that, just jotted it down, lol.

     

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  • Hmm, they left mine in with DD#1.  I didn't have any issues during L&D but I did end up with my first and only UTI that was absolutely awful about a week later.  I'll have to ask about it.
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  • I had an epi with no cath.  Just sayin'.
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  • image frankie814:

    Hi Ladies,

    I am an L&D nurse and we do not leave foley catheters in patients while they are in labor at my hospital.  We straight cath them.  I would ask if you can be straight cathed rather then having a foley left in to eliminate any issues.  For those that don't know, a straight cath is when we empty the bladder via catheter, but remove it immediately once the bladder is drained.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

     Francesca

     

    This was the exact procedure they used with DS and I had no issues. 

  • I never had a cath with my epi.  They just never put one in.  However, when I hadn't peed yet a few hours after delivery (just didn't feel the urge), they straight cath'd me.  It was horrible!!  I recommend trying to pee soon after giving birth if you can!
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