epidural or natural — The Bump
May 2015 Moms

epidural or natural

This is my first pregnancy and have been weighing the choices of having an epidural done or to have a natural birth. The thought of having an epidural done makes me sick but I'm a big baby when it comes to pain. What are you ladies having? 


  • Epidural!!! I too was a big wimp with pain but the pain of contractions is way worse than the pain of the needle. It isn't painful, just uncomfortable and after the discomfort you get hours of pain free bliss
  • With dd I labored for about 30 hours before I opted for an epidural. I was too exhuasted to even think about pushing. I pushed for 5 hours and ended up in a csection due to her being posterior and not being able to descend into the birth canal. If you do want to go med free I would do some sort research to help you with dealing with the pain. Hypnobabies and Bradley Method are probably the most common.

    I would have loved to have a med free natural birth but it just wasn't in the cards for me.

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  • gkrenzelgkrenzel
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited February 2015
    FTM, definitely getting epidural. I'm a complete wimp when it comes to pain!
    As long as baby isn't getting hurt I'll go pain free if possible!
  • I am aiming for med free birth and taking a Lamaze class to try and help prepare me.  I want to be able to move around and labor in positions more natural for our bodies and getting an epidural prevents that.  We will see how it goes.
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  • My first baby was a natural birth, although not totally planned that way. By the time I asked for the epi I was already 8cm dilated, so I had to deliver without. It was extremely painful, but do-able. Recovery was great. My son was an emergency c-section. I'm hoping for a VBAC with this baby, and I'm leaning toward having an epi.  We'll just see how it goes (again). Birth is so unpredictable.
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  • With my first pregnancy, I delivered naturally but only bc I arrived by ambulance ready to push and delivered less than 30 minutes later. Second baby: scheduled induction and started with an epidural. IT WAS FABULOUS until the last hour after dr ruptured my water. The epidural "juice" wasn't working so well bc of scar tissue in my lumbar spine from 2 previous surgeries. I plan in having an epidural with this baby, too. Hats off to those who want a totally med free delivery but I think the epidural (which is UNCOMFORTABLE FOR A FEW SECONDS) allows for a more relaxed L&D. We are ALL super heroes for surviving L&D...it's not called "labor" for no reason ;)
  • I'm planning for a med free birth and will be studying hypnobabies. I have opted for midwife care to have the lowest intervention option with my hospital birth. That being said, if that plan doesn't pan out, I will be in a hospital and my midwife has access to an ob/gyn to order an epidural if needed, so I guess I am keeping that "out" available.... Really hoping and planning for my hippy birth though
  • I haven't thought too hard on this topic yet. I'm sure I will after my birthing class.

    Since I really have no idea how painful it is I feel sort of uniformed in a way, I guess. 

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  • STM here. First time around, I just said "eh, we'll see how it goes. No epi would be cool but if I need one, NO GUILT". My water broke, I labored for a couple hours and labor was progressing very quickly so at 5cm I got the epi. It was bliss. I delivered about 6 hours after that, all healthy & piece of cake recovery.

    This time around, I've hired a doula and am really trying for a natural child birth without any meds. I honestly just really want that experience and I know this is my last baby. I just feel like if you can do something without drugs, why not? But of course, now we're talking about pushing an 8 pound human out of my vagina. Sooooo yeah. haha. Still wouldn't be ashamed or upset if I got an epi, but I'm really really gonna try hard to do it without meds this time.
  • I'm going into this birth not really knowing what to expect pain-wise (FTM). I have always had a high tolerance for pain and if since like PP have shown, every L&D is different, I am going into this experience saying I would like to try without it but I told the doctor they better ask me again right before it's too late to administer and see how I feel then. For me, it would not be something I look back on and regret doing it either way. 
  • Get an epidural!!! That sh*t is painful. I ended up with a csection with DS but my contractions were super intense and the worst pain of my life. My epidural when I eventually got it was a life saver!!
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  • I have done both and I'm still not sure with this labor what I will do ... I had a natural birth the first time and the second I opted for an epidural, during the pushing I hated it because I could not feel my legs or anything and felt like I had no control of myself or pushing, I also ended up with what they call an spinal headache after because of a puncture during the epidural, I get migraines but this headache was SO much worse. I ended up just needing a blood patch in the epidural location that fixed it.... But that being said... I would almost prefer the pain of natural labor over the crap that happened with my epidural (I do realize that it doesn't happen every time ... But still I hated the dead feeling of my legs)
  • I am 100% sold on as natural birth as possible. I am going in with the mindset that I will not be having an elective epidural. I just read "Natural Hospital Birth: Best of Both Worlds" and it re-lit my natural birth fire. Its so inspiring!!! And not in a "hippie crazy" type of way, it just inspires you to have whatever type of birth is right for you. I would definitely recommend it (for anyone giving birth in a hospital)!
    To answer your question, the big reasons I am anti-epidural are:
    1) the side-affects/after-affects/procedure in itself
    2) there is something empowering about accepting the pain of childbirth and embracing it

    I know childbirth will be the most painful moment in my life, there is no denying that. But, I am totally ready to accept that, and am continually preparing myself to embrace that. 

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  • I had hoped to have a med free birth with my first, but ended up with an Epidural. I didn't do much to prepare in terms of finding ways to cope with the pain....therefore I just didn't know what to do and the epidural was the easy way out. This time I have hired a doula to help me get through the pain and I again hope to do a med free birth. I dont feel guilty or have any regrets getting the epidural. And I would do it over again, but part of me just really wants to be able to say I did it med free. I feel like its right of passage into womanhood that I just really want to be able to do. So heres hoping. At the same time, I know how painful it was and it scares the living daylights out of me and sometimes I just want to say screw trying it med free and go straight to the epidural! I will have to read the book @mrspdx suggested above!

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  • Epiduraaaaal! I'm a FTM but I'm already forecasting that id absolutely like one!
  • clareverclarever
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Photogenic First Answer
    edited February 2015
    With my last pregnancy I had planned on an epidural. No way was I going to attempt a natural birth. Laboured at a friends then went to the hospital and once in the delivery room he was born 10 minutes later. Completely natural. Had no time for anything. I had the doctor by my head pretty much being a doula because I was freaking the fuck out that I had to do this natural while her resident delivered my son.
    This time around once contractions have some consistency I am heading right to the hospital so I have time to get that darn epidural. One natural birth is enough for me.
    I do have to say though with a natural birth I was up walking around 10 minutes after and a lot more in tune with my body during those last few pushes. I think if I had spent the pregnancy planning on a natural birth and reading up on it and was more focused it would have been a better experience.
  • I'm planning on getting an epidural. Yes I am a FTM and might try to go med-free at first but am pretty sure I will end up getting the epidural.
  • I would love to have a natural birth. I'm a FTM though so not exactly sure what to expect. I'll try without and hope for the best.
  • My first baby I had an epidural. I had back pain for almost a year where the needle went in. I still felt a lot of pain during birth. I am going to try to go natural. Better for mom better for baby!!!
  • blankenbakerhblankenbakerh
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Photogenic
    edited February 2015
    I am going natural! I plan to not get the epidural unless I have to. I had a natural birth with my with my 3 DSs and an epidural with my 2 DDs. I will say that my experience with epidurals haven't been the best. I prefer the short term pain over the side effects of the epi. Not everyone has side effects though! I am just not a great candidate for them. I am also fairly lucky in that my labors are usually shorter. Only 4-6 hours. Hoping it stays true this time! No shame in getting one. I have learned to go with the flow during labor as its different for every one and different each time. It's kind of weird but all 3 of my boys were med free and my 2 girls were epidurals. Lol! This is a girl so I am hoping I will not need one! I only plan to get it in the event of a c-section. I will use my normal method for labor and delivery! Coloring:) I love to color and it's relaxing! It keeps me busy and distracted from the pain somewhat. Oh and of course breathing!! Breathing through contractions.
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  • I am a FTM and feel the same way as you. I am terrified of an epidural (know others who have had complications) but also have a very low pain tolerance. We took a labor options class at our hospital that covered natural alternatives to deal with pain. I highly recommend it. I feel empowered that I can manage my pain naturally, and if not I'm still open to an Epi.
  • I had an epi with DD. DH was stationed in KS and I was in MN do I was more focused on him getting into town than focusing on pain management. It was easier for the epi. This time around in trying for natural. Just to see if I can.
  • I went in with a "We'll see how it goes" attitude. I puked and convulsed after every contraction. So I got the epidural. I slept and read until it was time to push. Two pushes and she was out. Same with DD2. Blissful deliveries. That's the plan this time, but I'll handle whatever happens.

    If you have a desire to go natural I'd definitely read/research/take a class on pain management because the more tools/knowledge you have the more successful you'll be!
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  • I'm going for an epidural, had one with my first birth and everything went well. I could still feel the contractions but they were mild, and no complications afterwards, I never got the headaches or back pain do I'm hoping it will all go well again this time ;)
  • Going off of a PP something my BFF said to me after her natural delivery.  If she hadn't gone in with the attitude, I"m doing this natural, thats what I'm going to do, she would have gotten the epi.  

    I also had the we will see attitude and got the epi.  I think if natural is really important you have to go in with that attitude or the labor will get to you.
  • I have had three med free natural deliveries and am planning on the same for this one. They have all been amazing, empowering experiences. Highlights of my life, honestly.
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  • Third time and will go in wanting an epidural for sure. I laboured for 16 hrs with back labour with my first and could no longer handle the pain so had an epi, then slept, watched TV and chatted with my dh. My second I had an epidural after 5 hours and it was the most relaxing delivery. No stress, everything went smoothly compared to my first. This time I'm in a different state with a different doctor, but they are of a similar mindset to my last OB and are happy to let me decide.

    Honestly though, there wasn't any pain in getting the epidural, there's a small pinch when they do the local, then a but of pressure. It's uncomfortable, not painful ( for me at least) and nothing compared to back labour pains.

    Good luck to all you ladies planning it drug free! It's not something I can personally handle, but I admire you all for even wanting it.
  • Epidural. I know way too many people who thought they wanted to do natural then changed their mind when it was too late.
  • I am also a FTM and I'm hoping to go natural. I feel it all depends on how flexible the hospital I deliver at is. To go natural I would need to be able to move around and choose my own positions for laboring and birthing. If for some reason they're not able to let me do that then I know there's no way I'd be able to handle the pain.
    There are some great books out there and I have really been reading a lot on evidencebasedbirth.com which has lots of useful info. If you want to go natural id recommend preparing yourself now! Read, take classes, talk to women who have done it!
    And hire a doula. :)
  • Epidural is my choice my sister told me with my first labor it would feel like someone kicked you in the vagina
    I say it feels like a Mac truck coming out both ends down there
  • gamergirl83gamergirl83
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Photogenic
    edited February 2015
    Epidural for sure but I do have my reasons , my boys were all over 9 pounds and 22 inches long . I just can't even imagine trying for natural with my history. And if I'm being honest I don't do pain well lol
  • Can anyone recommend a good video/dvd to watch about natural birthing techniques? DH and I wanted to take a class however, between weddings/baby showers/ and DH being out of town there really hasn't been a good time for us to take them, especially since they are usually at least 2 sessions in length. 

    I'll also post to the natural board  and see if they have any sugggestions :)
  • with my first, I had told them absolutely under no circumstances do I want an epidural. I have a high tolerance for pain. I didn't want to feel groggy after birth. But...I went into labor at 34 weeks, plus had severe toxemia. If you have ever heard of someone being put on magnesium, they will tell you it's a bitch. I was groggy for 4 days. I dilated to 7 cm on my own, and was having level 8 contractions, but couldn't feel them. I didn't feel a single contraction to prepare me for the big level 10's. Once my water broke, it was on, and it hurt. Level 10 contractions, 1 minute apart, with nothing to prepare for the pain. I realized how big of a whimp I really was. I begged for the epi, and they gave it to me. Let me say this: IF YOU HAVE A SENSITIVITY TO ANESTHETICS, I wouldn't get it. Opt for other relievers. Anesthesia makes me shake, bad! They actually thought for a moment I was having a seizure, and it was barely turned on. Because it was such a bad experience, I'm not getting one this time. I still felt the pain of the contractions, and even felt her ripping me...plus shook all over. But many people don't have reactions like that and LOVE it. When the time comes, you will either be prepared from birthing classes, or you will be begging for an epi. It doesn't hurt at all going in the back by the way.
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