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Are there alternatives to getting an epidural? My bf just brought this up and I really don't like the idea of a needle in my back, eek. I mean, I will if I have to, but is there anything else you can do?
I want to say I'll try and do it natural, but since I've never been through this I really have no idea lol
There are tons of techniques for handling labor without pain medication...and you might find when you are in it, that you can keep handling the contractions one by one.
There are narcotics they can give you but I would get the epidural before them. Narcotics for sure cross the placenta and effect the baby and there seems to be less of that when using the epidural. But that is a judgement call that is pretty individual. Try looking at the natural childbirth board here.
I would try to read a whole bunch of birth stories from different parts of the spectrum (home birth, NCB in birth center or hospital, epidural births, c-sections, inductions, etc) if you want to learn about the different possibilities.
Personally I'm planning a NCB in a hospital, if all goes well. I want my baby to be totally alert as soon as she's born, so I can do the immediate bonding and start the breastfeeding learning process right away. I want to be totally alert as well and not have any tubes coming out of me (I *hate* that - and if you have an epidural, they will have to catheterize you as well - ugh, SO don't want that!!) I'm preparing by practicing some relaxation techniques I can use during birth, and reading all the NCB stories I can.
I have a friend who does "hypnosis birthing" she has had all of her babies without an epidural. I say WOW to her!
-- and I agree about getting the Epidural before the Narcotics-- you are totally alert and awake and able to participate with the Epi...and trust me, you want to enjoy this moment.
--- I had an epidural about 1/2 way through with my 1st and I remember being REALLY worried about the needle in my back... in fact, even though I have done it 3 times...it still creeps me out!. Anyway TRUST me, I was NOT worried when she got there, all I cared about was her taking me out of the h*ll I was in at the moment. I told her she was my new best friend I had back labor and it was the kind of pain I couldn't have ever even imagined.
With baby #2 I was already dilated to a 7 by the time I got to the hospital and was told I couldn't have an epidural- Labor is very fast and very hard for me- I do what takes most women 6 hours in about 1 hour. I just remember pain- that's it. And my body ended up going into shock after I was already fully dilated and effaced so they gave me the epi anyway (not that I remember, I think DH gave consent) so that I could push the baby out- and stop convulsing. SCARY. After about 10 minutes I was a different person and was able to push again.
big fan of Epidurals...can you tell?
With baby #3 I started asking for the epi as soon as I got to the hospital. I was not doing this "au natural" that's for sure! It was great because I got the epi before they even started pitocin and never felt a single contraction. Best Labor Ever- minus the whole passing out thing LOL : )
-- I have full respect and support for women who do labor without the epidural, and I think its wonderful that they can do it- Me? I'm not that strong! Trust me, the idea of a needle in your back may seem scary now...but it might seem like the best thing you ever got when you are in massive amounts of pain - you would do ANYTHING to stop that pain (as long as it was safe for baby).
I didn't get an epidural, I got an ITN, which still goes into your back but it doesn't last as long and isn't as strong. I also had narcotics in my IV, I can't remember what, but I just remember feeling really warm and tired but still feeling so much pain that I couldn't enjoy it.
This time around, I am really determined to NOT get any medication. I was alert my whole labor and DD was alert afterwards but I felt like I cheated myself out of part of the birth by getting the meds.
Definitely research your options and visit some of the boards here on JM. You can get a lot of insight from hearing about other people's experiences.
Definitely read everything you can, also see if your hospital offers any classes, I think mine offers some in various methods for birthing. You for sure want to know all your options up front- but I also wouldn't say what you are NOT going to do either, ya know? Because you never can tell how birth will be for you until you are right in the middle of it. Every labor I've been through was different. My sister SWORE she would never have the epidural while in labor-- and she made a really big deal out of it to everyone. Turns out that she had back labor that was really fast too and ended up getting the epidural after about an hour in labor...she said she felt guilty asking for it and felt stupid facing everyone later saying "nevermind" I took the drugs. Remember that only you can determine whats best for you and the only way you will know how labor is going to feel is to experience it! So I say go for it 100%, but don't beat yourself up if you end up asking for the epidural
-- Oh and the Catheter dues suck...majorly. That was the worst part for me. They do wait until you have the epidural before they put it in-- which helps because then you don't feel it, but I always get a bladder infection from the cursed things and HATE them.
Bouncing/sitting on a fit ball - (this was amazing for my last labour.)
Staying up right as much as possible, (being on your back or reclined will often make contractions feel WAY worse.)
Warm showers (direct the stream onto your belly or back.)
I am all about the NCB as well and will be taking a class called Hypnobirthing which is supposed to help you mentally handle the pains of childbirth. When I was induced to deliver the twins I opted for an epidural since I wanted to deal with the emotional pain instead of the physical pain. I have had epidural injections, different than CB epidural, for a herniated disc in my lower back and I hated the pain of the needle. The epidural needle for labor wasn't too bad but I had pain at the injection site for almost 2 months after the delivery. As a result of that I am hoping that I don't need to get an epidural this time as I don't want to go through that pain with having a baby since it made it difficult to sleep. Well hope you can find some other alternatives and if you need the epidural then that is fine too you have to do what is best for you.
*Mommy to Brendan with Two Angels Above*
~Momma to 8 Furbabies (4 cats & 4 dogs)~