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Forum: May 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
March 14th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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I am planning on a natural birth, but want to be as informed as possible about my options and the risks etc of every medication available during labour. I am having a midwife attended, hospital birth.

One thing I found very fascinating is that because of the size of the hospital we are going to, they don't actually offer epidurals routinely. Only in the case of emergency (c section) will they bring in someone to give one.

What is offered however is laughing gas, and fentanyl, as well as a shot of morphine. The hospital encourages all kinds of other techniques etc including hydro therapy and movement and changing positions.

I was just curious if anyone else is delivering at a hospital that doesn't offer epidurals.
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  #2  
March 14th, 2013, 01:29 PM
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Wow...that would have me worried. Even if you don't want ice cream it's nice to have some in the freezer. A preggo med that I'm on could rule out a epi of I've injected with 24 hours...I take a shot every twelve. It's on my mind often, I know I can do just about anything as I'm sure you also can but just knowing its there is nice. How do you maintain control with laughing gas I wonder?
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  #3  
March 14th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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Yikes...I couldn't do it. But hey, if that's how they do things, and you want to go all natural, then that's a good thing.
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  #4  
March 14th, 2013, 02:27 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't think that would bother me. In fact, I think it would make me feel better, because I'd know that no one was going to try to pressure me into getting one. I've wondered how stuff like laughing gas would be during labor.
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  #5  
March 14th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Quite honestly, I've never asked.

You can go natural, it really is an amazing experience!
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  #6  
March 14th, 2013, 03:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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I'm not worried about going without! I'm actually excited that it's not on the table because I think it could be mighty tempting if it was.

I was just curious if there were other hospitals with similar policies.


I have heard very mixed reviews about nitrous oxide, either people love it, or hate it...
I just feel good knowing what is available to me, and what isn't... It also comes with fairly low risks, and is portable (ex-it can be used while in the tub!)

But I'd still rather give it a shot without any meds at all!
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  #7  
March 14th, 2013, 03:53 PM
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Nitrous oxide does have mixed reviews. It worked great for me during one birth and did nothing the next. Go figure.

I don't think I would be worried about no epi. If you REALLY need one, sounds like they can arrange it.
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  #8  
March 14th, 2013, 08:43 PM
Shufu_in_Shunan's Avatar Padawan Kim
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Location: Yamaguchi, Japan
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I'm pretty sure my hospital doesn't offer epidurals because they are extremely rare in Japan. I didn't even ask. If they did offer them, I'd be a little nervous about getting one here; I'd feel like they didn't have enough practice, or something. I'm not sure what kind of delivery I'd choose if I were doing it it the U.S., but ever since I knew I was having my baby in Japan, I planned for a natural childbirth. I'm really quite scared, since my tolerance for pain is very low, but I don't have much choice! Can anyone recommend any good books available on Kindle for dealing with natural childbirth pain?
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  #9  
March 14th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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Hospitals where I come from do not offer epi either. Everyone HAS TO go natural unless of course there's a complication, then c-section (very rare). When I told my mom and sisters that I had epi with DD (here in the US of course), they were terrified that I am going to die or go paralyzed in the coming months lol
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  #10  
March 14th, 2013, 08:49 PM
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Interesting how different countries handle it. The US is so epi-happy! LOL!
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  #11  
March 14th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverydayJoy View Post
Interesting how different countries handle it. The US is so epi-happy! LOL!
Oh I should say that money is a major issue here of course, well at least where I come from. Child birth is free to all mothers, you just go to the hospital, nurses are rude, nobody treats you nice, they take the baby out and within hours you're on your own and leave the hospital. So basically mothers don't pay for epi. I don't know about c-section if it's free or not. I am just reporting what i've heard.

Here in the US, it's not free (I don't think it is, unless a mother is on wic, but again it's not free, the gov't pays right?)
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  #12  
March 14th, 2013, 09:00 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Wow that doesn't sound like a nice experience at all! I'd be inclined to have my baby at home if I knew it was going to be like that.
No it's definitely not free here. If you don't have insurance, which by itself can be expensive---some people pay $400 a month or more for it, while some get it for free through the state if they have low enough incomes. Anyway without insurance, for a no-frills vaginal delivery with no medications, it might cost $10,000 or more. If it was a C-section or you had an epidural or other interventions, the cost goes way up for that.

If I had not had insurance (double coverage, so we didn't pay a dime) last year when I had a miscarriage and had to have a D&C and spend 5 days in the hospital, it would have cost me around $50,000.
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  #13  
March 14th, 2013, 10:25 PM
Shufu_in_Shunan's Avatar Padawan Kim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverydayJoy View Post
Interesting how different countries handle it. The US is so epi-happy! LOL!
It is interesting! From what I've heard, the main reason epidurals are not common in Japan is that most people here feel like the experience of the pain is an important part of the delivery, like it makes you appreciate the outcome more. I think they're also worried about potential side effects from the epidural. When I was talking with a Japanese lady about how common epidurals in the U.S. are, she was really shocked, and started asking me questions. C-sections are also rare here, and only given in emergency situations.

Since the growth population is so low here, they really try to make childbirth an easy, comfortable, affordable experience, other than the no pain relief thing lol. They give you coupons for free prenatal checkups and even give you a reimbursement for the actual delivery/hospital stay costs. I'll just need to keep all of that in mind during childbirth lol.
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  #14  
March 14th, 2013, 10:59 PM
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The atmosphere in your delivery room while you're laboring can really make a difference on your perception of how good or bad it was. If the atmosphere is peaceful, quiet, etc, it can help calm you and you can actually perceive the pain as less than if it is anxious, tense, or people running in and out of the room. At least I hear that is how it works! The less anxiety Mom feels, the better her perception of it will be.
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  #15  
March 15th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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Nope, quite the opposite. A very low percentage of mothers deliver without an epi at the hospital I birth in. And it IS more NCB friendly than several others around here

But, when local c-section rates are around 35%, what else can you expect but highly-medicalized births?

The hospital I birth at does offer other options of pain relief, instead of an epidural. They have jet tubs, tens machines are permitted (but need to be rented beforehand), narcotic medication (morphine, etc), but not laughing gas. Its about as friendly as it gets around here.

I would be fine with not having the option of an epi as long as pitocin also wasn't given out like candy. I know labor without an epi is something I can handle. I also I *can* handle labor with pitocin and no epi. I just wouldn't choose to again.
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  #16  
March 15th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Ashelee, wow your hospital sounds great, even TENS machines? So cool! I think the hospital I'm going to deliver at does the sterile water injections for pain relief, I thought that was cool.
35% C rates? Yikes!! I know that's pretty similar across the board but just scary. I was reading an article last night, it was a nurse telling her story how in the hospital she worked in, there were "Cut-happy" docs, as they called them, who would push for a C-section just because they wanted to get home in time for dinner.
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  #17  
March 15th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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I just want to remind people that the human body has a very sophisticated pain response system, especially for a process like child birth (which you ease into), which differs considerably from breaking a limb, for example (totally unexpected). It isn't like, without any warning there's a baby shooting out of your vagina and it hurts as much as that sounds like it would. I've heard overwhelmingly positive things about natural childbirth from those who have done it.

ANYWAY, it wouldn't bother me at all if an epi wasn't available.
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  #18  
March 15th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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Joy, a doctor wanting to go home is one of the reasons I chose the practice I did. I see several different doctors. One is my regular Gyno. They each take 24 hour shifts at the hospital so there is no going home or taking a vacation. I know one of them will be delivering and they won't push to deliver on their time table. Out of about eight friends and family(13 births in all), there have been two c-sections. Both of those were the same friend and she went straight to elective c-section on the second. All of my friends that went with another practice in town ended up with c-sections.

For me, it would bother me that an epi wasn't readily available. I drive about an hour to go to a large hospital that I know is able to handle anything. With each birth, I have held out on the epi until I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to try natural with my last, but with every contraction, my vision went white with the pain and I asked for it. I could have taken the narcotic shots, but I know those make me incoherent and fuzzy. I felt relief knowing I could have the epi without feeling out of control and I could hold off until the last second and still get it without problem.
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  #19  
March 15th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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I guess you have about 8 or so weeks to get used to the idea that you are fairly unlikely to get an epi, or, maybe make a change in hospitals? Not sure but good luck!!!!!
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  #20  
March 15th, 2013, 02:37 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Brandy, good for you for holding out as long as you did, and I'm glad you found a good hospital that will take good care of you and not force you into anything.
I have a girlfriend that passes out when she's in a lot of pain, I think some people's bodies are just not meant to handle that kind of pain! My friend is planning on an epi as early as she can get one.
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