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epidural vs. natural birth

Forum: Labor and Childbirth


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April 7th, 2013, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 25
so how do you decide? when do you decide?
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April 9th, 2013, 06:03 AM
BeamerMarie- Due Jan 2012
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Texas!
Posts: 416
I went without an epidural for 18 hours, 7 of them at 9cm on pitocin. I was already two weeks late, and had been in inactive labor for 72 hours with contractions every 8 minutes and no sleep. I refused the epidural. Eventually the doc said I'd end up with a C-section if I didn't get one. I finally agreed, while at 9cm (Some say you can't!) and she was born 45 minutes later. She was "acynclitic" or sideways, so I wouldn't fully dilate until the epidural relaxed me. Otherwise, I'd not have gotten one. You can decided later than you think, unless your labor progresses really fast.
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April 13th, 2013, 12:22 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,142
I had an epidural with my first two. We will see what happens this time when I am actually in labor. My goal with my second baby was to get much further into labor before getting the epidural and I accomplished that.
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May 12th, 2013, 02:56 PM
alicenwonderland's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 14,022
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I didn't want an epidural with my first, and never considered it an option. I gave birth to him naturally, but it was awful. With my second, i knew I wanted one, an asked as soon as I got to the hospital. It made everything so much easier. After experiencing it both ways, my suggestion is to follow the directions of your doctor, but won't be afraid to ask for assistance. Pushing myself to the goal of natural birth only ruined my birth experience.

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May 12th, 2013, 05:52 PM
Urchin's Avatar Loving every minute.
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 8,323
I really wanted to have no drugs and no epi with my birth with DD. I was very determined to avoid it.

I had to be induced (which I also swore up and down I would not do) because I had a number of health problems and they suspected DD had IUGR.

Luckily I only needed cervical gel to get labour started, then my water broke.

Being that it was my first baby, I expected labour to be long. ..I was wrong (I went from water breaking to birth in 6 hours). I didn't realize how fast I was progressing, so I thought that if I was in *this* much pain at only 3cm, then there was no way I'd make it to 10.

I requested an epi, and they didn't check me before putting it in. As soon as it was in, they checked me, and I was 10cm! Doh!

They pretty much had to turn it off right away, but it was enough for me to gain composure and push my baby out.

As much as I didn't want to get the epi, and still wish that I hadn't, I don't regret it. If I have another child, I will try again to go without, but won't beat myself up if I do. I am glad I was able to go with the flow of my labour.
Thank-you Bokkechick for the beautiful siggy!

Proud mama to Audrina (10-10-2011) & Bryden (09-19-2014)

Last edited by Urchin; May 12th, 2013 at 05:56 PM.
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May 19th, 2013, 01:34 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2013
Location: CA
Posts: 2,130
My first labor was awful, but only becausr of the midwife( I was at the hosp) I requested someone else, but no one was availinle. She was SO mean, until my fiance said something. Even the nurses said something to her. I was in labor for 6 and a half hours and had him naturally no epidural. I did tear a little and needed 5 stitches. With my second, they were so nice, got me a rocking chair and let me walk around. They broke my water with my second because I was in the hospital for dehydratiin due to a stomach flu and my due date was the nxt day, I was 39 and a half weeks. It was the right move because he ended up going #2. He was healthy though my labor was just short of 5hrs and I had him naturally, no epi.
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April 5th, 2014, 07:31 PM
Julz81's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Both of my labors were epidural free..don't get me wrong I asked for one both times. The first one the Dr refused to give me one because he doesn't believe in them and the second one by the time they would let me have one at 6 cm (I think) they called and by the time the guy came up to do it I was all ready 10 and ready to push. For this pregnancy I kinda want to do it without again but keeping it an option.
~~Wife to Tom, Mommy to Matthew and Makayla~~

BFP: 04/03/2014 EDD: 12/15/2014 HB: 04/30/14 (75bpm) MC: 5/2/2014 (natural)

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May 16th, 2014, 02:03 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 11
Two natural births, both times with no epidural. I did hypno-birthing and it was so awesome, I never even considered an epi.
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May 16th, 2014, 11:28 AM
rachelc0's Avatar 2 sons, 5 angel babies
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 957
i had two epi's already and that's the plan this time around. i was so thankful with my first one that i did, because not only was i in labor for 25 1/2 hours (i did let the meds wear off so i could push drug free) but he was born weighing over ten pounds! i tore like an old sock with him so i was pretty thankful i ended up getting it.

with my second, i got it and it worked great up until the last hour or so, and the way baby was laying, he was blocking the medication from circulating through my body, so with him i pushed med free as well. he was much smaller (8lbs 9oz) but i still tore a little. as soon as he was born, that epi hit my system and i was numb for the longest time after.

the goal this time is the same, have my epidural so i don't kill DH, and let it wear off so i can push without medication.
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May 20th, 2014, 11:45 PM
LUSHaye's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 296
I decided when it was about 36+ hours into labor and having no progress. Stuck at 1 cm for soooo long with contractions on top of each other was extremely frustrating. It was either get an epidural or emergency c-section (which would have been with an epidural anyways). The epidural was magical because my body wasn't relaxing at ALL. Soon after I got it, my water broke and I was dilating 2cm every 30 to 60 minutes.
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June 16th, 2014, 01:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 4
I think epidural is better to reduce pain in labor.


Last edited by kentovellh; June 16th, 2014 at 09:07 AM.
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June 16th, 2014, 12:56 PM
Kristina86's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Luis Obispo
Posts: 131
My plan was to see how it went. I hoped to be able to go naturally but was OK with getting the epidural if I needed one.

I ended up getting induced a week early due to gestational hypertension. I had decided before knowing I was going to be induced that if there was any pitocin involved, I was definately going to get an epi. So going into the hospital, I knew I was getting one.

They started me on cervidel for 24 hours which made me have mild cramps. Then started me on pitocin and about an hour later I was at 4cm and my midwife broke my water. That was when contractions went from uncomfortable to painful and there was alot of pain in my back. That was when I had the epi and I was so glad I did.

Before going into the hospital, I was freaked out over the idea of a needle going into my spine, but when your in labor you are in game mode and it's different and really not that bad. It was incredibly relaxing and I was pleasantly surprised I could feel and move my legs. About 3 1/2 hours my midwife checked me and the baby was practically crowning. It took me about an hour to push, which probably would have been faster if I hadn't gotten the epi. I had a small tear but there was only a little pain during the pushing stage.

I'm happy with my decision to get the epidural. I was worried it was going to stall labor but I think it might have sped it up. There were no bad after effects. I have a small area in my thigh that feels a little numb sometimes that is probably from the epi but I haven't felt that for a few weeks now. I'm 11 weeks pp so I have yet to see if it will keep happening or not.

June 2012 May 2013
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June 16th, 2014, 01:06 PM
Cupcakes and Kittens's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 116
I had an Epidural with my son and I totally regret it. Getting that needle hurt worse than labor did for me (but it wasn't like a feeling of floating unicorns in my stomach or something still lol, don't get me wrong). I will not be doing it this time. It failed and I think it actually made the labor worse when it did. I will still be using pain management, such as an IV because I have the option to do that, but unless it gets way too bad, the Epidural is out for me, based on what I went through and also, I partially blame it for my son having heavy (unexplained) breathing after he was born that sent him to the NICU.

It may work for some mommas and that's totally great, no judgement here but that's how I've decided to not do it again, if at all possible. It just doesn't work for me.
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June 24th, 2014, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6
With my first child, my labor progressed so quickly and I was in such pain when I got to the hospital that I definitely needed something. I got to the hospital dilated to 6cm with full on contractions (my water broke at home an hour prior to my arrival with no pain at all).

I didn't think they were going to be able to give me an epidural based on how quickly things were progressing, but I managed to get one just in time. I was in such pain at the time of the epidural that it did not bother me at all and I felt nothing but relief once I had it done (the hardest part was staying still with such hard and fast contractions).

My entire labor from my water breaking to my daughters birth was roughly 4 hours and when my contractions came they were fast and hard. The epidural allowed me to get in a little bit of rest before pushing. I will definitely be getting one again.
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July 13th, 2014, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: FL
Posts: 5
I always knew I would have the epidural. I think I got it by around 4 or 5 cm during labor because I just couldn't take the contractions anymore. I was in labor for almost 24 hours I think. Unfortunately for me, it kind of wore off near the end, so I felt all of him when he entered the world...ouch... ended up with a 3rd degree tear because he was over 9lbs. He's worth it though

Last edited by DanieGirl020610; July 13th, 2014 at 03:13 PM.
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July 15th, 2014, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 12
i begged for an epidural with my 1st but didnt get one am glad now x
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October 27th, 2014, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5
Natural birth is not about the process, it is about the outcome. A healthy child and a healthy mother. Every approach has its risks, and the best way to go is to research the subject of childbirth in detail and decide which way is most comfortable for you. Also, labor is a very dynamic process, so be prepared for things to change quickly.
Having a baby is a life changer. It gives you a whole perspective of why you wake up everyday
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July 6th, 2015, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 8
I think the key is to understand the best laid plans don't always work out. You can want it to go anyway you like but there are many factors out of your control.

You might want one but labor progresses so quickly there's no time. You might not want one but labor goes along so slowly and painfully that you just can't handle it anymore. So I think the key is to have a preference but to stay flexible depending on how things play out.
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July 24th, 2015, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 11
Its a hard decision but remember its your decision no one elses. People (especially family members) have opinions on everything when it comes to pregnancy and children . Ultimately if you havent already made up your mind. Do what feels right for you. I knew as soon as i was preggo i would get an epidural. I still waited as long as i could to see how long i could go without it but in the end i did get it. I know women who have been 100 % sure that they were going natural but hours into labor not only are they going through a tremendous amount of pain they also find themselves stressing over wether they should take the epidural or not. And that is perfectly ok its your own decision. dont let anyone make you feel bad about what you are doing you know what is best for your self and your baby. mommy instincts kick in instantly! make sure you do your research on natural birth and epidural as well it helps to get as much info as possible hope this was somewhat helpful in your decision
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