What are the pros/cons of an epidural?

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  1. breathe2travel profile image80
    breathe2travelposted 6 years ago

    What are the pros/cons of an epidural?

    I gave birth to my five children naturally, without an epidural.  I am debating whether to have the anesthesia this time.  What did you choose? Why? Pros? Cons?   Thank you.

  2. Christine Miranda profile image70
    Christine Mirandaposted 6 years ago

    Seriously?? After 5???  Why are you even considering an epidural? Were there issues with the last one that makes you think an epidural would be better?

    No offense but that is like having five with epidurals and deciding to have a c-section for the 6th. You don't have to have an epidural, you could ask for demerol to take the edge off.

    I chose not to have an epidural with either of my two children. I was more afraid of a needle in the spine than actual childbirth. 

    PROS: Personally, I think it is much better for the baby. Mine were wide awake and alert because they were not drugged. To me this alone would be reason to skip the Epi. I was able to immediately take a shower after they settled me in my room because I could feel my legs and stand on my own which is another plus.

    CONS: The pain, the pain and uh the pain.

    I was lucky though. My son was born first at 9 lbs 13 oz so years later when my daughter was born she pretty much walked out on her own. smile

    1. breathe2travel profile image80
      breathe2travelposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Your reasons match mine: the health of my baby, and able to shower.
      I am *considering the epidural because I am so much older -- *due date is 3 days prior to my 40th birthday. I am wondering if I have the *same endurance. (4 year *old adding stars)*

    2. Christine Miranda profile image70
      Christine Mirandaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Oh I see now. Haven't they gotten easier with each one though? If you haven't had any complications I think you will be able to handle it. Best of luck.

  3. DreamerMeg profile image86
    DreamerMegposted 6 years ago

    The hospitals appear to use epidurals so they can "manage" the birth. The woman in the bed next to me over 30 years ago had an epidural and her baby was born just before mine (that was my second) and she was still not out of hospital when I was up and walking around fine. She got an air bubble I think and had a blinding headache for 5 days. I know things have changed over the last 30 or 40 years but I still think that the relaxation exercises are the very best way of preparing for the birth. I got the book "Childbirth without fear" by Grantley Dick-Read. It may be out of print now but you may still be able to get a 2nd hand copy. You need to make sure the exercises are included (near the middle / back) not all editions include them. My daughter went to hypno birthing classes and used raspberry leaf tea and raspberry leaf tablets.Her pain relief was pethidine and it relaxed the cervix to help the birth.
    My daughter was my 3rd child and she was born at home because I didn't even realise I was in labour (the previous two were induced) and the relaxation exercises helped me through it with no pain relief - wasn't any available! Pros - helps the hospital work their "system". Cons, they can have side effects. With 5 previous babies, unless this one is extra big or there is some other reason, then why not go for the same process that has already given you 5 healthy children? Just because you are nearly 40 doesn't make you less able to stand pain, I think actually, you get stronger in some ways as you get older. All the best whatever you decide.

    1. Christine Miranda profile image70
      Christine Mirandaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Oh I understand now.  Haven't they gotten easier each time though??  Well I wish you the best of luck. Bring a leather belt to bite on. smile

  4. puregrace profile image68
    puregraceposted 6 years ago

    Well, I chose to be ready for the epidural all three babies I delivered, but never used it, and was thankful. I used nothing, drug-wise, for the final baby and was most free of discomfort after that birth, and healed much more quickly.

  5. fitmom profile image79
    fitmomposted 6 years ago

    People have listed lots of good reasons not to get an epidural. I've given birth to two babies naturally. I've had several friends that got an epidural and had the terrible headache that lasted for days. They were incapable of caring for their baby or doing anything. That risk alone is enough for me to stay away. I also think it's best for the mom and baby to do it natural. I hope you have a smooth delivery and recovery!

    Best ~ fitmom

    1. breathe2travel profile image80
      breathe2travelposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I am definitely leaning toward going natural again!

      Thank you for your input. smile

  6. Ruchi Urvashi profile image65
    Ruchi Urvashiposted 6 years ago

    My personal experience with epidural was excellent. I was in Ireland during my delivery. I had a very, very long labor, almost 24hrs. I was rolling on the ground due to pain and doctors were insistent on natural delivery as i was perfectly healthy. I finally requested for epidural. I still needed to wait before I could get it.

    Epidural is allowed only in the very last stage of delivery (nurses need to check the opening size) and after I finally got the injection, I felt like I was in heaven. When the baby came out, I was smiling. I had no pain and I could do breast feeding immediately. My baby was perfectly healthy and I was glad and healthy too.

    Pros are: makes the baby delivery enjoyable and the whole process very relaxed, you can do breast feeding immediately.

    Cons: Although I had no side effects but there are rare chances that some people might have side effects.

    1. breathe2travel profile image80
      breathe2travelposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I'm glad you had such a pleasant experience.  Thank you for sharing your story.

  7. Onlinemidwife profile image80
    Onlinemidwifeposted 6 years ago

    Epidurals are great to take all the pain away however there are some drawbacks:
    1. There is a higher risk of having an instrumental delivery ie. Ventouse or forceps and if that fails you could end up having a csection.
    2. There is a risk of having headaches after it has worn off but this is a small risk and can be rectified
    3. There is a small risk of developing numbness from the after effects of an epidural
    What you also need to think about is that you are having your 6th baby with previous normal deliveries, by the time you go into labour and ask for the epidural you may have had the baby quicker than they could set it up for you.
    Its personal choice for everyone, if you need more info I have a hub on 'What is an Epidural' that may help you.

    1. breathe2travel profile image80
      breathe2travelposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for your input.  smile


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