The Pregnancy Posse
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The Power of Birth Affirmations
Saved 6/02/10 to The Pregnancy Posse

Are You Planning on Getting the Epidural or Going Natural?


In my Prenatal Yoga class last week, one woman said that she's camping out a week before her due date so she can get the epidural as soon as she has her first contraction. I know that giving birth will involve pain, but after reading a lot about natural childbirth, and seeing the documentary The Business of Being Born (check out the trailer below), I have a whole new perspective on how going drug-free will benefit both me and my baby. I was curious though to see what you other moms-to-be are planning on doing for your births.

VintageMama VintageMama 3 years 37 weeks
I'm doing all-natural, home birth, pending no complications. I trust that my body will know what to do. And it's shown that all natural births typically go quicker, so I'd like to get it done and over with as quickly as possible. Even if it means feeling it all.
Carri Carri 3 years 45 weeks
I was hell bent on an epidural but when the time came, I just didn't need it. I was very lucky, though, and had an incredibly easy labor and delivery. I've heard some horror birthing stories and trust me, if it were any harder than it was, I would have gone with the meds.
Caritopm Caritopm 4 years 1 week
God! I'm only 9 weeks and the delivery is the part that scares me the most! I'm planning on getting the Epidural! This is my 1st pregnancy but everybody I've talked to (my sister-in-law LOVES to be pregnant!) told me about the "magic moment" and so on, but since I'm so scared of pain, I think Epidural is the only way I'm gonna do it! LOL!! Kisses from Argentina :)
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 4 years 14 weeks
I had an epidural with both of my boys and I don't regret it at all. It's a woman's choice. One is not better than the other.
MissSushi MissSushi 4 years 14 weeks
They push pitocin because it significantly speeds the birth up, which most OB's push to get it over with. It also makes the contractions much stronger and longer then natural contractions, making it harder and more stressful on the mother and baby, which in turn makes more women turn to medications. I was absolutely the same, i wanted NOTHING near my spine, but did decide later to have it. My water had broken before I went to the hospital, and they refused to let me shift around or do anything but lie flat on my back. Pitocin also raises the risk of hemorrhaging after - which i had.
hausfrau hausfrau 4 years 14 weeks
km - it's not necessary at the vast majority of births. the BEST tip if you plan to go natural (besides preparing, like a PP said, you can't just waltz in with no preparation... well, you can, but it's gonna be 1000x harder) is to STAY HOME AS LONG AS YOU CAN. serioulsy. because the second you get to the hosp they're going to start pressuring you to get the pitocin. so STAY HOME until you really, absolutely, positively CANNOT take it anymore. and listen to your intuition. it will be right.
kmckay kmckay 4 years 14 weeks
I'm due next month and I'm currently in the 'no epidural' for me opinion... not because I think I can/should handle the pain, but because the thought of a needle going in my spine scares the &$%# out of me!!! I know at the time I may not care and if so, I'll get the epi if I need it :) (Every woman I know says... you're scared of a needle but not a human coming out of a small hole? lol) I'm also worried about the Pitocin push.. it seems like every woman I know that's given birth in the last 5 yrs was given Pitocin.. is it necessary? Why is there such a push for laboring women to get it?
POPSUGAR-Moms POPSUGAR-Moms 4 years 14 weeks
I wanted drug free births, but all three of my kids were long overdue so I had to be induced each time. I think it's nice to go in with a birth plan understanding that things can change very quickly. I felt most of the contractions and the deliveries despite the epidurals. My youngest was over 10 pounds. I cannot fathom what it would have been like without anything to take the edge off!
AbbyHintz AbbyHintz 4 years 14 weeks
I'm planning to go natural; it's my first time. I am practicing hypnobirthing. I am also following the advice from one of the anonymous posters and not telling my family. I usually just say, "I'll see." In Ohio, at least, most people choose to get an epidural. I have not found one person at my workplace that tried natural. So I am delighted to see that it's about 50/50 in Lilsugar. I am hoping the hypnobirthing practice will help me have a quick labor. My biggest fear is stalling and needing to get Pitocin.
4 years 14 weeks
I had a drug-free birth with my daughter, mostly because I really don't like the idea of having a needle near my spine. I have mild scoliosis at the spot where they put an epidural, so I was never really comfortable with the idea of someone poking me down there. I felt almost no pain during my contractions, and didn't know I was in labor for the first hour. When I finally was admitted to the hospital an hour later, I was 7cm and fully effaced, and still in pretty much no pain. I was able to answer every question they asked me, while I was contracting! The nurses and doctors were really shocked. It was actually kind of weird. I don't know why, but my contractions just didn't hurt at all until they broke my water. Then I dilated the last 3cm in about 15 minutes, pushed for 15 minutes and my total labor was about three hours. I'm actually really worried that a second would be half the length (as they supposedly are) and I wouldn't get to the hospital in time. Now, the pushing was the worst pain I've ever felt. I can't even describe how much that hurt. But, I'm hoping that if I do have a second child, I'll be able to remain calm and focused because I've already done it once.
MissSushi MissSushi 4 years 14 weeks
I had a no pain relief with my first, not really my choice, because though i had origianlly decided no medication, when the back labor kicked in full force, i was begging for the epidural. It didn't work, and i had no idea i could make them redo it. No one stood up for me, and i was in so much pain i could hardly talk to anyone, much less plead my case. I was calm, and internalized to cope, and they just told me that i wasnt showing pain so i wasnt in pain. My second labor was induced due to preeclampsia, and I had an epidural shortly after the real pain started in, and oh my god it was wonderful. I was able to relax, rest, and do entertaining things while I waited to push. I had what they called a window, where i could feel all of the pain, but it was only about baseball sized. It was so much better thena ll over pain. I pushed just fine, and the pain did not come back during pushing. I would only assume it would come back if they turn your drip off too early or too much. Being stitched up after was way better too, obviously. The first time around i felt everything during the entire 45 minutes they stitched me up. Not even remotely fun. If I have another baby, i am going epidural all the way. I have absolutely no wish to be in that pain again. If it doesn't work, I'll have them remove it and do it again. IMO, it's not the epidural that causes problems, its the pitocin they push on every mother going through labor to speed it up to fit their happy time table. Obviously, you should do what you want to do, no matter what anyone else says or does.
4 years 14 weeks
I labored for 22 hours naturally before it was determined that my daughter was stuck and I ended up having a c-section. The pain is REAL. If you are thinking about going natural, try taking a Bradley class or hypnobirthing to help you prepare. You can't walk in the door without tools to deal with the pain, and your partner or coach has to be on board. Just a tip: don't discuss your plans for going natural with your family or friends. You probably won't find the support you desire. When asked what my plans were, I would just say something generic like "we'll see how things go." And you should flat out refuse to listen to other people's horror stories.
jenni5 jenni5 4 years 14 weeks
So I've had 2 epidurals now. The 1st was perfect. Went in the first time, no issues afterwards. Only thing I had was some vomiting right after he put it in. The 2nd was horrendous! The guy poked me 4 times before he got it in the right spot. I had back pain for 2 months afterwards. With both I had no pain during birth. Very similar to schappycat's experience. With my 3rd I'm thinking of going natural but I am very scared. The 2nd epidural traumatized me though. I think I'll figure it out when I get to the hospital.
hausfrau hausfrau 4 years 14 weeks
No one who does it naturally is looking for a medal so I wish people would stop saying that "you don't get a medal" or "there's no prize". Actually, there is a prize - having the birth you wanted, a huge feeling of accomplishment and empowerment if that kind of birth was your goal. Whenever someone says "there's no medal" or whatever, to me it just sounds like trying to minimize someone else's opinion in order you make yours look better.
4 years 14 weeks
epidural! contraction are already painful I cant imagine how painful can be when the baby is crowning!!
Abilew Abilew 4 years 14 weeks
I'm definitely feeling the "wait and see." I labored at home with my first for a long, long time, determined that I would get to the hospital at the last possible moment and not even have time to request the epidural - no matter how much I wanted it. I was at home for a while, arriving at the hospital 8 cm dilated. I cried when I heard. I really thought I did it. And I was proud of myself...until that next transition contraction came along and took my breath away. When I got to my room, a doctor poked his head in and said, "so who's getting an epidural?" And I raised my hand out of sheer exhaustion and absolutely no will. I got the epidural. And afterwards? I was SO thankful I did. Granted, it was literally 30 minutes later and I was fully dilated and ready to push - and I felt everything at that point anyhow. But that 30 minutes of total peace? You can't put a price on it. That said, I was ticked when I got the bill for it - $1000 for 30 minutes. Seriously. So I'm having our second any day now, and I'll try the same tactic again - but despite the sticker shock and brief moment of peace, I won't totally toss the idea out the window. If I can make it without one? Great. It's a point of personal pride - but if I feel like I need to get one, that's okay too.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 4 years 14 weeks
I was induced and had an epidural with my daughter. Her heart rate dropped, and I had a crash c-section. If I had it to do all over again, I don't know what I'd do. I was exhausted by the time she was born, I hadn't slept in days because of the contractions, and the epidural let me sleep for a few hours. That was the most important thing to me right at that moment. If the circumstances were different, I'd try a natural birth.
MonkiChriz MonkiChriz 4 years 14 weeks
I didn't want any drugs but my son (and only child) changed my mind. About 4-5 hours after my very first contraction, I was about 8-9 cm dilated. He wanted out NOW. I was in so much pain because labor was moving so quickly that I needed an epidural. I think I would have passed out from the pain if I didn't get the epidural, actually. The epidural has drawbacks (since it took 3 tries to get it in correctly and I was shivering for hours afterwards) but I felt calm and relaxed and ready to start nursing as soon as he was born.
4 years 14 weeks
I'm in the "see how it goes" camp. With my first, I was induced (at 42 weeks), and the whole process took nearly THREE DAYS from beginning to delivery. Once I finally caved and got an epidural, I progressed much more quickly, and I truly believe that it was the right decision for me. Without it, I think I might have ended up with unproductive labor and been given a C-section. I'm currently due in about 4 weeks, and I'm just planning on seeing how it goes. I'm hoping that if I have an uninduced birth, I won't need an epidural, but I'm not going to rule it out.
schnappycat schnappycat 4 years 14 weeks
I have respect for those who go natural, but it's just not for me. I am in the camp of why be in pain when it's not necessary. I had 2 almost completely pain-free, fast, and easy medicated labors (during which I watched TV/movies and surfed the internet) and deliveries and wouldn't have done it any other way. At the end of the day, I still had a baby to take home and in my mind that is all that matters. I figure that you don't get a medal for doing it the hard way, so I'd like to be as comfortable as possible. And, starbucks, everyone is different, but I felt next to nothing, not even pressure, during pushing with an epidural. It was fantastic. The only thing I felt the entire labor was some slight discomfort from where my catheter was placed during each contraction. But not the contraction itself. That was the only way I knew I was contracting. It's quite wild how comfortable the whole thing really was for me.
4 years 15 weeks
I've had 3 babies all drug free, and I'm proud of it but it's not for everyone. Everyone has a different pain tolarance level, and everyone's pain is different. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is have a positive attitude going into your delivery! If you tell yourself before that you're tough and you're going to try and do the best you can, but not be afraid to go for the pain meds if/when you need them, you won't be dissappointing yourself! If you go in planning not to have any pain meds and then need them you may feel like you've failed in some way. If you go in saying that you'll do whatever you can and whatever is best for you and your baby, it'll help you have a good experience.
4 years 15 weeks
I did it all natural the first time as I planned. I did ask for drugs for most of it though :-) I am due again in 2.5 months and am TERRIFIED! Labor was very hard and very traumatic for me (and my husband). We are taking hypnobirthing this time to prepare mentally and to hope that I have more tools to resort to. In the back of my mind I wonder if the moment I feel that first contraction it will ALL coming flooding back to me and I'll say EPIDURAL PLEASE! We'll see!!!! Good luck to you!
starbucks2 starbucks2 4 years 15 weeks
I didn't have an epidural and never intented to have one. But seeing as I only have one birthing experience I obviously can't tell you what's better. The thing I heard though as that with epidural you don't feel the pain until it comes to pushing, and then you're taking by surprise. That's supposed to be even bigger pain then without the epidural in the first place. I don't know if this is true for everyone, though. From my experience I can tell you, birth is nothing like what you see on TV. You can do it! Yes, it's painful and there will probably be times when you think you won't be able to do it. But it's also wonderful and magical! I'd like to hear the stories of moms who had epidurals now!
4 years 15 weeks
I did a natural water birth, I only used a bit of gas & air. It was difficult and there were moments when I almost went for the pain relief, but I am glad I stuck with it. Having said that: everyone's birth experience is different, and I think it's important that each woman do what is best for HER in that situation and to not feel pressured into doing anything other than what she wants.