Tuesday, July 14, 2015


What is an epidural?

An epidural is placed in the epidural space in your spine. A needle is used to place a catheter in this space and medicine is giving continuously through the catheter. What is put in the epidural depends on where you are and is typically a combination, for example, fentanyl (an opiod) and bupivacaine (a local anesthetic). Ask your provider what they use in their epidurals.

What are some pros of an epidural? 
  • If placed well there is complete pain relief with the ability to feel pressure when it's time to push (yes feeling this pressure is a good thing)
  • Ability to sleep/rest during your labor
  • If you have been in labor for a long time with out progressing it can help speed up dilation
  • If a c-section is needed you already have it in place
What are some cons of an epidural?
  • Can cause your blood pressure to drastically decrease- If too low can lead to distress with the baby
  • Unable to get out of bed in most places
  • Cannot eat or drink (ice chips only)
  • Can slow down labor process- (if this happens you may be given pitocin)
  • May not be able to feel to push
  • Catheter is needed to empty your bladder
  • Other unforeseen complications
When needed, epidurals are great tools to have. Again I encourage you to pray over whether or not this is the best option for you. 

What have been your experiences with epidurals?

Updated from "Epidurals" posted on February 19, 2014

1 comment:

  1. here's the story of how our little Walter Barrett came into this world.... I was scheduled to be iBa monday morning, my specialist didn't want me to go past 40 weeks due to my history. I had planned a natural waterbirth and did everything i could to try to naturally induce my labor, but nothing worked. When We arrived at the hospital, they too, tried to start labor without drugs, the balloon method dialated me to 5cm but did not start labor, so, then came the pitocin! The one thing I wanted to avoid the most (besides epidural). So, finally after enduring 14 hours of pitocin induced labor, I hit transition, it came hard and fast. since my labor was well established, they stopped the pitocin, which made my contractions less intense and I finally felt like I COULD continue to birth without asking for an epidural. However, during this time, most women throw up, myself included. As I was throwing up and convulsing, my rib muscle ripped off of my rib bone, I heard a pop, and instantly felt EXCRUCIATING pain and could barely move. I continued to get sick, adding to the rib pain, while contracting. All the pain in my ribs meant there was literally no possible way at all I could have pushed through that pain even if wanted to, my body simply would not have let me if I tried. So, in came the epidural. The anesthesiologist hit a nerve, thus, causing even more pain on top of everything else, and then yelled at me for moving because it made my back spasm, which was not something I could control. So he stuck me again, and hit another nerve! He spent a full 2 minutes jabbing nerves, and me begging him to stop! At first, it only worked on half my body, but it finally caught up to the other side. So after a quick nap I was finally ready to push, the pain had subsided, and I just wanted him here. The nurses came in, I pushed for less than10 mins, and then he was in my arms! FINALLY! So after everything we did to prepare for our peaceful, natural birth, we did not, however, prepare for craziness that actually happened. But in the end none of that even mattered, he's here safe and sound and we could not be more thankful.


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