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The case against Epidurals... - Page 2

post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DahliaRW View Post
babies who had unmedicated births were able, within an hour of birth, when no one removed them from their mothers and they were immediately put on her belly, to crawl/creep up, find the nipple on their own, latch on and nurse.
I think I read this is traditional in Sweden. Someone theorized that maybe our aerolas are darker to help baby FIND the nipple. But it honestly baffles me. Newborns can't hold up their own heads! How do they manage to crawl to the nipple & latch on???

During his first few weeks of life, I tried having DS on my chest & letting him latch himself on a few times - never worked. Even now at over 8 mos, he still isn't really crawling. So I have a hard time imaging this.
post #22 of 92
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3oPb4WdycE
post #23 of 92
My medicated (epidural) babies could've done the breast crawl. Especially #2. She was just so impressive with how desperately she wanted the breast. It was as if she'd been starving the whole gestation (and if fact she wasn't growing anymore in me) She still nursing like a maniac at almost 3!

Anyway, I'd try again next time (goodness forbid there be a next time) to not have an epidural but not feel bad if I did. My experience has been that I don't dilate well without them.
post #24 of 92
I had none of the negative side effects of an epi, except that I'm pretty sure it slowed my labor by a few hours but I hated every freaking min of it. I labored 10 hours w/ a straight pit induction and had the epi for 3 hours. I hated the 3 epi hours worse than the 10.

I literally felt tied down. I was helpless and need my mom or dh to help me even shift position. I was terrified of moving wrong and ripping either the eip or the internal monitors out. And worst of all I felt completely out of control of my own body and disconnected from the lower half of it.

After being convinced that I needed to press the button to up the dose to make me feel better (it didn't) I had them turn it down enough so that thankfully I could feel enough of the contractions to be able to push effectively. Though I think I would have torn less had I been able to feel better and follow the urge to push.

Just my personal experience with a "good" epi.
post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DahliaRW View Post
There was a study the teacher of my birth class showed us where babies who had unmedicated births were able, within an hour of birth, when no one removed them from their mothers and they were immediately put on her belly, to crawl/creep up, find the nipple on their own, latch on and nurse. In the group of babies where moms had drugs of any kind (even epidurals) the babies could not do it. So there is some effect on breastfeeding.
I didn't have an epidural with my 2nd baby and about 2 minutes after she was born, I pushed her toward my boob, she picked her head up, opened her mouth and latched right on! It was the most amazing thing ever! My doula was also a LLL leader and was total amazed b/c she hadn't seen that before (heard about it but hadn't seen it!). I was so happy to have a LLL leader there to help me get breastfeeding started well but I needed absolutely no help!

My c-section baby (c-section for ftp following the usual cascade of interventions) did get latched and we successfully breastfed for years but it was much more difficult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShwarmaQueen View Post
The site where the epi was inserted ACHED for almost a year after DD was born via c/s. I'd easily trade few hours of intense pain for that!
It's been 4 years and I still wake up every day with back pain.... I know epidurals don't always cause problems and there is a time and a place for them (like when a mom really needs to rest or isn't coping well) but I knew the 2nd time that I would just deal with whatever pain b/c the 6 weeks of physical therapy and various other pain relieving things I've done over the years, just aren't worth the couple hours of pain free labor for me.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlm194 View Post
It's been 4 years and I still wake up every day with back pain....
I know the rate of complications from epi's must be higher than the docs lead us to believe. I've met several ppl IRL who've also had complications. They really owe it to the public to make a stronger warning about them...instead most believe there's little risk of complications. :
post #27 of 92
I had an epi after a pit induction with #1. Pitocin is straight from hell if you asked me and that epi saved me.(note: not that I could have, but with my homebirth, I never even thought about it--natural is no where NEAR the pain of pit IMO)

Anyway, I personally had no side effects from the epi, but I blame my totally drugged up baby to all the meds. She slept so hard--I literally could not wake her up when she had slept 6-7 hours. When she did eventually stir, she would go back to sleep after 5-10 minutes of nursing....try as I might I could not keep her awake to nurse more. I had lactation consultants at my house and I sought them out because she had almost no suck--she just had no energy...she was otherwise a healthy, full-term baby.

When my son was born he latched onto my boob shortly after my placenta came out and nursed a good long while before falling asleep. It was amazing.

Although I can't prove it, I 100% blame the drugged birth to my rough start with dd. It lasted about 2 weeks.

Sarah
post #28 of 92
I had an epidural with my first and felt like I had a bruise and an ache in my back in that spot for at least a year. I kept asking my husband to check for a big bruise but he could never see one. My son also had low blood sugar from it and I could not get him to nurse again fast enough so they gave him a little formula to get it up. He threw up from the time they fed him the formula well into the next day. The IV fluids come with the epidural and I was super bloated all over for a few days afterwards. I looked fatter after I had him than I did when I left for the hospital. He did nurse after he cleared his system of that nasty stuff but I really felt like if I had not had the epi. we could have avoided a lot of pains. Needless to say, with my second I went to a birth center and had a completely natural birth with no interventions and no ill side effects.
post #29 of 92
Just chiming in to say I'm glad there are good epi experiences, and not every baby reacts the same, but as a nursery RN, more often (read, not all) babies of epidurals have a harder time waking up to nurse. It seems to be related to the length of time the epidural was in; ie, the longer the epidural was in, the sleepier the baby. Its just our observation, and there are always exception to this.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by by-the-lake View Post
Just babies of epidurals have a harder time waking up to nurse..
thanks! I guess it wasn't just my hypothesis!

Sarah
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatoady View Post
thanks! I guess it wasn't just my hypothesis!

Sarah
I believe you have her quote wrong - she said:

Quote:
Just chiming in to say I'm glad there are good epi experiences, and not every baby reacts the same, but as a nursery RN, more often (read, not all) babies of epidurals have a harder time waking up to nurse. It seems to be related to the length of time the epidural was in; ie, the longer the epidural was in, the sleepier the baby. Its just our observation, and there are always exception to this.
and not that just babies of epidurals have a harder time waking up.
post #32 of 92
I had two great births with epis, I had zero trouble bfing my first, tons of trouble wiht my second.(BUT....there was also that whole, cross-country move into the in-law's place weeks after his birth that MAY have played a part in that)

Honestly, a part of me wishes that I had given more consideration to NOT having one. It's not a huge regret or anything, and I might have come to the same decision, given my low pain thresh hold, but I wish I had at least done more learning before I decided.
post #33 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShwarmaQueen View Post
The site where the epi was inserted ACHED for almost a year after DD was born via c/s. I'd easily trade few hours of intense pain for that!
I've never had an epi - two spinals, but for c-sections, not labour, so they were quite short term. I don't think I've had any negative effects (but have been in so much generalized pain that it's hard to say for sure).

However, my sister had an epi in her first labour. She was still having intermittent back pain in a certain spot near the injection site for months - maybe years.
post #34 of 92
i think in looking at wether its bad for baby or bad for mom you've got to remeber that mom and baby are one unit....so if its bad for mom, its probably bad for baby too

thats one thing i've really gotte from the reading i've been doing lately about birth, especially as it rrelates to the midwifery model of care.....with the medicalization of birth you tend to get the mom and baby separated into two different (and often somewhat adversarial) patients

as to specifics in regards to the original q

form this article by sara buckley

http://www.birthinternational.com/articles/sarah02.html

"There is a noticeable lack of research and information about the effects of epidurals on babies24. Drugs used in epidurals can reach levels at least as high as those in the mother25, and because of the baby's immature liver, these drugs take a long time- sometimes days- to be cleared from the baby's body26"

"Several studies have found subtle but definite changes in the behaviour of newborn babies after epidural36 37 38 with one study showing that behavioural abnormalities persisted for at least six weeks39. Other studies have shown that, after an epidural, mothers spent less time with their newborn babies40, and described their babies at one month as more difficult to care for41."

the article also mentions possible breastfeeding dificulties but since tahts been pretty well covered here i didn't quote that

and heres a good overview of recent research with lots of links to the original studies

http://www.omninerd.com/articles/Pro...ecent_Research
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs*kewpie*pie View Post
i think in looking at wether its bad for baby or bad for mom you've got to remeber that mom and baby are one unit....so if its bad for mom, its probably bad for baby too
:

Also, three things I think I didn't see mentioned (could be wrong), that I've seen happen:

1 - I don't know how often this happens, but certainly I've seen it more than once: the epidural just doesn't work on one side and they have to go back in to fix it. Meanwhile, mom is not only having contractions but also tied down to the bed and can't move at all to alleviate her pain. This really, really sucks.

2 - At the pushing stage, they turn down the epidural so you can push. Then, mom hasn't built up any level of 'comfort' with her contractions, and they surprise her, and she hasn't been using any techniques to cope (because she didn't really need them) so she's totally unprepared and pushing is excruciating and stalled... snowballing of interventions.

3 - Mom thinks the epidural is her "backup" in case natural techniques don't work, so doesn't really prepare for birth with breathing and perineal massage and talking to other moms, etc., so she's unprepared... just the opportunity to have one in this case undermines natural birth sometimes, IMO.

Jen
post #36 of 92
I had no problems from mine. That was almost 6 years ago. I will be getting a second one in a few weeks.
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasneedlove View Post
2 - At the pushing stage, they turn down the epidural so you can push. Then, mom hasn't built up any level of 'comfort' with her contractions, and they surprise her, and she hasn't been using any techniques to cope (because she didn't really need them) so she's totally unprepared and pushing is excruciating and stalled... snowballing of interventions.
Oh, yeah - I remember my sister complaining about that. She was horrified when the epidural was turned down, and told me later that she wished she hadn't had it, because at least she could have become accustomed to it.

I will say that I still can't imagine getting one for the pain...but I did find myself understanding getting one for exhaustion, after labouring for a long time with Aaron. I didn't mind the pain, in and of itself...but I did mind that it kept me awake...
post #38 of 92
I think it is important to know why you don't want an epidural. Us crunchy folks just say no. I did but my midwife challenged me to explain why I didn't want an epidural and the answers (which I actually wrote down to read while I was in labor) really helped me decide to go ahead and have the epidural.

My original reason would have just been "it isn't natural" but with prompting I realized that my reasons were:

1. I wanted the baby to be alert enough to have a good bf experience within the first hour.
2. I wanted to be lucid and in control during the pushing phase. I didn't want to not feel what was happening and I didn't want my emotions to be numbed by the drugs.
3. Girl Power!!!

So, with these reasons in hand this is what happened. My water broke and I waited 24 hours to contact my midwife but told her it had happened that morning. (I don't recommend this but I felt that the 24 hour limit is silly - please do your own research before deciding to tell a fib to your provider!). I never did have contractions start so the started pit. The contractions were awful! I had "butt" labor - so besides the pain in my abdomen that I was managing well each contractions brought spasms in my colon. I was using hypnosis, birth ball, massage, etc. By the time I hit 6 cm I was curled up on the bathroom floor moaning, shaking, sweating, shivering. I couldn't open my eyes. I felt weak.

Anyways the point is I realized I wasn't going to be lucid or empowered at all. I decided to get the epidural and I'm so glad I did! I got 2 1/2 hours of sleep and when I woke up she was crowning! For real, on her own. I swear if I had kept sleeping she would have birthed herself! I felt my contractions and pushed at my own pace (I hate that 1,2,3...10 crap) for 25 minutes and caught my own daughter! She breastfed like a champ from day one.

I believe the only reason I was able to make this decision without regret is the time I put into my reasons for not wanting an epidural.

Other things I attribute to my epidural success - I had a midwife and a doula, I gave birth at a birthing center and not a big hospital so it was very mother centered. I had a variety of natural pain management techniques at my disposal. I got to talk to my midwife and the anesthesiologist about wanting to be able to feel myself push and all that so I felt like I got a good epidural experience.

Epidurals can lead to cascading interventions - but sometimes the interventions come first (I had gestational diabetes too) and you have to be able to roll with the punches so to speak.

I hope that my next birth will be intervention free and all natural but I'll listen to my body.
post #39 of 92
My epi only worked until...about 30 seconds after I stopped vomiting because of it.

They were amazed that I didn't need pitocin with the epi...that was because I could still feel everything.

When the midwife tried to take it out of my back it got stuck and they had to call the anesthesiologist to come and try to get it out.


My back hurt for a month or two, sort of like premenstrul back pain.


I caved and got one bc my blood pressure shot up when I was in labor and I had to stay in bed hooked up to monitors, but I am glad now that it didn't work bc I know I can do it.
post #40 of 92
No epi for me. That whole needle near my spine thing was enough to scare me off for good. Birth only lasts a day or less for most of us. I can stand anything for that long and you get a very alert and healthy baby at the end.
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