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Shocked at epidural rates!

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
My wife and I went on a tour of our hospital maternity area last night. Our guide told us the rate of epidurals at the hospital was over 90%! This floored me. 9 out of 10 women seems shockingly high.

What are the numbers like in your area?
post #2 of 40
I am at a different hospital this time from my previous births. I know I have always had to work hard to convince my L/D nurses that I do not want/will never ask for, or consent to an epidural.
I am actually a bit worried about my current hospital in that regard. I delivered a 14 week loss there last summer. I went in in labor and they augmented it a bit (at my request) Every hour someone was in my room asking me to take an epidural. I wasn't making a sound, I was able to converse fairly freely, even my husband was not worried or concerned about my pain level. They could not figure out what objection I had to it. "Ummm, not in THAT much pain, plus there are risks to ME in getting one, not just to a live babe."
All that to say, the attitudes at both hospitals lead me to believe the rate for epidural is very high, though I don't know the percentages.
Both hospitals are in Southern California.
post #3 of 40
I'm almost certain that around 90% is very typical - like a national average. Sorry I dont' have any stats to point to though. www.thebirthsurvey.com is working to get intervention rates from facilities through states' departments of health - but that doesn't always include epi.
post #4 of 40
I think it's pretty typical. My first three dc were born in the same ward and (I had an intrathecal with #2's induction right before he came out) I was told twice I was the only person they'd seen recently w/o an epidural except those fortunate to come in with the babies' head already out.

With #4 I had a UC transfer and I was told by several nurses they can't even comprehend that women can give birth w/o a c-sec or epidural. It just doesn't happen on their ward. They kept asking me questions like I was some sort of freak of nature. So I think 90% is pretty accurate.
post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
...snip...I was told by several nurses they can't even comprehend that women can give birth w/o a c-sec or epidural. It just doesn't happen on their ward. They kept asking me questions like I was some sort of freak of nature. So I think 90% is pretty accurate.
That is what I got too. Even my postpartum ward nurses had "heard about me" and kept coming in and asking more questions.
post #6 of 40
Yes 90% is typical around here too. Even many of the hospital midwives have rates this high (though their other intervention rates are significantly lower). It's what women expect these days. I think most don't even give it much thought - they just assume that they'll get one.
post #7 of 40
Yup, 90% sounds about right for my area too. I am somewhat of a celebrity/anomaly in my (hospy) MW group for having a completely unmedicated birth with my DD. I only know of one other person who did not get the epi or some type of pain relief while in labor.
post #8 of 40
The rate at the hospital I gave birth in was 40%. I expressed to my midwife that I thought that rate was very low. She said something like "Are you kidding me?! 20 years ago it was 5%!!" This is in southern Wisconsin.
post #9 of 40
I'm not surprised, really. 1, woman are taught that childbirth is excruciating pain. And 2, most labors begin or are augmented with Pitocin which makes comtractions more painful. More women are choosing inductions, unfortunately.
post #10 of 40
that's typical here too, in south carolina. when i had my dd, there were nurses in the room that had *never*, in years of OBGYN nursing, seen a spontanious, unmedicated vaginal birth before. kind of boggles the mind....
post #11 of 40
I think my hospital had a 40% rate in 2005. We have a large Amish population here though and the head nurse said they contributed to most of the percentage.
post #12 of 40
I think its probably normal, but I wouldn't worry about it. What some women do with their bodies and their babies doesn't have to be what you (or your wife) do with yours. "Just say no" if you want to!

I'm the only one of my friends who want to have natural childbirth and even though they know the risks of getting an epidural, they choose them anyway because they want pain management. That's fine. Just like in high school, just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you have to do it also.
post #13 of 40
95% is typical in our area. One of the nurses at one of our many local hospitals said 93% and I couldn't believe it was that LOW.
post #14 of 40
I don't know about our hospital's current rates. However, 7 years ago I delivered my second child naturally at our hospital. It was also the first day for the new student nurses. Lots of babies were born that night (my mw held the last room for me). My child was the only one born to a drug free mother. Our nursing student (the one assigned to us) thought it was soooo cool that she got the "alert" baby, she thought it was amazing that I was up and about (even caring for my own child) and that I wanted to go home. She was very interested in my birth choices. So, 90% wouldn't surprise me.

Amy
post #15 of 40
Only 90%? most hospitals I've birthed in are more like 98% epidural rate
post #16 of 40
It's shocking. They have an over 90% rate at our local hospital as well. I know back home it's about 25% (Germany), with a growing tendency...
While an epidural is a valid choice and sometimes even medically necessary (super exhausted mom, or god knows what kind of circumstances, one never knows) it is completely overused and overadvertised as soooo harmless. When I expressed my wish to not have one my obgyn smirked at me saying that's like a root canal without anesthesia and shook his head.... It's sort of expected that women are incapable of giving birth without an epidural. I'm not saying it's bad to have an epi, I just don't like how it's looked down upon or even rare to not choose one.
post #17 of 40
At the hospital where I did my OB rotation, I dunno what their official rates were but in my (6-week) experience it was 100%. That's right, I did not see a single unmedicated birth the whole time. I would say about 20-30% of the women came in saying they did not want an epi but none of them actually delivered without having gotten one. (Obviously there was not any support or non-pharmacological pain relief available for an unmedicated birth there.)

The MW practice I used for my own birth said they had a 40% epidural rate. However, at their hospital most of the patients are OB patients. The L&D nurses were kind of surprised at my intervention-free birth and they told me "we don't see that very often" after my delivery.
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
At the hospital where I did my OB rotation, I dunno what their official rates were but in my (6-week) experience it was 100%. That's right, I did not see a single unmedicated birth the whole time. I would say about 20-30% of the women came in saying they did not want an epi but none of them actually delivered without having gotten one. .
This seemed to be the case where I had my oldest. The nurse looked at me skeptically when I said I wanted an unmedicated birth and didn't want to be offered drugs. They weren't sure what to do when I refused the heplock and my doctor backed me up. When my daughter was born I got a lot of attention from nurses who were fascinated and amazed by my wide awake, alert newborn. They just weren't used to seeing unmedicated babies.
post #19 of 40
Pretty normal here. I called in to schedule my pre-admit at the hospital this week. The lady said it would take an hour, and 20 min of that would be watching the epidural video. I asked her if we had to watch it if we were not having one. She said, "what do you mean, like, at all?"...lol. I said yeah. She said, "a lot of first time moms say that but they all get them, so the video is useful". I told her I am having my 3rd and made it through my last with 8 hr of max dose pit and no epi, do I am sure that short of cutting the baby out without one, that I will need one, lol. She backed off and just told me it was mandatory. I just said ok and let it go. But her first comment made me laugh.
post #20 of 40
I have recently read on boards for OB nurses that some hospitals have +90% pitocin rates.... and some nurses saying that it is standard practice where they work to augment labors. That mean that every laboring woman who comes in to those hospitals gets augmentation with or without indication unless they specifically deny it.

When I read THAT, I was floored. No wonder the epidural rates are so high.
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