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Mothering › Groups › July 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › No epidural, no problem?

No epidural, no problem?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So, it's still really early and I don't need to make birth decisions yet, but as I am considering care providers in my region, I have found an interesting option and I'd love your feedback.


There is a nurse midwife who I have a first appointment with in late Dec. She does natural births with option of a waterbath in a hospital birthing center. When I made the appointment, her assistant made sure to tell me that she does NOT do epidurals, and did I still want the appointment?


This will be my first baby; I'm 35; and I've always thought I wanted to opt for natural childbirth. However, some women and doctors have told me that epidurals can really relax the mother and should be in the toolkit as an option. I have done all the reading about why epidurals aren't great (possible complications, trouble pushing, putting you on road to c-section, etc.)


I'm feeling uncertain -- I don't have an incredibly high tolerance to pain. What do you guys think of working with a no-epidural provider?

post #2 of 9

I know many moms who wanted to go the natural route, but in the end were very thankful for the epidural (non of them had a c-section either). And I also know moms who did not get an epidural and were happy that they did not. In the end, it is really up to you. How much you want the natural birth without drugs... Or how much you know you can tolerate. I think you should keep the first appointment... they are usually free (?) but also maybe look at other options and compare them... I hope this helps! 

post #3 of 9

Hmmm... here's what I am thinking.


She couldn't do an epidural anyway and from what I understand birthing centers do not have access to epidurals either... I could be wrong on that, some may but I haven't heard of any. Is she saying she wouldn't accompany you to a hospital if you needed to transfer due to choice or emergency? If that's the case, you would have to decide if you are okay with that.


Sometimes the option of not having an epidural available makes for a natural birth, you know, forces your hand.


I personally did NOT want an epidural but due to past abuse, my body (or me subconsciously, whatever) wouldn't dilate past 3 or 4 if I remember correctly. I ended up getting an epidural, terrifying for me, but I rested and dilated quickly after that and was able to give birth vaginally. So for me, personally, it was good to have that option there. 

post #4 of 9
Like what Garcia Family said, if you have a past history of abuse you definitely should consider having that in your tool kit. An epidural is not the only method of pain control available however. I had an induction and was failing to progress and was given an analgesic in my IV which took the edge off enough that I could relax with the relentless pitocin contractions. I progressed quickly after that and it was a good choice. There may also be other options available so find out about those. I know that I could have handled the pain of labor without the drugs had I not been induced. In fact, I was expecting it to be worse, even with back labor. If you want a natural birth go see this midwife and see what she says.
post #5 of 9

I guess it really depends on what you want.  If you really want a natural child birth, I think its a great option.  If you aren't totally committed to the idea, maybe not.  


Forget high pain tolerance, I have NO pain tolerance.  I cry over paper cuts.  But I've had 3 natural births (2 at home) and they were amazing, wonderful experiences.  I think birth "pain" is different from any other kind of pain I've ever experienced before.  Its amazing what you can do when you tap into your inner mama! 


I would clarify what exactly that means though.  She may not be able to give epidurals but if something happens and you need one, she must be able to transfer your care to someone who can get you one.  If that's the case, I think its great!  Available if you do need it but there won't be anyone dangling it in front of you like candy!  Also, what other options are there for pain relief, should you want something?

post #6 of 9

If you want a natural birth you need a plan.  I think so many people just think they will refuse the epidural with out having anything else in their toolkit.  Take a good childbirth class, read books, be informed, that is how you avoid the epidural.

post #7 of 9

If you really want a Natural birth I say go for it but prepare yourself. The first birth i had was your regular induction for no good reason get pitocin and an epidural etc... It was terrible. The doc let me tear it took him 45 min to sew me up and days and days of terrible terrible pain. The second birth I went with a Nurse Midwife in the hospital and had a wonderful birth no tears, easy bounce back and a very alert baby. I had a wonderful pre-natal yoga class i attended read many many books to prepare. I think that was the reason i made it through with out drugs. I basicaly trained myself with yogic breathing and mental focus to get the baby out. I recomend this. This next time im planning a home birth. If you have Itunes you can download my yoga teachers classes for free. She is a doula, breast feeding expert etc... just look up Mamaste Yoga.

post #8 of 9

You can prepare yourself for a strong birth either way, I recommend the 'birthing from within' book and the 'hypnobirthing' book that helped me a lot when I was preparing for my vbac.   It takes a lot of mental focus to see birth the way you want it to go whether you got the epidural or not.

post #9 of 9

I had an epidural with my first and regret it. I think I ended up needing it because of the pitocin augmentation of my labor. Of course, it's good to know what would happen in case you needed to transfer care. I've heard water can have a good pain relieving effect. I have a low pain tolerance. I can't stand vaginal exams because they hurt and my old doc kept asking me if I had sexual abuse or something. I was like, no, it just hurts. But, when it came to my 2 natural births, I made it through and I am glad I did. It is hard, but very do-able. There are too many risks with epidurals and pitocin and I would avoid all that kind of intervention unless you have an emergency situation. Birth positions can make a big difference. I recommend hands and knees, squating, or other upright birthing position. It's also a good idea to stay upright during much of your labor in my experience. It helps things progress better. If you need to rest, you should rest, but otherwise stay upright so gravity can do it's thing. Just personal thoughts. 

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