Originally Posted by OnTheFence
I am reading this and there are some myths here about epidurals. If given too early, yes epidurals, can slow labor, that is why *most* child birth educators recommend waiting until you have reached the 5-6cm mark to get one. Epidurals can actually help speed up labor, especially with an exhausted, tuckered out mom. Most the folks I know who have had epidurals get them at this point in labor, on recommendation from their doctors, and have never stalled out.
My water broke 40 hours before I agreed to have pitocin. then I tried to get labor going with the pitocin for 24 hours before my midwives offered me the epidural. I took it, even though i didn't want it, even though the whole reason I was with the midwifery practice was to avoid it. Being able to sleep for three hours while the pitocin dilated my cervix for me was really nice, but then I was in the pushing stage for 8 hours because it was so hard to push when I couldn't feel anything.
So I've asked people here to help me evaluate this experience. One thing I noticed was that the hospital didn't allow me to eat for those 24 hours that I was on pitocin. I didn't feel hungry, but I did get really exhausted. It wasn't just that I wasn't sleeping. The second thing was that the atmosphere at the hospital was really stressful. People were annoyed with me for crying out when I had contractions (especially since the contractions were not effective in dilating me, so obviously they didn't hurt.
) My midwife did a great job of coming up with positions to help me labor more efficiently and less painfully, but I did feel time pressure because I was worried that my baby could be harmed (I mean since my waters had broken so long before.)
In theory, the healthcare practitioners supported my not using an epidural and not having an episotomy and not having the baby weighed before he latched on after birth. In practice, I had an epidural, an episotomy, and the neonatal nurse weighing my son before he had latched on. In practice, it was normal to pull the epidural out of the bag of tricks. We couldn't pull a friggin' peanut butter sandwich out of the bag of tricks, but we could use an epidural. Not that I wasn't grateful for the rest, I just think this was a silly tradeoff.
there is no evidence that not eating is beneficial to moms who have to have general anaesthesia in an emergency c/s, AND, they don't usually USE general! They would have used the epidural for the c/s! In fact that was one of the reasons they used to persuade me to concede to it!
I'd like to see a Target fortune-teller pregnancy t-shirt that says, "I see a foot massage in my near future" instead.