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if you are even minimally interested in getting an epidural

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
http://www.brighamandwomens.org/pain...g/whencani.asp

Quote:
We recommend that if you are even minimally interested in getting an epidural, you ask to see the anesthesiologist in advance. This will allow the anesthesiologist to obtain your complete medical history and to perform a physical exam. Most importantly, you can discuss your pain relief options before you are in severe pain. Telling the anesthesiologist your preference, or signing a consent form for anesthesia does NOT obligate you to get an epidural anesthetic. You may later decide that you would rather have natural childbirth or another method of pain relief.
Talk about pushing the drugs! Has anyone's dr mentioned seeing an anesthesiologist in advance? I've never heard of such a thing!
post #2 of 9
Yes, at the hospital i had my third child at, they give you a video and phone # of the anestheologist, so he can have the consent "on hand" should i call and want an epidural.

It makes sense if you are having a c-section.
post #3 of 9
I am planning a UC!!!! But my doc just thinks I am staying home until I feel like I need to go to the hospital. She has set up a time for me to meet with the anesthesiologist and the neonatal doctors. I do have a bone condition that my baby could have, and I thought she was just being helpful in having us meet with them a head of time “just in case”. But, maybe she really knows I am staying home and wants to scare me into thinking I need to be at the hospital??? I didn’t think about it until now!
post #4 of 9
Just another perspective... I had planned a natural birth, but after 40 hours in active labor, contractions close together and STRONG, I needed some medical intervention, and my midwife recommended pitocin. (I had acupuncture treatments throughout my labor, taken herbs, tried relaxation - I just wasn't dialating). I knew from reading and talking to other moms that pitocin was horrible without an epidural, so I opted for an epidural with the pitocin. I wish I had been able to speak about options before I was in crisis. For instance, only a few months ago (dd is 22 mos now) did I learn that I could have asked for the epidural to wear off before I started pushing. An anesthesiologist might not have mentioned that option in a consult, but I likely would have asked. When you've been in labor for 2 days and had no sleep, that's not the time to explore options - I just wanted to have that baby and sleep! I'm not sure I would have signed a consent prior to labor, but at least I could have talked to someone about options and had them in my "in case everything doesn't go as planned" birth plan.
post #5 of 9
I strongly agree with seeing an anathesioligist in advance! I had an unplanned c-section. It was a great relief to my DH that I had had the meeting with them and they had all my medical info in advance. Made it much easier!! The key was the last statement:
Quote:
Telling the anesthesiologist your preference, or signing a consent form for anesthesia does NOT obligate you to get an epidural anesthetic. You may later decide that you would rather have natural childbirth or another method of pain relief.
For what it is worth my SIL swore to have fully natural, mid wife lead birth. The only reason she did not have a home birth was due to home related issues. Well after 38 hours of labor, fully torn and bruised she ended up getting the drugs she swore she would NEVER EVER use and this on the advice midwife. She physically could not handle any more, the Dr's wanted to do a c-section, she wanted to keep trying. After the fact she was very glad to have learned all the different pain relief options so that she could make an informed choice.
post #6 of 9
I think it's a great idea. I am not interested in having one for pain relief this time, but many women are (& I was one of those w/ my first child.)

The procedure is a HUGE deal, and it is made into a quick little routine, like inserting an IV, which it is not--it is a procedure that absolutely warrents a consultation!

I would much prefer a calm, quiet consultation when I am compus mentus, rather than in the middle of labor, telling some stranger my height and weight, no I have no allergies, and hoping s/he can insert the catheter in the right place.

I didn't think the wording of the quote was in any way pushy; I read it as a respectful, thoughtful approach to the 'gimme drugs! I want my epidural in the parking lot' crud that is so prevelent these days.
post #7 of 9
I used to think it was a bad idea--until I had my baby. The hospital I delivered at had an anethesiologist come in when I was in early labor to talk to me. I hadn't planned on being in the hospital until I was about ready to push, but that plan fell through when my water broke at 35 weeks. I decided that I did want to go through labor with my baby's heart rate monitored and definitely not take any chances with delivering at home since my baby was going to be early. Anyway, I got to ask some questions that I wouldn't have had the presense of mind to ask later.

I did end up having to have an epidural, even though I had been positive I wasn't going to have one. My contractions started pretty heavily when my water broke at a little less than 3 minutes apart. After more than 10 hours of these contractions, they were 1 minute 45 seconds apart and I was dialated to a 2 and not very effaced. My OB practice does a c-section after you labor for 24 hours when your water breaks, and I was afraid that if I didn't get any pitocin, there was no way I'd have that baby before my 24 hours was up. Your body has to have a break between contractions, so they couldn't give me pitocin until I got the epidural in place for a few hours and had my contractions slow down. So I did get the epidural, and I was glad that I had talked them earlier on. I was pretty much out of it by the time I got it, and there would have been a big chance that I would have forgotten to give them some important information about my health history. I have some pretty significant problems anyway (that's why I had planned a hospital birth to begin with), and I'm glad that I was able to tell them about them instead of relying on them to read about the problems in my chart.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am planning on delivering at a birth center across the street from the hospital. I'm not really interested in meeting with an anethesiologist ahead of time. I was just wondering how common this was. Could I put some info in my birth plan if an epi becomes necessary?
post #9 of 9
MA Mommy-

You definetly could put it into your birth plan strictly as a precaution. However, if you have not had a meeting with anethesiologist most medical centersand hospitals will still require one if you later decide that you have to have anethesia, mostly to rule out any possible complications and so that you can determine the best course of action for you. A lot of hospitals have classes on delivery/pain mgt. You might want to attend one of those just to get the facts to put into your birth plan.
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