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Opinions please! Epidural & C section… - Page 3

post #41 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
In *general* I would say that the epidural itself makes a c-section more likely AND it begins a cascade of interventions that can also lead to a c-section.

I would say it is almost unheard of for an epidural to prevent a c-section.

-Angela
For most, yes, it can increase the risk of c/s. For me, with my first, I think it helped me deliver vaginally. I had extremely high blood pressure and was not dilating very quickly on pitocin. The epidural dropped my pressure closer to normal and gave me more time.
post #42 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spark View Post
But, this is the thing that got me the most. The women in the study who asked for an epidural, some of them got the epidural, the others in the control group got a needle in their back and no pain medication delivered. I would be really upset if in labor I was asked to be part of a study, without reading that I may be denied pain medication when asked. It did make it clear that women were eventually given pain meds if they made a second request though.
All the women in this study recieved epidurals, the timing was simply different, and that was the point under study. One group recieved a spinal, then epidural at next request. The other group was given injections of hydromorphone and an epidural at their third request or a dialation of more than 4cm. Pain relief was denied no one in the study. You're right, that wouldn't have been ethical.
post #43 of 55

fever

What I didn't see mentioned: having an EPI for many hours can cause your temperature to rise considerably. This increases the risk you'll be given unneeded antibiotics (even before baby is born so you can both *profit* from it)
So, after delivery it might take much longer A: until you get to hold your newborn : as they will want to examine him/her closely first and B: to get home , as they might want to keep you there for a few days until they make sure there's no infection (while being there you might be administered more antibiotics, and your child too, just to be on the *safe* side)
I'll try hard avoid this next time, if I can.
post #44 of 55
This thread has been temporarily locked due to a possible user agreement violation. The thread will be reviewed and if possible the violations will be addressed and the thread returned for discussion.
post #45 of 55
Please keep the UA in mind when posting. There are some very strong feelings regarding this subject, with good reason. Before you submit your post ask yourself if what you typed is something you'd want to read... if not, likely it would be better to reword your post in a gentler tone. Please remember as well, when relating your experiences use "I" statements and avoid generalizations.

Thanks for your cooperation!
post #46 of 55
Just for interest.....

I actually had a fever BEFORE getting an epidural, and before oxytocin was started. I was put on antibiotics. NOT my first choice, but to me, the risk of passing an infection to my baby (or making myself ill) wasn't a good one!

However, being on antibiotics had no effect on my postpartum experience. They did continue them for an hour or so after the birth, but that was it. I wasn't separated from my son at all. We did stay in the hospital for a few days, but that was because he lost so much weight in the first day, and I requested to stay until my milk came in.


As I said before, I don't think that ANY intervention, least of all an epidural, should ever be taken lightly. But, I don't think anyone here is promoting epidurals as "the way to go" during labour! I think we ALL agree that there are risks to an epidural. But, it is apparent that having an epidural does not necessarily mean that your birth experience goes to pot. Many moms and babies ARE fine after an epidural.
post #47 of 55
I opted out of an epi bc I thought it would up my chances of a c/s, but ended up with a c/s anyway. IMO the person who would be most likely to have an epi (afraid of pain, wants an easy childbirth) would also be more likely to opt for a c/s ("get it over"). Please note I speak mostly of women who go in and demand an epi as soon as they dialate enough to get one bc they want to experience the least amount of labor possible.
post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfamilygal
For most, yes, it can increase the risk of c/s. For me, with my first, I think it helped me deliver vaginally. I had extremely high blood pressure and was not dilating very quickly on pitocin. The epidural dropped my pressure closer to normal and gave me more time.
I had a similar situation and I do feel like my epi prevented a c/s.

I was stalled out at 3-4 cm and panicking. My induction had already gone on for over 30 hours, and my water had been broken for around 8 hours. The pitocin had been cranked way up and I was having 20-minute long contractions that I just couldn't get on top of. Add in my high bp, and though the doctor didn't implicitly threaten a c/s, at that point I felt like if I didn't start progressing soon a c/s was a given. In that case I would've had to have the epi or some form of anesthesia anyway, so continuing labor with an epi seemed like the lesser of two evils. Once I got it, I was finally able to rest and relax, allowing my body to do what it needed to do, and I did end up delivering vaginally.
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence View Post
You know lets actually find out what the percentage of this is? I mean how more likely, because most the people I have known who got epidurals have had vaginal births. Also here is a pretty recent study on the subject that says that epidurals do not lead to more csections.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/330/7488/383

I think you will also find that getting an epidural in the early stages of labor MAY increase a chance of surgical birth, but epidurals given later on (after 5-6cm) there really is no difference in outcome.

The study you quote does not represent reality very well.

First of all, it excludes a whole bunch of women that DO get epidurals:


Quote:
These women were asked if they would like to participate in the trial. Exclusion criteria included non-vertex presentation, scheduled induction of labour, any contraindication to opioid analgesia, and cervical dilation greater than or equal to 4 cm.
The study is also lead by Cynthia Wong, an associate professor of anaesthesiology. That's hardly impartial. She even admits to limitations of the study:

Quote:
However, she acknowledged several limitations to the study, including the fact that different obstetric providers and management styles (including patterns of oxytocin use) may have influenced labour outcomes. In addition, the study was not conducted blind. She considered it unlikely, however, that knowledge of the type of analgesia biased obstetricians’ decisions about mode of delivery.
Unfortunately epis are being pushed as a matter of routine early on, even when the patient does not want one. Also a great majority of these women are receiving pitocin, which the study did not evaluate. It is easier for a nurse to suggest an epidural than offer physical presence and encouragement to help a woman through labor pain. Mine was given at 3 cms, and I consented after about 7 hours of pitocin induced contractions , the realization (or what I thought to be true at the time) that I was not making any progress (I was!) and no encouragement from hospital staff. I went in requesting a natural labor and came out with pitocin augmentation, epidural and ultimately an unneccessary csection for "Failure to progress" So your study doesn't say much for what is happening to a good number of women today.
post #50 of 55
my friend was in excruciating pain b/c of induction (GBS, AROM @ 38 wks, no labor, fever...so she had to be induced). she stalled at 2-3 cm. 1 hour after the epi her dd was born. she became so relaxed and relieved, she started to dilate agan.
post #51 of 55
I think the number 1 thing that caused my C-section was the fact that the anesthesiologist turned the epidural DOWN. I had back labor with pain so bad I was fantasizing about shooting myself when I was still dilated to 0. I walked around for hours, sat in the hot tub for a while, walked around some more. Nothing helped. The pain was unlike anything I could have imagined. I remembered from my Bradley book that when you think you can't do it anymore, it means you're in transition. Ha! I couldn't do it anymore, and I was still in early labor.

So I got the epidural. The pain went away. I rested. My contractions kept on going and I dilated to 10. They asked if I could feel anything and I said, "I'm doing kegels." I begged him not to turn the epi down ... they didn't care. They turned it down to half strength and the pain went right back up to unbearable. I pushed and screamed at the top of my lungs for three hours. For the last hour of it, the doctor could see my baby's head, and he kept not descending farther. The pain was unimaginable. I think I actually asked for a C-section just to get it over with.

The doctor called the OB in, they agreed the baby was stuck, I signed the forms. They put more anesthetic into my epidural and I went numb from the waist down. I can't describe the relief I felt during my C-section. I didn't care that they were cutting me open, I didn't even care that I had a healthy baby, all I cared about was that the pain went away.

I still wonder how much longer I would have been able to keep pushing if I'd had adequate pain relief. What's the point of turning the epi down so the mother can "feel to push" if feeling the extra pain wears her out and makes her unable to push for as long?
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
In *general* I would say that the epidural itself makes a c-section more likely AND it begins a cascade of interventions that can also lead to a c-section.
What she said.
post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blucactus View Post
IMO the person who would be most likely to have an epi (afraid of pain, wants an easy childbirth) would also be more likely to opt for a c/s ("get it over").
I wasn't afraid of the pain of labor until I actually felt it. If I'd known what I was in for, I would have been afraid.

I don't think I'm a wimp because I needed the epidural. Labor feels different to different people, and different people experience pain differently. I can't begin to describe how bad the pain was for me, other than to say that I suddenly understood how it was possible to hurt so bad that you'd rather be dead. For months after giving birth, any twinge in my back was enough to start me crying, just from the memory of how much it hurt.
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
I wasn't afraid of the pain of labor until I actually felt it. If I'd known what I was in for, I would have been afraid.
.
This is how I feel now. Before labor, I was all about natural childbirth. Taught it, preached it, saw it every day (I was a L&D nurse, then a CNM). Afterwards--OMG, I thought I would die.

I'm glad you posted this; I thought I was one of the only ones swept away by the intensity of labor.
post #55 of 55
For me, the epi helped me avoid a c. I was in pre-term labor for weeks and weeks and when I was in active labor with my DD, I had been contracting continuously for three days straight. I hadn't slept and was exhausted. Getting the epi allowed me to rest and once I was at 10 cm I had the energy needed to push. I pushed for 50 minutes and had a great delivery. She nursed almost immediately and never had any rooting issues or other after effects. My sister labored for 12 hours, stalled, got her epi and had the baby within the hour. For us, it worked. I will go into this next delivery the same way I did with the first, naturally, and will see how it goes. If I can go without the epi I will, but it was a lifesaver the first time around. I think it really depends on the situation and the circumstances.
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