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When is it too late for an epidural? And why? - Page 2

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
That's impressive. You gave birth in a hospital? (Guessing since an epidural was available.) It is so nice to read about medical people (besides the ones here at MDC, I already expect you folks to be perfect ) being patient.
Yep, Sibley Hospital in D.C. Sadly, my midwife practice has since disbanded, I heard because they weren't bringing in enough money to offset the malpractice costs.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanCrunchyMama View Post
I've been hearing about women having epidurals around the time of their Transition phase. But I thought there was a certain point in labor when hospitals deem it "too late" to get an epidural. When and why is it too late to get an epi?

* * *

BTW...I'm a believer in natural childbirth but asking these questions to continue learning.

Thanks,
Lydia
I was told that some doctors are not allowed to let the woman have an epidural in transition. This was true with a friend's mom...

If this is so, I am even more upset that no one told me I was in transition. I think if the midwife had checked me and seen I was almost to pushing, she would not have let me get that, and I would have applauded her for not letting me...

After the fact, anyway...maybe not at the time

-Caitrin
post #23 of 25
I am pretty against vaginal exams in hospitals, but I always talk to my clients about vaginal exams when it comes to epidurals. Sometimes, it is the very thought of relief (especially with a LONG drawn out labor) that gets the mother to do the dilating she needed to do...so I suggest that when she makes the decision to get an epidural, the mother get a vaginal exam. SOmetimes, by the time that hour or so is past and they are ready to actually have the epidural placed, if she were to get another vaginal, the information found could actually be quite useful...like she is a nine or a ten, and by the time the drugs took effect, the baby would likely be born.

It is important for women to know that about 90% of the time, when a woman is asking for pain relief outside of the physical and emotional support she is receiving from her family/friends, she is in transition...and transition is the shortest part of labor--on average lasting 45 mins to an hour...just about the same amount of time it takes to get stuff together for the epidural.

I agree with salmonbaydoula, I have seen different status quo, depending on the doc, the nursing staff, and the hospital. I HAVE seen docs actually (albiet as if they were debaters in the contest of a lifetime, at triple speed...) go through the actual dangers of epidural. However, by that time, the woman is just not in a place to actually process what is being said. Luckily, in the case of my clients, we have gone over and over the risks and benefits of interventions that are likely to be offered, so they ARE able to make truely informed consent, regardless, because they have thought about it ahead of time. Unfortunately, not every woman has a doula! I, too, have seen docs give the worst possible side effect as being a spinal headache (which I have experienced and is truely awful, terrible, horrible, debilitating and excruciating...but NOT the worst thing that can happen from an epidural!), and that rather breezily, with "and we can FIX that, too!" tacked on to the end. It all depends, though on who is there and what the protocol for that place entails.
post #24 of 25
I didn't get my epi late in labor (long into labor....24 hrs or so...but only 5cm). Just having had one I can say that I can NOT imagine being that still during serious contractions close together which I imagine is part of the reason they aren't done later in labor.


And I will say that although I do NOT remember all the pieces of the "disclaimer" they give you beforehand, and I wasn't in the best position to process it, I do remember that they read it outloud to me both a) before I signed and b) before actually administering the epidural. That part = good. The tone of voice of the anaesthesiologist....a little on the breezy side for my liking.

And although I did not get the dreaded headache, I did get this wierd horrible pain that would randomly shoot through my spine off and on for about 24 hours a few (maybe 4 or so) days after the birth.

But in the end....I would have been under general and unconscious when my son was delivered if I hadn't had the epidural so I guess I'm glad I had it.
post #25 of 25
I have a friend who I believe arrived at the hospital in transition. She called me when her ctx started and could barely talk through them.

The main entrance to the hospital was closed so she had to go to the ER entrance. She and her Dh were greeted by staff there and the OB wanted to check her while she was still in the car. She checked her from behind while she was on her knees facing away bc my friend told her no way jose was she laying down on the backseat with back labor. The OB said she was 6.5cm.

She was admitted to labor and delivery. She asked for an epidural a few minutes of being there and the OB checked her and said she was almost 9 but said ok the epidural and the anesthesiologist (wow, the little red spell check line didn't show....amazed myself...) came and numbed her up.

I wasn't in the room at the time or I would've said something to her about waiting a few more minutes. She was ready to push about 10 minutes later...

I remember asking for one after a long 22 hour back labor in which my daughter refused to turn no matter what but was told it was too late. I think I was 6ishcm at the time.
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