Epidurals don't affect the baby? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 68 Old 04-17-2004, 06:22 PM
 
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My brother was born blue and floppy. the doctor slapped him more than twice.
My mother's water broke at midnite, she got an epidural when it was time and had my brother by 4am.
She was so scared, that she had her next 3 without medicine, two of us being the bigger of her babiies.

When it came time for me to have my daughter, I had to be induced due to pre-e, but then kept coming in and asked if I wanted the epi or something to take the edge off. I kept telling them nothing and of course, they kept pushing it. I had a spinal because I ended up with an emergency c-section and my baby was alert and had apgars of 9 and 10.

I can't tell you how many doctors and nurses I've seen that push the epi. Even on those baby shows on TV, you'll hear them say "I don't know why women want a natural childbirth...."
awful.

I say, if you want the epi, get it. But don't try to tell anyone how wonderful and safe it is. My brother was born blue and didn't breathe right away. And my sister just gave birth to her first with an epi and he was fine! Alert and awake for over 2 hours! Of course....when she recovered, she liked the itchy feeling because she could actually FEEL something, but a week after the birth she STILL couldn't lift her right leg. She said she'd try to and it just wouldn't listen. :\
EVERYTHING has positive and negative effects. Personally, the negative seem too risky to outweigh the positive.

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#62 of 68 Old 04-17-2004, 11:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mom2six
The technique is combining narcotic with the bupivicaine (marcaine) so that less "numbing" medication has to be used. ... with epidural anesthesia.
I had written to Dr. Robert Mendelsohn in 1985. He published my letter. It was about a discussion I had with a mother in my Mommy'n'Me group in which a mother proudly announced that the doctor told her that he had delivered her baby so fast that the epidural never reached the baby. (?)

Dr. Mendelsohn said that this was silly. That the prescribing information that the drug company shared with the doctor did not give that information. He suggested that the woman go to the PDR and read up on the drugs she received, if she knew what they were and go and ask the doctor about, "getting the baby out so fast...!"

It is my understanding that the drug is injected into the dura of the spinal column, and then is disbursed into the blood stream with the next heartbeat, gradually taking effect over the next few minutes. How doctors think this bypasses the placenta and baby I do not know.

Rmemeber, the drug is given to numb a woman who may weigh between 140-200 pounds at term; if the dose can make her numb, what does it do to a 6-8 pound baby whose liver and brain are still developing?

Dr. Mendelsohn was also mentioned in his newsletter and in his answer to me that high dose marcaine was taken off of the market in the mid-1980's because of the high incidence of cardiac arrests it caused in the mothers who received it in their epidurals.

Are you sure about this?

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#63 of 68 Old 04-18-2004, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally posted by captain optimism
I had both pitocin and finally, after many hours, an epidural. I didn't intend to use either drug but my water broke and I went 44 hours without going into active labor. I tried a lot of natural methods to get labor going, including herbs and shiatsu, but no dice.

I had pitocin for 24 hours, then added the epidural and more pitocin, and then pushed--another 44 hours of pharmacological "fun" at the hospital in total.

My son was born very alert and looking fine. This fit in with all the monitoring the hospital staff did--his heart rate stayed strong and he experienced no infections during the long labor. But, he didn't latch on at birth and when I finally got a lactation consultant into my room, I learned that he was sucking his tongue. Getting him to nurse was a big project. (But I am persistent and he is still nursing!)

I can't know whether the epidural was the factor that made him suck his tongue. It could have been the long labor, but as we have read upthread, epidurals increase the risk of long labors. I spoke with several lactation consultants and a local LLL leader. At least two of these bf experts thought the epidural was the deciding factor. I did not dilate until I was given the epidural, but I also found that pushing out the baby while numb from the waist down was, uh, ridiculous. I couldn't feel anything, it was undignified, inefficient, uncomfortable. Finally the epidural pump broke and I gave birth with the pitocin and no epi and that was better.

I can see from my own experience that in the midst of a crazily long, complicated and painful labor, having a method of giving anaesthetic drugs that will help a mom give birth is a good thing. But if I were planning a birth, I wouldn't plan to use it. The possible risks elucidated here are compelling, but so is my personal experience. It just makes it a lot harder to have a normal birth.
Re: the sucking tongue/breastfeeding bit: it could have just been that he learned to suck his tongue in utero. Many babies suck their thumbs in utero; why not his tongue? I wouldn't necessarily blame the epidural for this one - what would the causal relationship be?

I had a drug-free birth at 42 weeks and my ds had HORRIBLE nursing problems - it was 2.5 months until I got him on the breast exclusively. The only thing in my labor that I could possibly relate our breastfeeding problems to is that there was meconium in the waters and ds was suctioned on my perineum. He ended up in the NICU for 4 days with TTN (transient tachypnea of the newborn, i.e. his respiration rate was too high for no apparent reason).

Which is just to say that a) you can have breastfeeding problems without epidurals or drugs and b) in my experience, at least, breastfeeding problems were not related to his being early. They may or may not have been related to the suctioning - but it's so tempting to look for a reason and assign blame to an intervention, especially when one wanted an intervention-free birth and didn't get it.

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#64 of 68 Old 04-18-2004, 12:20 AM
 
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Originally posted by Quirky
it's so tempting to look for a reason and assign blame to an intervention, especially when one wanted an intervention-free birth and didn't get it.
Yeah. That's about where I am.

Though I also didn't like trying to push out a baby with an epi. So I would want someone who was considering whether to plan one into her birth to know that.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#65 of 68 Old 04-19-2004, 12:18 AM
 
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I am going to jump in here with my personal insights just because they kind of fit into this subject. I have four sisters and between us there are nine babies soon to be ten and my sprout will bring it up to eleven but the end of the year.

Five were born naturally, four were born with epidurals.

I and the next youngest sister gave birth without pain medication although I did have to have pitocin with the second daughter because my water had broken 30 hours before.

Next youngest sis tried but said she couldn't take the pain. After her first epi she couldn't walk for a week and they weren't sure if the damage was permanent or not. Youngest sis had to have ephedrine and had difficulty walking for quite a while. She was also never able to get her son to nurse properly despite working with a lactation consultant

Both of the sisters who had the epidurals say they will have them again ( one is due in June) but openly admit that the older sisters babies were more alert and nursed better than their babies did but that to them having the epidural outweighed this because their babies "got over it"

I am not making any judgements. I believe in every womans rights to make their own decision but I am glad I made the decision I did.

Stephany
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#66 of 68 Old 04-19-2004, 09:53 PM
 
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I hope I don't sound defensive because I did make a fully informed decision to have epis with both my girls. I had the full strength epidural and could not feel a thing or move my legs. (I have past abuse issues, long story but I'm glad I chose the epi in my case.)

My oldest was born with APGARS of 9 and 10 and very alert. She did have nursing problems due to my flat nipples and then !@#$ nurses suctioning her tummy "to make her hungry." but she tried to nurse before they did that to her. Wish we'd known better but we were young and uninformed.

My youngest was born with APGARS of 9 and 9. She was born practically holding her head up by herself, very alert and awake. I didn't try to nurse her but she gulped down my expressed colostrum (pumped ahead of time) within minutes of birth and asked for more.

My friend's birth, which I attended, was an epi birth. Her baby was also born alert and nursed right away just fine.

Both of my labors were relatively short and I required no pit or other interventions. I got the epis immediately upon admission (at 4 and 5 cm). My first birth lasted 8 hours and my second one lasted 16 hours but I wasn't sure I was in labor (because of weeks of prodromal labor) until 9 hours before the birth.

I have no doubt that it does get to the baby. Anyone who says so is full of it. I just don't think it's that common to have a bad side effect. I'm really sorry for thos of you who did.

Darshani

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#67 of 68 Old 04-19-2004, 10:30 PM
 
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My first child wouldn't nurse for three days.

My second was born totally blue and floppy.

They were both home births.
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#68 of 68 Old 04-20-2004, 05:59 PM
 
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First daughter was hospital & Epi birth and she died at birth...


Second was supposed to be a Home birth. But we went in cause she was still breech (footling actually) & Got an Epi to attemp to Turn her. (she was breech & I refused a C-sect./ it worked) She was not very alert... nursed well enough after trying for some time but was an 7/8 I believe

Then #3 was at home & was born happy, pink & very alert. was for hours & nursed all night....
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