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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Epidural or nothing?

By June 24, 2013

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Labor Partner

Talking to moms about their options for pain relief usually yields me very similar answers: I did my homework and I chose an epidural. My next question is always, what else did you consider? The vast majority say nothing.

This always leaves me feeling a bit puzzled - how can you make a choice if you only have one option? One of the first times I had this conversation was with a good friend, who had her baby years before we met. I asked her what her thought process was going into pregnancy and birth surrounding pain medication for labor. She said, "I didn't want to writhe around, so I got an epidural." Before I could stop myself, the automatic thing out of my mouth was, "There are other options other than writhing or an epidural."

She honestly had never considered that thought. In her mind, there were women who had epidurals and women who didn't. It was as simple as that. No one had ever told her that she had choices, lots of them.

Do you know what all of your choices are when it comes to relieving labor pain?



Photo April's Grape Vine Photography

June 4, 2012 at 9:46 am
(1) Kris says:

Care to list any of those other options here? I’d love to know to be able to research them.

June 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(2) pregnancy says:

If you follow the link, there is a lot of detail and explanation for the options:

June 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm
(3) Alison says:

For me this really summed it up – also entitled Epidural or No Epidural


June 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm
(4) Tish says:

I’m not six months along yet, so I have only been beginning to consider this topic, but I’ve watched videos of completely natural births and of epidural births, and this is the exactly where I am–there has to be something else. While I would like something to help with the pain, I really don’t like the idea of being bed-bound and unable to move my legs or really help to get into better birthing positions. I do feel like it is too early to talk about this with my OB/GYN, though–does anyone think that is a mistake?

June 12, 2012 at 10:13 am
(5) jessoca says:

Never to soon! You should bring it up now and see if your ob supports your decision in what you want for labor, I’m 18 and I wanted a all natural birth, which I had but even when I was only 3-4 months pregnant I had switched obs 3 times before I found one that I had liked and had low intervention rates aka csection episotomi vacumn forceps things like that, very wonab should ask before she picks her doctor to deliver her baby, they should all be below 20% and they should say they only do episotomis if they really feel you ate going to rip bad and that they put the scissors there and let the baby push down on them instead of making a huge unnecessary cut you should also have a birth plan and bring it to your ob by six months latest see if they have any problems with how you want YOUR birth to be if so you have enough time to talk to out or switch to another ob nothing is ever to early to talk to your ob you need to make sure they agree with everything.you want don’t bring.it up at 789 months cus you won’t have time to switch to another ob. You can get iv pain meds and walking epidural so you can still get up and walk around, you’ll feel some discomfort but nothing bad, even at the hardest part of labor which is the transition stage its still not pain its just a lot of discomfort and a really bad urge to push but you have to hold it back until your baby crowns which is so hard!!!! Good luck to all women who are having babies, its hard work being pregnant at the end and having a baby and healing and having to take care of the baby and not being able to do a lot of things, it sucks but its well worth it because your beautiful baby will be in your send you may think you love your parents your husband anyone but you Dont know true love until they place your baby on your stomach, its amazing. You’ll tell people the.same thing I’m saying now once you have your first child. Good luck and enjoy you birth and your baby!!!!! God bless!

June 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm
(6) Cristy says:

I had an epitdural with my first. I feel like I did not push as well as I could have. I don’t want one this time, I am choosing a vbac. However they like doing epidurals with vbac because the line for the medication if emergency c section is needed is already there…

June 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm
(7) jpa says:

i had two kids with no epidurals and no other pain medication.
i did my research and found if you take any other pain killer then your body’s own pain killer effects will stop. When i didnt took any, i was confident that my own hormones will work and will support me and thats what exactly happened. All pregnant mothers, please go without epidural and trust this thing ” no pain no gain” so be ready mentally for some kind of pain ofcourse, but your labor will be much much faster if you go without it. Do lots of walking from 7 to 9 months. and eat some fats / buttery thing before going to hospital. this will be give u strength and stamina to fight the labor.

July 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm
(8) Dana says:

Read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth. Watch The Business of Being Born (on Netflix). Both are extremely informative as to other options aside from epidurals.

September 12, 2013 at 5:57 am
(9) Jessica says:

There is a very one article that you can. It help me realise that I don’t need one.

September 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm
(10) pregnancy says:

My point is that you don’t have to have the epidural, but that there is something to do other than just skip the epidural – like relaxation, use a doula, etc.

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