10 Reasons NOT to Get an Epidural

I don’t know if I can do this,” I whisper it into the blurry room. The contraction begins to rise and I scream, sing, breath, and pray simultaneously. With a final push, the crescendo, her body slips through mine. I catch her and bring her to my chest, elated.

Three natural childbirths later and I have no regrets. Each time, I was afraid. Each time, the baby slid out into my arms and the pain evaporated, replaced by pure relief and indescribable joy.

Please note as you read this article that I am not against the epidural. On the contrary, I am simply FOR more education for women. I’ve heard too many stories from new mothers who express deep sadness about their labor & delivery experience and the repercussions of choosing an epidural. The information presented here is meant to serve as a guidebook of data and a compilation of experiences so that you can make the decision that is right for your family.

The first epidural to be used for childbirth dates back to somewhere in the 1930’s and 40’s. The precise date is disputed. We do know, however, that they did not gain wide popularity for pain relief in labor until the 1970’s. Epidurals as a pain management option for childbirth is relatively new – less than 45 years old.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics published a report about the use of epidurals in 2008. Based on data collected from 27 states that track the use of anesthesia for labor, six out of ten women with a singleton birth received an epidural or spinal anesthesia. In my own hometown of Tucson, Arizona, hospitals report epidural rates between 65-85%.

While epidurals may be a good option for some women, it would be folly to discount the risks and side effects – for both mother and baby. The needle provides temporary pain relief, but it also can lead to a slew of unwanted interventions and a slower recovery.

Consider these 10 reasons why you may want to think twice before calling for the anesthesiologist.


(1) Epidurals restrict movement.

Because epidurals require IV fluids, bladder catheter, and full time electronic fetal monitoring, mothers are unable to be in control of the natural progression of labor. Deena Blumenfeld, a Registered Prenatal Yoga Instructor and Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator in Pittsburgh, explains, “The epidural restricts mom to bed, and it restricts her movement. When mom’s movement is restricted it can cause a number of complications, including: fetal distress, low fetal heart rate, and inability for baby to rotate to the anterior position (optimal and normal for birth).” Ultimately, she says that the “use of the epidural can be a direct cause of c-section.”

(2) Epidurals increase the risk of fever. 

It is not uncommon for epidurals to increase the mother’s body temperature. A recent study pinpointed that over 19% of women who received an epidural experienced a fever of 100.4 or higher. Fevers, in turn, can increase both the mother’s and baby’s heart rate. Since fetal heart rate can be a sign of distress, doctors often react with the suggestion of a C-section. Even if a C-section is not the outcome, the heightened heart rate often leads to further investigations of the baby after birth (which can include blood and spinal fluid samples). This can lead to days of separation, observation, and possibly antibiotics – which inhibits mother-baby bonding and the establishment of a strong breastfeeding relationship. Kelly Whitehead, author of High-Risk Pregnancy: Why Me?, had this very experience. After a spiking fever, she had to leave her baby behind at the hospital for a few days after her discharge as a preventative measure. She commented, “It was extremely hard emotionally to leave my daughter behind. Breastfeeding her kicked off with a rough start since I was separated from her moments after birth. Though the hospital lent me a pump, I found that difficult, especially being a first time mom.”

(3) Epidurals may cause the mother’s blood pressure to drop.

A sudden drop in blood pressure is one of the most common side effects – which is why blood pressure is taken every 5 minutes when the epidural is initialized and every 30 minutes thereafter. A drop in the mother’s blood pressure affects how much of her blood is pumped to the placenta and can lead to less oxygen being available to the baby.

(4) Epidurals have been known to cause headaches.

Many women with epidurals report having persistent and/or chronic headaches post-delivery. Blumenfield says that this happens when the epidural needle is inserted too far, “...it can release spinal fluid up to the brain, causing a spinal headache. These are severe and often debilitating, lasting for hours or days.”

(5) Epidurals can slow labor.

Epidurals often slow the second stage (or pushing stage) of labor by interfering with the natural hormone of labor (called oxytocin), as well as reducing moms’ ability to push effectively. Since the mother is numb, she is unable to get in the most helpful positions to help guide the baby’s descent.

(6) Epidurals increase a woman’s risk of having a delivery with the aid of instruments.

The gold standard of medical reviews, a Cochrane Review, came out with this research in 2011. Epidural babies were more likely to be delivered with the “help” of  forceps, a vacuum, or other tools that increase pain and discomfort for both mom and baby (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD000331. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000331.pub3). The use of instruments also increases the likelihood of a woman having a more serious tear and/or receiving an episiotomy.

(7) Epidurals increase the risk of Cesaearan Section.

Nick Angelis, a nurse anesthetist and the author of How to Succeed in Anesthesia School, states this matter-of-factly, “statistically, the chance of getting a c-section increases with each medical intervention [including epidural].” He also points out that mothers seeking a natural childbirth experience would be wise to avoid labor augmentation drugs such as Pitocin since it is known to make contractions less manageable for the new mother.

(8) Epidurals = a slower recovery.

Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, is a New York mom of four. A graduate of John Hopkins Medical School, she initially did an OB/GYN internship, but ended up changing specialties to focus on oncology. Two of her babies were delivered with an epidural, two without. She far preferred her non-medicated births, “A woman delivering without anesthesia recovers much faster than with anesthesia. I tore much less — I could feel everything so I was able to pay attention to my pushing.” She even went on to say that she, “was up and running behind the stroller within a week after delivering without anesthesia…it was much easier to care for my other children.” Though perhaps not all new mothers will be jogging at one week postpartum, there is certainly something to be said for being able to get up and around quickly.

(9) Epidurals sometimes interfere with the early stages of breastfeeding.

Studies have shown a link between epidurals and breastfeeding rates among new mothers. Whitehead explains that this is “due to neurobehavioral effects in the baby in regards to initial rooting and suckling behaviors.” Note that epidurals also interfere with the natural production of oxytocin (as stated above)…the hormone which causes the let-down effect in breastfeeding and promotes healthy bonding between mamas and their babies.

(10) Epidurals may cause other unpleasant and dangerous effects for babies and mothers.

Women have reported nausea, itching, backache, and incontinence. Little is known how the epidural effects the baby, but we do know that the drug does enter the baby’s bloodstream. It seems contradictory that many women take great precautions to avoid deli meat, coffee, wine, and tylenol throughout their pregnancies…and then proceed to take in a heavy anesthetic agent right before meeting their babies for the first time.


Scientist Kelly Whitehead correctly points out that “There is a time and a place when epidurals are needed and necessary, such as for C-sections, moms who are having very long, hard labors or those moms who are truly not managing well during labor.” She notes, however, that pain, crying, and yelling don’t necessarily mean that the mother isn’t managing well. Those can all be “normal” during the laboring process.

Kimberly Jacobsen Nelson, a freelance reporter from Oregon, has had three babies – the first with an epidural, the second two without. She describes the epidural as a “massive mistake” and wishes she had been better informed about the risks. In contrast, she says her two natural births were “the most amazing thing I have ever done…so rewarding. [My labors] were fast – 4 to 6 hours – and the babies came out so much more alert.

Elizabeth Greenwell, a doctoral candidate at Harvard School of Public Health, completed a study about epidural use and fevers which involved more than 3,200 women delivering a full-term baby at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in 2000. She concluded, “It’s clear that from our data that about 20 percent of the term infants born to mothers who received epidurals experienced one or more adverse outcomes after birth.” Twenty percent is certainly enough to give a new mother pause before requesting drugs.

Share your experience! What would you change about your labor & deliveries (if anything)? Did you experience any side effects related to using the epidural?


  1. Sharon says

    I don’t remember an epidural even being an option with either of my 2 children. Might have been policy of military hospitals back then. I also had relatively short labors and used midwives and Lamaze for the first and hypnosis for the second.

    • says

      Tell us about Lamaze versus hypnosis. Did you take classes for either of those approaches or did you “teach yourself” through a book? Which pain management technique “worked” more effectively?

  2. says

    I delivered all four of my children natural. My deliveries were fast and I was up moving around immediately. That was long ago. My youngest is 31 years old. I’m actually surprised with the amount of people having epidurals. But I’ve been out of the loop for 30 years. We had to wait for the epidural to wear off before my daughter-in-law could start pushing with our second grandchild. And I have a friend who is the lactation consultant for our local hospitals. She’s an RN and mentioned that its because of epidurals that she has the job of lactation consultant. I do understand why people choose epidurals though. Let’s face it. Labor and delivery hurts. The reward is mighty precious though! ;)

  3. JulieK says

    Both my children were born without epidurals. And my labor time was semi lengthy. ( 11hrs the first time from the start of hard labor.) the second baby they gave me pitocin against my desire bc 15 hours after my water breaking I stalled at 5 cm. I had no midwife bc none of them were on call that night! Next time I am getting a doula to advocate for me. After the pitocin, WOW the contractions started in seconds and were so incredibly intense, that I don’t think I could have even had a coherent thought to ASK for an epidural! LOL…my baby was born 90 minutes later. Yay!!

    I have never wanted an epidural for all the reasons listed above! But yeah, childbirth is excruciating!!! LOL so I can see why women want it!

  4. Janette says

    I think it is good to have a discussion. I ended up have an epidural and then a c-section when I was dilated to 8 and felt a little pressured by the medical staff. I am also very petite 4’11 and though the contractions were manageable, the back pain was intense for me. I do regret having done this, but am so glad the baby was healthy and I was able to breastfeed, and was up and walking within a few hours. I think the recovery time may have to do with being in good health too.

    • says

      Excellent points, Janette. Good health (regular exercise, nutritious diet, low stress level, adequate rest) or lack thereof is sure to have a significant effect on labor, delivery, and recovery outcomes.

  5. Jen says

    Wow – I had a completely different experience. My first son was born naturally, and the pain was terrible. I was so weak afterward that I could not even hold my new baby as they wheeled me into the recovery room. With my second son, I opted for the epidural before the pain from the contractions even began. The whole experience was amazing. I was completely pain-free and enjoyed every minute. My labor was short and both the baby and I did great! I did not notice any negative side-effects what-so-ever. Breastfeeding went well. Just another perspective – I feel like there is so much negative attention re: epidurals.

  6. says

    Thanks for your comment, Stephanie.

    There have been several studies on the link between epidurals and a decrease in oxytocin levels:
    * Oxytocin deficiency at delivery with epidural analgesia http://1.usa.gov/XfoyQK
    * Plasma oxytocin levels in women during labor with or without epidural analgesia http://1.usa.gov/YshfIa

    Childbirth Connection also suggests that one way to “promote your body’s production of oxytocin during labor and delivery” is to “avoid epidural anaglesia.” http://bit.ly/A4fCd

    Perhaps other doctors, midwives, nurses, researchers, and/or mothers will weigh in with links as well. Stay tuned as the conversation continues.

  7. says

    I had many of the same experiences you stated above, happen to me. First time, had horrible back labor, fetal distress, dilated to 8ish and they insisted a C-section cause the epidural had stopped my contractions from being effective. I was also never able to rest with the epidural, for some reason, it kept me awake. 2nd kid, I waited and walked…and cried in pain!! I finally let them give it to me at 6 centimeters, then labor slowed and the epidural only took on one side. Argh!! I finally had her with help from a vacuum! Poor thing! 3rd child, I said NOOOO! I got demurral twice and had no problem. I was able to sleep and my body did it all by itself. She came out almost 2 lbs bigger then her siblings and were shocked! I should also point out, the staff bullied me repeatedly to have a epidural! Finally, a great anesthesiologist came in. ( He had 4 children of his own. ) He said that no woman chooses painful labor after 3 children unless they have had a horrible experience so I let him give me one when I was dilated to 9 and a half since they kept bulling me. He gave me a quick boost at first so it would tapper off quick. It was great! I was walking 2 hours later!
    Everyone is different. For me, I always seem to react different then they say on any medicine. I would take that into consideration when deciding what to do.

  8. Brandi says

    I had a spinal headache for a week after my epi. I had to go back to the hospital for an epidural blood patch. So, two babies,three epis. Also, my epi went up and down so my WHOLE entire body was numb including my throat. I could not swallow and started having a panic attack. It was awful and stalled labor tremendously. I will NOT have do it again!!

  9. SoarAway says

    I had my first baby naturally and I was very against any pain management. I AM SO GLAD. He was born beautifully, naturally, and with no complications in a wonderful water birth. When my next one arrives, please G-d, in a couple of months, I cannot wait to have him/her in a natural water birth, too. I am so grateful to my doula for keeping me so informed and teaching me so much about the risks of epidurals and other painkillers, so that I was able to make this informed decision for myself! (Thank you also to the midwives who attended my birth, who were so supportive and attentive to my birth plan, and never tried to tempt me with painkillers… midwives and doulas are the best!)

  10. allison says

    Awesome post Stephanie! I had the same experience as Jen. I wish I had known how awful Pitocin makes your contractions. I felt like my spinal cord was being electrocuted for over 8 excruciating hours. So with baby #2 I opted for the epidural immediately! However, it did slow down my labor, they had to use “the vacuum”, and my recovery was longer……but NO PAIN! I am not that tough. :)

  11. MZFORTREZZ says

    Thank you for the information, not everybody’s body will act the same way but from what I heard and this article I know some to be true so I’ll go for the natural now, I just don’t want any back problems lol

  12. modern human says

    I think it is unwise to quote a Lamaze educator (who may be very good at her job but is clearly not a scientist) when trying to state scientific evidence. It is a little like asking a former Playboy Playmate to weigh in on her opinion about vaccines.

    “…it can release spinal fluid up to the brain, causing a spinal headache.” anyone who knows anything about medicine can tell you that this statement doesn’t even make sense. Spinal fluid continuously surrounds the brain. That is why its proper term is cerebrospinal fluid. Headaches are an unfortunate possibility of epidurals when the dura is punctured during the procedure (which is done purposely for spinal anesthesia – similar but different).

    “use of the epidural can be a direct cause of c-section.” There is no proof of this. It is complete hearsay.

    What good is it to live in 2013 if you want to have the same experience as women giving birth in the year 13? Child birth is often the measurement used to compare all other painful experiences, and if you really want to impress someone, you state “my pain is worse than childbirth.” Perhaps the woman who was up and running within a week enjoys pain – most people do not. It is true that virtually all medical procedures involve some risk, although the risk associated with epidurals is small. We will expose ourselves and our children to a countless number of potentially unhealthy things over the course of a lifetime, many of them completely avoidable, but to do otherwise would be inconvenient. For instance, motor vehicle accidents are a major source of injury and death, but will you never allow your child to drive in a car? Will you grow all your own food to avoid the problems of that particular industry? Will you move to the country to avoid pollution? The use of an epidural should involve an informed decision by the mother. I think it is unfair to give them bogus information from biased sources to influence this choice.

  13. BS says

    Such minimal research gathered by you yet you have such an expert opinion! Do more reading and research. Then you can come lecture us on epidural cons. Going all natural doesn’t work for some people. Due to mental health conditions, unrelaxed pelvic floors which can obstruct labour. Try studying at uni and then lecture us or talk to Anaesthetists!

  14. Brent Ramsey says

    I am a CRNA, and this “Scientist” chick that wrote this story, is VERY ambiguous. I could offer up the statement, “If I play on the freeway, I will get hit by a milk truck!” Blood patches are shown to be 99.9% effective in curing the post-dural puncture headache. Also, I guess “inducing” labor is the natural way to go? More like get ’em in, pop it out, ship them out! bill their asses!

  15. julia says

    Yeah, that wasn’t my epidural experience(s) at all. I appreciated my pain-free labors.Though I will say, I felt like Xena Warrior Princess after having my third son without an epidural (esp. at 10 lb 8 oz., yikes.) And I guess I had an unpleasant experience with the anesthesiologist continually hitting a nerve during placement of my epidural for my second birth, I was scared to death she was going to leave me paralyzed!

  16. Rachel says

    I can’t say I had any negative side effects caused by the epidural. It was the nurses who were in control of it who were the problem. The drip rate was way too high, preventing me from feeling the urge to push. I was told I should be sble to feel pressure but not pain. Despite repeatedly saying I couldn’t feel anything, they did not turn off the epidural flow. Only once all else had failed (trying different pushing positions) did she think to turn it down. Once it started to wear off, my daughter was born in 3 pushes. Never getting one again with my next baby. I vowed that night that I would go drug free so the nurses couldn’t tell me it was my inability to push properly slowing things down. Before I got to pushing, I was just forgotten about in the hospital room. They pushed the dose too high, and left me alone, unable to feel if I should call the nurse because it was time. Things started stalling as a result of being fully dilated and just left there, not even knowing I was dilated. Only after my second complaint of starting to throw up, did anyone decide to listen and check me.

  17. megan says

    I want to give a positive epidural story. My total time in labor was 2.5 days, I went into labor naturally but my body didn’t want to progress. I originally planned to have an all natural childbirth. After a day and a half of labor and constant pain I was given an epidural. With having this they were able to monitor my baby internally which was quite necessary and enabled me to not have ac-section. Long story sorry I had the epi, petocin, and iv drugs. When it came time to push I could still feel what I was doing just not the pain. I had no adverse side effects, my daughter was breast feeding within minutes of being born and I was walking around that day. I am glad that I had the epi and was able to experience c hild birth without all the pain I had in the beginning. Also I think a lot if women should realize that just because an ob recommends a c-section doesn’t mean you have to have one. The dr wanted me to have one but I refused because my baby was not in distress.

  18. Eric says

    As an anesthesiologist, I would caution anyone to take this authors opinions with a grain of salt. It’s a good idea for any mother to have a discussion with her physicians before making any decisions regarding your medical care. I would certainly not let the blog post of a “writer, traveler, entrepreneur” (i.e. someone who has zero medical training whatsoever) influence your decision making.

  19. Anonymous says

    I believe that everybody should watch “The Business of Being Born.” It feathres many trained medical professionals from across the world who actually provide statistics and real medical evidence about the cons towards epidurals. Men and women who have been in the medical industry delivering uncoutable children for 20+ years. It really talks about how child birth is in the new age, and how different it really is. It is an amazing documentary. I encourage everybody to watch it! It is very true based on every expierience I have known of while being induced and receiving the epidural. It goes over almost every point that was made above, and if you don’t believe her based on her perfession, then I’m sure you will Elise them.

    • Same person says

      Damn iPhone. Still getting use to this phone. Fill in the awkwardly placed words with your best guess to what the actual word it… Madlibs everybody!

  20. Solange says

    The research in your article is outdated. Epidurals now do NOT restrict you to bed. There are epidurals available (at least in Canada). called “walking” epidurals and you can move, walk, even urinate with it in. I know because I had three.

    Some of these facts are fear mongering, not “educating”. A lot of women who choose epidurals also are induced – and induction has been proven to increase interventions. Where is the reaearch cited on that? How can it be proven that it is the epidural and not the induction drugs causing these interventions?

    Epidurals are a GOOD choice for pain management – they do not cross the placenta whereas drugs such as morphine do.

    From a mother who has had 3 epidurals, 3 intervention FREE births, and three BREASTFED babies who latched IMMEDIATELY.

    Every baby and every mother is different. Don’t scare a mother into a drug free birth with posts like this.

  21. Melissa says

    My epidural caused me to die on the delivery table. I hope more people read this and think before they decide.

  22. MelissaA says

    I’m always so put off when someone says I need to be educated! Do you think that just because I did have an epidural I am uneducated? What I have learned after having two children and my sisters each having two kids, all within the last 5 years, is that this is a personal choice and their needs to be less judgment on moms by other moms. Moms who breast feed judge moms who use formula. Moms who put their babies in their nursery when they get home judge moms who co-sleep. And moms who don’t get epidualrs judge those who do. Instead of trying to “educate me” why don’t you try supporting me? If it was really that big of a risk, do you think I would risk the life of my child and self?
    As far as recovery, I felt just fine after giving birth with both of my children. I nursed them immediately and had no trouble whatsoever. The nurses and doctor were great about helping me with whatever I needed. I was up, taking a shower and walking the halls later that day.
    And as far as the running a week after giving birth, you should probably hold off on that. There’s a reason why your doctor wants you to wait six weeks!

    • Emily says

      I don’t think she is putting anyone down. I think there are some parents out there who do what they are told by hospitals and doctors when there are other options out there. Some parents chose not to inform themselves and it is an important event to learn about all options, no matter which option they chose. No one is judging you because you decided to have an epidural. It is a personal choice for everyone. The author has their opinion and so do you.

  23. Kaytee says

    I didn’t want an epidural, but when my contractions became stronger and stronger, to the point that I couldn’t stand anymore (even while holding myself against my bed), my already low blood pressure was dropping and I felt my life force leaving me (I described it as “fading”). I can take a lot of pain, but somehow this one was defeating me and I seriously feared for my life. While I’m not proud, part of me thinks I may not have made it if they hadn’t given me that emergency epidural. And I wouldn’t want my husband to raise our kid alone. Drugs (mainly sedatives based on past surgeries), alcohol, etc flush through me quickly, so I didn’t suffer many of the bad side-effects like numbness, can’t walk (I was able to take different positions and walk around my room), stuck in bed (I walked a few times after the delivery to change the baby and get myself breakfast in the morning). It did slow down the delivery as I lost my contractions, but they came back an hour or two later. They also, says my chiro, messed up the removal as the first time I tried to walk without the epidural in place, I huge shock in my lower back made me fall to my knees. I’ve had some lower bad pain, but it’s getting better after 2 years, thanks to my chiro!

    • Kaytee says

      Also, breastfeeding didn’t go so well, so if that is true, that would be my real beef against epidural.
      Frankly, I think that without the epidural, they might have had to give me a C-section… That’s even worst!

  24. Emie says

    I had my first son natural birth. Although it was not easy to go through the process of it all, I actually did it. I was happy. He was born 7.3 lbs. when it came to having my second son, it was a hard pregnancy from the beginning I was always getting sick and at two months, I was put on bed rest. 30 weeks into pregnancy, I find out I had gestational diabetes, 35 weeks baby was breeched, no matter what the doctor tried it didn’t solve anything. Then my water broke, baby couldn’t breathe, I was having problems breathing, and I was highly anemic so they had to rush and get that baby out. And so, I had to get an epidural. I must say I wish I could do things differently because this epidural is killing me. I’m always having back pain now and it’s taking over my life.

  25. Jen says

    I wanted a natural birth but in my 24th hour of labor which put me at about 40 hours with no sleep I was losing steam quickly and had only progressed to 4 cm dialated. I was afraid I would end up too exhausted and weak to push when the time finally came. I chose an epidural to lessen my chance of having a csection and for me it worked. After the epidural I got 3 heavenly hours of sleep. During my sleep the wonderful nurses came every 30 mins and rotated me onto my opposite side. They wedged this foam device they called the peanut between my thighs too to keep my hips open so my labor wouldn’t stall. After 3 hours I was fully dilated and I was able to begin pushing. It wasn’t the birth I had hoped for, but it was close. I would like to try for natural birth with my next baby, but now I’m much more comfortable with getting an epidural if I need to.

  26. Unknown says

    My birth story is interesting. I was 17 when i gave birth to my daughter and from the very beginning i knew i wanted everything as natural as possible.I was looking into water births, home births, all natural births. Even natural pregnancy’s i didn’t want my baby having anything in it system that didn’t need to be. I was admitted at 37 weeks 5 days due to pregnancy related hypertension. The pregnancy was sucking the life out of me. I had gotten a rash all over my back that would never go away. I had swollen gums, back ache, muscle weakness, hypertension, bruised ribs, chest pains/heaviness, you name it i had it. Once they admitted me to the hospital they decided it was best to induce me for the both of our health’s. I was nervous and excited. But i wasn’t scared. They started the induction at 10:00 pm with a small tiny pill that sits behind the cervix to soften it up. Im unsure of the name. Just two hours later i was having contractions. Four hours after the first pill they decided to give me a second one and my last one. The contractions just sped up from there. They came in and had me sign a paper for a epidural. I signed it but also mentioned i didnt plan on getting one. As hours went by the pain increased and i just wanted sleep. So i asked for iv pain medication. They gave it to me a half hour after asking. An IT DIDNT work for me, it made me exhausted yes, but i still felt everything. It reminded me of the scene from twilight when bella was transitioning into a vampire. She felt every bit of pain but couldnt tell ANYONE. It was horrible. When i was finally able to get up and tell my family we tried many positions to help with the pain. None of them were helping. I asked for another bag of medicine i rather have iv medication then get the epidural i didnt wanna give in. They told me it was too soon to get another bag but i could get the epidural. I said no and kept asking. Finally i just said fine give me the epidural. They told me i would be in labor for three days as this would be my first child birth and the medication usually takes a while to get things started. They got everyone out of the room as the anesthesiologist entered the room. At this point the contractions were back to back i had NO break. I had about a 30 second break i believed that what i timed anyways. They told me to pay attention to them as they showed me what position to get in and that i had to stay still. I told them i couldnt pay attention i was in to much pain. Me going to my happy place was getting harder and harder. They sat me up at the end of the bed as they set the mat up. Once they were done the have me stand up and sit on top of it. I had another contraction and at the end of it i looked up and hurried up and said “I think i got to push” She said you sure and i was already in the next contraction so i had to shake my head. It was so hard not to be rude and just scream at them. They called in another nurse and by the next contraction i couldnt hold it in any longer i finally screamed. I screamed as if someone murdered me. I hurried up and laid back and ask her if it was okay to push. She said no dont push. I told her it was happening on its on. They hurried me up to the top of the bed and got me into position. They looked in and told me to push the next time i feel a contraction, at this point a bunch of nurses and students were flooding in. And the anesthesiologist was just shocked standing at the bottom of my bed. I was calm even laughing , my family claim it was all the adrenalin i believe god was with me making me feel safe and relaxed. At this point my family were still out of the room waiting for me to get done with the epidural. I just wanted them in there. Out of everything going on i thought i felt a contraction coming on and told them. They told me to push. An i said i cant. They said yes you can . I said no im not having a contraction they all looked at me and said “Oh” and i just laughed. I thought it was funny. Right after i felt the beginning of the next contraction and said okay and started pushing, I manged to push two times. before they asked me if i wanted to feel her head. I looked at them confused my exact words were “Her head? Already?” and they said yes its right here. I nodded my head and went to touch her head I was amazed it didnt feel like a head to me. The next contraction i pushed once and my baby girl came flying out. I was shocked and relieved. She was so tiny. 4lbs 60z 16 inches long. She was so perfect. She was born 11 hours after being induced. The doctors, nurses, even family were all shocked it was so easy and fast. I loved it and will always go natural with child births.

  27. Emily says

    I have a friend who had a epidural a few years ago with her last child. She now has more issues than I can list due to it! She is constantly in pain, body is swollen, has a hard time walking, it hurts for her to pick her child up or do pretty much anything. It has been horrible seeing her go down hill because of the epidural. I was on the fence before about getting an epidural when I have my child but that made up my mind. It is unnatural and many women have done it before and I know I can. I refuse to be possibly paralyzed or considered handicapped because I wanted pain relief for something I chose to happen! My friends ordeal has changed some peoples minds after watching her go through what she will have to deal with the rest of her life and she isn’t even 30 yet!

  28. KMichelleMom22 says

    I’m 5″2 and 100lbs
    I had an epidural with both my births
    The first was fine no bad reactions and could still move my legs, recovered quickly and my son was very alert and breastfeed good as well. Same with my daughter, except I had a handful of fries before the epidural so I ended up puking right before delivery. And I now have bad back pain in the spot of the needle. I’m hoping therapy will make it go away, that and time. It’s been four months.

  29. Kay K. says

    I had a 100% natural, no-intervention labor and birth with my first pregnancy. I was in labor for only 8 hours – and 4 of those hours were spent pushing. I could not handle the pain and my body would not completely “give in” to the sensation of needing to push because of the extreme pain. My son came out with bleeding sores on his head because he was crowned for so long. Afterwards I could barely walk for almost a week, and my son never did successfully latch and breastfeed, no matter how many months we tried (not that that was directly related to the birth, I assume, but it just goes to show that it can go either way regardless of giving birth naturally or not). For this second birth, I plan on getting the epidural, even though I am trepidatious – I do NOT want to repeat my first experience and I trust my doctor’s advice in the matter, and will hope for the best. Just want to share my own story as NOT all births are created equal and sometimes some interventions ARE best ultilized.

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