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Epidural. Pros & Cons: Should I, Shouldn't I?

The thought of an epidural has never cross my mind,  I want as much of a natural birth as possible - I don't want any drugs in baby D’s system without a good reason! However after my last visit to the hospital all that has been thrown up in the air.

I was asked to come in and have a chat with the anaesthetist as I have a BMI of 41 which puts me in the “at risk” group whilst giving birth. Straight away she started her scaremongering routine. As I'm overweight I’m at risk for a difficult delivery, it would be too risky to be given a general anaesthetic, higher risk of Deep Venous Thrombosis... yadda yadda yadda!



She also informed that also due to my size it would be more difficult to locate the right part of the spine to put the epidural in and this would be why I would need one earlier on in labour as it can take a while to do. Then she made me bend over and touch my toes while she poked her boney fingers into my back to see if she would be able to put the epidural in and surprise surprise she could.


Pros
  • Able to go straight into the operating room if I need an emergency C section
  • Provides excellent pain relief
  • Helps you to relax


Cons
  • Long term migraines
  • Itchy skin
  • Urinary catheter has to be placed.
  • Slows down labour
  • Confined to bed
  • Inhibits the urge to push and makes pushing very difficult as you are numb from the waist down
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Sometimes several attempts are needed due to difficulty inserting
  • May cause nerve damage
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Makes it harder to breastfeed
  • Infection and bleeding

Have you had an epidural as pain relief for giving birth? Did you regret it, was there any side effects or are you totally against it altogether? I would love to hear your stories

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