R.C. asks from Katy, TX on June 14, 2012
Giving Birth Without an Epidural
OK...so, I am due to have my third child in eight weeks and I am getting myself all worried about whether I can do it without an epidural! My husband is self employed, so we get a really BAD deal on health insurance (because we have to be self insured) and of course pregnancy is not covered...I have managed to work out self pay deals with the hospital and obgyn to bring the cost down a bit, but the anaestheologist will not work out a deal before hand and an epidural would cost around $5,000!!?! You would think that would give me a the motivation needed to not worry about pain and be determined not to get one, but I needed one with my previous two children, the first was induced at 36 weeks due to complications and it was a very long and painful induction. The second was also induced two weeks early mainly because my doctor encouraged it (my husband works away from home, happened to be home right then and due to leave a few days later!) Anyway, I didn't think to much about the epidural with them because I had insurance through work...a much better deal!!
So, I guess my question is...who has given birth without the epidural and could you give me a bit of confidence that I can do it!! Please ;-)
So What Happened?™
Obviously the sub heading here "so what happened?" isn't in relation to what I am going to write as nothing has happened yet in terms of giving birth (still eight weeks to go). But, I want to thank all you ladies for taking the time to respond to my question...it is so nice to hear positive and encouraging responses. I feel that all you hear are horror stories from women who had terrible deliveries (my first delivery too) that you get unnerved by it all and as someone put it, it definitely affects you subconsciously! Anyway...I think I am going to change my mindset to "I want to do this naturally" getting rid of the negative "I can't do it with an epidural because it is too expensive" and read up and investigate the Lamaze and Bradley methods so many of you mentioned.
Again...thank you all for your positiveness, it is so appreciated!
M.T. answers from New York on June 15, 2012
I gave birth to both of my children without any type of drugs. I never wanted pain meds, due to the possible risks/side effects. I prepared for my first birth with Bradley Method classes and went on to become a Bradley instructor and about 90% of my students who had vaginal births did so without any pain medications (including about half the inductions). See if a local Bradley or HypnoBirthing teacher can offer you some classes. These methods are meant specifically to prepare you for an unmedicated birth, and have high success rates.
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S.W. answers from Amarillo on June 15, 2012
You can do it. I did it like 35 years ago and was in another country. The doctor gave me a shot to relax the body and that was it. Yes there is pain but that is part of it. If you can find a book called Pregancy and Childbirth there is a section that goes over giving birth. I used this book and it was a great help. It describes the stages of labor and what to expect.
I recall trying to stop pushing with a contraction and my body took over and did the work without me. I quickly realized that i was not in charge mentally my body was in charge physically and I let it do the work that it was meant to do to deliver the child. It was well worth all the pain and pushing to deliver a child drug free. I was too was more in control of what was going on and quickly recovered.
Just relax and go with the flow. When you tense up you slow things down and it works against what the end product is all about a speedy delivery.
Good luck to you. May you have a safe and happy delivery.
The other S.
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J.K. answers from Kalamazoo on June 15, 2012
Have you applied for Medicaid? Its really easy to get when you are pregnant. It would be worth a shot and they pay for everything.
M.O. answers from New York on June 15, 2012
Sorry, I'm late in responding, but I gave birth without an epidural, and it was a fantastic experience. My husband was my rock. He was by my side 100%, and I've never felt closer to him. And when you don't have an epidural, the pushing part is amazing. If you push hard enough, there's zero pain. You're overwhelmed with (positive) endorphins. One of the more extraordinary sensations life has to offer, honestly.
I always say, natural childbirth is like running a marathon, or writing a novel or a dissertation or something. While you're doing it, you're saying, "I can't do this. Why did I ever think I could do this? This was a terrible idea." And then, for the ENTIRE rest of your life, you say, "Wow, I am SO glad I did that."
It's worth it. Our bodies are built for it. Of course you can do it. You'll do great.
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B.R. answers from Madison on June 15, 2012
I delivered all three of mine without epidurals...this isn't going to be confidence and I am sorry but if you go in to delivery having to go without pain meds you wont do it...you have to go in really wanting to experience labor and delivery.
You ever wanted something so bad and you couldn't have it but yet got it anyway?!?
Change you train of thought and go in wanted to delivery without drugs rather then feeling like you have to.
I willingly delivered all three of mine without meds but I have the mind set that I would never ever let someone shove a long needle into my back no way!!
6 moms found this helpful
L.S. answers from Spokane on June 14, 2012
I delivered all 3 of mine without any medication. The first at 36 weeks, the second at 39 weeks and the third was an induction at 42 weeks.
YOU CAN DO IT!!!
One thing that really helped me was to hum through my contractions. Sounds weird but I read that it helps bring the baby down - and my longest time pushing was 20 minutes with my first (the other 2 were delivered after 2 pushes each).
Labour at home as much as you can - you'll be more relaxed and comfortable, so odds are your labour will progress a little faster.
BELIEVE that you can do this. Your body was made to have babies - You can *totally* do it!!!
6 moms found this helpful
J.K. answers from Sacramento on June 15, 2012
I had both of my kids without any epidural or pain meds. Your state of mind can be the most important resource you have. If you think that labor and delivery are going to hurt so much that you can't do it then your body will tense and your anxiety and stress will rise and it will painful and difficult. If you have realistic expectations that it will be painful, but that you can relax and breathe and use your strength you will be able to do it.
Our bodies were made to have babies. Gather your most supportive couple of people around you. Tell them not to say anything about pain while coaching you... only positive encouraging words and reminders for breath. Personally I felt so empowered after having both of my kids, and my recovery was easy-peasy. You've already had two kiddos... this one may be your easiest one! You can do it!!!
5 moms found this helpful
K.M. answers from Miami on June 15, 2012
I gave birth twice, no epidural. It's definitely doable. :) My first was 14 hours of intense back labor, but I made it through. I had taken a hypnobirthing course which I recommend if only for the relaxation techniques and to give you confidence in your body. I think the most helpful thing for me was having a doula. They are way cheaper than an anesthesiologist and really wonderful labor support. For my second, I didn't have a doula, but I had the confidence from my first birth that I could do it. I studied the hypnobirthing stuff again, but on my own. I was in labor for about 22 hours, but the only pain I had was the last 2 because he had his arm next to his head and was ramming my pubic bone repeatedly. I was up and moving around (slowly,lol) right after giving birth both times.
I have heard that being induced with pitocin makes the contractions worse than if you go into labor naturally. So I would try not to get induced if there isn't a medical reason for it. Good luck and congrats on your baby! =)
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J.G. answers from Chicago on June 15, 2012
I did it naturally with both of my kids, with no pain meds.
Fear causes pain. Since this is the case, you need to free yourself from the belief that birth is painful. Instead, learn about it, practice deep breathing, and approach it as an exercise that gives you the most wonderful gift ever.
When I had my second, it wasn't painful at all. I was so focused on what was happening, that the dilation shooting pains were me dilating. I was amazed to be so aware of my body opening up for my baby. I was so anxious to meet him, I was so excited, that I wasn't' focused on the pain.
With that said, I would never labor without a birthing tub or a great shower.
Start reading up on hypnobirth. Also, watch videos on Utube of happy natural birth mommas. If you can see how relaxed they are, it's easier to relax yourself.
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T.K. answers from Decatur on June 15, 2012
I planned to have an epidural with my second baby but he came so fast there wasn't enough time! I had Group B strep during my pregnancy so by the time they had given me that medicine in the iv and the bag of fluid there wasn't time for the epidural and I am SOOO glad it worked out like that! My recovery was so much easier than my first! BTW - he was 9 pounds 13 ounces and 23 inches long and he was still easier to deliver than my first with the epidural!! You can do this - good luck!!! Just breathe!!!
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S.T. answers from Washington DC on June 15, 2012
i did it! it was 21 years ago and i STILL claim that red badge of courage, dammit! because it WAS a big deal!
i have to add, though, that it wasn't by choice. i was just too far along by the time i hit the delivery room. if i coulda, i woulda.
it won't help you one bit while you're in labor, but i can tell you with great confidence now that despite the fact that i wouldn't have chosen it, it was a terrific, wonderful, amazing way to deliver. i had 3 epidurals with my first, and hurt a lot less. but he was woozy, my recovery took forever, and it was still- well, labor. the natural childbirth was visceral and very hard (9lb 10oz blockhead baby) but oh, i was so very, very present! the post-delivery euphoria was pretty much the most wonderful feeling i've ever had. my baby was alert and responsive, and our connection was so deep and powerful and immediate. and i recovered far, far more quickly.
go to it, mama! make sure you post about it afterwards!
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