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Epidural and Spinal for Vaginal Birth

  1. #1
    Lebebe is offline Registered User
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    Epidural and Spinal for Vaginal Birth

    Hi all,

    My doctor told me about all the side effects of an epidural (nausea, headahes and possibility of getting infections from the needle injection). Now, I am really dubious about getting an epidural.

    Would appreciate if any of you who have had an epidural for vaginal birth share with me your knowledge and experience on:

    1. Safety, effectiveness and recovery from an epidural
    2. Adverse effects on the labour process (some have told me that because your womb is numb with little sensation, it's harder to push the baby out)

    Btw,
    3. What's spinal and is it used for vaginal births?

    Thanks so much in advance!
    Lebebe

  2. #2
    cha-cha is offline Registered User
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    here's what i experienced:-

    1. before administering the epidural (during labour), the anaethetist went through the risks, effectiveness etc because they are required to do so. as with administering any drugs, there are always risks so you should read up about it beforehand and decide for yourself. in my case, i decided that if i was going to have a VB then i needed an epidural.

    side-effects included headaches (a bad sign if you get them), nausea and possibly vomiting. after the birth i threw up 5 times (but that's because against their advice i ate a full lunch - i couldn't help myself i was so hungry)

    2. my legs were so numb i couldn't move them. i didn't feel any pain whatsoever and i was still able to push when they told me to. stage 2 of labour only lasted 20 minutes, and was a bit disappointed that it was all over so quick and so painfree. i was honestly expecting this stage to last forever .... ha ha

  3. #3
    Lebebe is offline Registered User
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    Hi Cha Cha,

    Thanks for your reply. When does the epidural wear out?
    With regards to headaches, how long did they last?
    When do the other side effects dissipate?

    Thanks,
    Lebebe

  4. #4
    BLC
    BLC is offline Registered User
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    I had an epidural as my contractions were so frequent and painful from the start. My epidural lasted about 1.5hrs and I had two. The second one wore off just as I was told to push so I knew when to push. I had no side effects at all and I know I would have not been so relaxed in the final stage, without it.

  5. #5
    fee
    fee is offline Registered User
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    I had a spinal for my c-section. From what I understand it is a one time only shot - it can't be topped up like an epidural. I assume that is the reason they don't use it for VB

  6. #6
    odm_post is offline Registered User
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    I've had both epidural the first 2 kids and spinal for the 3rd one.

    The main difference is: epidural can be topped up, so if you're in for a long labour, opt for this one 'cause spinal is only a one shot anaesthetic (that lasts about 3 hrs if I'm not wrong).
    As I always had fast labour with my first two, the dr suggested spinal for the third one (cheaper as well :P)

    With the first epidural, they needed to top it up a few times. Just as the last one was wearing off, it's time for me to push. So yeahh.... I felt the pain, but the pushing wasn't that long for me. Only about 15 mins.
    With the second epidural, I was ready to push while I was fully numb. It went so fast. Only 3 pushes! Although I didn't feel the pain to push against, but there was no problem at all during the pushing.

    The legs were a bit numb afterwards, but that's about it... You can always buzz the nurse to help you if you need to go to the bathroom. You wouldn't be walking around too much anyway.
    I did vomit with the second epidural, but that's about it!

    I hope these can give you some insights of both anaesthetic.
    If this is your first one, I'd recommend you to go for epidural. But, of course, it's all up to you at the end...

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Lebebe is offline Registered User
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    Thank you!

    Thanks everyone! I feel much better and not as lost anymore. Really, really grateful for all your advice!

    Lebebe

  8. #8
    cha-cha is offline Registered User
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    lebebe,

    in answer to your questions above:-

    the anaesthetist left a "top-up" syringe as a spare just in case the first one ran out. i think the first one lasted about 6 hrs so i didn't need the second one

    luckily i didn't get any headaches, but you should let the nurses or Dr know if you do get them

    as i mentioned before i was quite sick after the birth so i fell asleep. by the time i woke up a couple of hours later it was very clear that the effect of the epidural had worn off because i could really feel my stitches.

    with the epidural, the birth was the easiest part for me. i found all the woes of pregnancy and the recovery part harder

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