Labour & Epidural

First time mom here. How do you deal with the thoughts of labor? I have been reading, watching birth vlogs - not sure if I will every be ready? Can you share with me your labor stories? My husband do not want me to take epidural if possible and go all natural. But i'm not sure how is the pain going to be like.

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You will have to be ready when the time comes. Doctor and nurses will guide you during the delivery process. And every delivery is different so I wish you a safe & smooth delivery. I was like you 1 year ago. Husband told me not to take epidural as it might affect baby and me. I heard about the recovery from epidural was not good for some moms. And was adviced by friends that natural delivery will recover faster and better for the woman. My pain threshold is low. I never thought I could do it without epidural. I read books on natural delivery to know more about the process and to prepare myself. I did squats and stretching daily as it will help with the delivery. I walked alot during pregnancy as form of exercise. I asked other mom's about their labour experience and how they did it naturally. I feel more scared after hearing it. One friend's encouragement is that God made woman to go through labour process. Our body is already made to function this way so God will deliver us through this labour. I always remind myself this and it gives me a little more courage. I was induced as my blood pressure was too high. Good thing it happened during the last 1-2 weeks of pregnancy. Baby is full term already. After doctor broke the water bag, the contractions came on steadily. First was mild menstrual cramps then 6hrs later it was quite intense and interval was short. I couldn't take it and so I asked for epidural. In order to do so, I got to sign consent forms, do blood test etc. I can't remember as the pain was intense. So hubby asked if the anaesthetist could come and explain to us. It took some time for the explanation to be done and after blood test result is out, I could proceed to take epidural. So nurse checked my dilation. It was 9cm already. I don't need to take epidural. Just 1cm more to go. Nurse offered me to try laughing gas for some pain relief. I was hesitant as I didn't know how to use it. She guided me with it. Inhale gas before the contractions come on strong, stop when pain is gone. If you feel high/giddy, stop inhaling for the next contraction. Bear with the pain. The pain now at 9cm dilation is severe menstrual cramps that have very close intervals and the urge to poop. You will have to hold the urge to force out "poop" while waiting for dilation to reach 10cm. Once it is fully dilated then you could start to push. Whenever you feel the urge to "poop", it is the time to take a deep breath and push for 10s. Rest. Repeat again until you see your precious baby! You did it! Well done mummy! Baby finally get to see you and daddy! As for the episiotomy, I could feel the cut but the pain was bearable. Local anaesthesia will be given during stitching. For mine I had a deeper tear and it was hard to give local anaesthesia so I had to use the laughing gas to help with the pain when stitching. You can do it with natural birth! And you WILL! Jia you!

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I would say to keep an open mind! Sometimes things don't go according to plan. I thought I'd stay home for early labour and go without any pain relief but neither of that happened. My water broke and was coming out in gushes so I did admit to the labour ward within 1-2 hours of it breaking. I waited for dilation for ages and by 20th hour I received my epidural because I was too tired and in too much pain by then to be able to push effectively. I had some laughing gas while waiting for epidural. Gas did little to relief my pain and felt a bit high. That being said, I spent a good 16-18 hours of my labour in relative comfort. I used Freya app (paid app) and focused on breathing through my earlier contractions. I walked around the entire ward every 2-3 hours. Ate every single meal given to me cause I wasn't in too much pain and since I opted out of epidural for the early stage I could eat whatever I wanted. I only had shivering for epidural. No nausea or vomiting. I felt zero pain within 5-10 mins of the injection. Felt no pain during the push; it was guided by the midwife and my gynae cause I felt nothing. They guided me when to push when the contractions were peaking. I walked around and went to pee within the first 1-2 hours post delivery. I did have soreness on the epidural injection site for up to 2 months while it healed. I know it wasn't backache from caregiving cause it was just that one spot on my spine that's achy. I'm almost 4 months pp and the only ache I have I from carrying bb all day long since I'm a solo caregiver in the day. I agree with doing what works best for you. It's your body and your well being is important. Keep an open mind, trust your instincts and your gynae's recommendations.

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Please do not listen to your husband or anyone else cos it's your own body. It's you who will be going through the pain not your husband not anyone else. Epidural is completely safe to take & it actually helps you to dilate if you're in a long labour. The reason why the nurse/midwife ask you if you want to take epidural or not. If you have a low pain tolerance, just go for it. You can also sleep throughout the contractions without feeling any pain. But the side effects are shivering. You will be shivering in cold but fret not. Just cover yourself with the hospital blanket. Not enough with 1? Ask the nurse for more blanket. The cold feeling will go away. The gas does not even help me at all. I was too giddy & even vomitted because of the smell but can still feel the pain. I've had 4 epidurals & I will always ask at the last minute 😬so the numbness stays until my baby comes out 😅 They will normally lower the epidural dosage when it's near to 10cm dilated so you can still feel when your baby comes out but not at all painful. I've had people who say it's not good for my body since I took it 4 times but I just shut them up. It's my body not theirs. No side effect for me like backpain, etc. so far and the last epidural I took was 9 yrs ago.

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9mo ago

Hi! Your ‘last minute’ is at which cm? I thought we cannot opt for epi at a certain cm, no?

For my first born, I had the same mentality as many others. Try to go natural if possible. But like many, I took epidural in the end because why go thru the pain when there is an alternative. I was unlucky to suffer from suspected nerve damage thereafter and suffered for 6 years, not to mention a few other complications like fever during labor, child did not get in right position, backache from pushing etc. For my second child, I knew epidural was not an option for me. So I searched online on how to cope with labor naturally and found hypnobirthing. I went thru the course and gave birth naturally, smoothly and very fast coz I was relaxed. You can go find out more about it. I must say the pain was reduced sooooo much after I went into a state of deep relaxation. There is some science behind all these coping techniques which u can learn and prep yourself. My recovery was great and baby was alert. I felt so empowered and I really think more pple shd use these simple techniques taught by hypnobirthing. It made delivery a breeze.

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Super Mum

As many mommies here said, you’ll never be ready haha! But trust your own body, your own instinct.. You’ll be amazed at how strong our bodies are made to go through labour. I had an au natural birth, with no epidural, also cause I dilated from 4cm to 9cm within an hour. I did asked if I could get epidural, nurse checked and said “u r 9cm, u hv to start pushing!”.. 😅 Earlier when I was admitted into the labour ward, they checked my dilation, it was 4cm & they did asked if I wanted epidural. I somemore said “no need”... hahahahha! Yes it was painful, but once baby glides out. The feeling was like omg I did it!! And tbh, I was glad I did it without.. But then again, with epidural / without, as long as you are most comfy with & also depending on the situation you are in... Every birth story is different! & oh, I would stop watching birth videos... Gave me more fright than what actually is.. Hahahha. Take care & have a smooth delivery!! 💪🏼💪🏼

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1y ago

how to dilate it fast..

Super Mum

You will never be ready. What you think is not what you expect. I watched lots of videos and heard lots of birth stories before giving birth as well. I wanted to have an all natural birth and was ready to bounce on a yoga ball to assist my cervix dilation in my labour ward. Who knows.. My waterbag broke and my baby poop inside. I had no contractions after I was admitted in the hospital for 3hours so I had to induce. It was so painful and my husband asked me to opt for epidural as he doesn't want to see me going through the pain. It was the best decision ever, painless after that. How I wish I opt for that earlier.. Few minutes after I had my epidural, my cervix is fully dilated and I was ready to give birth. You decide for yourself what is best for you. All the best to you.

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VIP Member

You will never be ready! Haha! My hubby also didn’t want me to take epidural, in the end I had everything we never wanted! We opt for natural birth, on the day gynae admitted me, she broke my water bag and realize baby pooped in it hence we had to do emergency csec! While in the OT, anesthetist inject epidural in me and realized it’s not effective on me, and gynae then said change of plan again, become GA Csec.. lol! In the end I didn’t even feel like I gave birth and slept for a good 2 days (my body didn’t take the GA very well) before I had a glimpse of my lo while I was still very groggy.. My understanding, the pain of natural birth is only while during contraction. Baby coming out is not that much of a pain.

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I didn’t want epidural too initially. But I ended up taking it. 3cm and I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I dilated very very slowly. 4-5 hours and only 3cm. Epidural was a real life saver for me. The doctors and nurses encouraged me to get the epidural. They say it’s better to save my energy for the pushing instead of enduring the pain. Do your best mummy! If it’s really painful, don’t be afraid to ask for epidural or other methods. Whatever you choose, I’m sure u will do great!

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I was induced at 39 weeks. Initially I didn't want to take epidural, but husband had always wanted me to take epidural. I had epidural when I was near to 7cm dilation, as we have to sign and wait for the anesthetist to come over and do the injection. So you will never know what is going to happen in labour room.

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To be honest... you will be prepared why the time come and during labour is the only time that don’t listen to others, only to urself... husband family and friends are not the one going thru the pain and labour, you are... so if u think that epidural is required just take it...