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I posted this a while ago, thought it was interesting.

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Mar. 26th, 2011 | 02:52 pm


My 2 cents:

I was a scared, 23 year old that hadn't even taken a birthing class. My doctor was in a hurry to go on vacation and induced my labor. I wasn't in a small room like on tv programs like TLC. I was in a huge room with a million people running around.It was chaos.I was talked in to having an epidural. My deformed spine rejected the insertion twice so I had to have three. I was scared to death that the needle was going to slip and paralyze me.I couldn't feel myself pushing and the nurses had to tell me to push.It was an exhausting 11 hours. It was so clinical. Complications arose because I couldn't push due to not being able to feel anything. I felt like I hadn't even participated in my own son's birth.

If I had to do it over again, I would have taken the pain so I could feel the actual birth and have some control. I think that women aren't educated enough about what options they have. More teaching needs to occur before the birth; we need more midwives and holistic support for young mothers especially.
Taking away the choice for epidurals is not right, however. There is a time and a place for those. Women do need more teaching BEFORE the birth, to be able to cope with and work through the pain of childbirth.When a woman is laying on that table, in pain,an epidural can seem like a great idea.I also don't think that just because childbirth is a natural event, no woman should have to be in terrible pain because that is a woman's job to endure it as a part of biology. There has to be a fine balance there. It is up to the nurses and doctors to teach the patients about the best options for them and have a plan in place; not take away the option entirely.


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Comments {5}


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from: tanukisuit
date: Mar. 5th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)

That's not how it is at my work at all. I think if you choose to give birth at a hospital, it's probably best to do it at a smaller facility where they positive caregivers supporting patients. I've heard many midwives and nurses say to patients who aren't in an extreme amount of pain, "you know, you don't -have- to get an epidural, let's try repositioning and some relaxation techniques, and if that doesn't work, we'll get you that epidural."

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from: theophania
date: Mar. 5th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)

I didn't read the comment but I agree with you. A balance needs to be reached and she should be able to choose whether she wants to have the full experience or to dull the pain. That said, if I ever were to have a child, it wouldn't be in a hospital and it wouldn't be lying down. I hear that's very unhealthy and that the best thing to do is to squat in warm water so that when the baby is born the transition is easier.

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from: therealocelot
date: Mar. 5th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)

I basically agree with you.

I think better education needs to happen, and that epidurals should not be presented as a default option. Have it available if needed, but reduce the "I want an epidural at the second I go into labor" mentality. Women need to be taught realistic expectations - they need to be prepared with pain management techniques even if they do plan to have an elective epidural, as labor and epidurals doesn't always work out as planned.

I guess I feel that epidurals (and pain medication in general) should be suggested by caregivers only when medically indicated. Other than that, have them available at patient request when not contraindicated, but leave it up to the patient to make the request. Don't suggest them to make the patient easier to deal with. Don't suggest it during transition when not medically indicated for whatever the heck reason people do that. Encourage non-medical methods of pain relief first.

Changing the expectations will lower the epidural rate. The rate at my local hospital is something like 30% because they promote other options and don't suggest an epidural by default. Our hospital also has a very high customer satisfaction rating - people obviously aren't too upset by the lack of default epidural.

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from: eclecticerudite
date: Mar. 8th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)

I think I will make an extended post concerning this subject and our birthing experience. In the short, I think things have changed a fair amount in the last 15 years.

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seattle girl through and through

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from: artemis_moon
date: Mar. 14th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)

I only learned about some options because I had a midwife and was taking lamaze classes, otherwise, esp. being on state access, don't think I would have learned of them. I did natural childbirth but I think women should have options for epidural.

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