To Epidural or Not to Epidural?

epiduralI’ve always thought I’d get an epidural the second I went into labor, no question. After all, it’s not like you get a gold medal for going all natural, and why put yourself through that pain when you don’t need to? But after hearing stories from women on both sides of the issue, I’m not so certain.

The major pro on the epidural side is pretty obvious, and friends who’ve gone that route talk about how much more enjoyable the experience was once the anesthesia was flowing.

But the con side gets little murky. Longer recovery period, potential side effects, stalled labor, ability to control your body, etc. Oh, and did I leave out the part about putting a gigantic needle in your back?

I had also heard that getting an epidural tends to result in more tearing because you can’t feel how hard you’re pushing. My doctor was quick to correct me on this and explained that you actually tear less with an epidural because they are better able to manually “stretch” you before it’s time to push. (Sorry if you’re a dude reading this. You should have known better by the title!)

My plan is to keep an open mind on either side of the coin and do whatever feels right at the time, but I’m curious… are you pro or anti epidural?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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2 thoughts on “To Epidural or Not to Epidural?

  1. Hi Desiree, I’m a mom of two boys (ages 12 and 16… time is flying by). Here’s what happened when my time to deliver came: I was never even given the option of an epidural, apparently my labors progressed so quickly the doc didn’t think it would be enough time for it to work effectively. I was already at 8cm when I went to the hospital because I thought I might be in labor (wasn’t sure, being Christmas day and all, I thought the holiday stress was just getting to me. Nope, turns out it was a baby boy coming, two hours later, a Christmas bundle was born).
    I’m sure that when your time comes you and your care team will know what feels right, it’s a good thing you are keeping an open mind! Can’t wait to pictures of your little girl!

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