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Epidural or no?
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Epidural or no?

Im wondering what u ladies are planning on doing. This is my first baby but there is no way I will use epidural or spinal block. Ive researched the topic alot and the risks are so great. And I saw the study said only 67 out of a thousand women have adverse reactions/problems but im not interested in being number 66! Im interested in getting a midwife and trying for a natural birth but will do systemic drugs if I feel unable to deal. I wonder do any of u feel that epidurals are accepted by women without being fully aware of the risks? Or that hospitals shouldnt b so quick to give them out? Or do you think there is no prob?
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Avatar_f_tn
Many people choose an epidural and have no problems...personally, after needing an emergency spinal anaesthetic and suffering nerve damage, i would never choose to let someone put another needle in my spine! I had a totally natural birth second time around and it was a wonderful experience.
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1901977_tn?1333995326
I've had an epidural (for a back injury, not childbirth) and I was ready to kiss that doctor by the time he was done...such a wonderful relief from the pain. If I need it, I'm getting an epidural. I suffered no ill effects from my last one, it was a totally positive experience for me. So if I need it, I'm getting one.

Think about it this way, 66/1000 is .066, which is really tiny odds.  I'm a lot more scared of the CVS procedure, where your odds are 1/100 of miscarriage, and amniocentesis, where your odds are 1/200, and women do that all the time even knowing the odds.
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251790_tn?1317316467
I had one with my first that didn't even work and now I have back problems.  all the rest of my kids were easy natural births and i would never go back.  
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1884497_tn?1330452659
I had a natural birth with my first & was totally fine plan to do the same with my second I didn't make this choice on my own no research I just don't like needles
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640548_tn?1340556955
I had 3 epidurals for herniated discs, and though I had no problem with them, they did nothing to help my pain.  With my first childbirth I asked for an epidural, and it brought instant relief.  However, my recovery was very very slow after and I was sent home with a catheter for a week because I was unable to urinate at all.  My second birth I opted for IV meds if needed, no epidural.  I got through with no meds at all, and I was up walking around with my daughter 1 hour after birth.  My plan is the same for this birth, no epidural.

With that in mind, I have to say that no matter what your feelings are, and what your plan is, you always have to be ready for a change.  In no way do you have to let the Dr. or nurse push you into anything you don't want, unless there is truly an emergency, but things do happen, and if you find the pain unbearable, don't feel bad if suddenly those odds don't seem so bad to you.  (which they are not at all!)  My nurse was aware that I did not want an epidural, and she was wonderful throughout my labor.  She encouraged me and helped me through along with DH.  I asked for an epidural at one point and they both talked me down because they knew my feelings, and they were absolutely right.  I was lucky, both times I reached the point of asking for an epidural, I birthed my babies within an hour, so it went quickly for me by that point.
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1194973_tn?1385507504
There is risk to everything. Yes, many women do epidural without knowing all the facts but that applies to everyday life. Many also do not know the risk that pregnancy alone can carry, what natural birth can do, what c-section can do. There's even risk to you walking around or driving your car around.

Many hospitals give them when the female asks for it. It's not forced upon them. I had an epidural and had no problems. I was able to walk immediately after my daughters birth, and could do anything I wanted.

You have to weigh your own thoughts. Birth can be done however you feel, and whether you medicate or not doesn't mean you're uninformed or weaker than someone else.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry you had a bad experience.  I think that people never think they could be in the small percentage where something goes wrong.
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1035252_tn?1371343440
No I think people realize that they might be in that small percent, but you can't live life fearing that small percent because there's a small percent of risk for EVERYTHING :-).

I got an epidural with my first two, and long story short the epi wore off with my 1st before I started pushing, but I was lucky I had it in place because I ended up transferred to the OR for 1 1/2 hours of tear repair and the anesthesiologist just ramped up the pain relief instead of having to put me under....

with my 2nd, I got the epi but it stopped working so I pushed and labored w/o pain relief.

SO with #3 (due in April) I'm going to skip the epidural all together. I've already pushed out 2 with pretty much no epidurals so I don't see the point in putting myself through it again, I just have bad luck, lol.

BUT with that said...I think epidurals are a great resource for the women who need them. almost all women who have epidurals won't have any sort of a complication or problem with them, and for a woman who has had a long exhausting labor it can give you the rest you need to push and in some cases avoid a c-section because of that. that's nothing to pooh-pooh!

but on the other hand, I did have very painful back labor with my 2nd and still managed to do without, and my recovery was instant (up sitting cross-legged minutes later, up peeing right after that, then back in bed and fast asleep while the baby was checked in the nursery lol).
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Avatar_f_tn

I understand that the odds appear small, but that means that out of every 1000 women on this page, 67 of us would have issues if we all had an epi. I know it would be easier for you to have one seeing as you had a previous positive experience, but the risks are still very high and imo not worth it. I agree that women do CVS, and Amniocentesis, without knowing the odds or even fully understanding the procedure. However I'm not getting any of those tests. Doctors don't really explain to women that these tests are optional and that there is not much you can do about the results anyway, except have an abortion if you find out something that might b bad, that is i you don't miscarry. I took a genetic counseling class,where the cheif ob at the hospital expain in depth each procedure, and the risks and then help you pick a strategy for childbirth. More women should take more classes like that and be more educated about what is going on with their bodies.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry to hear about your experience.
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1399033_tn?1395940058
I had an epidural with my son in September. I had minor nerve damage but nothing at all that would prevent me from carrying on day to day. Of course, I was poked 3 times before it took. My spine is so crazy.

Since I am pregnant again, I will definitely get another one IF it takes and I feel I can't handle the pain. There are risks with or without it. But I went in thinking I didn't want one but I got one.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am going in with an open mind. I have found out about natural methods of pain management and will try to do it all natural. If I don't I will take drugs in the IV nothing else. The risks may seem small to you, but I don't see how a few hours of pain relief is worth possibly a lifetime of pain or paralysis. I'm not going to have any nurses with me either. I want to do this birth with my midwife, husband, and our moms.I'm having a dr for in case of  an emergency becuase I'm asthamtic...which is also another factor which the doctors never tell you can cause complications with an epidural or spinal block, but after reasearching I've found that being asthmatic,the risks are higher for me.  In case of an emergency such as a c section, I will choose to be sedated. I know that will mean that I have to wait a little longer to see my baby, but it is worth it to me, because anyways I will have already waited a long time and there is not be any of the risks posed by an epi.
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1035252_tn?1371343440
You have to realize that when you say the women here haven't educated themselves on the risks of epidurals, you're mistaken! Most of us have given birth at least once, if not several times, and have a fairly good running knowledge of pain relief options during delivery. Many of us have even had epidurals, which gives us a pretty good place of experience to speak from.

And actually being sedated IS riskier...but for the baby, not you.

Just remember that we all have different opinions and experiences, and you shouldn't insult someone because they have one different than your own :-).
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Avatar_f_tn
actually studies show that epidurals can increase the number of women who have complications, need to have episiotomy, & need to have forceps help the babies come out. I agree that there is a small percent of risks to most things in life. But also we have to realize that when they tell us 67 out of  a 1000 that is based on their studies, where they have their best doctors, who do this routinely performing the procedure. In real life we do not have those conditions  which automatically raises the risk. I also think that the epidural could be good for women who do need them. But I do not think most women do. They just do not want to deal with the pain.  I know a lot of women and girls who've had babies and they are not aware of the risks at all!  But  I'm happy to hear that you recovered so fast from your back labor. I've heard that is really brutal
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1194973_tn?1385507504
It's not just a few hours of pain relief. Not all women can handle the pain of labour. I had over 36 hours of active labour (back labour) little to no sleep, no food and a pregnancy were I was already beyond exhausted. I spent 9 months vomiting all day, everyday and it takes a huge toll on your body. My daughter was face up and tilted, making it even more difficult to push her out. It's easy to say now that you'll do something, but until you have been in labour you have no idea what will happen.

You stated it yourself. The risks CAN cause this, but it doesn't mean it will. Natural birth carries the same risks. There are also dozens of other factors that influence this. Baby could be large than expected, mother isn't pushing properly, baby won't drop, etc etc. You can look anything and everything on the web, but final figures don't tell you the additional information needed to say that it is only one thing that causes it.
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640548_tn?1340556955
My hospital does not work with midwives, and there are no birthing centers in my area.  I also am far away from the hospital, so a home birth has higher risks for me, although I would love one.  I am lucky that the nurses at my hospital are pretty much working as midwives, and are all for natural birthing if that's what one wants.  The thing is, they also believe that we are in control of what we do want, and they would never insult or belittle an woman who feels they need that pain relief.  It may not be just a few hours...it may be 24 hours or longer for some women.  I happened to be lucky and quick, but that is not the norm.  Since I am quick I don't elect for the pain relief, but if I was in labor for more than 24 hours I can not honestly say what I would do.  Pain has a strange way of altering our feelings and beliefs when we are exposed to it for a period of time.  I dn't believe that most women don't need pain meds.  I think that childbirth is an amazing experience, and some may need that relief to enjoy their births.  To each her own.
I am surprised you could have the option of being sedated for a c-section, the hospitals here won't sedate mom for one unless it is a critical emergency, as it is risky for baby.  It is also risky for you, some people have terrible reactions to anesthesia. My brother aspirated and ended up on a ventilator for 3 months with Staph pneumonia after being sedated for a routine 1 hour procedure.  He almost died and had permanent damage to his lungs which in the future did attribute to his premature death.  It was a procedure that could have been done without him being sedated at all.  
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202436_tn?1326477933
I've given birth 6 times.  I am, and was, fully aware of the risks of epidural, however *I* feel the risks are minimal. With that said...I had a spinal block with my first because it was an emergency c-section.  I had one natural, with no drugs, and the other four with epidurals.  None of my babies, nor I, had ANY issues with the epidurals or the spinal block.  Just my experience :)
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Avatar_f_tn
And I'm not insulting anyone. I've known about three women, who each time sedated, for three kids each. I think it's easier on the mother and baby. Epidural is risky for a baby too. Mostly because it causes hypotension in the mom which causes the baby to be unable to get enough oxygen. Then the baby is found to be in distress hence the emergency c-sec. I am not talking about the women on this forum either, I do not know the measures they have taken or not. Just that a lot of other women don't. If you look up, you will find that most who get injured are like they didn't know or understand the risk completely and then they want to know why they can't sue the hospitals. I just would like if the dr's would actually take the time, or make a class that's mandatory, where women can be more educated prior to actual labor and delivery situation.
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202436_tn?1326477933
Wanted to add that I commend you for wanting a natural birth.  Had I had the support network, a GOOD labor coach (DH isn't all that in the moral support department) and the availability of a midwife or doula I would have gone that route with most of my pregnancies.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had three! With no problems! And one baby without one cuz there was no time for one and let me tell you worst pain ever! I plan on getting one with this baby!
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187316_tn?1386360282
With my first the epidural only worked on 1;2 of my body but it was bareable. With my second they kept delaying and I literally didn't get it until I was 10 cm. Even though it was only in effect for maybe 30 minutes I would never trade those 30 minutes. I was in so much pain it was a relief to be able to have a couple moments without stress before baby got here.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanx. And I'm so happy you had such a positive experience.  I wish there was more midwives available to everyone. SO many insurance companies don't want to cover them and I think it's crazy. I'm sorry to hear about your brother as well. In a big way when it comes to medical situations, we are the mercy of the doc, andd sometimes they make the wrong decisions. I'm sorry to say that I've had experiences with some doctor's that scare me, because they seem to have a god complex, like it was impossible for them to be wrong.
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Avatar_f_tn
This is my first baby and I am planning on giving birth naturally but if the pain gets too bad I will probably get the epi. I want to do it naturally but my family gives birth to very large babies (9 and 10 pounders) and everyone in my family has bad back labor so I'm going to try it natural but if it gets to be too much I will probably get an epi
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a bad experience. I will never do it again. First it took 20 minutes of putting it in and taking it out to get it in the right place, but it left me with a spinal migraine for a week after giving birth, and it DIDN'T EVEN WORK. Not one bit. This baby is going time be all natural.I did it once, I can do it again.
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1931709_tn?1335836695
I had epidurals with my first 2 boys and everything went great. I was still able to use the bathroom myself and not have to be cathed. My 3rd son on the other hand was a whole other situation. I was already dialated to a 9 when I was checking in. And he was born litteraly 15minutes after we got there. So I didn't have time for an epidural or even an iv. It was insane. So, I think with my 4th (due 7-16-12) I am gonna try to go epidural free!
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1428239_tn?1333460653
i went in with my birth with an open mind. i was not set on having an epidural but i also was not set on a natural birth.. i wanted to see how things go.. you have no idea how child birth will be until you are in and everyone experience is different.... some people find the pain unbearable from the start others have no issues until later...  

I did the majority of my labor drug free..  My contractions were not that bad.. did they hurt, yes but i could get through them.. I didnt have back labor thank god....  I unfortunately got to labor overnight after being up since 3am the day before.. they dont let you eat when your in labor so i was straving and sick....  i made the mistake of deciding to tub it at 4am and it made my contractions come really close together, almost non stop and made me want to throw up.. i was so exhausted, i decided i wanted to rest.. i was 8cm around this point.. i got the epidural, it was amazing and i went to sleep for an hour.. then i ended up pushing for 2.5 hrs and ended up with a vacuum becuase it turns out my dds umbical cord was short and she was getting pulled back in ...

i didnt have any issues, not even back pain from the epidural..
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Avatar_f_tn
My whole pregnancy I didn't want an epidural, however I was 2 weeks overdue, I was induced and also had back labour, my labour went for 2 days, in the end I needed the epidural as my pains were just constant. Looking back it was the best thing for me, because as it was I was pushing for two hours and I was so tired, if I had never had the epodural I would never have gotten any relief from the pain, and would have made me more tired and harder to push. It is a personal choice, i had no complications with it, I was up and walking around when he was born. I say keep an open mind about anything, with this one I'm going in and if I can do it natural I will but if needed to I will get another epidural. You don't really no what you'll need or how bad your labour will be untill your in it.
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1898740_tn?1333673050
All three of my girls were delivered naturally.  It hurt but as soon as that baby is out the spin dosent matter. It will be pure baby bliss. I'm planing on natural delivery with our 4th lil girl in may!!.
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Avatar_f_tn
Omg you are reading way to much into it.   Im on my 3rd pregnancy.  With my first two children i was induced with pitocin which make the contractions stronger and quicker.  So yes i got a epi.  With both. And will with my child to come.  If you are so strong on youe belief then dont ask other women to comment on them..  
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Avatar_f_tn
As far as it being a risk yes it is.  But so is not having a epi. I watched my sister flatline while giving natural birth because her body couldnt handle the stress.   And as far as alternative pain meds are risky also.
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Avatar_f_tn
There are risks with labor in general. It's a traumatic thing for the body to go though, Jo matter what. With that said, I had an epi with my daughter and had a pretty terrible experience, and it ended up not working properly, but even so, I am now preg with number 2 and I am going to go into l&d with an open mind. If I think I can go without, I will, if not, ill try an epi again. The chances of something really bad happening are actually really really rare. Most common thing is a need for a c section due to stalled labor, but some studies are not conclusive as to wether that is caused by the epi or not. Just go with your gut and listen to  your body.
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Avatar_f_tn
And FYI systemic drugs are more likely to make you and baby groggy after birth. Epidural doesn't cause drowsiness, just numbness.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am very undecided.. Both my sisters got the epi. And had no complications. BUT my body seems to react to everything lol. So i am undecided. I really want to do it naturally. As this is my first and i want a drug free expierence and as crazy as it is, i want to feel everything. My worst fear is tho (as im sure it is every mothers) that something will go wrong or ill have complications and have to have an energ. C section or be cut to make more room ect. And would not like to feel that pain.lol. So im hoping for the best and see what happens. I still have lots of time to decide.
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889551_tn?1331946140
I agree that you're taking this a bit far. I'm sorry, but 67 out of 1000 is a low number. My epidural didnt work on one side, but it made my back labor much more tolerable. I suffered no ill effects from it other than a sore back. I tried the iv meds an they wore off after thirty minutes. It wasn't worth it to get drugged up every half hour when I had an eighteen hour labor. I knew the risks and I made the choice that I felt was best for me and my baby.
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Avatar_f_tn
I planned on not getting the epiDural. Don't must of us moms? Haha

I went into labor at 9am went to the hospital that night/morning at 3am and was 4cm almost 5 had my water broke at 6 and at 11am I was really ready for an epi i was holding off till I couldn't because I wanted to prove my mom and husband wrong! Well they had to stick me four times in my back to get it. So It was finally in place around 12pm and at 2 I started pushing an had my son at 2:53pm. Wish I would have waited but I hadn't slept and the pain was unbareable. It gave me the energy to push because I literally slept from when I got it till the time I pushed haha.

Recovery was fine. I Was up with in the hour and ready to do mommy things not tired at all..

Only negatives. I do have dull back pains but as the time goes on barely at all. Like none as of a year later
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743826_tn?1377895789
I have 3 kids. I had epidurals with the first 2. I went in not planning to have them. I waited out as long as I could before the pain became unbearable. They kept wanting me to wait to push. The doctor literally got there just in time to help the baby out. I swear once the baby was at least 25% of the way out!(after epidural of course). #3 was a rush and had to push her out without contractions or have an emergency c-section. I was really worried then about her not getting oxygen. The cord had wrapped around her body so when the doctor broke my water the cord started to suffocate her. That was crazy and honestly did not hurt as bad as I thought it would.

My first was born on her due date. I was induced with the other 2. They were, I think, 2 and 3 days past due. My last baby was 9lb 15oz.

I would recommend having an experienced doctor give the epidural. Definitely ask how experienced they are. My first time around the doctor got it on the first try! That was awesome. Which I should note that my hubby works at the hospital in a diff department and he knew the doctors by name. The second time around I got someone else and he had to try 4 times before getting it! He said if he didn't get it the 5th time that I wouldn't be able to get it. But really, after all that, I think I would of rather not gotten it all!
Also with baby #1 they tried giving me a pain reliever. It was demarol(sp?). I was allergic to it. It made my arm red and made me sick/dry heave. That was not good.

We are currently ttc #4 and I am opting to go natural this time around. Hopefully I can do it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I personally reading the facts and discussing with family and friends I'm going to get an epidural, I do not want much pain even though I know it can wear off, my mom and aunt almost had to have c-sections because they just physically weren't able to push any more and know that, I would rather take the risk of the epidural, than a bigger chance of a c-section, yes I know there's always a chance but, I believe my chances can go down if I get the epidural. This is just my first pregnancy, and I'm only 15 wks and only 20 but I've already looked into the risks already
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Avatar_f_tn
I had an epidural with my 1st because I was also induced early with a horrible drug called pitocin! I was in labor 20 hrs and in so much pain from the pitocin that I was tensed up and wouldn't dilate. When I got my epi I was 6cm and thought I was dying. I was so happy and relaxed after that I gave birth 30 min later and only had to push 4 times. Anyway in my case it was great! W this pregnancy I will get it if needed!
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Avatar_f_tn
I will be delivering via a water birth at my hospital with my OB. If intervention is absolutely necessary I am open minded to it, but my doctor is the best with natural births in my city so I have high hopes.. I have nothing against epis, I would just prefer to go natural. My best friend and god mother wanted to be present during the birth up until I told her no drugs, then she said "youre ******* crazy - I don't want to witness it any longer" Haha.. made me chuckle
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Avatar_f_tn
I was induced. 2 days in hospital (labor...not counting after delivery). I was having pretty bad contractions. But I was able to breathe through it. They came & gave me the epidural. Didn't find it necessary but I got it anyway. It took away the pain. But by the time it was time to push. It wore off. Felt everything. Which was a nice experience. Minutes after birth I was able to get up and walk myself to the bathroom. I felt amazing!
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Avatar_m_tn
I am going with a midwives' clinic and am planning a natural waterbirth. We will have access to an OB and be next door to a hospital with privileges in case of complications. Best of both worlds!
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Avatar_m_tn
I hear ya! We have big babies in our family too -- pretty much all over 9 pounds. All the men on my side are huge, and I'm the smallest woman of the bunch. Fortunately my guy  is average sized (he was a preemie but I think his brother was somewhere in the 7-pound range) so I'm hoping for a slightly smaller little one.
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1794093_tn?1357934359
This is some info from an online article called "Natural Childbirth: Is It Worth Pushing For?" by Mary Pickett, M.D., Harvard Medical School

in the article that 60% of  moms that plan on a all natural birth end up getting some type of pain relief...first time moms success rate is only 29% and second timers that follow through is 68%... so this just shows that natural can be done but even those with a natural birth plan do change their minds so its best to go in with an open mind and dont beat yourself up if you do change your mind...
Another part in the article talked about a study that followed 50 woman who were going for the all natural experience and 23 of these women delivered naturally, 24 received an epidural to deliver vaginally, and 3 required a cesarean section

So anyway i just thought that was interesting, i like to read statistics and what not... but yes read up on your options... if you want to have a birth plan just keep an open mind cause some factors are out of your control...take care, congrats on your pregnancy, and i hope you have a wonderful experience!  :)

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1794093_tn?1357934359
I should add that my daughter was 12 days over due, induced, was 9 lbs 2 oz and her head was in the 95 percentile....37.5 cm...and she never dropped and wasnt ever going to... she was very much stuck!
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1366197_tn?1394590911
ive done it both ways, and i will definitely get it again.  It really let me enjoy the experience more.
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287246_tn?1318573663
I didn't read one response because there are just too many.

I just gave birth to my 7th child 3 1/2 months ago.  I have had epidurals with some and not with others.  I personally like getting an epidural as it allows me to relax and enjoy giving birth more.  I personally don't like pain and don't feel the need to be in pain to prove anything to anyone.  Epidurals have been around for a very long time now, so I feel pretty comfortable getting one.

I think it's a personal choice really.
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