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Did your med-free birth really reduce epidural side effects?

  1. snowjewelz

    wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts

    I was induced, and got epidural and had no issues! It wore off enough for me to really feel it at the end to push. I tore, they had to cut me, they suctioned her out after pushing for 2 hrs. Nursing was rough at first but mostly due to bad latch. So I'd say no side effects what so ever and I healed pretty well considering!

  2. Mrs. Pickle

    blogger / wonderful cherry / 21628 posts

    I had an epidural and didn't have any of the side effects mentioned in the article. I went from 3 to 10cm in about 4 hours, pushed for 40 minutes, and had didn't have an episiotomy or external tear. My baby latched within minutes of being placed on my chest and we haven't had any trouble breastfeeding. I was up walking about an hour after delivery and my recovery has been so easy. I never took any strong pain meds.

    I was worried about the cascade of interventions when I agreed to being induced and then went for the epidural, but I had an amazing birth experience. I would get the epidural again.

  3. Alba4

    nectarine / 2951 posts

    I had a med free birth and had a great recovery. The only interventions were that they broke my water and I had an episiotomy. I pushed for @ an hour. I had supply issues though due to my DS's tongue tie.

    I plan an having another med free birth.

  4. birdofafeather

    pineapple / 12053 posts

    i had a med-free birth with no complications and felt great afterward! i plan on the same for DD2 due to arrive in the next couple weeks. i feel like it helped me immensely, but i also think that my l&d was pretty straightforward and i wanted to try to do it without meds, so approached my labor in that way.

  5. mfa_lady

    pomegranate / 3921 posts

    I had a fast, natural labor (starting when my water broke) and didn't have an epidural. I was up to use the bathroom right after skin to skin, walking around in the postpartum room immediately after that, and no issues with latch or feeding. My milk still didn't come in for 4-5 days, though!

  6. Mama Bird

    pomegranate / 3127 posts

    I had two med-free births and still had supply problems (but instant bonding) with my first, and trouble bonding (but awesome supply) with my second. I think the reasons in both cases had nothing to do with the labor itself.

  7. jape14

    pear / 1586 posts

    I was induced at 41+1, had an epidural, and didn't have any of the side effects mentioned in the article. I delivered vaginally, and was even able to get out of bed and pee pretty soon after. The nurse was kind of shocked that I was able to do that (she was going to put the catheter back in if I couldn't manage it) so maybe that is uncommon? I did break my tailbone during delivery, but my OB attributed that to my late and large-headed baby (over the 99th percentile at birth and still now at 13.5 months, just like his mama!). Otherwise I had pretty minor tearing, a fairly short labor (12-13 hours start to finish from Foley induction - I didn't even get pitocin until about 2 hours in), no issues with milk supply/nursing, no instrumental delivery, etc. I did push for about two hours, but I've read that's about the average for a first-time mom.

  8. bushelandapeck

    pomelo / 5720 posts

    I only read the first article. I had two births with no epidurals and had what I would consider to be pretty easy births. With DS my water broke before my contractions started so I ended up needing a small dose of pitocin to get the contractions moving along. Once that happened, DS was born in about 6 hours. I pushed for almost 2 hours and had some minor tearing, but I was up and walking quickly and was able to breastfeed right away, and until he weaned at 16.5 mos. With DD, I knew I was in labor at 9:30pm, checked in to the hospital at 11:40pm, and she was born less than an hour later. I had no tears and only pushed 3-4 times. She also latched right away and we are still nursing 4-5x/day at 12 months. I would definitely go med free if I did it again.

  9. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    I had a planned med-free birth and didn't have any of the complications/side effects mentioned in the two articles, with the exception of the super happy awake alert engaged bonding time immediately after birth. I had a precipitous labor (only 2 hours) and my repair took an insanely long time and I was in total shock for a while after LO was born. She did start sucking down colostrum pretty well but I was barely aware of her. I was so focused on my trauma and pain. Then again, I mean, I don't have anything to compare to, so it's possible I was way more alert than I would have been with an epidural. Who knows. I guess I was chatting and energized when talking with DH after they finally finished the repair and left us alone with DD. I remember being super delighted at getting my favorite local pizza delivered to the birthing suite.

  10. raintreebee

    pear / 1531 posts

    I had a very fast (under 3 hours) labor and med free birth. No complications. But I also think a lot of this is just correlation not causation. If your labor is complicated, you are more likely to get the epi.

  11. Pumuckl

    pomegranate / 3601 posts

    I had two (quick) med free births and easy recoveries. BF has worked really well with both they were both awake and alert after delivery and latched. My second was nursing within 15min of being born.

  12. mrsjyw

    GOLD / wonderful apricot / 22646 posts

    With ds1 I had an epidural (that failed just before pushing) but otherwise saved me from the most painful contractions. Regardless two hours of pushing and an episiotomy later. The recovery wasn't bad at the time but I did take meds for two weeks and my milk was late coming in.

    With ds2 my water broke at 530am and ds was born at 1:17. My worst contractions weren't until 12:30 though and I only pushed for ten minutes. There was no time for an epi (though I intended to go medfree) and I've had the best pp recovery. Didn't take pain meds and milk came in on day 3!

  13. littlejoy

    pomegranate / 3375 posts

    I had a med-free home birth ... out of all of the symptoms in the article, the only one I experienced was pelvic floor problems.

    I also had a hell of a time with breastfeeding, but it has nothing to do with the labor/birth.

    Overall, super-fast, normal labor/birth without any interventions or complications. I'm really grateful.

    But let's face it, after birth (no matter what kind) once the high from it all wears off, we all still have to heal. It's a bitch!

    I will say, I thought having my baby at home would somehow make it hurt less? Like, I could meditate the pain away? Hahahaha. IT HURT SO BAD! I told DH that I totally understand why women want an epi. If they could only give them at home ...

    I do think there is validity in the "waterfall of interventions" idea, which is why my goal was to go med-free. But, I also believe in establishing a team of people for your birth who will support you in any situation. I appreciated that my partner understood that if I (or my midwives) felt it was needed, I would transfer to the hospital and consent to an epi, or c-section. I think these articles just make people feel bad. Whether they made the choice, a pre-existing condition required it, or it was a decision made while they were in the "trenches", it sucks to question the situation. It's great to educate, but to leave women asking, "Did my choice to get an epi cause this problem?" could encourage PPD/PPA, and can lead to unnecessary birth trauma.

  14. namaste

    persimmon / 1313 posts

    I had a long labor 29 hours. Got an epi around 8-9 hours in and it promptly fell out. Didn't receive another until 30 mins before pushing. Was up and about in an hour after labor, skin to skin immediately, only received two stitches, and was driving on day 3. I'm not sure if it is because of the failing epidural that my symptoms were minimal.

  15. tysonja

    nectarine / 2217 posts

    LO1- Epidural at 9cm, whole labour 9hrs, pushed 25 mins.

    LO2- Epidural at 8cm, whole labour around 4 hrs, pushed 15 mins.

    LO3- Med Free, whole labour 2.5 hrs, pushed 10 mins.

    In my experience, each subsequent recovery was much easier than the last. The main difference for me with respect to epi or not was that with the epi it took me about 2 hours after the birth to pee, and it was a bit harder to get my bowel movements going easily both times. I also had some back soreness after my second epi. I was MUCH more alert during and after birth with the epidural and was able to enjoy the birth and meeting my baby. With the third I was still in pain and shock from labour and delivery it took me longer to notice and pay attention to my baby. Overall, I would opt for the epi again if I could (the pain without was too much for me, freaked me out so much!), but I am thankful for having a really easy recovery this time. Not sure if it is from going med free or just from having a 3rd:). LO3 is only 5 days old, so maybe the labour is just too close for comfort at the moment! Haha.


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