6.05.2008

Epidurals Are For Tolerating the Hospital, Labor Is The Easy Part

This is a great article by a woman who explains SO WELL why many women who want unmedicated birth end up with medication. Take a gander and let me know your thought oh ye commentors.

6 comments:

womantowomancbe said...

The link didn't work!

Nicole D said...

ugh, try it again, I think I fixed it.

womantowomancbe said...

Ok, it works!

Yes, I can totally understand what this woman is saying! Both my babies were born at home, so I've obviously never had an epidural, but I've had thoughts of epidural during both births. (The first labor had just a thought; in the second labor, I more or less fixated on the idea of an epidural with every contraction for several hours. Not a fun way to spend labor!) So I know why women get epidurals; I also know why women don't get epidurals. Had I been in the hospital (especially the backwards hospitals in my area), I would've definitely gotten an epidural, because I couldn't have coped with the experience -- just like the woman you linked to -- even though I obviously managed it without it.

Fwiw, my friend had her first baby at home (9 lb. 8 oz., 9 hours of painless labor followed by 5 hours of painful labor and pushing, but didn't tear), and had her second at a hospital (different state, no legal homebirthing midwives). She had an epidural at the hospital because she said the contractions were much worse at the hospital than they were in her home birth.

Sarah said...

I, too, am understanding more and more why women, even women who really want natural births, end up having epidurals. Around where I live, in Missouri, I am becoming some-what disillusioned at the lack of options for pregnant women. No wonder they're afraid! No wonder they opt for an epidural! Any women who is really confident about her ability to birth naturally here in MO also has to have the confidence and strength to stand up against the obstetrical forces, as well. So sad...

Thanks for this link. I know you often speak about working through fears and beliefs before a woman ever begins labor. In Birthworks, my certifying organization, that is so central to their philosophy. I'm seeing first-hand just how much under-lying fears can shape a woman's beliefs about birth.

Anonymous said...

I had 2 epidurals ... in the hospital, because labor HURT! I'm a daughter of Eve and the curse is alive and well. But to be fair to the hospital, I had the epidural with the second birth because the first one was a good experience. It was a mild epidural. I didn't lose feeling in my legs, indeed by the time the baby arrived the pain level was back up to where it was when I got the epi in the first place. It just made the intervening hours a bit more manageable.

Second time was not as good, I lost more feeling in my legs. If there's a third time, I'm still game to try it without.

Nicole D said...

Anon- interesting you should mention that. labor work is not a curse because of sin, but a consequence of sin. The only one cursed in the Garden that day was the Serpent.

Interesting also that you would mention the word HURT when the only thing that was mentioned by God that day was also that labor was now going to be a physical toil. The same word translated as 'pain' for Eve is translated as 'toil' for Adam in the very next verse. It was only in more recent times (last 300-400 years) that the translation was shown to be pain and not hard work and toil.

Not negating that you felt pain - the majority of women feel pain in labor, just a theological correction.

Sounds like you had a good anesthesiologist who was understanding to the needs of a woman to facilitate a safer birth with medication. Good for him/her and you! :o)

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