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what is best a natural birth or an epidural?

im 19 years old and having my first child Dec. 23. I'm scared of needles and i heard that the epidural needle is huge but i want what is best for my baby. If that means a giant needle going into me ok but if there are other things that work just as well i would like to know about them. Thanks!


Asked by SouthTxPrincess at 10:26 AM on Oct. 22, 2009 in Pregnancy

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Answers (84)
  • here's my opinion. whatever you can handle is best for your baby. if you can go through labor without needing an epidural than awesome. but if you're exhausted, and feel like you cant go on, then you need a little help to get you through so baby comes out in a safe time.
    i was doing ok, but bc i had back labor, it hit me right close to the end that i wasnt going to be able to concentrate bc of the pain. so i asked for an epi (in fact the nurse fibbed a lil to make sure the doc would give it to me lol).
    you dont really see the needle, it goes in your back, and that prick is no more painful than the contractions you're going through.
    then there's always the option of other pain meds that just help ease the pain, but dont completely kill the feelings of labor. so just do what you feel is best for you. no matter what happens, you'll have a happy healthy baby after, so dont feel bad if you do/dont get the shot!

    Answer by AmandaN1 at 10:32 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Do your own research, don't base this on opinions. Here is a starter for you:

    Full disclosure, I would not have one.


    Answer by rkoloms at 10:30 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I had three pain med free births. I would recommend that.
    My SIL is a labor delivery nurse and says that you can always tell a epidural baby, they are more listless and zoned out then their unmediated counterparts.
    A lot of women on here will bash this statement and say their babies were very alert. But who will you believe, someone who has assisted at over 5,000 births or the ladies her that have only been to a few?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:31 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I didn't want one...there are risks involved with any medication. I wish I hadn't gotten one even though I held off as long as I could during an induced labor.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:31 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • you have to be there yourself to actualy know,i hate it when people say "im gonna go natural" and never had a kid b4,its hard and only God knows how long you will be in labor,i went 18 hours with out meds and i asked for an epidural and an hour later i gave birth,if i would have known it was one more hour i would have waited,but i didnt,so till this day i regret getting it,but its extreme pain and while its you feeling contractions you think the world is gonna end,lol do whatever you want right then in there,only you will know if you can handle it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:34 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • By better, I think -- what is safer & healthier. That is the most natural birth possible.
    The less drugs and interventions, the safer.
    But for most of us, it takes preparation. I think that reading is the easiest way to get strong, wise, and confident. But taking normal birth classes, watching normal birth videos will help a lot too. There are unnatural classes and videos, these aren't as helpful to get moms strong~ but usually add fear.

    Research epidurals and natural birth. When I did, it was helpful to really understand that I had a lot of options and help, and that epidurals have more risks. It worse than just the big needle.

    Answer by doulala at 10:36 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Anon 9:31.....this is not bashing, but just a fact, DS was extremely alert, and all the nurses and my midwife who came in the two days i was at the hospital (they make new moms stay longer) would comment on how alert and awake he was. He was able to hold his head off my shoulder and look around more than any newborn i've seen. so i dont think its always the case. it could also be how long i waited....i'm sure the earlier the epi, the more the meds get to baby.

    Answer by AmandaN1 at 10:36 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Here is something to read about it.


    Answer by doulala at 10:37 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Its BEST for you AND your baby if you avoid using drugs that may slow or hinder your labor, and that could make your baby groggy and sleepy upon birth.
    There are SO many natural ways to reduce your discomfort and pain level other than taking drugs.

    Dont we avoid drugs and other things that are bad for us all during our pregnancies because we want to be healthy and do whats BEST for our BABIES? So why then would we pump ourselves full or drugs on delivery day? Baby is still in there and those drugs DO indeed pass through the placenta, even if it is a small amount.

    Do some research into it, read around and then just ask yourself if you really and truly think its safe after you have educated yourself on really cant say if it is or isnt safe if you havent taken the time to educate yourself on the matter.

    Answer by jlizgar at 10:39 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Also, may I ask OP, why would you think that its safer for your baby if you get an epidural? Have you been told this or heard this from other women or moms or health care providers? Ive never heard anyone say this so im just wondering....the epidural is generally just for moms comfort and like I said, there are SO many other things you can do to help ease your pain!

    Are you taking any childbirth preperation classes? If so, which ones? Have you read any books on natural pregnancy and childbirth? If so, which ones? Have you watched any of the natural birth videos on YouTube (there are a lot of them! and they can be very inspiring).

    Good luck, I was young when I had my first child too, I was 21 and yes, I was scared and yes, I allowed a LOT of medical interventions and yep I even got the epidural but it didnt even work and I felt lots of pain because I never took the time to look into other pain releif methods sadly :(

    Answer by jlizgar at 10:45 AM on Oct. 22, 2009