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Epidural vs. Drug Free Labor

This question is for women who have delivered more than once and that did at least 1 with an epidural and did at least 1 naturally...

Which one were you in labor with longer and did you seem to progress faster with an epidural or without?

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Asked by ABPeterson at 4:43 PM on Mar. 27, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 17 (4,580 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I don't fit the criteria...BUT...the people I know who have had both...prefer NO drugs, mostly because of where they were giving birth however.
    I had a home birth, natural, and while it was LONG...I know plenty of people who had shorter births at home or natural at a facility.

    There is a spiral that happens with every intervention most of the time, and each drug, poking hand or machine tends to slow things down and/or heighten pain for the woman. Obviously, pain meds may not heighten pain, but they leave you disconnected with your body and you must then rely on the machines or other people to tell you what is happening. It's a HUGE trade off.

    Answer by boomamma at 4:49 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • My personal opinion: MUCH of progression is mental. I was taking FOREVER...and would have most certainly been given an "emergency c-section" if I was in a hospital because we were taking our sweet time...but...when I embraced the total experience and decided to dive through the pain and come out the other side, it moved along within a few hours and all was well.
    When you back off and withdraw from what is happening, you cannot progress because you are not focused in the right place, and can absolutely stall your own labor, by refusing to dive in. It's SO mental..I can't even express.
    All I know is I said to myself : "You have to do this...and dive in, or you will go to the hospital and your birth will be very very different...and you will be to blame"...and then I "progressed".
    Good luck whatever happens!

    Answer by boomamma at 4:57 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • ur question is not that simple.
    Your 1st labor is usually your longest & hardest..
    The next time around your body knows what to do better. It has already been opened like that-so does a better job...
    Every pregnancy is different & so is every delivery. :-)
    Its like comparing your 1st child to your 2nd. Or 3rd... You can-but it doesnt prove anything

    Personally I say Natural labor is best. Your body works better if it can actually do its job on its own. Do some research. Check out movies like "The business of being born".. Anything by Ina May Gaskin.. Its an AMAZING experience! But we have put so much (unneeded) fear it in we prefer any drug we can..

    Research Birth in america VS. Birth in other countries... Research in Csection rates... Induction rates...US is not a "birth friendly" place & it honestly scares me to be in this country & have a baby.. To live in such an amazing place--but fear birthing here is sad!

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 4:58 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • Im not sure if I qualify to answer as I delivered my first(stillborn at 21 weeks)My first delievery was obviously with no medication and it was the longest and most painful experience of my life....over 30 hours.I was terrified to give birth again.However with my daughter(she was born at 36 weeks)very awesome birth.I had an epi and I think as long as you get enough of the drug to take the edge off(I waited until I was 8 cm)you will be fine.The birth was alot shorter.15-20 hours and it was a pleasant experience.I plan on having my twins with an epi as well.I can understand why women do go the all natural route,but I am not one of them lol.

    Answer by FitMom9603 at 4:59 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • Had an epidural with my first and last child. I was in the middle of getting my epidural with my middle child when she deciede to make an entrance early. I went from 5-10 like that. Yes it did hurt like heck. But like the other ladies have said each delivery is different. I first took forever. my second not so long and my last i was in and out of labor and delivery fast

    Answer by jbond83 at 5:09 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • i've had both. the faster and easier labors for me was the non-medicated deliveries.

    but that's my opinion on it.

    Answer by oldfashionSAHM at 6:16 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • I had an epideral and I will do it again with this pregnancy. (and this is just my opinion out of experience) it was easier to deal with the pain in labor and focus on the baby. I had no problem pushing or feeling my contractions (or at least knowing they were happening). I was in labor for over 24 hours before I started pushing and the whole time I heard a lady screaming bloody murder. I would assume she either opt out of the epideral OR she dialated faster and couldn't have one. Either way even if I was curious to see how it feels to not have an epideral I don't want to be in that much pain. That's just me!

    Answer by amanda1503 at 6:19 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • With my first, my water broke, but I wasn't having contractions so I was given pitocin. My contractions got very intense very fast. When I go the epidural, it only numbed half of one of my legs. I did not handle the pain well and was freaking out. My labor lasted 8 hours from the time my water broke until my son was born.

    I just had a baby 2 weeks ago and it was a much different experience. I started having contractions on my own and was 5 cm when I got to the hospital. After 2 hours I was at 7 cm and decided to get an epidural. I didn't feel a thing and slept through most of my contractions until it was time to push. I had a very easy delivery. From the time I started having contractions at home, until my baby was born was about 10 hours. My thought this time around was that I could do it without the meds, but why be in that much pain if I didn't need to be. My second birth was so much easier than my first.

    Answer by Sillieguze at 10:04 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • sorry, no help, had 3 csections

    Answer by asil at 12:08 AM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • "but why be in that much pain if I didn't need to be. "

    I would like to respond:
    because it's safer to avoid meds for mom & baby
    drug-free doesn't have to = pain.
    ( *Natural birth can be low-no pain if mom prepares. )


    Answer by doulala at 1:58 AM on Mar. 28, 2011

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