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Walking Epidural??

Posted by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 11:14 AM
  • 6 Replies

I am being induced Thursday... and I'm more nervous about the epidural than the actual birth. Weird I know. I have had an epidural before...and the memory is still with me. I was doing some research on other types of pain relief (I am a big sissy when it comes to pain). I came across one that is called Walking epidural. Its suppose to block pain like an epidural but you can still get up and walk, and the needle is smaller. I was wondering if anyone has heard or used this type of pain relief?

by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 11:14 AM
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robe739
by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Nope, never had it... sorry.  I had an epi with my dd & remember the pain from the needle being WORSE than labor itself!  So, with my ds I didn't have anything & actually made it through the whole birth naturally.  I plan on doing the same thing this time around!  Good luck though mama! 

Here's a bump!

 

lovemy2boyz08
by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Yea i dont think i can do natural. I would love to but I am the biggest sissy ever.

Quoting robe739:

Nope, never had it... sorry.  I had an epi with my dd & remember the pain from the needle being WORSE than labor itself!  So, with my ds I didn't have anything & actually made it through the whole birth naturally.  I plan on doing the same thing this time around!  Good luck though mama! 

Here's a bump!

 


doulala
by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Usually, women are still confined to bed with this.  Less drugs, though.

If you'd like to avoid a cesarean, then working to avoid the drugs will be a big help.   You can do it without, but will need big motivation and big support. 


I have info on this:


Walking Epidurals

By Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE, About.com

Photo © iStockPhoto

Pain relief for childbirth has run the gamut over the ages. And the battle is still being fought today. Should a woman have medications or not during birth is not a question that I anticipate an answer for anytime soon. However, some women will choose medication and some will require it for surgical deliveries and complications. Let's just all be thankful that we are no longer buried alive for accepting pain relief in labor as was done in the middle ages.

This article will actually focus on a particular aspect of pain relief in labor, the ultra low dose epidural, frequently called the walking epidural. It is done in two parts. I will be answering common questions from women and their partners concerning the benefits and risk, while Dr. Paul Ting, anesthesiologist, focuses on the actual procedures.

Q. What is the difference between the walking epidural and the regular epidural?

A. The differences lie in both the procedure and the medications used. The walking epidural is a combination of spinal and epidural analgesia. While the medications, often referred to as a cocktail, are a narcotic, a local anesthetic and epinephrine, used in smaller amounts than the regular Epidurals.

Q. If I can walk, what can I feel?

A. The walking epidural is not designed to make you feel deadened. It is designed to provide enough pain relief that you are comfortable and yet still aware of the contractions. So it will not mask extraordinary pain that you and your practioner would need to be aware of.

Q. Can I really walk?

A. This really depends, women receiving the walking epidural will not be able to walk for the following reasons: woman refuses (15-25%), leg weakness (often described as not feeling normal), and maternal hypotension (low blood pressure).

I would also add that some facilities do not allow you to walk with this type of medication for fear of legal ramifications. I do want to point out that if you were 90 years old and had just had hip replacement surgery and this type of medication it would be required for you to walk.

Q. Why would I want to walk in labor?

A. Ambulation and mobility promote contractions and therefore labor, decrease pain, shorten labor, and increase the vaginal delivery rate. I would also point out that having the ability to move is very important to the emotional and mental health of the woman in labor. This type of medication will actually give her more control over her body as opposed to the classic epidural.

Q. Do I have to walk?

A. No, you do not have to walk. However, there are still advantages even if you do not walk. You are still able to move around better in the bed, or get up to the bathroom or chair. This is especially useful in the second stage of labor (pushing) where adopting more upright or squatting positions can help in the birth of your baby.

Q. What about extra interventions or complications from the walking epidural?

A. Every medication that you take will reach the baby and have potential side effects on you, labor and your baby. However, these are actually lessened with the walking epidural compared to the classic epidural. Because you are able to move around we are not finding the increase in cesarean rates that we have previously found with the classic Epidurals.

Q. What if I need more medication or a cesarean birth?

A. The catheter is left in place in your back so that additional medication could be administered for either additional pain relief or a surgical birth. This is the same as the continuous classic epidural.

Q. How commonplace are the walking epidurals? Can I get one in my rural town?

A. This is definitely one to ask your anesthesia department. It may depend on the anesthesiologist on call. You may be able to get them to try the ultra low dose combination if you talk to them before hand and let them do their research as well.

Q. Can my partner or someone stay with me?

A. This is really a matter of hospital policy and/or the anesthesiologist. If it is very important to you, make sure that you discuss this prenatally with the anesthesia department. Also preparing your partner for the procedure would be a good idea.

 

What some women are saying?

"It was a lot different from my first epidural. I could actually move around in my bed and get up to go to the bathroom. It was nice to be able to feel the contractions and yet they didn't bother me." - second time mom

"I could walk! I had really doubted it would happen, but it did."

"After almost 30 hours in labor, it was a nice compromise from my previous no medications stance. I was still able to do most of what I wanted in my birth plan."

Again, no medication or study is perfect, nor the answer for all. However, the ultra low dose epidural does seem to provide an alternative for those women who would choose or require pain relief in labor, particularly if you fear being completely numbed.

Make sure that you read about the epidural procedure, it is very important to have an entire understanding of the process. My thanks to Dr. Ting for his assistance in the procedure portions of this article. There is also a reference section on his site for epidural related links, and another resource page for non-pharmological pain relief.



Pros and Cons article
http://www.omninerd.com/articles/Pros_and_Cons_of_Epidural_Analgesia_During_Labor_Recent_Research

 


Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers ~ strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

~Barbara Katz Rothma


When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change. -Mongan


cali4niachef
by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 12:09 PM

I did a poll about a year or so ago about asking if anyone had a walking epidural, out of dozens replies NO ONE did.

Walking after having had an epidural is a liability to the hospital, it won't happen. So either you get get the standard epidural or you don't. If you want to walk you can't get an epidural. Even *if* you did get a low dose epi that would allow you to walk because you had an epidural you are required to have CEFM. Therefore having CEFM you have to remain in bed.

Be the difference, that makes the difference - JEWEL

swimmingmommy
by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 12:18 PM
YES i didn't have one but it's called an intrathecal, my hospital only does those and not epidurals. from what my doc told me they basically do the same thing as an epidural but you don't have the catheter in your back so you can walk around, the only downside is that like an epi you don't have the continuous flow of meds so if you decided you need more meds you have to go through that whole process of having it put in through your back.
MandaMck
by on Dec. 15, 2008 at 1:27 PM

My cousin had a walking epidural with her last pregnancy and was glad she did! She said she could still move around as much as she wanted to, including walking.  She could still feel contractions, it just took most of pain away.  I had an epidural with my son, and I'm doing the same with this baby! I didn't even feel the needle, AT ALL.  Maybe it was cause I was in so much pain elsewhere, I dont know. 

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