So many women decide even before getting pregnant that they want an epidural. Most reasons are because they do not want to feel pain. I totally understand this as I am that woman who asked for an epidural before labor even started, lol. I am a total wimp when it comes to pain.
Many women will try to go as long as possible without an epidural, but remember that once you are tightening up, or out of control, your body can not dilate any longer. This is when you need to get the epidural, so you can relax.
Almost every labor patient that I have had or heard about has the same perception about epidurals. “I will get an epidural, then feel nothing during labor and delivery.” Wrong! An epidural helps to take the pain away from contractions, but many still feel pressure and discomfort as you near the finish line. This is a good thing! You want to know when it is time to push and feel to push correctly.
Do not worry though, they will make sure you are comfortable, and the epidural is working once you get it. Most people can sleep for a while during labor and some wake up ready to push. At the same time, do not try to be superwoman. If you are in pain, tell your nurse because maybe your bladder needs emptied, your epidural pump turned up or you are ready to deliver.
Ways to keep yourself comfortable with an epidural are to continue to rotate positions in bed as it helps to keep the epidural even and you will have a button to push if you need a little bit more medication. Epidurals also work by gravity, so if you are sitting up in bed, lay back so that the medication can spread as it is supposed to. You always want to be able to move your legs if you cannot the epidural will need to be turned down.
Do not fear labor and delivery because of the pain. There are many pain management things that can be done to help your pain, including positioning, medications, essential oils, and relaxation techniques. Once it is over you will forget all the discomfort as you hold your baby in your arms.
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2020 has come with many changes to the norm and this includes childbirth. Support people not being able to be present at appointments, ultrasounds and at times the actual birth has sent everyone scrambling for a new normal.
Childbirth does not have to be scary, but this virus is making it just that for many people.
Every hospital is handling this virus differently, this is what is normal for my hospital and what you can do to help ease your mind. One support person is allowed with the laboring mother if they are symptom free. There is no changing of your support person the entire stay. Every day they must be asked questions again and go through another temperature check.
Masks are given upon entering the hospital and they are always to be worn in the hospital except when your nurse leaves your room. Yes, this includes wearing it in your room if any staff are present. We understand that this is difficult especially when it comes to pushing time. We do not want to wear the mask anymore than you do but for everyone’s safety we need to comply. At any time that you need a break, please tell your nurse and we will step out of the room so that you can catch your breath and regroup.
I personally have always been a “hands on” nurse and enjoy being at the bedside getting to know my patient and doing my best to grant them the labor and delivery that they desire. During this time, I have had to try to stay out of the room more than normal so that my laboring mother can take her mask off and enjoy this special time. I hate this but I want a healthy mom and a healthy baby in the end.
People are still allowed to walk the halls if their mask is covering the nose and mouth. Depending on the time of day you deliver, either your doctor/midwife or a partner will deliver your baby.
Many people are scared going into hospitals and this is not what we want. We are doing the best we can to keep everyone safe. We are still the same amazing, caring, educated nurses we always have been!
Many parents are finding they are enjoying the peace of not having constant visitors and enjoying those special moments with just them. I have seen more Facetiming and video calling than ever before to allow other people to be “present” during this special time. Another option is using aromatherapy to calm your nerves and help you with this added stress.
Remain confident in your body and what you want from your labor & delivery. There might be a virus going on, but nothing changes the joy you will have when you meet your baby!
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