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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