What about the epidural?

epiduralWhy would anyone try to go without it? As my very first Google search as a pregnant mom led me to discover, there are a lot of compelling reasons why natural birth is a wonderful choice. But wouldn’t the epidural be easier?

Not necessarily.

An epidural that is placed correctly and works as intended is still not guaranteed to eliminate all pain from a woman’s labor. So at the very least, it’s good to be prepared with some “back up” tools, right? And while severe complications are relatively rare, there are some common risks involved with using an epidural that you should consider and do more research on. 

There’s one negative effect that’s guaranteed to happen and that is the mother will have limited freedom of movement; the benefit of gravity in helping your baby descend is important. A drop in blood pressure occurs 30 to 35% of the time and is the most common side effect. Other possible side effects include maternal fever, postpartum back ache (happens 10 to 20% of the time), spinal headache (rare), nausea/vomiting, itching, shivering, and prolonged labor (probably due to that restriction of movement).

If you’re like I was, an epidural sounded good to have, “just in case!” Good thing that with Hypnobabies, I never needed it, and my labor was calm and comfortable! (Trust me, I don’t have a high pain tolerance.) The nurses and midwives were amazed and so proud of me. And this can be you, too!

Ultimately you’ve got to do what feels best for you. In my opinion, the only wrong reasons to make a choice are “Because all my friends are doing it” or “Because I was told I had to.” 

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