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Congratulations! You’re starting to get big and people are noticing you’re pregnant. This is such a fun time. You’re starting to think about giving birth to your baby.
Most women are really nervous about this part if this is their first child. I was super nervous too but after I had my first, I realized it isn’t that bad.
The thought of having an unmedicated childbirth was never really a thing I wanted to do. I am all for the epidural.
Now, when I think about my labors; I probably could have gone without an epidural. Apparently, my pain tolerance is pretty high.
With my first, my water broke and I had her really fast. The contractions were so intense that I could not wait until I got to the hospital for an epidural.
Now my second and third were different.
My second child was a scheduled induction because of my gestational diabetes. The day I went in to be induced, they said I was already dilated to 7cm. I never felt any pain at all. I probably could have gone all natural with him.
My third child was also a scheduled induction because of gestational diabetes but I went into labor naturally the week before. When I got to the hospital with him, I was also dilated to 7cm. Again, I felt no pain and probably could have gone natural with him.
I’m not sure why I never felt any pain with my last two, it’s still a mystery to me.
Medicated Child Birth Pros and Cons
An epidural is given with a needle in the lower back epidural space. The medication starts to kick in within 15-20 minutes. It will cause you lower half of the body to become numb.
I am not opposed to an epidural at all. I truly needed one with my daughter because the pain was crazy bad. Her labor was so freaking fast too. The contractions were literally 30 seconds apart right as soon as my water broke.
She was actually born with respiratory distress which was attributed to the fast birth. My other kids were fast but not that fast and they were born totally fine.
Some things to keep in mind when thinking about a medicated childbirth.
- Your laboring experience is much more relaxing.
- Your pain is gone but you can feel pressure which is good so you know when to push.
- Labor is less traumatic for you and your husband.
- You will be awake and alert the whole time.
- The epidural has little to no effect on your baby.
- Sometimes the epidural will only work on one side of your body so you can still feel some pain.
- Your legs can stay numb for a few hours after birth which makes it hard to get up and go to the bathroom.
- It can be difficult to feel the contractions and to know when you should be pushing.
- The odds are, you’ll need a catheter so you can pee.
- You may develop a headache after delivery which is caused by spinal fluid leaking. This will mean you need to be on bed rest. This does not happen very often but still can be a risk.
- The mother’s blood pressure can drop.
- Can slow labor progression.
- You will need to get an IV.
- A lot more monitoring is required during medicated childbirth.
Natural Childbirth Pros and Cons
The amount of women who are going through natural childbirth now has increased substantially over the last few years. Doctors are more supportive of a women’s birthing plans and are willing to follow them.
I have always admired those women who go with natural childbirth. They have some serious stamina and guts.
Some things to keep in mind when thinking about having a natural childbirth.
- Recovery time is very short. You could get up and walk shortly after you deliver.
- Lowers your chance of a c-section.
- You’re completely aware of what’s happening. Your brain is not fuzzy from the medication.
- Labor can be faster without an epidural.
- You’re able to move around more with fewer wires strapped to you.
- You are going to feel a lot more pain during natural childbirth, duh.
- Takes a lot of strength and motivation to stick to your plan of going natural.
- You may want to get an epidural if you can’t handle the pain anymore.
- This might be a more traumatizing experience if you aren’t prepared for it.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your choice. There truly is no right or wrong answer to this. Do what you think is the best fit for you.
Natural childbirth is great, and so is a medicated one. Just go over all the pros and cons to make the right choice for you.
I had epidurals with all of my kids and I don’t regret it in any way. I am grateful for modern medicine that allows me to have a pain free laboring experience.
My kids all ended up being healthy even though my daughter did have a short stay in the NICU for her respiratory distress but I completely believe this was from the fast labor and contractions.
She recovered quickly and was able to come home. My other two kids had no complications with the epidural and were born totally healthy and happy.
If you’re on the fence, you can always try for the natural route and see if you’re able to handle the pain. If you think you can, just stick to natural but if you’re truly suffering; you can opt for the epidural. Whatever you decide, don’t feel bad about it. You are awesome either way! Bringing a child into the world is a total miracle.
I hope you enjoyed this article on natural vs medicated childbirth guide.
What is your childbirth preference? Medicated or natural? I would love to read of your experiences down below.