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Do you feel like you can't breathe during the Caesar?
Is this with Epi or Spinal which one?

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48 replies to this topic

#1 GymJunky

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:18 PM

I was reading somewhere when you have either a Epi or Spinal I am not sure which one you feel like you can't breathe once the numbness kicks in?

Can anyone tell me which one does this? and do you really feel like you can't breathe or is it just panic kicking in?

I really dont know as I was under a GA for my first but want to avoid that this time and be awake, just gearing myself up for it this time.


#2 alybel

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:25 PM

I have had an epi and a spinal and have never felt like I couldn't breathe...

#3 soapy

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:26 PM

I don't remember having trouble breathing. I do remember shaking a lot though.

#4 ~my happiness~

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:29 PM

Yes I have felt like this before.
You can breathe, you just feel like you can't because the spinal blocks so high up to your chest that you can't feel yourself breathing. It's almost a feeling of having your lungs enclosed, or something heavy on them.
That was with my first and fifth.

They gave me medazalam (sp) which is a relaxant drug which from my experience I would recommend not having. It made me so "out of it" that I barely knew what was going on, and for a long time afterwards.

The way I have learned to 'deal with' this 'heavy can't breathe' feeling is to ask for a little oxygen on your face, they let you hold the 'muzzle part' (sorry can't think of the correct word) so you can take it on and off when you want the air flow.

This is all just the way it made me feel, may be quite different for others. You will be okay though, even if you do get that feeling it is only momentary, and as long as you tell your partner or anath or theatre nurse, they will help you and make you feel more comfortable. Remind yourself just slowly, I am breathing, I am breathing, and you will do just fine. It's such a short time, everything happens so quickly in theatre!

Good luck!

#5 tle

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:33 PM

I've had 4 spinals and never experienced breathlessness.

#6 T2Mum

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:34 PM

I also felt short of breath, but I was losing a lot of blood due to complications so I don't think that helped. Like the PP said, they can give you an oxygen mask which makes it seem better.

One thing which I found helpful was that they kept reassuring me that I was doing OK even when I felt I couldn't breathe so even though it felt strange I knew I wasn't about to pass out from lack of oxygen!

#7 MagickMerlin

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:39 PM

I had a spinal last time and I did have the feeling of not breathing.  The anethesist told me to relax it was just because he'd put it in a bit higher?  Not sure if it was that or they just told me that to stop me feeling panicy (which I felt a bit too).  Way better than my GA experience.  The worst thing about it was the blood pressure machine was crunching my arm sooo hard I couldn't stay still.  It was so painful, felt like my sholder and arm were being pulled off. Way more painful than anything else regarding the c/s.  Haven't heard anyone else complain about it before though.  They did loosen it after about 10minutes and it was fine, the rest was cruisy and I was chilled out and peaceful (or maybe jsut high?).
Good Luck! I'm sure you'll be fine, go in positive and remember everyone experiences things differently original.gif

#8 catmeow82

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:41 PM

I had a GA for my first too.

2nd I had a spinal block. i didn't feel like i couldn't breathe. i did feel awful though. i felt like i needed to reposition myself but obviously had no sensation! i also felt a little anxious with all the drapes up near my face. one arm was held down with the drip and the other with the blood pressure cuff. my bub was quite big and still sitting very high (had c-section due to bub not engaging and being 10 days overdue). when the ob was pulling him out i felt really nausious and it was lucky they got the bowl under my mouth in time for the throwing up!!!!
tbh it was awful. it all took so long (considering the speed of the op the first time around!) and i was anxious. In the end it was all so fast really. once ds was out and i heard his cry i relaxed a bit and felt much much better original.gif

hopefully that wasn't TMI for u!

#9 Superduperlucky

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:41 PM

I didn't feel breathless but did feel nausea and this bizzare overwhelming feeling that I just had to get out of there - like i felt i wanted to literally get off the bed and go home LOL. It passed quickly though.

Good luck!

#10 jewel2

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:42 PM

Ive had Epidural and Spinal total of 3 times. Ive never experience this.

Its not something Ive heard before to be honest.


#11 bubmakes3

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:49 PM

I had an epi and had no probs like this. But I had had it in for close to 10 hours, and spent 6 at 9cms before they decided he wasn't budging and a ceasar was required - I was just so keen to get him out that I was fairly relaxed about the whole thing!

#12 bluetea

Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:51 PM

Not exactly that I couldn't breath... More a overwhelming panic during the middle of the procedure. And then the shakes set in. I ended up having a emergency c-section so I think that had a lot to do with my experience.

#13 ~ky~

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:01 PM

I've had three spinals and one combined spinal/epidural.

Only the first time did I have any trouble breathing (not much trouble) and that was only because the spinal had been administered just a bit too high.

I hated the combined spinal/epidural as I ended up with a week long severe headache afterwards.

My last spinal was administered really low and I had feeling from about half way up my belly upwards. I couldn't feel cutting but when they were checking my ovaries etc afterwards, I could feel them moving them around - it wasn't painful, more like ticklish ... an itch somewhere you can't get to type of feeling. That was my absolute best spinal ...

#14 chipsy

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:14 PM

I had this happen to me with my second and third ceasers which were via spinal. It was also something I experienced during the pregnancy when I was on my back. my ob advised that lying directly flat caused pressure on an artery somewhere (cant remember details now sorry) and tipping off your back to one side will releive it.

during the ceaser my blood pressure dropped really fast and I felt like I couldnt breath at all, and it is easy to feel panicy when you cant move your own body, but in both cases the theatre staff rolled me slightly on my side and put a wedge under me (or the base of the table?) somewhere and the relief is immediate. they had no trouble doing the ceaser this way and they had it sorted so fast its obviously not uncommon.

I didnt experience the same feeling during my first pregnancy at all or during the birth, which was completed under an epi but I wouldnt recommend that... a whole nother story!

whatever your fears about the anesthetic are, bring them up with the aenethesist at your pre op meeting and or with your ob and they can discuss your options.

#15 Isolabella

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:17 PM

I have had 3 spinals and never experienced this.

With my 3rd c/s I did feel nausea (actually threw up the moment I got on the operating table) and afterwards in Post Op had a really bad case of the shakes and could not maintain/stabilise my body temperature.

#16 pinkpeony

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:18 PM

I didn't have this. I did suffer from the shakes, like I was cold, but this is just a side effect from the spinal block.

My biggest problem was being able to 'feel' them in my stomach, it didn't hurt, but it felt very strange.

#17 MotherClucker

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:20 PM

It is the placement of the spinal. I had one during my first caesarean but made sure I told my anethetist about it for my second one and he made sure that it was administered correctly. He said it was because of my short stature? shrug.gif

#18 heidi's mum

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:23 PM

I've had 2 spinals and no feeling all the way up my chest to between my boobs. Never had shortness of breath or that feeling. Did have Nausea but i have a reaction to the drugs.
Best of luck with everything

#19 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:26 PM

Yep, I felt like I couldn't breathe during my second c/s. It was awful and made me really panicky. They put an oxygen mask on me. Both my c/s were horrible though. Terrible way to give birth IMO.

#20 Polly Esther

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:27 PM

I had a spinal, and could breathe fine.

#21 emily09

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:27 PM

I had this with my 2nd. But I had a reaction to the spinal. My BP dropped really low really fast and my heart rate was well over 200BPM. So this time I have to have GA.

#22 **Xena**

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:29 PM

I have had both and felt breathless wit my last 2 c-sections. It was okay though. It went away a little while after having my child. Mainly it felt like I had just run a really long race and was puffed out and had pressure on my chest.

#23 NewMum99

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:29 PM

The breathing issues are a rare complication, not standard with either.

#24 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:30 PM

I don't think it happens all that often.

I had 3 epidurals and a spinal. I never really experienced not being able to breath as such. I had oxygen each time and they gave me two pillows so I wasn't laying down really flat. I did struggle to breath with DD2 but I was really sick with the flu and breathing was difficult.

#25 ~Nodnol~

Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:46 PM

I didn't have that with my epi caesar, but with two of my three spinal ones I did. Once I had the mask on and was tilted a bit I felt better.

I got the shakes and the temperature all over the place after every one.

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