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PumpkinSpice

So I just discovered you can’t walk with an epidural...

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PumpkinSpice

Yeah, as the title says, I had nooooo idea you can’t walk with an epidural.

 

I had planned to have an epidural... I thought it just knocked out the pain like a local anaesthetic...

 

So now I’m unsure what to do... advice? Your experiences? Anyone have an epidural and find not being able to walk an issue?

 

If you also planned to have an epidural, were you happy with this choice? Was there anything unexpected that you didn’t know would happen?

 

Appreciate all your feedback!

PS

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Neko NoNo

My summary- epidurals don't always work and if they have tried and failed you still aren't allowed to get up off the bed.

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

where were you planning to walk to?

 

I just assumed I couldn't walk afterwards for a few hours - it's a needle into your spine after all.

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~Jolly_F~

I didn't have an epidural purely because the idea of them sticking a needle in spine and not being able to move freaked me out.

 

I walked pretty much through all 3 of my labours. It helped me feel in control and in top of the pain. I did some serious laps of the hospital, lol.

 

Good luck with the decision OP.

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Tinkle Splashes

You can have a mobile epidural that allows you to walk.

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Neko NoNo

where were you planning to walk to?

 

I just assumed I couldn't walk afterwards for a few hours - it's a needle into your spine after all.

 

walking helps relieve a lot of pain in labour. Being able to stand up and rock and move when necessary is helpful. I felt completely trapped

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Kabu84

Yes it is true you can’t walk with an epidural which means you can’t walk to the toilet so they need to put in a catheter.

I had an epidural with both my births and I was happy with how they both went. In my second birth I tried to go without it but the pain became too intense towards the end and I was exhausted. Once the epi was in I relaxed s the pain disappeared and I was able to push out the baby with no problem.

I’m not an expert or midwife but just from personal experience these were the advantages and disadvantages of having the epidural for me:

 

Advantages-

- instant pain relief so I could calm down, rest and preserve my energy for pushing.

- couldn’t feel pain when pushing, just pressure.

- It was like going from hell to heaven in 2 minutes lol.

 

Disadvantages:

- Had to lie down for the rest of the labour.

- Had catheter in

- was quite swollen after my first labour

- Had to wait a few hours before the feeling came back in my legs, which delayed me getting a shower.

 

If I had a third (which I won’t) I would be open to having an epi again if I needed it as it really helped me get through the hardest part.

 

I read a book called ‘birth skills’ which I found so useful for giving me strategies to use to help me through the labour the second time. I believe this was why in my second birth I managed to get almost to the end without the epi as I felt more confident to help myself through each contraction.

 

Good luck!

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-Belinda-

If you want to be mobile, and being active is good for labour, then there are plenty of other pain relief options to try before going to an epidural.

 

Many women need nothing more than the gas/air for pain relief. But then there are other options as well, and they will be covered in your prenatal classes or ask your caregiver.

 

If none of them work, chances are you will be pleased to get on the bed and have a rest while the epidural does its thing ;)

 

All the best

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MissMilla

 

 

walking helps relieve a lot of pain in labour. Being able to stand up and rock and move when necessary is helpful. I felt completely trapped

 

Theres no more pain that has to be relieved after the epidural though...

I didnt plan to have one but ended up with one anyways. Best thing ever for the birth. I went from hours of excrutiating pain to not feeling anything at all.

 

They did do it wrong though and I ended up with a spinal headache for over a week which was awful. I was really glad that I didnt need an epidural anymore for my second birth because of that experience, but it made the actual birth more bearable.

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Jenflea

I loved my epidural!

 

Actually I loved the pethidine shot more but i was only allowed one (pouty face) then the pain was so intense I couldn't progress in the labour because I was trying to cope with the pain. The midwive actually suggested the epi, so glad she did.

 

The epidural relaxed me, removed the pain enough that I could push when needed, but i could still feel a bit of the contractions in my stomach. My pain was mostly in my back and it was agony.

 

I also didn't WANT to move around, my body went into survival mode and I kinda shut down, walking was the last thing I wanted to do.

So yes i birthed on my back, and no, I don't regret a THING!

 

If I ever had another baby I'd have another epi.

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*Arcadia*

You can have epidurals where you can still walk. I had one for my DS and whilst I wasn't allowed to get up much ( I was induced so hospital policy was continuous monitoring) I was able to walk to the toilet and back and could still feel my legs. Talk to your health professionals about the options you have at your hospital. In my case the mobile one was done as standard as I had not planned on an epidural and had it done mid labour so said nothing to the anethesiologist apart from thank god you are here get it in now haha

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Daffy2016

Pretty much everything Kabu84 and jingleflea said. I had back labour and I pretty much couldn’t have moved if I wanted to anyway - I was clinging to the bed and trying not to push! The epi let me catch my breath and get my head back together.

 

I was also progressing really slowly anyway, so there’s no way I would have been able to push by the end without the epi.

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*Arcadia*

Also PS I'll add don't rely solely on the epidural as your pain relief. By all means have it as your number one option but I suggest you research some other options for getting through the pain as well as sometimes it is too late or there may be a wait to get it in. I had an unplanned drug free labour with my DD. I was fully prepared to get another epi but by the time I got to hospital and asked for the epidural I was already in transition and it was too late.

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bakesgirls

Of my 4 vaginal births, I've had 3 epidurals. The person who invented them should be made a saint.

 

I had no need to walk anywhere when it was in as I had a catheter in. The pain was gone but I was able to feel every contraction and when to push- just with no pain. I could even move my legs around. From memory I was up having a shower within an hour or two of the births.

 

ETA- I had my first completely drug free. I promised myself never again, and I didn't. I'm sure I looked at my midwife (when labouring with DD2) like she had 2 heads and was speaking in tongues when she suggested I attempt another drug free birth.

Edited by bakesgirls
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mandelbrot

I had an epidural that didn't work, and it was a giant, literal pain. I didn't want to walk anywhere, though, as I was too busy being in agony.

 

I had a second one that worked pretty well, although transition was pretty terrible.

 

Many of my friends felt nothing, watched TV, slept, during their epidurals, though, so I think I was just unlucky.

 

ETA: You asked what was unexpected. Mine (both actually) were really patchy - I had one where there was one spot that I could really feel, that got bigger and bigger until I could feel everything. To even it up, the midwife and DH would roll me over from side to side trying to get all the right nerves. I had a self-controlled one (with a little button I could press every ten mins) and also requested a few bolus top ups (which made me completely unable to move but didn't actually help the pain).

 

After the first epidural I was stuck lying down for about four hours which was very frustrating but I was also busy getting stitches so couldn't move anyway. I also needed lots of local anaesthetic for the stitches as there was no pain relief from the epidural.

 

After my second epidural, I was very bad and lied about how much feeling I had back so they'd let me in the shower (I had one numb leg and one good leg), but I didn't fall so all ended well there.

Edited by mandala

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Zippypeaks

I had an epi and was asleep within minutes! Haha the midwife had to wake me to start pushing!!

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Soontobegran

I had a walking epidural 37 years ago and you can still have a walking epidural.

It is something you need to discuss with your anaesthetist if you request one.

 

Many women these days are well able to get out of bed, walk to the toilet and be active with their epidural insitu.

 

These epidurals stop the pain of contractions but do not affect the ability to move.

 

For my first labour I would rather have died than keep contracting after 30 odd hours of labour so I would not have changed it for the world.

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Soontobegran

walking helps relieve a lot of pain in labour. Being able to stand up and rock and move when necessary is helpful. I felt completely trapped

Walking 'might' help relieve labour pain. I walked the equivalent of Melbourne to Sydney without relief.

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EmmDasher

I had one for my first. I needed it and it was absolutely the right call but I really didn't like it. I had none for my second and just used gas and I much, much preferred that (I also preferred the shorter labour!).

 

I understand the concept of walking to relieve pain but once I was in active labour I couldn't have walked anywhere in either labour. I was on hands and knees and was pretty much unable and unwilling to move from that position for the duration.

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PumpkinSpice

where were you planning to walk to?

 

I just assumed I couldn't walk afterwards for a few hours - it's a needle into your spine after all.

 

 

Haha, I just thought I’d probably prefer give birth not lying down...

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PumpkinSpice

Thanks for all your responses!!!

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Jenflea

The thing with birth is, you have NO IDEA what you'll really want or how you'll feel until you're there.

 

No idea.

 

I didn't think I'd birth on my back, but there wasn't any moving me after a while, no matter how hard the MW tried to get me into a different position, or to move around.

 

And you don't get a medal for not using drugs in labour, you do what you want at the time. Don't rule anything out now.

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harmonic_wizz_fizz

OP

I had a walking epidural 37 years ago and you can still have a walking epidural.

It is something you need to discuss with your anaesthetist if you request one.

 

Many women these days are well able to get out of bed, walk to the toilet and be active with their epidural insitu.

 

These epidurals stop the pain of contractions but do not affect the ability to move.

 

For my first labour I would rather have died than keep contracting after 30 odd hours of labour so I would not have changed it for the world.

 

What STBG said - you need to talk to your OB / midwife about such things - some hospitals do walking epis and some dont. If you have to be induced due to some reason, which is always a possibility, you may not be able to walk around anyway depending on which way it is done. Please try not to stress about it, ideally its great to have no interventions but its not always possible and they arent the end of the world.

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CallMeFeral

I also didn't WANT to move around, my body went into survival mode and I kinda shut down, walking was the last thing I wanted to do.

 

Yeah this was me too. I know some people have had tremendous success with movement, but for me when I was in contraction any movement exacerbated it terribly. It was awful just getting to hospital as I felt like killing DH whenever the road was rough and I was mid-contraction - he had to drive VERY VERY smoothly and sometimes pull over till the contraction was over.

 

That said, I found a tens machine really good and also water - whether shower or bath.

 

I think my main learning from labour is keep your options open because you don't know what will suit you at the time, but if you have learned everything you can and have everything you might need to hand then you can choose what suits you at the time.

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Pip_longstockings

Epi's were my saviour. I had to have a catheter in for my first as baby was sitting on my bladder and I couldn't urinate. I also had labour in my legs so every time I had a contraction I couldn't stand up anyway. I hated the bath too. It was not comforting. They had to hold me on the bed to do the epi as I just kept falling on the floor when I had a contraction.

 

Once i had it is was heaven. I could still move my legs but the pain was gone.

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