epidural questions!!

im being induced on monday with drip, and have been told that i may need an epidural as it is sorer faster, but can anyone tell me how paralysed you are with one?how high up in the body does the numbness go i mean?

what parts are numbed?can you still sit up by yourself, i think id be really scared if i couldnt feel my legs but much worse if i knew i couldnt sit up by myself!

im not scared of needles really so that doesnt really bother me, but i am very claustrophobic and can only imagine that it makes you feel quite trapped!?


[Modified by: lauragcam on 29 May 2008 10:31:43 ]

[Modified by: lauragcam on 29 May 2008 10:32:42 ]


  • hi Laura,
    when you are induced with a drip it does tend to be more painful, and often an epidural is recommended. the block tends to be level with your belly button, so you may still feel tightenings at the top, but they shouldnt be painful. every epidural is different in how well it works, some women can still feel their legs, whereas some wouldnt know who they belonged to! very often you will need help to have your position changed for you as you wont be able to do it yourself.
    you will still be able to sit up, but will need to lie on your side too, as there is a slim chance of you developing a pressure sore with an epidural (very low tho'!)
    in the mean time, bonk like mad, drink & eat fresh pinapple, have a curry, anything that could put you in labour to avoid the drip!! have you been offered a "sweep"?

    good luck however it goes anyway!!
  • hi thanks, they were going to give me a sweep but found i was already 2cm dilated so they will just break my waters on monday and then give me the drip. my only hope is that i go into labour beforehand, or that breaking my waters will be enough before getting the drip. i had a curry last night, been having lots of sex, only managed to eat half a pineapple before feeling sick and nothings worked!! this will be my second and had to get induced last time toowhere i had the gel which was enough to start labour, but they said gel not needed this time as i am already 2cm.

    i am desperate to go into labour naturally, but really dont feel like its gonna happen.


  • oh bugger! hopefully, by the time they break your waters, your body will respond on it's own and you may get away without the drip!
    keep fingers x
  • Hi Laura - really hope you go naturally hun!
    An epidural is fine. I could feel my legs and move them about...could feel everything really EXCEPT the pain (woooo). I could sit up by myself but it was a bit difficult so I needed my oh to pull me up a bit!
  • Hi hun i hope my post can help because i had the exact same thing happen to me. I went into labour naturally, but after 2 days of contractions they found out the cord was wrapped around my sons neck so the contractions werent doing anything.
    I got took into hospital and had my waters broken and then was given the drip.
    I will be totally honest with you, i went from feeling fine to the pain hitting the roof. I dont even remember about 30 mins after this because i was in agony. I'm not telling you this to scare you, i would just advise you to have an edidural as soon as you can.
    I had one when i was about 7cm dilated and felt wonderful after it. I was stupid, because the midwife advised me to have one before having the drip and i didnt take her advice.
    Apparently only 1 in around 100 women dont have an epi when they are given a drip. I only had a low dose so i could still feel alll my contractions and didnt need to be told when to push. I hope this helps hun x
  • hi speckle thanks for being honest. when you say you only had a low dose, can you ask for that?i would prefer to still feel some pain (i know that may seem weird) but i would rather not be completely numb if possible.how long does the epi last after the birth too? im terrified of lifts which is another reason id prefer not to have an epi if poss cause i know i might not be able to walk down stairs to the wards after the birth.
  • I had the drip (I was induced with pessaries & having waters broken tho, drip was to speed it up - didnt work tho!) and I wanted an epi anyway so I asked before they put the drip on. They advised it anyway. So I cant tell you if it is more painful.
    I think they do a low-dose one as standard. They only top it up enough that you can't feel anything if you have a caesarean. They topped up mine for my c section but i could still feel it! So I had a spinal which is a much higher dose and that wore off in 3 hours & I was walking around.
    I found that an epi wears off very quickly, so quickly that I was in severe pain an hour after having it topped up! They top it up as much (well within reason) or little as you want though. They did mine automatically as I was hysterical whenever it wore off so prob did it to shut me up! :lol:
  • It hurts a bit going in but then it is a needle! Not as much as I thought though because they numb the area first.
    They top it up through the tube thing that's in your back, it just feels cold, doesn't hurt one bit xxx
  • some hospitals offer a continuous epidural (it basically runs like a drip into the epidural space in your back), whilst some only have facilities to give top-ups. depending on what they do, if you get a continuous pump, it runs at a certain rate an hour, and can be turned up or down as needed.
    you can feel more "pressure" as they push into the small of your back - they usually numb the skin first before the actual epidural tho, and it isn't painful as such. you will also need to sit really still while they do it, just so they get it in the right place!
  • Like tiger lily said i think they just do a low dose as standard. Mine was a continuous one and i had a booster button to top it up if i needed to, but i didnt to be honest it was just nice having no pain but still being able to feel my contractions. I cant give any advice as to weather the edidural hurts going in, because i was in that much pain i was totally out of it. I had a shower about an hour after i'd given birth and although my legs were still a little bit numb they was ok, it was mainly the tirdness and lack of food that effected me after the birth. Try having a chat with your midwife about what they can do so you dont have to go in the lift. I hate lifts as well but i was lucky cause everything is on the same floor at my hospital. xx
  • Good thing I dont mind lifts as I would've been screwed cos the delivery suite was on a different floor to my ward and they took me up in a wheelchair. I remember I was having contractions every 5 mins then and I was really upset at leaving my gas and air behind lol. I wanted the student midwife pushing me to go faster so I could get some more lol! I was in Dorothy perkins shopping the other day & saw her in there, I hid from embarrassment! xxxx
  • epi's r fab!!! i had one after being induced on the drip and the relief afterward was amazing!!
    i went from being in sooooo much agony to it being so much more bearable i could still feel the contractions and knew exactly when to push in fact i was only pushing for 12 mins lol
    it didnt hurt at all going in and i could still feel and move my legs and sit up by myself
    i would never give birth without one now!!!
    good luck and dont be scared about the epi honest they r brill!!!
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