Mother & Baby - - BUMP TO BIRTH -

At what point can I take the epidu­ral?

Son­ali: Most doc­tors will rec­om­mend tak­ing the epidu­ral once you are about three cen­time­ters di­lated. If ad­min­is­terd be­fore this, it is pos­si­ble that your labour may stall or slow down. Many women can ac­tu­ally go about their day to day ac­tiv­i­ties with a cervix that’s di­lated one or two cen­time­ters, and do not need to be in the hos­pi­tal. How­ever, once an epidu­ral has been ad­min­is­tered you would need to be in the hos­pi­tal.

My hus­band does not want to be with me in the labour room. How can I con­vince him to be there?

Son­ali: In most hos­pi­tals and ma­ter­nity homes, if the father is not join­ing the mother in the de­liv­ery room, no other sup­port per­son is al­lowed in with her. Which means that you will have to go through the process all alone. Most men find it dif­fi­cult to see their wives in pain and they may also be scared of see­ing some dif­fi­cult sights. You can re­as­sure your part­ner that he can be at the head side and will not be able to see any­thing that he does not wish to see. These points may con­vince him to be with you. How­ever, if he is still re­luc­tant you may want to leave the de­ci­sion to him.

Isn’t it bet­ter to have a sur­gi­cal birth rather than go through the labour pains? It seems so much more eas­ier and also planned.

Son­ali: Yes, a sur­gi­cal birth is surely bet­ter planned and quicker, but it does mean ma­jor ab­dom­i­nal surgery and the re­cov­ery time post surgery, can be longer. In a vagi­nal birth, you go through the pain dur­ing labour, which can be con­trolled with med­i­ca­tions if nec­es­sary, while in a ce­sarean birth, you will feel the pains after the birth, which also have to be con­trolled with med­i­ca­tions. In any case, there will be some amount of pain. Hence, it does make sense to opt for a vagi­nal birth. If re­quired, for med­i­cal rea­sons, a ce­sarean can be life sav­ing but it should be not be used as an op­tion for con­ve­nience or due to the fear of pain.

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