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.