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Epidural versus spinal for a c-section ?

Posts: 4109
5/28/06 12:45 P

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Generally if they talk about doing a local or regional they mean a spinal. Not all spinals are from the neck down, mine certainly wasn't. I am with jessica (welcome back!) on this, the pain was really minor, and the numbness was excellent. I am also with Sunkistbaby, that you are NOT going to be walking very far or very fast after it regardless of how fast the anasthetic wears off! You will be able to walk the next day some but will need to go slowly. Also, i did not have a catheter during my surgery with the spinal, I do not know if that is just a hospital policy or what, but they would have done an emergency c-section if needed and I am pretty sure they would not have stopped to put a catheter in. there was also a chance I would have had to be given general anasthesia, and again, they would not have put a catheter in. It may just be my hospital. I did have an IV, and THANK GOD, because I started to get nervous shortly into surgery and the anasthseologist who monitored my vitals the whole time was able to give me something through the IV that gave immediate releif and made everything go much smoother. I hated getting the IV in, but fast access to meds is a very good thing!

I love the smell of baby vomit in the morning!
Posts: 1773
5/27/06 11:44 P

i was out like a light during my first c section and didnt get up and moving around till the next day after i had it and even then i didnt waddle very far, i took it a little bit at a time and then as soon as i got the iv outta me i could walk more which was great cuz i was sick of that room. so anywho i was thinking about havin them do a spinal with this one cuz the thought of having something sticking outta my back creeps me out just a tad. needles going in my back do anyways but i heard the spinal is more reliable or something? i also heard they can do a local but i'm not sure what my docs do. i'm going to ask next time i'm in what they recomend but i'll prolly go spinal..

Posts: 68
5/26/06 9:39 P

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I had an epidural with my daughter. I had it for a total of an hour probably. 15mins after I received the epidural the dr. checked me and I was completely dilated and ready to go and had her shortly after. They removed the epidural about 30 mins after delivery approximately and helped me up to the bathroom. I could feel my legs, I just couldn't totally walk on my own. By the time I got to my room, which was maybe and hour after delivery, I could feel them and get up to the bathroom by myself.
Frankly, once I felt the pain of labor I didn't care how they relieved the pain as long as it was relieved! I waited until last minute to get the epidural, though, and hopefully will be able to do the same this time. Although, I think this baby is going to be a bigger one....

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5/26/06 8:23 P

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Well, jessikay how long before you were able to walk and hold your baby? How long before you had got back to your room?

EDD~ August 6th 2006
It's a GIRL!
Addison Marie
She was born August 4th @ 10:41 am
6lbs 0 oz. 19 inches! Shes PERFECT!

Posts: 289
5/26/06 2:29 P

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All great information. Since I am on the maternity floor as an inpatient I am going to ask some follow up questions to my nurse in a little while based on the great information you all have provided. So I will post later and let you know what she says. I havent ask my MD yet either. I have been so nervous since I have been admitted that I havent thought of asking him about csections yet. I have been asking him questions about the baby and all the test results from him and the fluid. But now I feel more settled in the hospital so I am going to ask if I can take a tour in a wheelchair next week since this is my first time in this hospital and I went straight to my room and really havent left the bed since Monday. I want to see the NICU and L&D too.
I will ask him questions about the epidural and spinal too when he comes by today. thanks again. Now at least I feel like I have a good idea of some key differences thanks!

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Posts: 142
5/26/06 1:35 P

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my first csection i had a spinal and it totally freaked me out because spinals block from the neck down and i couldnt feel myself breath or cough which really got me all freaky my 2 csection they did a epideral which i could feel myself breath and cough so that helped but they did give lots of other medicne with it so thats pretty much all i remember and i didnt feel any pain ....Linda

Born on July 10 !
8lbs 1oz 201/2 inches long

Posts: 511
5/26/06 12:54 P

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No the catheter and I.V. ARE needed/given. I just meant that I could get up after they were taken out/not needed anymore. Also, if you have a c-section epi. or spinal it will take a while before you can breastfeed not because of the medication but because they send you to recovery and the baby gets checked out in the nursery till you get a mother/baby room. That's what happened to me last time anyway.

Ian Michael 6-10-99
Alanna Marie 6-10-99
Baby Boy 7-6-06 Sean Morgan

Posts: 1119
5/26/06 12:28 P

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I know two people who had scheduled c-sections back at the beginning of the year, and both had epidurals, so that must be done at some hopsitals. I don't know if they chose that or if the doctor did however.

So with the spinal, you don't have to have a catheter or iv? Is there any effect breast feeding for either option?

Posts: 511
5/26/06 12:11 P

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Hi N_Lynn, I had an unscheduled c-section with a spinal. It was unscheduled because I had my twins early at 34 1/2 weeks and my c-section for breech baby hadn't been scheduled yet! The spinal is usually used for a c-section because it sets up faster, it lasts for about 2 hours, it gives more of a thorough pain block than an epidural. I didn't have to lay flat for 8 hrs. like one poster mentioned just until I got movement back in my feet etc. and the nurses didn't have to massage my tummy so often to check and control the bleeding afterwards. I was allowed and encouraged to get up and walk as soon as they got me into a Mother/baby room instead of recovery and my catheter and I.V. weren't needed. The spinal is checked just like an epidural so they make sure you are numb and don't feel anything. It is really only scary until you have one and then it's not so bad. The pinch of the needle to numb my skin on my back was the worst part. Really!

Ian Michael 6-10-99
Alanna Marie 6-10-99
Baby Boy 7-6-06 Sean Morgan

Posts: 520
5/26/06 12:00 P

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I've had both. The first was scheduled and I was given a spinal. The second I labored so I already had an epidural and everything was fine with it. You should probably talk to your doc about it.

The thing I didn't like about the spinal was I had to lay flat for 8 hours. I talked to my doc about this and he said it all has to do with the anasteiologist (no clue how to spell that) but now a days they let you sit up and if you get the "headache" they jsut pull some blood from your spine and put it over the hole and the "headache" goes away. Also the spinal usually numbs you up to your chest and the epidural somtimes is only the bottom half of your body.

So all it all it seems to depend on the doc and the anasteiologist and your doc.

Jully 11th 9:45am Brady Christopher arrived. He weighed 8lbs 13.4ozs and was 19in long.

Posts: 1095
5/26/06 11:55 A

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I had a CSec w/ DS and an epidural was in place but not working, the Dr. advised it would be best to have the spinal, so they took the epidural out & gave me the spinal. This time, different Dr. and I was asked rather I would like an Epidural or Spinal. I said Spinal as it was an immediate pain relief and didn't feel anything other than a little pressure at times.

Colby Arrived via C-Section 7/21/06 Weighing 10 pounds 9 ounces & 21 1/2 inches long.. At his Dr Appt at 4 wks he is already 12lbs 4oz..
5yr old son "Carson": 7/30/02
M/C @ 19 1/2 wks: 1/30/05

Posts: 2239
5/26/06 10:19 A

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I think you can have either, but I'm not sure if they recommend one over the other when the c-section is planned. I say this because I had a c-section with my first (not planned) and I had an epidural in already, so they just went with that. I'm thinking that it may be how long it is effective. Spinal blocks last longer than epidurals? At least that is what I would think because with an epi they have to continually adminsiter the numbing meds and with a spinal they give you an allotted dose. I have to have another c-section as well and think I might go with the epi again, so I can be up and moving as asoon as possible. Maybe you could call and ask a nurses line just to make sure?

Kyli Renae 10/21/97
Jayden Chad 7/7/06

birth - 9lbs 3.5oz and 21"
2mos - 15lbs 8oz and 24"
4mos - 19lbs 8.5oz and 26"
6mos - 22lbs 2.5oz and 28.5"
9mos - 25lbs and 30"
12mos - 26lbs 6oz and 32"

Kyli and Jayden are having another baby! It's a BOY!!! EDD 3/21/08

FKA ~ ea-thomas

Posts: 7273
5/26/06 10:09 A

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I don't know from experience myself, but....

From what I've heard, a spinal is always done for c-section. It numbs you from the waist down so you don't feel a thing - even though you're awake. Every person I know who's had a c-section has had a spinal. So did Jessikay recently - her story is posted on Birth Stories thread, page 2.

BabyFit Community Team
Posts: 289
5/26/06 9:01 A

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Epidural versus spinal for a c-section ? What's the difference? I had to stop going to my childbirth class since being on bedrest and in the hospital so i feel so in the dark and stupid. What have you heard? or what have been your experiences? how do they go about doing one versus the other? I am probably having a c-section since he is breech and unlikely to turn bc of low fluid and I can have the MD try to turn him bc it is contrindicated in low fluid.

Any thoughts would be helpful. thanks so much!

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