When is the Best Time to Get an Epidural in Labor?

Hey there let's talk about using the Epidural in labor

So your plan is to get an epidural in labor, your reason may be that you want to remain calm, your previous birth was so fast and furious that you couldn't catch your breath or you just want one. Many women are now planning to deliver without an epidural, but many still find that they would prefer to use an epidural during their labor and delivery.

When might you delay your epidural?

Some women, who plan on getting an epidural, still want to experience some contractions and allow labor to progress from Early labor to active labor  before they receive their epidermal to allow labor to progress naturally and reduce chances of needing augmentation in labor. One of the things modern maternity care has done along the way is make great improvements on when, how much, and how often we use pitocin, epidurals, and other interventions in childbirth. Delaying your epidural until you have passed 4-5 cm, or early labor, is now considered ideal and helpful in not slowing down your labor, which would then require augmentation.

Optimal time to get an epidural in labor?

In reality, when ever you want to get an epidural is the optimal time. But as childbirth and parenting experts in Wincehster, we know that many women want a different answer than that. Of course if your goal is total relaxation and you are not concerned that you may need augmentation down the road, go for the epidural any time you feel you need it. If you are wanting to avoid the possible need for augmentation and/or you would like to labor naturally for some time before you receive your epidural, when is the best time to get your epidural in labor? Answer: when your contraction pattern is going on its own and you are at least 4-5 cm. Basically, you have passed early labor, which can sometimes start and stop and is sometimes unpredictable. When you reach a good labor pattern and have entered active labor there is usually no stopping nature and that can be a good time to call for your epidural. Have your doula call the nurse and let the staff know that you would like your epidural. Once it is in place your doula can help you rotate from left to right to help baby move through the pelvis and keep you calm, massaged and rested for when it is time to push your baby out.

How to manage until you receive your epidural?

Managing in labor before you get your epidural can be learned in a Winchester Childbirth Education Class, a Comfort Measures Class or simply having a doula to help you navigate early labor before your epidural is in place and then during the rest of your labor  as you wait to dilate and prepare to push. Having tools to help you stay comfortable, relaxed, secure and in charge will enable you to achieve your goals and feel involved in the birth of your child. Some quick tips for staying comfortable at home can be: rocking on the exercise ball, shower, walking and resting on your left side. Some quick tips for staying comfortable once you arrive to the hospital before your epidural is in place can be: shower, walking, swaying, massage, aromatherapy, vocalization, and rotating from side to side if you are in bed. Movement in labor helps baby rotate down and through the pelvis optimally, so even with an epidural your support team will help make that possible.