Epidural and Delivery
I really think I want to have an epidural, but I’m afraid if I can’t feel the pain, I also won’t be able to feel how I’m pushing. How does this work?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Even though I had epidurals with both of my deliveries, and I couldn’t feel any pain, I was able to push. Epidurals affect different women differently, and many women still feel the pressure in their perineums and the sensation of needing to push even with the epidural in place.
Even if you don’t feel that sensation, you can be instructed on when and how to push. The most important thing is for the nurse or doctor to see progress of the baby’s movement down the birth canal.
With my first baby, I felt like I needed to be told when and how to push. I pushed for over an hour and really needed reassurance that I was making progress. For my second, though, I felt my baby come down into the birth canal. At that point, I knew I just had to cough him out!
—Lauren Hyman, MD, a mom of two and an ob/gyn at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center in West Hills, CA