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10 Things you should know about getting your first epidural

I'm Sarah - wife to my amazing husband, John, and mom to two little girls, Cami and Maisie.  I used to work in the finance industry before having my daughters, and now I'm a freelance personal finance writer and blogger.  I love being wi...

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

Many women debate whether or not getting an epidural is the right decision for them. Women who plan on getting one sometimes aren’t able to, and women who don’t plan on getting one sometimes end up with one. So, even you aren't planning to get one, it’s best to be prepared.

I’ve given birth to two little girls and have received no less than two epidurals. During my first birth, I was having incredibly painful contractions for about two hours. While the thought of the long, sharp needle normally terrified me, in the moment I wasn’t scared at all because I couldn’t imagine anything being more painful than my contractions. We asked other women to share what they wish they would have known before getting their first epidural.

Don't pig out beforehand

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"Be mindful of what you eat in the hours before you get it, as having a full stomach can cause nausea once you first have it done." — Melissa O’Dowd

Don't feel guilty about getting one

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"Go with whatever you're comfortable with, but don't let other moms guilt you into going without an epidural. You don't get a gold star for forgoing the shot!" — Jaymie Shook

You can still feel your legs

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"You can still feel your legs and move them around, they're just very heavy and almost don't feel real. It's a strange sensation, but worth it since you're no longer in pain." — Sarah,

It can make you shaky

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"I didn't expect for the epidural to make me shake and tremble. When that started happening it really scared me, I thought I was having an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, but then the nurse told me it's a normal reaction. I wish someone would have warned me!" — Alena Gerst

It can make labor enjoyable

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"It made labor not only tolerable, but almost enjoyable." — Susan Eldridge

You may have to get it twice

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"The one with my oldest went flawlessly. It was great! The second time I felt like I was an expert, but it failed and had to be re-performed. Oh, the pain." — Robyn Murphy

The relief of pain is sooo good

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"What surpassed me with my epidural? The pain factor. It was like trying to compare the difference to night and day — the relief in pain was that good!" — Sheridan Becker

Ask for it right away

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"Ask for an epidural right away, as it can sometimes take the anesthesiologist a good hour to make it to your room. By that point, you may be in a lot of unnecessary pain!" — Shannon

The needle is not as painful as you would expect

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"First timers should know that placing the epidural is easier and less painful that you would expect!" — Edna Ma

You'll miss out on the high from natural birth

Getting your first epidural? Here's what you need to know from women who've had them

GIF credit: Giphy.com

"My third baby was born without an epidural and I realized that epidurals diminish the effect of the hormonal high of birth." – Leigh Anne O’Connor

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