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Thread: Epidural vs Spinal block

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Question Epidural vs Spinal block

    Hi everyone,

    Just wondering if anyone could give me some advice on which pain refief is the better/safer option for a scheduled c-section and what they are like.

    I had my first daughter under general for an emegency c-section, this time i am going to try and be brave and have it awake but im not too sure on why there are 2 options for pain relief is one better than the other?

    Also how did everyone find the pain factor with the spinal/epi going in? i think this part freaks me out the most, but i suppose it has to be better than endless hours of labour!!

    hope someone can help!!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Hi Michelle, i am having my 3rd c-section in 4 weeks
    With the first i had an epidural, i was induced and he was born via emergency c-section
    I didn't feel the epidural go in because i was having contractions

    With #2 i had a spinal block, this time it was a scheduled c-section, they put a local aneasthetic in before they put the spinal in, the local stings a little bit, but the spinal all i felt was a little bit of pressure as it went in.

    I asked my ob the other day what the difference was between an epidural and a spinal, and he said the only real difference is the fact that the epidural takes 20minutes to work, where as the spinal is effective almost immediately.

    I hope i've helped

  3. #3

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    hi Naomi,

    Thanks that has helped alot, thanks for clarifying the difference between the two, Maybe a spinal sounds better because of its instant reaction.

    Thanks again, it helped alot, all the best in 4 weeks time!!!

  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

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    Ditto to what Naomi said. Jacob was born via emergency c/s and Ruby by scheduled c/s.

    The other thing with the spinal is that the needle is inserted and the drugs administered, then the needle is removed. With an epidural it's a constant infusion of drugs I think and stays in place (mine was removed around 24 hours after Jacob's birth).

  5. #5
    Kirsty77 Guest

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    I had an emergency c/s with Gemma and they gave me an epi first but it only numbed one side of my body! So I ended up having a spinal. I'm having a scheduled c/s next week and I've opted for the spinal!LOL!

  6. #6

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    I have had both, but found the epidurals were pretty dodgy at working, and did not actually numb me properly. The spinal was so much more effective for me, and the post operative pain relief was brilliant. However, with one spinal, they put morphine into the mix in the needle, and it gave me itching during the surgery and for a few hours after. It went though and my recovery was great!! The midwives at the hospital were also asking how the pain relief was, as they were trying to do a survey about post operative pain relief with the spinals, and they said that generally, mums did better with less drugs for pain after having the spinals. I am going to be requesting a spinal again this time.
    As for pain on insertion of both,,,,as i said, they have trouble with the epidurals and my spine as i have spinal problems, so they were always painful, but the spinal was only pressure after the local was given. Oh, and when they found the right spot, i got like a very mild litle electrical zapp that ran down and into my bottom cheek on one side. I asked the anaethetist about it, and he said it was just a nerve,and it meant they were in the right spot. It didnt hurt either though lol.
    Spinals mean that you dont have to have a long tube pulled back out the next day either, so no tape chaff on your shoulder as well.
    Last edited by Lil_Aussie; October 16th, 2006 at 10:43 PM.

  7. #7

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    Hi Michelle,
    I had both for my recent labour/c-sec. The difference between the two is the drugs they use and the time it lasts.
    I had my epidural around lunchtime and my csec at 7.20pm. They just either top up the epidural drugs or use different ones. I had mine changed to spinal block for the op. It started to wear off in the early hours of the morning.
    I know in the spinal they use morphine/reniphentanyl, but aren't real sure about the epi....I'll find out though.

    Well I've searched and searched and can't find out. Maybe Allan knows???
    Last edited by ~Kim~; October 17th, 2006 at 08:49 AM.

  8. #8

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    I am another spinal block girl..... & I felt nothing.... which is a huge thing cause I am totally freaked out by needles, the anethetist (sp?) promised me it would be no more painful than a IV being put in & she was right.....

    I only felt the movement but no pain when Alexa was born..... & finally 6 hours later i could feel my toes LOL.....

    I will opt for a spinal again if I decide on a scheduled c-sect for # 2 if i chicken out for a VBAC!!!!!

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