Dr. Reitzel explains if women are allowed to alter their birth plan and decide to have an epidural during labor.
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Deciding on Epidural During Labor Obviously, we are not into recreational torture of pregnant woman. So as a consequence, the people who typically have the best birth experiences are the ones who are educated, that know what their options are and have actually talked about it before the first labor pains actually occur. What I tell all my patients in my childbirthing classes is that, go with the flow. If you sit there and you say, “Well, I’d like to see how far I could go during natural childbirth. If that doesn’t work maybe I’ll try little IV pain medicine to see how that works.” Or, “Maybe I will just go ahead and opt for the epidural. At any time, I mean this is your body. You are in charge. You tell me what to do. I am here to facilitate a good experience for you. I am not going to sit here and say, “You said no, you can’t do that”, okay? Patients who come in very rigid, not willing to change because I don’t want to have a c-section - well of course no one wants to really have a c-section but if all of a sudden the baby is in distress you’ve got to have a c-section. That’s part of labor. That’s part of being a parent. You have to go with the flow. Anesthesia is no different, okay? “Jees, I really thought that I wanted to go natural childbirth. This really hurts. I slammed my hand in the car door and I am missing a finger now. I think I’d like to change my plan.” We are here. We facilitate that. We are available 24/7/365. We have two anesthesia care providers to facilitate that. We actually have an epidural on-demand service, meaning if you want your epidural we try to guarantee within 15 minutes that you actually get it.