The baby coming out is normally the most painful part of the birthing process. Will you feel the baby coming out if you have an epidural? Let’s find out!
Before we get started, I would encourage you to ALWAYS find out where your information is coming from. Hi, I’m Hilary — I’ve been an L&D nurse since 2001. Tens of thousands of pregnant moms trust me to help them get ready for their birth.
How much pain does the epidural take away?
Before we start, let’s talk about what is EXPECTED from the epidural.
When anesthesiologists place the epidural, they plan for it to only take away 80% of the contraction pain. That way you’re still able to:
- Help us help you move
- Get some feedback on your labor profession.
What does it feel like when the baby comes out?
Most people call it the “ring of fire”.
What is the ring of fire?
Obviously, you’re not on fire, but there is a lot of burning as the tissues around your vagina stretch.
Where is your perineum?
It is the area between your vagina and your rectum.
That area often tears (or can be cut — that’s call an episiotomy) as the baby comes out.
As it stretches or tears that can be painful.
However, it does not last long, and there is almost instant relief when the baby is out.
Do you feel the ring of fire with an epidural?
If you have a good epidural, you will not feel all the effects of the ring of fire — as the baby is coming out.
However, it can be intense pressure as those tissues stretch (which our brains sometimes communicate as pain). Be mindful that this is a VERY short period and it is important that we allow those tissues to stretch (vs an episiotomy – where your doctor cuts that area). Keep in mind that some women will tear no matter how patient you are.
Can You Feel the Baby Coming Out With the Epidural?
Most often, no.
You may FEEL it.
For instance, I put my hands on my belly with my last baby as I was pushing her out and I felt her body leave my body.
You may feel some discomfort and pressure in that area.
If you feel any burning doctors CAN numb you at delivery as well.
Do you feel the doctor cut you or tearing?
Most often no, but doctors can also numb you if necessary. However, feeling that is VERY rare when you have an epidural.
Hopefully that answered about what you would feel during delivery with an epidural. I’d love it if you’d allow me to teach you ALL about your delivery in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. Studies show couples have a lower amount of birth anxiety when they get prepared with a professional. I’d love to be that person.