Should you get an epidural if you have back problems?

I’m 29 weeks today, and only have 11 to go (yay!!). I’m a first time mom, and only just turned 23. Fiance is also a first time dad. So we’re as new can be. I don’t have long to go, I feel time will starting by quickly the closer I get to my due date. My thing is, I have had back problems for a while (probably since I was around 13) and I’m unsure if I want to do an epidural or not. My mom had one with me and she said it didn’t work. My best friend had one and she said it did. Half he women I ask says they’ve I’d residual back pain and he rest nothing. Is it worth is to get an epidural? I’d like to think I have a high pain tolerance. By then again I’ve never had a small person shoved from my vagina. I’m just nervous and hesitant on it. Any help

-Nervous First Time Mama


Both of my pregnancies i had epidurals and they worked great with no residual pain


You will probably want it. I had one and it only worked on my front side, which SUCKED, but I’d rather have the back pain than all the pain lol. Everyone is different, if you decide you want one then do it, if you find you can tolerate the contractions then that’s great too!

I never had any complications from my epidurals. Do what you feel is the best option for you.

Same here I’ve had 2 epidurals and had no pain after. They worked very well

I had an epidural with my first son. I have elhers danlos and back issues. The epidural worked but after my back was in more pain and the epidural only worked for a period of time then I wouldn’t go numb when they had to do the csection they needed to put mw to sleep because I stopped responding to the numbing medication and i felt them cut me. I am 29 weeks preganant with my second and plan on doing a vbac I saw a specialist and anithesiologist so I’m trying the spinal this time if I so chose not the epidural

I had a window blockage never worked. I could still get up and move around and felt all the pain. With my twins we did a spinal block instead which was easier in case I had to have a csection which thank god I didnt and thank God I didnt have to feel two be born lol.

I had my first all natural, there wasn’t time for the epidural. My second I got the epidural and yes, it helped tremendously. However, I’ve had back and neck problems ever since. Recently the pain is right where the needle went in. Personally I would try to go natural but leave the possibility for epidural.


I have struggled with back pain since i was young to and opted to not do the epidural. I used i.v. meds to take the sting off for a bit.

My epidural didn’t work, of course I think my doctor gave it to me too late so it didn’t have much effect on me.

If your having back problems now your more than likely to have back labor in that case the epidural is useless.

I’ve had 7 kids and no pain medication but everyone is different :tipping_hand_woman:

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Everyone is different. With my daughter I had the epidural but I still had a lot of pain down my left leg with every contraction, (I was in active pushing labor for almost 3 hours and felt it the whole time). With my son, I had to be induced as my water partially broke. I started to feel pain before it was time to push so they gave me a second round of pain killers and when it came time to push I felt absolutely nothing. There is no telling how your body will react or how you will handle the pain. Best I can suggest is go with your gut, don’t let anyone tell you to do or not to do something, they are not the one having the baby. Best of luck!

My epidural was a life savor I felt absolutely nothing!

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I wish I had never gotten the epidural! The first few days after, I had stabbing, radiating pain in my back. It felt like an extremely painful pulse in my lower back. My daughter is 4 months old and my back is still in pain 98% of the time.

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I went natural with my daughter, had the epidural with my son while it worked and I felt nothing the remainder of my labor he’s 10 and I do have residual back issues especially when it gets cold

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I don’t think I would have made it vaginally without one. Granted by the time i got it I was at a 10. However when I delivered I did feel it all and had to be renumbed part way through my stitches

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Epidural helped a little, took the edge off, but i had back labor and still felt alot of it… But still a little numbing is better then none i feel. Ive had no back pain or issues from getting it though and I’ll probably get another one with my next due here in 6 weeks.

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I have bad back and neck problems, scoliosis, arthritis and pinched nevers… I have 5 kids, 3 epidurals 2 natural. The 3rd epidural messed my back up more. Depends on your back issues, but I’d gladly take the pain of labor and delivery again vs the possibility of an epidural worsening my back again. And if you are having a vaginal birth, the pain goes away after delivery.


I LOVED my epidural!! I had horrible contractions and I couldnt feel anything once I got it. It was amazing. I didn’t have any residual pain/headaches.
However, I do know this isn’t the case for everyone

Absolutely loved my epidural!!!

Out of four baby’s I only had one epidural ,I do have back pain where they put it . But everyone not same.

I have had 3 with no issues.

I had opted to have one. It didn’t work. The nurse said it was because I progressed too fast for the meds to catch up. So it was completely pointless for me. I haven’t had any pain or discomfort since either. I am 8wks pp now.

I had an epidural but it wore off by the time it was time to push. I tore pretty bad and I felt it. It hurt but you forget about once you see your baby for the first time. I had back pain for awhile after, it eventually went away. I think I have a pretty high tolerance of pain

Amanda Friend ditto!

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I had 2 c sections and had to have epidural with both. First one no problems what so ever no back pain nothing. Second one I felt and heard a loud pop when they put it on and how I have degenerative disc disease and arthritis in my spine where they put the needle. It really depends on the person doing it

I had one but my the time I pushed I could feel everything. But it still gave me 45min to rest before I started pushing. It was an amazing 45 min for sure. After my back was a little sore but nothing a few ibuprofen and a heating bad wouldn’t fix for a few days.

I have had back problems including back surgery since my 20s I’m 37 now. My first two were all natural but my third I had an epidural and if I knew how great they were I would have done it with the first two. I didn’t have any issues with the epidural during or after labor, I advise anyone who is having a vaginal birth to get one.

I can’t handle a paper cut and opted not to have an epidural almost 3 times now due to my
Moms still ongoing back pain from hers 28 years ago with me. Labour is a lot less time then a lifetime of possible back ache

I didn’t want an epidural with my son for the longest time but I ended up getting one at 9 cms dilated because I couldn’t handle the back pain anymore I was throwing up and everything from the pain… (I had all back labour because he was facing head down but the wrong way ! So the hard part of his skull was pushing on my spine) he ended up getting stuck and we had a forceps delivery so I was very glad I had an epidural, They started it high to give me quick relief but after awhile of pushing I couldn’t feel my contractions anymore so I asked for it to be lightened up, & they had no problem doing it :slightly_smiling_face: my doctor knew I didn’t want one and was very confident with my decision and didn’t push me for it but asked me at 9 cms to double check and I wanted one than ! Use your gut :slightly_smiling_face: you’ll know what you can handle ! I also have a crazy high pain tolerance

I never had an epidural with my little girl (first child) I had gas and air, but it spun me out… Towards the end my midwife felt like a needed pethidine (muscle relaxant) and I completely lost control of anything I was doing, I couldn’t ‘feel’ when I was meant to push and when not to, my heart rate and my babies heart rate dropped considerably and they had to intervene. But as everyone has said, it’s your own personal preference, on what you think you can handle. You can always go in for a natural and if you change your mind/need help handling the pain then you can proceed with that, if your not to far dilated. Everything else will come naturally, don’t panic. Good luck mama xx

Go for the epidural! I did and it was the best decision I ever made. I have lots of back issues too. Also don’t let your doctor let you tear! Get him to snip you if need be. You’ll have stitches but you’ll be fine :slightly_smiling_face: good luck!

Pebbles Pollard I had all back labour and the epidural worked wonders for me :slightly_smiling_face: and I pushed for 3 hours before We gave up … & the doctor helped me

Jacqueline Hines it didn’t do a thing for me i felt EVERYTHING!

Epidural worked great for me. I felt nothing from the waist down. You do feel some pain in the injection site for awhile, but the pain went away for me. I had two c sections.

Had an epidural with my first son with no problems, had an epidural with my second son and they messed it up to where I had migraines for 3 months til I went back in for a blood patch. When I had my daughter I didnt get an epidural and after experiencing her birth, I wish I was able to go back and never have gotten the epidurals with my boys. Good luck!

Shaylah Ross thank you! I’ve got six herniated discs from an auto accident a year ago. We’re planning for vaginal birth at home w a midwife :pray:t4:

One thing i can say after having 4 is you will not know for sure what you want or can tolerate until it happens. Know your absolute things you dont want and the things you are willing to do. I had an epidural with my first amd had residual back pain. Did not have anything pain with other 3. Good luck.

I loved having my epidural! I’ve had it for 2 of my 4 births. I didn’t feel a thing and he doesn’t bother me at all and my youngest is 1 1/2.

I just think it’s a different experience for everyone some people have the easiest labor with or without and then others are traumatized after I would just go with what your going off of me myself I had a really good experience my water broke at 2am and I went to the hospital and my contractions didnt start hurting me until like 5cm and then I got the epidural it made my body feel relaxed you can move your legs are just heavy but if you dont get it you have the option to move around walk and change into comfortable positions pushed for exactly a half hour some people go hours so like I said everyone has all different experiences! Hope this helped you think a little! :heartpulse:

I had an epidural with my daughter and haven’t had any issues. And it was amazing :heart::+1::raised_hands:

Maybe have a talk with your OB about your concerns and maybe they can steer you in a direction that works for you. I know one of the methods of pain management that my hospital offered was laughing gas so maybe that would be a viable option for you?

Not worth it at all. Pain can be transcended. Pain is subjective.

Loved my epi! I don’t have back pain. But i didn’t have back pain growing up either. I have a collision who had one and it only worked on one side of her body. Heard she was an unhappy camper. Im a wuss, and could not imagine without one

I had one and I can honestly say I would not have made it through labor without it. I probably would have ended up with a c section.

I had one and while it didn’t cause any lasting back problems, I had the absolute WORST headaches of my life for the next week or so after my son was born.

I’ve had back issues for a long time and I thought I had a high pain tolerance (I got induced and wasn’t dialating and contractions we’re back to back to back) I got the epidural and it worked for me and hasn’t affected my back any, it’s the same as it was before so id personally get it if needed

I’ve had 2. I have scoliosis (with a spinal fusion) my 1st one didn’t work and they had to put something stronger in it. With my 2nd they knew that going in so they gave me whatever i had that worked the 1st time and i felt nothing. I had an acky feeling for about a month after my 2nd daughter. My 3rd daughter was no epidural (didn’t have time. Went from 4cm to 10cm within an hour after getting to the hospital)
Natural is definitely painful but I’m glad I got to experience it.

You can always try to go natural then If you cant handle it get an epidural. With my last daughter I went 18 hours with no epidural then needed it.

I had back pains during my pregnancy and had your fears so I didn’t get one but unfortunately my labour was in my back and has permanently damaged my cocsix and I’m now prone to sciatica xx

Epidural worked for two out of 3 for me the second time it almost killed me but they was rushing it and it was to much

First, the last 8 weeks DRAG by lol. Don’t think it’ll go by fast :rofl: you’ll be uncomfortable and miserable. I had an epidural. Didn’t feel an ounce of contractions but did feel pain and “the ring of Fire” while pushing and birthing her. No back pain and she’s about to be 3 in June.

Ive had 3 children. First kid i took staidol to take the edge off. 2nd kid took nubaine to take the edge off (mind this i was in brack and hicks labor for 28 days before i delivered). 3rd child same as the first bracks and hicks labor for almost the same amount of time. With my last labor the pain was so intense i begged for the epidural. Not my best choice. My daughter is almost 9months old and i can still feel where the epidural was put in. Plus i had a severe allergic reaction to the meds causing hemorrhaging. I know not everyone is the same but ive had other moms tell me they still feel where theirs was placed even years after they had one. Plus with back problems you might want to talk to your doctor to see if you are even able to have one.

4 kids 4 epidurals…great experience each time…no residual side effects…

Alexandra Valentino you’re welcome! Sorry about your accident… Yes, natural is the best way to go in my experience. Congratulations on your little one!

I had one and I’ve had back problems like you since a young age and I’m 27 now and I still have back problems but not because of the epidural it worked great for me. It’s different for everyone it’s really up to you what you think is best for your body and for the baby. I was against it completely until I was in labour and got it last minute.

My first i had the epidural and it was too strong my sons heart rate was dropping and i couldnt feel to push him out, almost had a c section then they used suction to get him out and he came out blue and needed resuscitated. My second i had a water birth with no epidural yes it hurt but if i had another I would go without the epidural again.

Honest to god I didn’t even feel mine I knoticed when it went in but with the contractions it didn’t even hurt

I had one w/ all 3 of my kids. No issues.

2 babies and 2 epidurals no issues or long term side effects… both labors were easy and painless in fact after the epidural I could have fell asleep for a nap. If I choose to have another I’ve considered going natural but because both were such nice births I’m not sold on the idea yet.

If you’d like to PM me I can share my experience with you. I have back problems and decided to get an epi with my first son a year ago.

I was 23 when I had my first kid. I had an epidural. It worked beautifully for me, but it doesn’t work for everyone. I think it depends on how experienced the person is. I also got a 4th degree tear, so having the epidural was very helpful in my case. Recovering from the tear was painful, but not bad overall. I do plan another epidural with my second child that is currently on the way and due in August.

I had two epidurals. The first one did so great, was up walking around almost right after. second birth I felt everything towards the end and couldn’t walk for almost 12 hours after birth

I have had 3 kids, my last was a epidural and c-section. I have had tremendous back pain after it. It has been almost 5 years since and hasn’t gotten any better. If you have high pain tolerance try to make it through. Its over in no time, not worth the pain for the rest of your life. Good luck

Do you mean Braxton Hicks?

If you need an epidural, take it, it’s all well and good saying not to until you’re in labour and in pain, I swore I wasn’t getting one, no needle in my spine, and by 5cm I was in agony, I laboured for 29 hours and had emergency section.
I ended up with 3 epidurals and getting put to sleep anyways, but I’d never advise someone to hold off on pain relief

Ashley Barnes yeah super brain fart moment today. Well every day. Its the glorious price i pay having 2 under 3 years old

I’ve had epidurals with all 3 and the 2nd time it only took to my right half bc it wasn’t properly placed but i don’t have any issues since.

Kelly Ann Lefler that’s how mine was with dev I felt everything he told me dev was to low and it wasn’t going to help anymore then I couldn’t feel anything forever after having him :roll_eyes:

I had one with my baby, I didn’t feel any pain during birth at all and had almost no tearing. I’ll have one with my next baby, too. Why suffer if you don’t have to? It doesn’t change the relationship you will have with your baby and you don’t get extra points as a mom for enduring more pain. Get one if you want!

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You’re going to want some pain relief lol. I read an article lately that some hospitals are now offering small doses of laughing gas for relief instead of the traditional epidural.
Speak to your OB to see if that would be an option–or if there are any other options for you!
Good luck!:kissing_heart:

I’ve had a bad back for years, 29 now, I was worried with my bubs that It would be horrible, but i laboured normally and not in my back, and had no pain relief, I deff reccomend having a water birth tho, that warm water was so nice!

Yes it is so worth getting an epidural you can have that baby and not have to go through all that pain it only takes a minute to give you stick. However if you have a really high pain tolerance you should be good to go

If I could advise any woman one thing it would be no spinal block or epidural I had to have a spinal due to a section and I swear the back pain I get now that I’ve never had is shocking I had my first wee girl with no pain relief at all and I got to 9cms with my wee boy b4 and emergency section so had to have a spinal xx

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I had a spinal due to csection and my back is in pain. It is what it is but everyone is different.

Definitely get an epidural

Speaking on my husband’s account; I had one with my only child last year at the age of 22. I’ve had no issues at all, I’m glad I got it because I had 3’rd degree tears. I don’t want to imagine that pain without the epidural. I just took a long nap afterwards. I only felt a pinch when they inserted it.

I’ve had it twice worked once and didn’t other time which I have a high pain tolerance and definitely could feel everything but wasn’t bad and I feel like my back feels weird still where I had the epidural 6 yrs ago

I’ve had a lot of back problems and I was nervous about the same thing but I’m glad I chose to last minute get the epidural and I’ve had no after effects from it!

I had a home birth, no epidural when I gave birth at 23. My daughter was sunny-side up, so it was a bit tougher than it would have been otherwise, but totally manageable. It’s all about your mindset. I definitely have a high pain tolerance though. I was more scared of the epidural needle and possible complications than I was of any pain! If I had to birth again I’d go natural 1000%!

Mine didn’t work at all. 5 minutes before pushing they gave me a heavy spinal injection like they do for c sections and that also didn’t work. I was up and walking about 30 minutes after

Go in with an open mind. And let you partner know your plans cos when you are in the middle of it, it honestly doesn’t matter as long as you both are happy and bubs and you are both happy and well. You can do this. Good luck with your choice

My first I had a hospital birth and got an epidural. It was an awful experience. My legs were heavy and I couldn’t really move but I could feel all the pain. Because of the epidural my contractions stopped and I needed to be given pitocin, they performed an episiotomy because I was having issues pushing and my daughter was born with low blood sugar. The recovery was also pretty brutal. I was in a lot of pain for a good three months. With my second I had a natural home birth. Labour was faster, the birth was faster, the pain was more intense but more manageable since I could move around, and the recovery was much quicker. If I have more kids I will definitely want another natural home birth!

I’ve never had problems with mine

I have spin issues due to having my first one they messed it up went straight thr my spin and hit nerves and ever since I have horrible pain and nerve issues my 2 after I had to have spinal taps for c sections and they didn’t mess them up like my 1st 5 years now and still have issues from it

I planned to get an epidural but everything progressed extremely fast for me (also my 1st baby) so I didn’t get it and went au natural!
Although I wanted the epidural, I’m extremely pleased with how well my labour and delivery was. Really- it wasn’t that bad! Promise! You never know how your birth story will go- anything can happen! Good luck :heart::heart::heart:

I’ve had the spinal epidural combos with all of my c-sections and have had no lasting effects
My one vaginal was all natural, she came too fast, head was out before they could even put a hospital band on my wrist

Niree Mag Fhionnghaile I agree I had to have c sections with all 3 of my children and my 1st almost 7 years ago really messed my back up I hoped and prayed and begged doctor to not do spinal with my 2nd but they couldn’t they said my last 2 didn’t hurt me near as bad as my 1st everyone says I’m crazy and faking about my back pain now

Jamie Baize my sister is the same it has completely wrecked my back now only I had to have it done I would never of had one no matter what … I’d take the pain of labour over a life time of back pain now xx

I’m on my 3rd and didn’t get the epideral with my 1st (quick & fast ; 4 hours) & didn’t get it with my 2nd (harder, longer & fee complications; 9 1/2 hours). I label myself as having a high pain tolerance and I don’t plan on getting the epideral with this one either.

I feel you should go as long as you can and try not to focus so much on how the pain will be. I believe staying positive and focusing on your body and self is key. Also, concentrating and tuning everyone else out. It helped me alot and I believe that’s what got me through.

Veronica Qubrossi same as you at home sunny side up. It hurt but I would do home and natural again

I had back pain since a fall when I was 16 and my epidural was fine. If your epidural isnt working ask for a different anesthesiologist

Props to those who can do it without meds, but I’m thankful I got one

Honestly, if I could redo my 1st child’s birth, I would pass on the epidural. He’s almost 5 & I still have aches in my back where it was at. I went without one with my 2nd & it was totally worth it.

I went as long as I could without one. I was 9cm and he got stuck there for 2 hours. I needed rest. Funny how I was in such excruciating back labor pain and I was still scared of the epidural. I got it and it worked and I was fine and I am still fine. No side effects almost 5 months later.
It’s a personal choice.
I chose to try to go as long as possible without one and the hospital respected my wishes. And the nurses kept telling me after I got it to be proud of how far I made it. They asked me how I felt after it kicked in and I blurted out “like a million bucks!”. I guess 7 hours of back labor will do that to ya lol. Still took another 7 hours for him to make it into the world tho lol
I do believe that epidurals slow down labor.

I had one and it was weird when the needle went in, but it’s over quickly, I never had issues with that or the spinal block. You will be fine mama

I hv too…spinal tap… worked great… But the pain only stays gone so long…it does return …my baby was about 3/4months when it came back…but I has a c-section… God bless you… congratulations too

Order Ina May’s guide to childbirth on Amazon. It’s totally worth it. Your whole prospective will change! If you can’t order it at least watch a few if her videos on YouTube.