You wanted to know how far along you need to be to get an epidural, or in other words, you need to be dilated to a certain point before you get the epidural. And this is a question that a lot of women have and basically, what it comes down to, is your circumstances. It really just depends on what’s going on with you – are you being induced, did you go into labor spontaneously? So I suggest talking with your doctor at your next prenatal appointment and, based on their knowledge of your circumstances, they’ll be able to give you tailored advice and information about what they typically recommend during labor. For example, the order to get an epidural is something that’s given by the doctor and they may say an epidural with progress, or an epidural as needed, and so again this is something they can discuss with you. Typically speaking, once a woman is going to be admitted to the hospital and she’s having regular contractions and her cervix is changing, then it’s a great time to get an epidural. Let’s say you’re being induced. If you’re being induced then we need to start your contractions and you usually don’t get an epidural before you have any pain at all. Usually it’s given once the woman is having regular contractions and hurting. I would say about as much as you would be if you were having a headache and wanting a Tylenol for it – that’s about the time when I would suggest to my patients that they start thinking about an epidural, if that’s been their plan all along because you don’t want to hurt really bad. But you should just wait until your body’s getting into labor mode before you get it. Good luck with everything and if you have more questions in the future for me, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at facebook.com/IntermountainMoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.

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