Epidurals have made childbirth less excruciating for millions of women around the world since they became common during the ‘80s and ‘90s. But what they are and how they work exactly is apparently still a bit of a mystery to many, if a recent viral video is any proof.
TikTok user Abigail Porter, who posts regular content about the pluses of not having kids as z00mie, shared a very short and to-the-point video about how epidurals aren’t a one-time injection like many think they are. Instead, they’re a small catheter tube that is placed into the spine via needle that continuously administers painkillers to you throughout your labor, numbing the lower half of your body.
The video is simply Porter staring into the camera, shocked, with the caption, “Finding out the epidural isn’t a shot, it’s a tube that stays in your back for your entire labour.”
In the background, a popular TikTok sound bite plays: One person saying “Shut up, no it’s not!” and another person responding, “Yes it is!”
The caption reads, “I have no words.”
The video has been viewed almost 18 million times, and over 40,000 people have responded. Many are voicing their complete surprise that an epidural is a tube that stays in your spine for hours and hours. Others are sharing their personal epidural stories, which range from heartwarming to horrific.
“God they really don’t tell us anything on purpose.” one commenter lamented.
“Like a gigantic IV between your vertebrae,” another woman shared.
“when ur in pain its not that bad. but when i was watching my friend get it i almost passed out,” another commented.
“AS SOON I HAVE MONEY MY UTERUS IS GETTING YEETED I SWEAR,” another said, apparently very newly aware to the details of childbirth.
Porter posted a second video about epidurals a few days later as part of her ongoing Free Birth Control series, which highlights some of the lowlights of having and raising children taken from the comments on the first video.
“Mine slipped out midlabor and literally shocked my body with pain,” one shared. “My back has never been the same. So many issues now.”
“I had one and a nurse who wasn’t aware that I had it tripped on the wire and made the epidural snap in my back,” another said.
“I couldn’t feel the urge to pee for almost six months after giving birth, it was a real guessing game,” said another.
“My mom still has a hole in her back from my brother 12 years ago.”
“I heard a crunch in my back when it went in,” read another.
Porter’s TikTok claims to be a cure for “baby fever” and it’s easy to see why. But whether or not you endorse reproduction or not, it’s good to stay educated about what goes into parenthood.