Please tell me about induction by drip without an epidural

(36 Posts)

When DD was born I was induced with syntocinon and had an epidural. For many reasons I absolutely do not want an epidural this time round but I am scared of ending up on the drip again (hopefully it won't happen but you never know).

Is the drip without an epidural at all doable?

startwig1982 Mon 28-Jul-14 18:20:50

I had the drip to speed up contractions and managed on just gas and air. I have nothing to compare it to, so I don't know if the drip made it more painful or not. I certainly found the pain manageable until the last bit.

Ok, that's encouraging. So many people have said to me 'oh God, the drip without an epidural is hell' that I think I have a real mental block about it. I was fine with the contractions pre-drip last time but got an epidural because I assumed I wouldn't be able to cope without one once the drip went in.

pearlgirl Mon 28-Jul-14 18:33:05

I have had the drip each time I have been induced - the first time like you I had an epidural but after about three hours of the drip being in , the second time the epidural went in before the drip but in my fourth labour (3rd induction) I didn't have one - I used gas and air and although it was painful at times it was manageable and I was able to be as mobile as is possible with a drip and I've antibiotics.

Pastperfect Mon 28-Jul-14 18:35:02

A drip to start labour was in my experience hideous, however a drip to speed up contractions is very different and much more manageable.

Good luck smile

I had the drip from the off with dd, as we were both so ill, I think that's what made it worse, there was no build up. She was back to back and I was scared and exhausted (up all night previously being sick through PE). They used forceps in the end after only letting me push for 30 mins. It was pretty rubbish tbh but I survived smile

Anyway my second induction, at 35 weeks, pessary only 2.5 hour labour or something like that (established anyway) just gas and air pretty good experience, well as much as it can be with a very poorly baby!

I think second time round is just better because it's not all unknown and scary.

With Ds1 I had the drip to speed up contractions which was manageable up to the point they broke my waters. I went from "that one was a bit uncomfortable" to passing out from the pain, instantly. Came round when I got diamorphine. Epidural followed swiftly after. I heard later that the two things are not a good combination so maybe discuss pain relief first if they say they want to do that...

I had the drip to kick-start labour as I'd had pro-pess, prostin tablets etc with little to no success. 37 weeks so warned it might not work, would take longer etc.

They put me on the drip shortly after breaking my waters, which was fine - just had paracetamol for that. They were doubling the dose every fifteen minutes and I kept waiting for it to really hurt, but it didn't any more than I was expecting from labour. Gas and air was great to get me through the contractions. I went from 2cm to 10cm in a couple of hours and she was out in 3 pushes.

It was a great experience and didn't restrict me, I was wandering around a few minutes before I started pushing grin my experience was really positive of a drip induction without epidural.

These are really interesting and mostly very encouraging!

spiffy do you mean drip+breaking waters isn't a good combination or drip+epidural or drip+diamorphine?

TarkaTheOtter Mon 28-Jul-14 19:53:54

I had a drip induction both times. Second time I asked for my epidural too late and passed out from the pain. They had to call the crash team but once I came round I was 10cm and ready to push so it wasn't too bad. I preferred my first labour with the light-touch epidural though as I was more relaxed and less scared in addition to not having the pain.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 28-Jul-14 19:54:57

Both times I was stuck on the bed though so that might have made a difference.

weegiemum Mon 28-Jul-14 19:58:04

In labour#1 I'd augmentation by drip, no epidural, lots of G&A and diamorph - was sore but ok, born by ventouse in the end.

Labour #3 I was induced by pessary, dd2 born in 12 hours vaginally, no interventions!

firesidechat Mon 28-Jul-14 20:01:50

With my first I had a drip and an epidural. The epidural was because I had high blood pressure in labour and the epidural lowers blood pressure. The drip was turned up very high and I couldn't feel a thing. In retrospect the lack of sensation was a negative.

With my second I also had a drip, but it only needed a tiny number of drips per minute to establish labour and didn't need an epidural; just gas and air. I felt much more in control and I much preferred this labour to the previous one. I felt on a massive high afterwards.

You may well find that a second labour will be much more straightforward than the first and a drip without an epidural is definitely doable.

Oh and I had my waters broken and then the drip with both of them.

I am rather freaked out by the number of people who actually fainted from the pain.

I really hope this is all an unnecessary worry and I don't need it at all! Currently my birth plan says I refuse to consent to the drip and would like to just have a c-sec if it gets to that but I'm aware that having surgery like that when not strictly necessary could be totally bonkers. I am just very very scared of the drip+epidural combination.

Breaking waters while already hooked up to a drip is a combination that can produce very intense, very close together contractions. It certainly did for me!

But you never know what you will get with subsequent births so don't worry too much. Ds1 was 3 and a half days of labour, drip, arm, all the lovely drugs, a ventouse and a pph. Dd was an unplanned hb with no pain relief in sight. (and utterly amazing, I had an adrenaline rush that lasted for weeks --once I got over the shock--) eating dinner to holding a baby in 20 mins.

ds2 was 2 1/2 hours with a tens and a bit of gas and air, waters breaking as he was delivered. (I will confess to hiding the crochet hook of doom from the hb pack though, because I was so worried about them breaking my waters again.)

Antoinette, don't panic the drip would have been fine, and drip + breaking waters would have been fine if the pain relief had been in place before it was done. I did have an extreme reaction though. I had the supervisor of midwives at birth #3 and she said that it would be handled differently at my hospital.

And the epidural was fab. I just would have been in a far better place if it had been done before my waters had been broken so that the pain relief could have been delivered promptly. Having said that the morphine was amazing but did leave me quite groggy.

I had two more children in the space of 4 years, it can't have been that bad grin

My third was induced but I only had gas and air and bit of morphine which was fine :-)

The Labour was intense by the end but as I found with previous Labour's just as I was saying "I can't do this!!" And swearing etc. That is when Dd 2 slithered out calmly without any crying and as before it was the stitching up that was the worst part (local anthes helps). So it is doable without an epi

I had a homebirth for no 2 with only g&a and that was hard but I hated my first hospital birth experience. so I suppose I knew what I was letting myself in for with no 3 - realistic expectations about the level of pain involved is helpful. I knew I could do it. The midwives at the h poo spiral were great as well

H poo spiral confused blush hospital!!

Thanks for all the reassurance-I am beginning to think I am overreacting to the whole idea because of my experience last time. I would rather eat my own arm than have an epidural and in my head the two go together but perhaps that doesn't have to be the case!

306235388 Mon 28-Jul-14 22:58:52

First time with Ds -was painful but manageable and contractions never became one on top of other.

With dd much more painful but she was back to back and IMO that was the problem.

306235388 Mon 28-Jul-14 23:02:06

Incidentally I was induced with the drip both times at 42 weeks and had my waters broken when on it. Also only in labour for 6 hours each time.

BreakingBuddhist Mon 28-Jul-14 23:14:02

Op I'm glad you've had some reassuring answers.

My first I had 8 hours on the drip. No.pain relief. It was entirely manageable. No.gas and air. Nothing.

Not a boast. Just, when directly asked, I will give an honest answer. I hope you will.remember the words.of reassurance about it. you can do it. You can do it. Each contraction will bring your baby closer to you. Try to put fear aside. You can do it.

LucyBabs Mon 28-Jul-14 23:17:09

Why was the epi so bad for you op?

First labour I had epi at 2cm and had ventouse delivery.

2nd labour waters broke Wednesday morning at 40 week check up. I was admitted to pre labour ward and had very manageable contractions I remember thinking ha this is so much easier than first time round!
Ds heart beat started to dip so they decided to speed things up with the drip.

For me personally it was agony I cried and cried for an epi. It was too intense too soon and i was only 5 cms. I couldn't imagine coping to 10!

Had the epi, instant relief and couldn't believe it 15 mins later i was 10 cm.

For me if I was to ever go again I would always opt for the epi. Gas and air just makes me sleepy.

Best of luck Anto grin

MrsBungle Mon 28-Jul-14 23:19:20

My first labour was augmented with the drip after 40 ish hours. Crap birth but I don't put that down to the drip.

Second labour, I was induced with the drip. 1 hour 54 mins later, ds was born. I uses gas and air and it was lovely and easy.

MrsBungle Mon 28-Jul-14 23:21:05

And I much much much preferred the speedy under 2 hours birth to the long drawn out knackering 52 hour birth!

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