birth without gas & air - what are the options?

(51 Posts)
magnificatAnimaMea Sat 14-May-16 05:07:32

Nitrous oxide (gas & air) makes me vomit uncontrollably, even in tiny doses. So it's about the only thing in my birth plan - i.e. please don't administer it AT ALL.

What options does that leave me? No drug-based pain relief at all; epidural; full anaesthesia? Anything else? I'm not particularly keen on any of the options and wonder if they could just find some other method of delivery - Ocado perhaps...

Charleymouse Sat 14-May-16 05:20:35

Paracetamol, a TENS machine, I used a tea towel with number three. Every contraction I twisted a tea towel between my hands until the contraction had passed then released it.
SOS was my key phrase told to me by someone it worked for. Sigh Out Slowly. Breath out deep long breaths.
I was also at home so felt quite comfortable and relaxed so feel that helped me keep any pain under control.
Talk it through with your midwife. Mine raved about heat, hot towels and back massage and the power of water. I didn't use them so cant comment. I know a lot of people use yoga and visualisation techniques.
You can still have pethidine, do you know how that makes you feel. An epidural, mobile if you can get it so you can keep moving and let gravity help you.
I had no gas and air in three deliveries and got through. You can do it. PS I am proper mardy.
Good luck.

summerwinterton Sat 14-May-16 05:21:08

I used a tens machine only as gas and air makes me ill too.

magnificatAnimaMea Sat 14-May-16 05:28:15

Thanks. Will talk through the other options with the midwife. No idea about pethidine...

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sat 14-May-16 05:28:19

Hypnobirthing really helped me, gas and air did nothing for me.

lozengeoflove Sat 14-May-16 05:30:58

OP I read bits of 'Birthing Skills' by Juju Sundin. Really helped me cope with contractions and I only ended up having gas and air for about 10 mins just before the pushing stage.

She advocates a lot of active birth stuff - not thinking of contactions as pain but a positive force which brings you a step closer to meeting your baby. I did a lot of bouncing on an exercise ball, stamping my feet, sounding out etc. Sounds a bit naff but it really worked. My body coped with this second labour much better.

Also, baby was out in three pushes, which helped grin I'd recommend you read the book too. I got it in later stages of my pregnancy so didn't have too much time to focus on it. Just read bits about coping in labour.

Good luck with everything flowers

Ohwhatbliss Sat 14-May-16 05:35:26

I also react badly to gas and air and was adamant I wouldn't use it. I second the recommendation for hypnobirthing, I downloaded podcasts and listened to them from about week 30. I'm convinced it played a huge part in my entirely manageable and drug free labour (and yes I know how lucky I was)

Ohwhatbliss Sat 14-May-16 05:37:00

Just to add pethidine isn't used in the country I'm in so my options were essentially gas and air or an epidural

Allaboutthatbass Sat 14-May-16 05:40:24

Another vote for hypnobirthing. Genuinely awesome for helping you cope

Onsera3 Sat 14-May-16 05:45:35

I didn't want gas and air as when pregnant I saw my sister try it and she threw up. I'd rather be in pain than nauseous.

I used the pool with first labour and was great. Also hypnobirthing and yogic breath for birth.

Second time I used the yogic breath only as I was better at it. I still did the hypnonirting prep with recordings during the pregnancy.

IMO it's impt to work on trying to make the labour quicker if you want to do it without pain relief. I belief that yoga and walking help. And then keeping upright and moving during the actual labour.

magnificatAnimaMea Sat 14-May-16 05:48:51

This isn't intended to come across as snotty, but does hypnobirthing work on people who aren't very attuned to these kinds of things? I had a psych try to do hypnosis on me many years ago - he used it a lot and supposedly had good success rates - and it did nothing. Likewise homeopathy. The only alternative medicine that's ever done anything perceptible was acupuncture reproducibly making me feel incredibly flu-ish and horrible...

magnificatAnimaMea Sat 14-May-16 05:54:38

I'd definitely be up for moving around as much as possible. Will look up birth yoga - i should probably take up yoga in pregnancy too (currently mixing being too sedentary with trying to do normal exercise while I still can)

The birth unit here does have big spa-pool type setups, though probably not enough for everyone in labour there at the same time.

Onsera3 Sat 14-May-16 06:09:00

I see what you mean but I didn't feel you needed to be 'hypnotised' to do it. You just get really relaxed first- which isn't hard when your pregnant and exhausted. So I think you have to find someone who works for you. If you find the voice or what they are saying annoying then you won't get into that relaxed receptive state. When you find a good one listening to the recordings becomes a lovely relaxing time.

You don't need to be 'put under' as such.

The yoga is really fantastic. Western life in particular means spending a lot of time sitting in ways which isn't great for the pelvis. I did classes first time around but second time I relied on my Tara Lee DVDs. She has sections for breath and positions for labour.

You can involve birth partner in the upright positions as it can be great to use them for support.

Luckystar1 Sat 14-May-16 06:35:13

I uses only a tens machine and breathing (and a water birth). I also read Juju Skills and would highly recommend it, excellent book.

Believe me, I'm the last person who ever thought I'd have a drug free labour and I actually said beforehand I'd really just like a c-section.

Being as relaxed and mobile as possible really helps I think. You can do it!!

Ps. I'm due again in 11 weeks and I'm completely shitting myself!

lozengeoflove Sat 14-May-16 06:47:55

Couldn't agree more with lucky. Keep active.

Good luck lucky flowers

Luckystar1 Sat 14-May-16 06:52:38

Thanks lozenge.

I think childbirth is the fear of the unknown (even when you've done it before!)

You will be quite astonished by your body can do, with no conscious input from you!

Lalalelele Sat 14-May-16 12:34:04

Tens machine!!! I used it through the whole thing! i remember them trying to persuade me to take it off at one stage and me refusing grin. I read somewhere that the tens is most effective if u start using it in early labour rather than waiting until active labour. I did that and found it was great. It depends on your birth though. Why not have a list of things to try (tens, water, etc) culminating with epidural if necessary?

BaskingTrout Sat 14-May-16 13:18:50

definitely recommend breathing techniques, I did a lazy daisy class too. good for practising the breathing and helpful birth positions, also JuJu Sundin as others have said.
find out what your hospital offers in terms of pethidine/diamorphine/meptid. i'm not totally sure what the differences between them are, as my hospital only offered diamorphine, which I personally hated. TENS is also useful and don't rule out paracetomol for early labour just to take the edge off and stop it feeling like its taking forever!

CountessOfStrathearn Sun 15-May-16 00:11:36

I never believed that a TENS machine would work but it was amazing and got me through labour really nicely.

Bouncing on a ball and focusing on counting the long deep breaths through a contraction really helped as well. I knew a contraction for the first stage would last around 10 long breaths and that No 7 was the worst (closer to delivery, it was probably around 14 and No 10), so I just needed to make it through to there and then it would get better.

WutheringTights Mon 16-May-16 17:11:28

Diamorphine is awesome. The might also offer co codemol. I didn't have it in labour but it was brilliant when I broke my knee, and that was pain far worse than childbirth in my experience.

Dixiechick17 Mon 16-May-16 21:08:08

I have had hypnotherapy twice to give up smoking, never worked (thankfully pregnancy did!) The hypnobirthing techniques however were brilliant and It got me through labour wihout pain relief.

museumum Mon 16-May-16 21:12:22

Hire a tens and learn breathing exercises via hynobirthing or we did them in pre birth yoga (but not all antenatal yoga will).
If you have complications you will want more than g&a anyway but for "normal" pain tens and breathing well and not panicking can go a long way. (I say this as someone who was all for giving up and dying at 2cm dilated then after a few words of breath coaching was happy to stay at home till 8cm!!)

Lules Mon 16-May-16 21:14:23

I am aware this is the least helpful comment ever - but you might be sick in labour whatever you do. I was worried about vomiting from pain relief but was throwing up loads before I'd even had any so thought I might as well not be in pain as well! It's quite common I think. They certainly had a nice stack of sick bowls by labour reception anyway.

CottonSock Mon 16-May-16 21:16:03

I had everything in the end. Pethidine I checked was given with anti sickness and I didn't puke. Not sure it was that effective though. Tens machine was good distraction. Epidural was fantastic

Freesia2013 Mon 16-May-16 21:24:53

I didn't get on with gas and air, just controlled breathing with tens machine for most part up to full dilation but baby was awkwardly turned so ended up with epidural as was taken to theatre for forceps delivery (and if that didn't work were going to do C section). I didn't do hypo birthing before but I was in the zone and it worked for me up to the point I needed more help. Good luck.

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