terrified, pain relief whilst pushing.

(43 Posts)
honeytea Wed 07-Nov-12 19:54:19

I was wondering what pain relief you have had whilst pushing, I went to an information evening at the maternity ward we have chosen and they said that whilst pushing they will let the epidural (if you have one) run out so you can feel the urges to push, also they won't let you use gas and air.

I'm in Sweden and water births are banned here.

In an ideal world id like to try for a water birth but that just is not an option, my plan was to try to labour for as long as possible with few drugs or just gas and air but realistically I probably would opt for an epidural, the fact that that is an option made me feel better and more confident. I just feel so worried about pushing with no pain relief, I feel like I can't do it, before this meeting I was feeling confident that I could give birth but now I feel scared and worried sad

Im not sure what is normal in UK hospitals?

lljkk Wed 07-Nov-12 20:00:29

Pushing isn't so painful, honestly. It's the contractions leading up to the pushing that hurt, because they are sort of warming up but not doing anything except squeezing you rather than squeezing a baby out. Contractions that actually push a baby out are relatively bearable (as is crowning).

So I can see the logic of letting epidural wear off so you can feel the pushes.

BUT, little secret here, the health care people won't get it all that right. It's notoriously difficult to time these things (like pain relief & speed of labour) accurately. So you'll probably still have some if not a lot of the residue of the epidural working as pain relief. It it works at all, that is (and some don't).

Please try not to be afraid. It's not the funnest day of your life but billions of women before you managed to get thru it, you will too.

AnaisB Wed 07-Nov-12 20:04:49

My experience of the pushing was that it wasn,t painful. With both births i tore a bit and didn't notice. The urge to push and the adrenalin kind of takes over.

Sariska Wed 07-Nov-12 20:07:10

I think it depends on the hospital. Most people I know who have had an epidural have been "coached" through the pushing because, as the previous poster said, letting it "run down" is a very inexact science.

I've experienced both of your scenarios. First birth started off drug-free in water and ended up with an augmentation of labour and an epidural. By the time I came to push, the epidural had started to run down but, tbh, I couldn't really feel when to push and had to be told. With the second birth I used a bit of gas and air when I arrived at the hospital but, as I was already fully dilated, there was no chance for anything else. And they took the gas and air away while I was pushing. Dunno why really because it was a short second stage.

I know it's easier said than done but try not to worry. You will be OK. And re the water birth bit, are you allowed to labour in water? Even if you then have to get onto dry land for the birth.

EverybodysSpookyEyed Wed 07-Nov-12 20:11:12

I didn't have pain relief with either birth and the pushing part is not that painful - it was almost a relief! Also, you are thinking quite a bit about what you are doing which takes your mind off the pain!! I can't imagine having gas and air that helpful or possible!

I really wouldn't worry - and as was said before - the pain relief wearing off isn't exact.

I've had both experiences with and without pain relief. Dd1 was just gas and air. The contractions built up to a point of absolute agony, however the pushing part wasn't as bad - nor was the crowning part. I didn't want the gas and air at the pushing stage.

Dd2 I had a (planned) epidural. I was scared of experiencing the intense contractions which I had with my 1st birth (they were almost constant for 3hours solid between 8 to 10cm dilation.) the epidural was given to me at 7cms. It was utter bliss! I just sat back and waited until the mw said it was time to push. I could feel the contractions but they were painless (like braxton hicks). I even had an urge to push. The mw can tell you when to push but I didn't need them to. It took 1hour of pushing- this sounds like a lot but dd1 took 2hours so significantly less. No pain- amazing!

Both birth experiences were good. I preferred the epidural though and wonder why I ever bothered going without it the 1st time!

PastaDee Wed 07-Nov-12 22:16:28

I had gas and air until I pushed. It was such a relief to start pushing. The pain was so much less than the contractions leading up to full dilation.

honeytea Thu 08-Nov-12 08:36:03

Thank you so much for the advice and for sharing your experiences.

They let you be in water whilst you dilate here but they say you should only stay in the water for 30 mins as it will slow down labour, I guess if I refuse to get out there isn't much they can do.

I feel like there is a lack of choice in Sweden, I do appreciate that it is a very safe place to give birth but I feel like they have taken away lots of choices from the mother to make it so safe.

BIWI Thu 08-Nov-12 08:38:31

By the time it comes to push, you will be so involved and so glad to give birth that you will be very focused on what's going on - you really won't feel it.

Good luck, and don't worry!

EMS23 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:41:26

If you feel confident on the day, you could spend early labour in your bath at home for as long as you want.
I laboured both mine in my own bath and got to 7cms DD1 and 4cm DD2.
And I agree with other posters that pushing was actually a relief and not as painful as the last hour before it.

squidkid Thu 08-Nov-12 08:45:06

Seconding what all the others are saying... I delivered my first baby with gas and air and TENS and the pushing I remember as essentially pain free after those final contractions! Bloody hard work, but not painful. Crowning was somewhat painful but over swiftly.

honeytea Thu 08-Nov-12 09:33:11

Staying at home and being in the bath sounds like a lovely idea, I love the bath, I think I might just get innow and spend the next 4 weeks in the bath!

PastaDee Thu 08-Nov-12 12:16:23

Have you got a tens machine honeytea. I loved mine. It was much more effective than gas and air and meant I didn't even want the bath or the pool as it would have meant taking it off!

Worth a go for you?

honeytea Thu 08-Nov-12 12:45:32

They have them at the hospital so I can try it out once we get there, alternatively I could rent one from the midwife, I will ask her about at my next appointment smile

aimingtobeaperfectionist Thu 08-Nov-12 12:52:31

I'd just add, if you get an epidural- sleep!! Catch up a much as possible (if you can) as you need all your strength to push. The contractions are the worst bit, the baby actually coming out was the easiest bit for me- I finally felt like something was happening and the pain would be over soon!

PixieHot Thu 08-Nov-12 12:53:29

Interesting thread - my midwife seemed to suggest that we wouldn't bother with any more gas and air at the pushing stage. I was shocked and appalled, and pretty much ready to yell until I got it back grin, but it was actually fine.

PastaDee Thu 08-Nov-12 16:18:27

I'd get one for at home honeytea. I think it works best if you put it on very early on in your labour, learn how it works and build up through the modes.

At least, that's what I did and it really did work very well for me.

Shagmundfreud Thu 08-Nov-12 16:23:43

There are very few nerves in most of your vagina, which is why you can't feel it when you've got a tampon in! I think that's why second stage isn't as painful as many people expect (except maybe crowning!)

Personally I found the pushing bit the least worst part of labour.

KatAndKit Thu 08-Nov-12 23:44:49

The bastards took the G&A off me sad I suspect the pethidine had not entirely worn off though!
seriously though, the contractions of the first stage were far far worse than pushing the baby out. Your body really does take over for that part and it is soon over and you know you are just minutes from meeting your baby. The crowning really stings but it lasts for such a short time compared with the first stage.

honeytea Fri 09-Nov-12 07:39:36

I was wondering if any of you had an episiotomy or tear with no pain relief and did you feel it?

I am looking forward to being minutes away from meeting my baby thats a lovely thought smile

lljkk Fri 09-Nov-12 08:16:30

It's hard to feel a small tear when crowning because crowning is pretty much a climax moment, anyway, iyswim.
I only had small tears, though. Might be different with a bad one.
There's just so much going on that episiotomy or tear is just a small part of it all, usually.
Friend said she never found out the gender in scans because it gave her something to puzzle about during the labour.

After the baby is out you still have to expel placenta which doesn't hurt, it's kind of like having a poo in sensation, bit of a stretch, but a relief because it's the last bit of "business" in giving birth.

You know after all this angst you'll probably end up with a C-section you totally understand & accept or a series of other unexpected events? Pregnancy-childbirth is such an unpredictable adventure!

KatAndKit Fri 09-Nov-12 08:29:55

I only had a little bit of tearing and I didn't feel it happen at all. I think if you have to have an episiotomy they use the local anasthetic (presumably the same stuff they use when they stitch you up, it's the same as what you get in the dentists)

CheungFun Fri 09-Nov-12 08:38:48

Don't be terrified please! Giving birth is just your body doing what it was designed to do, yes it is painful, but I think of it as a good pain as you're working towards seeing your baby and having that first cuddle!

I arrived at hospital 9cms dilated and I had a water birth and just got straight into the pool and DS was born 2 hours later (total time from waking up in the morning to giving birth 5.5 hours). I had gas and air which helped, but mainly to concentrate on breathing and having something to bite down on IMO rather than pain relief.

The main thing is to deal with one contraction at a time and don't allow yourself to panic - you can do it.

I had a third degree tear but i think this was because the waters broke at the same time DS's head came out. I didn't realise until I was having a cup of tea and toast in my bed when the midwife said she would need to do my stitches in a while.

Good luck!

Cies Fri 09-Nov-12 08:39:47

Another one who found the pushing stage almost a relief because you're doing something positive in the contractions, not just getting through them as best you can.

I had no pain relief at all (I'm not in UK, and the only pain relief available is epidural, which I managed without because I had a relatively short labour). Except when they did an episiotomy, and gave me a local anasthetic injected into the perineum, didn't feel a thing.

Iggly Fri 09-Nov-12 08:44:35

I had a third degree with my DS and a second degree with DD. with ds he shot out in one go, so yes I felt it. With dd I didn't because I was much more in control, kept the panic under control and adopted a great position. I also listened to my body and the MW when I felt like she was talking sense (eg telling me how to push but I ignored her when she suggested I move).

I used G&A for DD - I didn't feel the effect (I had it with ds when being stitched up so knew what it should feel like) - but it was more the act of breathing in and out (and biting). I thought I'd got away with tearing but alas no.

The worse bit for me was getting the placenta out and being given local anaesthetic around the fanjo prior to being sewn up <shudder>

CailinDana Fri 09-Nov-12 08:50:09

Pushing is a very positive stage - you have something to focus on and the progress is very exciting. I tore a bit but didn't feel it at all. There's too much going on and you're far too determined to see the baby to pay much attention really!

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Fri 09-Nov-12 13:14:56

I have just pushed a baby out not 5 hours ago!!

It's really not too bad. Contractions r far worse.

Takes a few pushes to get the knack of it, and the ring of fire is certainly painful, but if I can manage-anyone can.

Good luck x

CailinDana Fri 09-Nov-12 14:03:56

Wow congratulations boys! Oooh I'm getting teary - DC2 is due in February (feels like years away) and I'm already impatient for her to be here. How are you doing? Boy or girl? Weight?

Ushy Fri 09-Nov-12 18:48:35

Hmm...I did feel it and it was awful. I subsequently made sure I had an epidural that was maintained throughout labour as is supposed to be the UK practice.

Are you able to discuss this with an anaesthetist? There is lots of research on this and tailing off epidurals is bad practice.

Welovecouscous Fri 09-Nov-12 18:53:28

I had a labour in water with gas and air but had to get out to give birth. At that stage they suggested I leave the gas and air, so I pushed with no pain relief which was absolutely fine - I really didn't even notice as I was so busy pushing out a big boy smile

I then had a second degree tear and honestly I didn't feel it at all

Please don't be worried - I honestly found it fine.

honeytea Fri 09-Nov-12 18:59:27

Congratulations boys! What weight was your baby? I hope your both doing well smile I'm also shedding some happy excited tears smile

All your stories are fantastic, I hadn't looked at the pushing stage as "having something to do" before.

I'm feeling much more confident, thank you all!

stargirl1701 Fri 09-Nov-12 18:59:38

The pushing isn't painful. I was in a 'zone'. Totally focused and not really aware of anything other than urge to push.

I had a very positive birth experience and gave birth in the pool after Tens at home. I would really recommend a Tens machine for the first stage. I put it on as soon as I realised I was in labour and got to 8cm with it on.

Illustrated Fri 09-Nov-12 19:14:43

I had one of those epidurals where I was in control with a button to press every 15 minutes if I wanted to keep it going.

I fell asleep for an hour and got woken up and told to start pushing, by then all pain relief had worn off. It really wasn't too bad and went really quickly even though that stage took 2 hours it felt like 10 minutes and the feeling you get to push is so strong its a huge relief. I tore but didn't feel it and couldnt feel them stitching afterwards either.

You will be fine, good luck!

honeytea Fri 09-Nov-12 22:39:53

I had one of those epidurals where I was in control with a button to press every 15 minutes if I wanted to keep it going.

I want one of these.. Do you think they will let me have one now till the birth (I'm 36 weeks) ;)

It sounds like the tens machines are really popular, I will ask about hiring one at my appointment on monday, thank you for the tip!

piratecat Fri 09-Nov-12 22:45:04

i think it depends how long you are pushing for, i pushed for two bloody hours, and was on the speedy up drip, so my pushing stage was laborious and very painful.

Welovecouscous Sat 10-Nov-12 07:48:54

Pirate really sorry you were in so much pain sad

Every labour is so different. I was on the drip too and pushed for exactly 3 hours (9lb baby!) yet can honestly say the pushing gave me something to focus on and letting go of the gas and air was fine. I am planning to do it exactly the same way next time.

ItsMyLastOne Sat 10-Nov-12 09:48:04

For me, the pushing part was so much easier. It felt as though I was doing something with the pains so it didn't hurt anywhere near as much as the previous contractions. I had been using G&A for a couple of hours before pushing, but when the pushing bit started it was annoying me so I asked DP to take it away. I was pushing for almost 5 hours but never wanted it during that time. However, I definitely wanted it when it came to being sewn up!

EMS23 Sat 10-Nov-12 09:54:39

I'm surprised at how long some of you pushed for! With DD1 I pushed for 2 hours at which point forceps were used. I was told 2hrs was the max I'd be allowed to push for before they helped things along.
TBH I was relieved as I was exhausted!

DD2 was out in 3 pushes.

weegiemum Sat 10-Nov-12 10:01:12

Pushing was a relief to me too.

I also love baths and wanted to labour in water but when I got in the pool I absolutely hated it, the sensation against my skin was horrible, and I had to get out again straight away! No idea why. Didn't even try in my 2nd and 3rd labours!

ItsMyLastOne Sat 10-Nov-12 10:36:38

EMS I was told afterwards it's because my waters hadn't broken and the 2 hour rule is from when they break. I pushed my waters out still in the sack after about 3.5-4 hours. Then after 4.5 hours of pushing they decided to do a ventouse, but I managed to push her out within minutes of getting into that room. I think it was the sound of all this horrible medical equipment being counted out that gave me a stronger urge to push harder!

I actually wasn't pushing the whole time, my contractions stopped completely for 15-20 minutes in the middle and apparently I fell asleep for that time whilst leaning over the back of the upright bed I was on. Then they just kicked in again and I woke up pushing. DP said it was really weird!

Midgetm Sat 10-Nov-12 17:58:48

Pushing is a breeze in comparison to contractions (although both mine back to back). I was a bit hmm when they took the gas away but actually not so bad. Also didn't feel when I tore, just so glad to have the baby out. Did feel it when stitched me up though and got the G&aback sharpish...

Ellie092 Mon 12-Nov-12 19:56:41

I got induced and it was awful I had the epidural and it worn off right at the end and I knew when to push! The contractions was the worst part..

I loved the pushing part didn't hurt one bit good luck xx

PurpleGentian Tue 13-Nov-12 19:20:57

I had a bit of gas and air in labour, but the midwives took that away when it was time to start pushing.

But really, the pushing bit was much less painful anyway, so I didn't miss the gas & air at all.

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