Anyone tried syntocin induced birth without epi? Is it worth a go or just go straight for pain relief?

(60 Posts)
fanjobiscuits Thu 11-Jul-13 17:09:45

Induction looming and thinking ahead to choices if I get to that stage. Any experiences very much appreciated!

BeenieBaby Thu 11-Jul-13 17:12:35

I did. Didn't get very far though. Only got up to 4cm but it was a obstructed labour with brow presentation tht needed a c/s eventually. I was having strong contractions every 2 minutes and felt like my bum was going to burst with each one!

MrsBungle Thu 11-Jul-13 17:12:59

I did with my second birth. I had ds 1 hour 54 minutes after the drip went in! Very quick and easy. I used gas and air.

I had the drip to augment my first birth and that one was a lot more painful!

5madthings Thu 11-Jul-13 17:16:28

My fifth was induced with drip, took three hours I stayed mobile, sat on birth ball, knelt up, moved around etc. Tricky with drip and minister but doable! Lots oif gas and air. It was OK, less intense than my fourth lab our which took under an hour.

My dd was back to back and midwife said it would have been shorter than three hours had she been the right way round. I needed the drip turned up quite high (they start on a low dose). It was OK, much better than ds1 where I had the drip and an epidural.

fanjobiscuits Thu 11-Jul-13 17:20:24

Thanks all! This is my first, so am wondering if that will make a difference as likely to be longer.

Hasitfallendownagain Thu 11-Jul-13 17:22:30

I was put on a drip with my second after not progressing fast enough - I was at about 5cm when they put me on.

I didn't have any pain relief at all (wimpy about needles and they don't offer gas and air in the country I had her in).

It was very intense and I found it quite scary and felt out of control right at the end - fortunately she was out in 3 pushes. I wasn't really aware of the passage of time, but I think it was about 20 minutes from going on the drip to her being born.

I'm not sure pain relief would have helped much - it was the frightening feeling of things going so fast and outside my control that was more upsetting than the pain. It did hurt though!

wem Thu 11-Jul-13 17:22:57

I was induced with DD2. I didn't have an epi, I didn't really think to ask, as once the drip was in things went pretty quickly - 3cm dilated to birth in 2 hours and 15 minutes. It hurt a lot more than dd1 (lovely chilled homebirth), but it was manageable (ish!).

Retrofairy Thu 11-Jul-13 17:24:47

I had it for my first without an epi - but not through choice, there just wasn't one available!

In hindsight with a first baby and syntocin drip I would have absolutely insisted. I had it after I had been in labour for many hours and things weren't progressing to speed up the contractions - it was unpleasant <understatement>

RNJ3007 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:24:51

I had a synto induction. 3 hours, only gas and air until being prepped for EMCS that didn't happen as I delivered before making it into theatre!

TheTruffleHunter Thu 11-Jul-13 17:26:20

I had 3 failed epidurals so not quite the same thing but it was pretty unpleasant. I would second the pp about feeling totally out of control and would refuse any form of induction for any future births. sad

ldt87 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:31:55

I had the drip for my first with just gas and air. I didn't think it was too bad really, better than sitting with no progress for hours getting exhausted. I think it's fine and would still refuse an epi if I need a drip this time. My last was a home birth which was nice and chilled but the extra recovery for an epidural doesn't make it worth it in my opinion.

fanjobiscuits Thu 11-Jul-13 17:36:31

Thanks for all the shared experiences, really appreciate it and so sorry for those who had a tough time :0(

Waaah! Really don't want to go down this route if I can avoid it, but equally don't want to go over 42 weeks without inducing, due to possible risks to baby.

Would rather go straight to cs if pessary doesn't work, but am guessing this isn't an option the way things tend to work with the nhs.

Come on baby, time to come out!!!

hazelnutlatte Thu 11-Jul-13 17:48:27

I also had the drip with my first, and no pain relief - it really is different for everyone, the drip did bugger all for me, I sat and watched dvd's in no pain at all, whilst a variety of confused midwives wandered in and out thinking I couldn't be the person on the maximum dose of syntocin!

3boys3dogshelp Thu 11-Jul-13 18:05:09

I had syntocin drip for my first, I was all for pain relief but actually ended up having nothing ( just tens machine) as I didn't need it.
Ds2 I had pessary which seemed to do nothing then went into labour naturally the following morning. His birth was much more painful IMHO.

Umicar Thu 11-Jul-13 18:10:53

I had the drip with my first to speed up my contractions. I had already been in painful labour for 3 days at this point!

I started on the drip at 4pm, managed with a Tens machine for 5 hours. At 9pm I was (finally) offered gas and air. At midnight I had an epidural. So if my labour had been less than 7 hours long after being on the drip, I would have coped without.

DS was finally born at 6am. The drip does not always speed up labour!!

Umicar Thu 11-Jul-13 18:14:21

After I had DS, I did wish that they had moved on to a CS sooner fanjobiscuit. But when the time finally came to have my second child, I was glad I had had a vaginal birth as number 2 was so much easier. My body seemed to work much more efficiently.

I didnt want an epidural at all so didnt even consider it when i was induced with dd. Had the drip to speed up contractions (had to be turned down at one point as they were too fast!). Don't like the idea of needles being put into my back/spine so it would have been a last resort.

gintastic Thu 11-Jul-13 18:23:52

I was induced with a drip. Labour was 45min from first contraction to delivery, I had more anaesthesia for the stitches than the delivery... I'm sure it will all be fine, good luck!

SignoraStronza Thu 11-Jul-13 18:42:09

I was attached to a drop of that evil stuff for eight hours with zero pain relief, after 3 pessaries failed to do anything other than give me contractions. Syntocin just ramped them up so they came one after theother with no pause. Traumatic and utterly barbaric. I think I might have reached 4 cm before they finally relented and granted me section I was making so much noise.Thankfully, as dc1's cord was wrapped twice around her neck.

Don't even contemplate it without an epidural. Fortunately you'll be in the UK.

Choccyjules Thu 11-Jul-13 18:48:52

I was on it for 24 hours, no pain relief til an hour or so before the forceps, when I had some gas and air. Afterwards I said 'just knock me out next time' and I bloody meant it. So I would say go with the pain relief. I was badly advised imho.

Breezy1985 Thu 11-Jul-13 18:57:39

I had the drip both times, dreaded the thought of a epi so didn't have one just had gas and air both times. They both came within 3 hours.

rallytog1 Thu 11-Jul-13 19:33:32

I was sure I wouldn't want or need an epidural. When it came to it, the drip started really intense and rapid contractions out of nowhere and I was literally screaming for the epi. I absolutely loved it - had a mobile one which meant I could still move around a bit and change position. I could also feel the contractions but they didn't hurt half as much, which was just as well seeing as I laboured for 24 hours. In the end I had an emcs but such is life.

I certainly wouldn't go on the drip again without an epi. I have much respect for anyone who can manage it!

Rowboat Thu 11-Jul-13 19:55:44

I did. About 8 hours of just gas and air and a faulty tens machine! Other was intense and hard going but ok. i survived. I did scream for epi but that was transition and dh dis very well to keep me calm. He knew i really didn't want one and the idea of huge needle in spine was much more frightening for me. Its definitely doable. By the way O had to go on drip for failure to progress so the contractions ramped up very quickly.

I had diamorphine injections and gas and air rather than an epidural.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 11-Jul-13 20:27:52

I was induced at 38 weeks with syntocin. Because I had several drips in and monitoring I wasn't really able to be in any other position than on my back. It started off ok but the pain did get very bad and I ended up requesting an epidural which they did very quickly. It was a "walking" epidural (although I wasn't able to anyway) which meant I could feel contractions and when to push. I could also top it up if necessary.
After the birth I was able to walk straight away. Overall I think of my birth as very positive and that is 100% due to how in control I felt once I'd had the epidural. I was calm and lucid at the moment of birth and it was lovely.

I would be interested to know how much of my pain was due to my position. Maybe if I hadn't been stuck on my back I would have been able to do without epi. Who knows?

redcaryellowcar Thu 11-Jul-13 20:42:26

I was induced. tried to stay as mobile as possible, had gas and air from 11pm to 7.30am, then some diamorphine at 7.30, which made me very sleepy so I think progress slowed down. I delivered at 2.30pm. I was keen to avoid epidural but i appreciate some people would only do it with one! doctor who started my induction said being induced was not very comfortable and not to hold back on the pain relief!
best of luck. it will be fine.

LittleBipper Thu 11-Jul-13 20:43:11

I had a drip and had an epi at 8cm, I had back labour and he was wriggling in between contractions so I didn't get a break. I hadn't wanted an epi beforehand and think that if I hadn't had back labour and wriggling I would have managed without.

Another thing was I was off my head on gas and air but it wasn't touching the pain and I thought I would actually be better off with my wits about me.

pingulingo Thu 11-Jul-13 20:50:51

I was induced with my first and was going to try without an epi - the midwife was really quite insistent that it would be better to have it before the contractions started properly as it would be harder to get it in then. I'm very grateful she was so insistent (although I thought she was a stroppy arse at the time) because 24 hours later I was still on the drip - a couple of times I couldn't get a top up on the epidural because of blood pressure issues (this was towards the end) and it was agony for me.

However my DS was stuck and was never going to come out except via CS so I don't think most people are on the drip that long.

The actual induction was ok though, just lots of wait

pingulingo Thu 11-Jul-13 20:52:54

Whoops, lots of waiting around for pessarys and gels to do their stuff.

Good luck though and try not to worry (easier said then done!)

Sirzy Thu 11-Jul-13 20:55:36

I was induced with the drip, labour took 5 hours when established with the drip. I just had Gas and Air, I had decided before hand I didn't want an epidural and at no point did I change my mind.

I also had the added complication of DS being back to back and not turning meaning he got slightly stuck!

SuiGeneris Thu 11-Jul-13 20:55:54

Why would you not want an epidural? They are fantastic and if you have it before you start you will be able to relax and enjoy the process rather than wish it could be over more quickly. I had a 27-hour "natural" labour but only had the epidural after the first 17 hours or so. Like someone else above it was back-to-back brow, so pretty bad, but three years down the line I am still annoyed I had to wait that long for pain relief. If you have the option, take it and enjoy your baby's birth as a moment of joy rather than pain.

KatAndKit Sat 13-Jul-13 22:55:59

go for the epidural. I didn't and I was on the drip for 11 hours out of 19 hour labour and the only way I got through it was to get caned off my face on pethidine. Due to being totally off my tits I was then refused the epidural as apparently I was unable to sit still for long enough, it was too late for more pethidine and I had to go through the end bit with nothing but gas and air. The drip really does ramp up your contractions but it was the continuous monitoring and being stuck on my back that made it worse for me. If I have an induction again I'd go straight for epidural.

DinoSnores Sat 13-Jul-13 23:25:47

I've had an unmedicated home birth & been induced with synto. Both were lovely experiences. I wish I'd had the epidural placed before the drip went up as the first epidural when I decided I wanted one a few hours later only worked down my right side. These things happen though & the second epidural was lovely. I could still feel the contractions and could push when I needed to.

TobyLerone Sun 14-Jul-13 07:29:39

I had an epidural after about 4 hours of the drip.

My sister did it with just gas and air.

kerala Sun 14-Jul-13 07:36:48

Had 4 hours without epidural. Unspeakable. Wished I had had an epidural immediately after syntocin bil is consultant anaesthetist at his hospital it's policy to give an epidural when induced this way. Was my first ended up with emergency c section. Did have perfect vbac with dd2 though. Good luck everyone is different

CarpeVinum Sun 14-Jul-13 07:45:16

I didn't have a drip. I actually have no idea what was used, but it was a pessary.

The hospital had a "no pain relief" policy.

I have one child.

marzipananimal Sun 14-Jul-13 08:06:27

You could ask for expectant management instead of being induced at 42 weeks. Personally I wouldn't go on the drip without an epidural but you might cope fine so could take a wait and see approach. Bear in mind that you need an anaesthetist available so if it's quite busy make sure you ask sooner rather than later

kittencuddles Sun 14-Jul-13 10:24:23

I had the drip with no epi, just gas and air when they got really intense. BUT I was already 10cm when they put me on it I just wasn't having strong contractions naturally.

I did use my DH though for lots of back rubs etc which helped a lot. Also, make sure you drink plenty as it can make you dehydrated.

bico Sun 14-Jul-13 10:29:15

I had it without an epidural. Unbelievably painful. It was one of the reasons that ds is an only child. I was on it for 10 hours and they increased the dose so the midwife could deliver ds before her shift finished.

ZingWidge Sun 14-Jul-13 10:55:15

syntocin induced labour without an epidural is unfair.

your body is supposed to cope with contractions brought on naturally, but there's no way it can cope efficiently with the effects of artificial drugs!

I would strongly advise you to have an epidural if induced.

I had 6 kids. I know pain wink

tobiasfunke Sun 14-Jul-13 11:09:27

I did- because no-one suggested otherwise although in hindsight they kept asking me before it was put in what I wanted for pain relief.
It was 3 hours of one long contraction that never stopped. I was in so much pain I couldn't speak so midwife basically told me to have an epi.
Got the epi which was bliss and then 10 minutes later they had to get ds out by emergency forceps as his heartbeat disappeared. So I think the pain was partially syntocin and partially that I went from 2cm to 10cm in 3 hours. They gave me the epi so late because they didn't bother to check how far dilated I was as it was my first. (and their stupid machine told then my contractions were rubbish.).
Afterwards the senior midwife told me she wondered how long it would be before I got one as nearly everyone on the drip ends up with one as it's so painful. I wish someone had told me that before hand.

I had syntocin with my first after pessaries did nothing. Pain relief was two paracetamol and gas and air, I was far too quick to have an epidural.

Drip started at 9am, nothing, increased hourly, still nothing. 12pm increased again and I didn't get any lunch as I went from 2cm with just mild twinges at 12.20pm to delivery at 1.01pm.

Syntocin doesn't automatically mean long labour. I was in active labour (the point where you can actually have an epidural) for 41 minutes.

PigeonPie Sun 14-Jul-13 11:15:56

I did with DS1. It was brutal but worked; epi wasn't an option for me - it was either that or GA and c-section so I got on with it using just gas& air.

I would say my position helped, I was on my knees propping myself up on the back of the bed and with DH's support. I could hardly move afterwards but that's because of my physical condition rather than anything else.

DS2's delivery was much better and extremely quick.

SignoraStronza Sun 14-Jul-13 11:26:19

CarpeVinum I think we gave birth in the same country. Would an epidural have meant travel to a major city, a prebooked anaesthetist and minimum €600 cash in a brown envelope? Is entonox unheard of? Must woman suffer for the sins of Eve? Will your husband leave you if you so much as keep an extra 1 kilo post partum? Does your breastmilk go 'bad' after six months?

No wonder most families consist of one child.

OP, you'd be bonkers to consider the drip without pain relief - childbirth ceases to be 'natural' after one of those things is stuck in you, whatever the healthcare professionals may say.

Thinkingof4 Sun 14-Jul-13 18:45:30

I was induced with drip for ds1 and didn't have epidural. I had tens, and morphine injection. I became hypertonic on lowest possible dose, at this point mw had just gone for tea break so I was having continual contractions without a break for about 30 minutes. They switched drip off when she came back and ds arrived a while later ( not sure how long exactly, but entire labour was only 8 hours so pretty quick)
I'm about to be induced for dc4 tomorrow and really hoping they can just break my waters and that I'll labour after that.
I was also induced with ds2, with him I just needed pessary which worked really quickly and he was born in about 7 hours.
Ds3 was spontaneous labour, 3 hours or so and so I was hoping to avoid another induction!
However I'm term plus 13 tomorrow, and I'm not taking the risk of something happening to baby which is why I'm accepting induction

Good luck op

CarpeVinum Sun 14-Jul-13 19:11:20


Oh yes.

Expect I was in a major city, well, almost, just a few hundred meters from the edge of Milan proper. Curse you Sesto S.G. and your bastard "natural suffering is good for the soul baby" philosophy.

taten Sun 14-Jul-13 22:47:19

I have been induced with both my children and never felt out of control. I had the same experience as Tarkatheotter I'm so glad I had the epi. Once they put it in I fell asleep for two hours, woke up when I felt dd1 moving down. They had the drip turned up pretty high and I found it quite painful and I vomited on gas and air!
With ds I had no drip, and only two codeine tablets for pain relief, he was delivered in two pushes..

Twunk Sun 14-Jul-13 22:54:26

I was induced (waters broken, put on drip) with syntocin. I had no pain relief at all - none. No G&A available in Dutch hospitals. Plus they kept turning the drip up! I asked for the only pain relief offered which was pethidine but unfortunately I was 8cm by that time and it couldn't be done.

It was a very intense and very fast labour. DS had the cord round his neck so pushing took a while (eventually had an episiotomy).

All I all, I recommend an epidural.

On the plus side, I recovered quickly hmm

munchkinmaster Sun 14-Jul-13 23:22:26

I was put on syntocin but actually my waters had not broken properly. This meant I felt no pain (but neither was it working). It was only the absence of pain which made them investigate my waters more so if I had had the epidural at the same time we'd never have known anything was wrong. Also meant that I was on a stupid high dose by the time my waters broke and so went straight into crazy labour from nothing.

I have to say this thread has helped as I have always felt a bit of a wimp re taking the epidural later.

I had first two DC's naturally (ie not induced) without any pain relief. DS2 was induced at 37 weeks, pessaries did not work so they broke my waters and put me on the drip. Told me to give it a go, that my body should know what to do once labour kicked off because of previous labours...then they would be able to turn the drip off. Except no one told the midwife this hmm and she kept turning it up even when I was well into established labour.

Like earlier poster, the feeling of loss of any kind of control was terrible, the contractions were fast, strong and unrelenting, very different to the ebb and flow of my natural labours. By then I was begging for an epidural but was in such a state I couldn't keep still enough, DS2 was born shortly after and I remember thinking that at least I got through it without the epidural - except I then had to have a spinal block anyway because my placenta didn't detach hmm sad.

So I also say to get the epidural, especially for first baby...

Good luck!

louisianablue2000 Sun 14-Jul-13 23:55:23

I've been induced twice for DC1 and DC3, DC2 was a natural birth. I can't say I found the drip made much of a difference to the pain levels, I used a TENS machine and G&A for all three, although admittedly DC3 came so quickly I only used the G&A for about 3 contractions and it completely killed the pain. I love G&A so much!

I would say see how you go and use a TENS machine and G&A and pethidine first rather than going straight for an epidural. I was able to get up and use the toilet an hour or so after having DC3, if I'd had an epidural I'd have been bedbound with a catheter in. I know which I'd rather if there was a choice.

lozster Mon 15-Jul-13 05:57:43

Useful thread for me. I'm booked in for induction on 24th when I'll be 39 weeks. This is on account of me being ancient and the baby being already on the edge in terms of size of what can be delivered. Feel this is all just a bit of a charade to avoid a planned section as have been assured I won't be left 'too long'. Not feeling to positive about all this but my take out from this thread is get an epi!

vix206 Mon 15-Jul-13 06:28:29

I went 15 days over with no sign of baby wanting to be born so they induced me. Just gas and air, nothing else. I begged for something else but they wouldn't give me anything. It took 16 hours and it was sheer torture. Barbarism.

Obviously every birth is different but I definitely would not recommend it.

It's taken almost 4 years for me to have the courage to have another baby and I'm still terrified of giving birth!

BeaWheesht Mon 15-Jul-13 06:37:29

I've had 2 induced births - I had a failed epi with ds (dc1) and didn't try for one with dd. I was in labour for 6 hours each time. Ds labour was fine, dd's was very painful but she was over 9lb and back to back so that was the reason more than anything else.

I wouldn't recommend just getting an epi as a matter of course.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Mon 15-Jul-13 06:39:01

Me 2 weeks ago! I started with no pain relief then verged on epidural but tried gas and air which worked fine but I was only in labour 25 mins, so glad I didn't have an epidural though. They must have expected me to have one as they said have the anaesthetist on standby!

Twinklestarstwinklestars Mon 15-Jul-13 06:43:26

I've also had 2 pessary deliveries and 1 Syntocin and I didn't think they were that different pain wise but I labour fast

chestnut100 Mon 15-Jul-13 06:45:38

I had the epi just before they hooked me up to the drip on the advice of the consultant. She was a really fantastic lady who told me that it would be brutal without the epi, and that she had seen many women traumatised, scared, and the whole birth experience ruined by going without. Once I had it, I was about 4 hours to delivery, during which time I slept/chatted etc. I could still feel to push. Was wonderful

My second labour was 0-100 in under an hour with no pain relief. I would chose the epi any day! smile

TarkaTheOtter Mon 15-Jul-13 07:29:38

Just wanted to add that I had an epidural, had no catheter and was up walking within an hour of giving birth. Modern epidurals can be very light touch.

SignoraStronza Mon 15-Jul-13 10:03:18

CarpeVinum You lived quite near me then. I was in the town beginning L with a Castle, an annual Palio and a scrubby, mozzie-infested Parco Sempione. Ex refused point blank to go anywhere near the tangienzale di Milano so had to go to the the local hospital. Chief mw was a bitch and the bright orange head gynae's first words were 'Ciao belle donne con pancione' during the familiarisation visit. All the staff used to wet their knickers with excitement when he swanned down to the ward. twat.

CarpeVinum Mon 15-Jul-13 10:37:38

Oh I think I know where !

I don't live there now. I found a massive cascina for sale for less than the value of pur teeny flat in the next region down, now immersed in Parco Ticino..... and mosquitoes the size of helicopters. We have our very own "delito di X place" and "Fake Holy Magic Healing Water One Summer Madness" just to make the place sound even more attractive. grin

Won't be having any babies here either. Not from the horror stories I have heard at the neatest service point to my house.

Mind you, at 45 it's a bit academic now. And we couldn't afford a second anyway. Not if things went a bit bent. All nonni dead or ... not here. It's just us, whatever happens.

I should have stayed in Mangiagalli, they had pain relief, but the primario felt "forrin" types weren't worth talking to and "visited" me in front of a swathe of students without so much as a by your leave ....let alone any hint he was about to do a non consensual James Herroit impression. So I winced and waddled my way out about ten seconds after I located my knickers. Talk about frying pan to fire. hmm

I'll have more children when a) I win the lottery and b) they sell them pre cooked in the supermarket. I am a bugger for getting all emotional over (other people's) newborns though. They are just so tiny and special smelling.

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