no pain relief

(46 Posts)
laurenbetto Thu 21-Nov-13 15:17:29

What are your opinions on a birth with no pain relief.. wise or silly decision?

DancingLady Thu 21-Nov-13 15:20:54

Um... decide when you're in labour?

You don't know how much pain you'll feel. If you're having no pain relief to prove a point/be a hero, you'll be waiting a long time for your medal...

uncomfortablydumb Thu 21-Nov-13 16:10:33

Silly to make a decision in advance wink

If someone said you were going to have a headache next week, nobody would expect you to decide now if you were going to take a paracetamol would they? hmm

yy wait until you are in labour I didn't have any pain relief with any of mine but I didn't decide on this prior its just how it ended up was painful but I felt I could manage without.

wintersdawn Thu 21-Nov-13 16:16:26

Go in with an open mind, one of mine was no relief until rushed for emcs, the other was epideral and anything else they would give me!

curlew Thu 21-Nov-13 16:21:30

You can't decide now. I had no pain relief with mine- I intended to try to have as little as possible, and I found I could manage without. But I had one reasonably short and one very short completely textbook straight forward labours. Who knows what would have happened if that hadn't been the case. So prepare for anything and take each contraction as it comes!

Lorelei353 Thu 21-Nov-13 16:23:05

It's worth preparing for and developing skills to get you through (breathing, movement, visualisations - whatever you think will work for you) and then seeing how it goes BUT giving yourself permission in advance to have pain relief if you decide you need it. I didn't have any and got through with breathing and movement, and later water, but only because my labour was straightforward and relatively short. I know I would have had some pain relief up to and including an epidiraul, if my labour had gone on for a long time. I'd have been exhausted otherwise.

princesscupcakemummyb Thu 21-Nov-13 16:25:06

i had gas and air with my 1st

same with 2nd

3rd baby 17 days ago no pain relief at all i had thought about my options before hand but its good to keep an open mind as you dont know how you will cope on the day smile

SteamWisher Thu 21-Nov-13 16:26:04

I made the decision in advance not have pain relief.

When I was in labour, it didn't occur to me. My MW didn't suggest it, which may be why I didnt ask.
With my second, I was much more confident about what I did and didn't need and I asked for gas and air at the pushing stage.

I think if it had been suggested by the MW I may have thought differently - i have noticed on shows like OBEM the MWs do suggest it. Some mums also scream ask for it and they may have though subconsciously that they would need some but would try without?

MelanieRavenswood Thu 21-Nov-13 16:27:09

Decide on the day, but it's good to know (and practise in advance) some of the things that TEND to make labour more manageable without pain relief (obviously there are no guarantees). Being free to change position as you wish, staying as upright as possible, massage, water etc.

I must say though, I can't imagine any woman refuses pain relief to prove a point to anyone else. Surely people do what they think is best for them and/or their baby.

absentmindeddooooodles Thu 21-Nov-13 16:29:00

I went in with an open mind. Apart from the fact tjat I knew I didnt want pethadine. Ended up not having any but it was bloody painful! Next time I think ill go in with an open mind again and see what heppens smile

havingastress Thu 21-Nov-13 16:29:07

You need an open mind.

I wanted a natural birth. Always been very good with pain, high pain threshold you could say.

Induced labour pains - oh my goodness. Totally different ballgame. I literally felt like my body was being ripped in half, the pain was indescribable and no way on God's earth could I have managed without pain relief. I actually felt like I was dying sad Did take a few months after the birth to come to terms with feeling like I'd nearly died.

Thank god I didn't have a birth plan signed in ink saying ' no pain relief' please! grin

You don't win any prizes for doing it au naturelle you know!

HandragsNGladbags Thu 21-Nov-13 16:46:46

DD1 had an epidural, she was induced and back to back. I wanted everything I could get my hands on.

DD2 only had time for gas & air but that just makes me vomit so no pain relief and that was a much easier birth and manageable pain.

Totally depends how you feel on the day

oscarwilde Thu 21-Nov-13 16:55:50

Silly to decide in advance
Not silly to understand your options, their implications for you, your child and your labour.
Take it as it comes, there'll be enough pressure and stress being a mum, you don't have to add even more yourself.

Besides - there's a reason we are not handed a stick and told to bite down anymore. If you need it, there are options, if it all seems bearable then all power to your pelvis grin

TheRobberBride Thu 21-Nov-13 17:02:07

I've had 2 births without medication. I used a TENS machine for pain relief but that was it. I wanted to try and do it without meds both times (not because I'm a martyr but because it was important to me for various reasons that I be 'present' throughout).

I researched natural ways to relieve pain (water, changing position, hypnotherapy, visualisation etc). I also requested on my bith plans that nobody offer me pain relief. I was lucky-both my labours were quick and straightforward. If they'd have been longer or more complicated i might well have needed something to get me through. So by all means plan for a natural birth but keep an open mind.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 21-Nov-13 17:06:20

Not silly to aim for a non medicated birth. All being well it's probably the best option for you and the baby.

BUT keep an open mind, things can change in labour and while it's fine to psych yourself up for going without, it may not work out as you plan, and that's fine too.

sleepyhead Thu 21-Nov-13 17:08:46

Keep an open mind.

I had g&a both times and morphine with ds1. I also asked for an epidural with ds1 but was too late.

Labour with ds1 was induced and very intense. 5 hours from waters breaking to birth.

Labour with ds2 was more gradual but I still was desperate for gas & air when I got to the hospital. 5 hours from first twinge to birth and ds2 was born 40 mins after arriving at hospital so no time for anything else (gas & air was mainly used for the stitches tbh).

I could have managed without pain relief but it wouldn't have been pleasant. I also can't compare my births to those that take hours and hours and hours. I should imagine that's much harder without an epidural.

DoesZingBumpLookBigInThis Thu 21-Nov-13 18:16:32

epidural is my best friend.

I had it with DS1 & DS2 - as I was induced with both.
DS1 was forceps, you would not want to go through that without pain relief

with DS3 there was no time for anything, but two sips of g&a while the MW checked how much I dilated.
we got to the hospital at 6am, he was born in 30 mins.

DS4 ended up being ELSC - footling breach so no choice there

DS5 & DD were VBACs and I'm glad I had an epidural with both - contractions started naturally but they were too much.
the epidural wore off for the pushing bit (same with DS2 actually) and although I tore badly with DS5 (9lb 14) I was really in control so it wasn't too bad.

with DD it went so well I didn't even tear - she was only 8lb 3 and had a smaller head than the boys, which helped.
I really made the MW laugh, the pg notes had "I Want an EPIDURAL! " written with red on every page!grin
I'm doing the same with my new notes again, as soon as they arrive!

I hope you can have a drug-free birth OP - I prefer no pain, especially as my contractions got more painful a lot quicker after each pg.

oscarwilde Thu 21-Nov-13 20:21:19

Ding.. New notes? Is that DC No 7? Hoollee cow. Respect!

oscarwilde Thu 21-Nov-13 20:21:49

DoesZing even !

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 21-Nov-13 20:30:00

Are congratulations due Zing? No cake on the app i'm afraid.

OP I didn't wasn't pain relief ahead of time but was induced exhausted and thought no-one could love through that pain. I had an epidural and was most put out when the anethacist left the room. Be glad that there are options if you need them and hopefully you'll have an easy labour.

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 21-Nov-13 20:36:56

Keep an open mind. You never know how you will feel until you are in that situation.

From experience (I'm a midwife) those women that write rigid birth plans stating no pain relief for example can often feel they've let themselves down if during labour they require pain relief.

Every labour is different. It's good to read about all the pain relief available to you so you are aware of your options should you decide you need something .

Better to arm yourself with the knowledge about your options and go into it with an open mind. :-)

If you need no pain relief = great, if you do = great!

Must important is that you have a positive birth experience whereby you are in control and can make informed choices, whatever they may be.

Good luck with everything

EXTERMINATEpeppa Thu 21-Nov-13 20:42:32

decide in labour!!
the first one- I took everything they offered.

second- I didnt have time to even get a paracetamol & it wasnt

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 21-Nov-13 20:43:35

Oh and I should also add that I never offer women pain relief. I do ask women when I take over their care, that at any point they wish to have pain relief or if they wish to change their method of pain relief to just ask, but that I won't offer.

I believe in supporting women in their choices , not making them for them. I want women to feel in control.

Shows like one born can give us all a bad reputation for promotion of epidural and encouraging women to lie on their backs!

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 21-Nov-13 20:49:11

Go with an open mind like others say. You won't know what you need until you are there. FWIW I did it with no pain relief except a tens machine. I would take the pain relief if I could but the hospital refused to examine how far I was dilated because they didn't want to 'escalate' more women into active labour. They were too busy. Not being in active labour means I can't have gas and air. By the time they got to me I was fully dilated. So yes it is doable if you have to do it. Just like the old days.

BobaFetaCheese Thu 21-Nov-13 21:03:45

Decide on the day, you may end up in for an emcs and feel like you've 'failed' if you dont manage a natural birth.

Ds1; pethidine, epidural with an induced labour (14hrs) strapped onto mointor and bed for his heart monitoring (and reduced movements). Didn't occur to me to ask for g&a, horrible experience, wanted a homebirth

Ds2; tens and g&a at the end, artifical water breakage and hooked up to monitor again (5 days between waters going n labour & reduced movements), 1hr 30mins,wonderful experience..still didnt get my homebirth.

Both births different to what I wantes but both needed to be that way or I might not have both/either DS here with me, safe and alive.

catellington Thu 21-Nov-13 21:05:11

Just to be different.....

Open mind is clearly the popular response. However I found this completely at odds with my plan for an unmedicalised birth. Everyone is different, I needed to be completely focused on my breathing and relaxing through the contractions. I didn't want other options made readily available.

I do think it is important to have a variety of coping strategies which you have practised that you are happy with and to think about your plan in an emergency or if the baby isn't well positioned.

There are lots of pain relief options that don't involve medication.

PatriciaHolm Thu 21-Nov-13 21:12:30

Why do you want to know? When are you due?

littlemisssarcastic Thu 21-Nov-13 21:14:55

Another who would decide at the time.
I had pethidine, gas and air, tens, paracetomol, and begged for an epidural but didn't get one with my first. Had no idea what it was going to be like, so decided at the time what I wanted.

2nd birth, I decided when I was pregnant that I wanted an epidural, and even went as far as seeing the anaesthetist whilst pregnant to make sure I would definitely get an epidural once I went into labour.
I ended up having absolutely no pain relief, even though I begged for an epidural. There just wasn't enough time and I made choices at the time not to have pethidine, gas and air, paracetomol even though they were offered.

I don't think you can predict how you will feel, so you can't possibly know, especially if it's your first baby, what pain relief, if any, you will need and when.

stickysausages Thu 21-Nov-13 21:16:42

It's YOUR decision above all else.

I wanted as natural a Labour & birth as possible, this was in my notes & the MWs respected that, I had to ask them for gas & air, I was in the pool & I didn't need anything else.

However, if you are induced it can be more painful as your body doesn't get the chance to build up endorphins etc, so more people ask for epidural etc.

My reasons for avoiding drugs during Labour, were to avoid anything affecting the baby, making him drowsy or ill etc.

I'd say go into it positively, but keep an open mind.

Be aware of possible side effects and the fact that drugs & epidural usually increase the chances of interventions, like forceps etc.

NewBlueShoesToo Thu 21-Nov-13 21:24:47

If you can manage without then I think you will feel better afterwards. BUT if you need it, have it. The most important thing is not to go in with a strict plan and then feel disappointed if it changes.
I had three very different births, one with epidural, one so fast I had nothing and one with gas and pethadine. Can't say I particularly preferred one labour above the others.
Good luck.

TheCountessOlenska Thu 21-Nov-13 21:26:41

I had gas and air first time round, which I loved (a bit too much grin )
Second labour I had the same experience as Toddle, i was begging for gas and air but they kept fobbing me off, wouldn't examine me, by the time they did i was fully dilated shock Got 2 puffs of g and a before it was taken off me for the pushing stage angry

The thing is ,I was cursing the midwife at the time in my head but actually it was a better labour without the gas and air - i felt more in control of myself, i listened to instructions during the pushing stage and didn't tear, and i can remember the whole thing as wasn't off my face on g&a wink

Rosieliveson Thu 21-Nov-13 21:41:00

I have a 12 week old. Went in with an open mind and planned to work through gas and air, pethedine etc. After 7 hours I opted for an epidural and was so glad! I then thought that I wouldn't have tried any other painful 'procedure' without anaesthetic. No one has their appendix removed without anaesthetic smile try not to make any decisions in advance. Go with the flow when baby shows up smile

Sunnysummer Thu 21-Nov-13 22:31:30

I had no pain relief (including gas and air or paracetamol), so agree that it is possible - BUT I'd agree with all the others that you need to keep an open mind.

We were lucky to have a fantastic experience, but the critical ingredient was good luck, although hypnobirthing, Juju Sundin and physical fitness definitely helped. Plenty of women who are just as prepared end up with trickier births, and it's important to at least be open to the idea of relief, as you don't want to start your first day as a parent feeling like a failure just because you've needed some help in incredibly challenging circumstances.

One other thing that did help me was to ask not to be offered pain relief, I knew my options and was happy to ask for myself if needed. Good luck no matter what happens!

MammaGnomes Fri 22-Nov-13 05:26:50

again go in with an open mind

I didnt have a birth plan. I didnt get round to writing it plus I had no clue what to put in it
in my mind it was my first time doing this, the midwives however had delivered millions of babies so I would go with the experts on the day.
I went in with a totally open mind. I wasn't going to rule anything out although pethadine was bottom of my list. when it came to it I was in the pool and asked for g&a. it took 2 hours to get to me so by the time I got it I thought I had coped pretty well without so carried on pain releif free.

I am usually a wimp and have the lowest pain threshold. an hour after giving birth I had stomach cramps and asked for paracetamol and 3 days later I stubbed my toe on the moses basket and it made me cry.

I guess it just depends what your body wants to do on the day.

good luck OP and congrats. its the most rewarding job in the world (even at 5.30am after an hour of settling back to sleep)

jammiedonut Fri 22-Nov-13 05:36:57

I think it would be foolish not to explore your options. I was adamant I'd have none, though I had popped a paracetamol at home when I thought I was just cramping, not in labour. I'm allergic to a lot of drugs so was unable to have any meds and it was terrifying as it was truly the worst pain I've ever experienced. I was counting on a waterbirth but only a bath was available to labour in and I didn't find the water as helpful as I imagined it would be. I'm proud for managing but make no mistake if I'd been allowed meds I would have asked for them, despite my views prior to labour.

callamia Fri 22-Nov-13 05:41:02

I was all set for an induction, prepared to request an epidural, when I had a natural birth in the birth centre. I'm glad I didn't write a birth plan - it would have been written and rewritten many times in those last few weeks.

I was removed from G&A and the pool because my contractions were slowing down, so I ended up giving birth with no pain relief at all after the transition phase. I'm not sure I'd recommend this to anyone - but several weeks later, I can't really recall the pain so clearly. I am left with a significant appreciation of G&A though.

You go with what works for you at the time. It's not heroic or 'better' to go without. You go with whatever means your baby arrives safely, and means that you are as ok as possible.

jammiedonut Fri 22-Nov-13 05:46:28

If you're open to drug free methods of pain relief try a tens machine. Mine was a god-send for giving me a sense of control.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Fri 22-Nov-13 05:53:34

I had ds2 with no pain relief (not by choice I was only in labour 20 mins) and it was ok but I nearly passed out from hyperventilating! Used gas and air with ds3 and it gave me something to focus on breathing properly for or think I'd have done the same!

mirai Fri 22-Nov-13 05:56:28

Some countries don't allow women to use pain relief.

vvviola Fri 22-Nov-13 06:13:23

In some ways I had to make the choice/had the choice forced on me in advance with DD2. I had her in Belgium where the option is epidural or nothing. And I'm a big fat wimp when it comes to needles, especially those going anywhere near my spine. And given the assumption that the staff had that everyone gets the epidural I had to insist repeatedly that I wouldn't be wanting one (that's not saying that I would have been daft if I'd really needed it).

For DD1 I had more options and I'd been advised to treat it like a staircase (tens - gas & air - pethidine - epidural) I got as far as pethidine having skipped the tens step as DD- was early and my tens hadn't been delivered angry

DancingLady Fri 22-Nov-13 11:01:31

OP hasn't returned - I suspect this might be a journalist or someone looking for opinions for a project...

sleepyhead Fri 22-Nov-13 12:56:06

Op started this thread less than 24 hours ago.

dinkystinky Fri 22-Nov-13 12:59:15

Not one to make in advance - with DS1 I had gas and air (it made me sick) and an epidural (it gave me shuddering back pains afterwards for months) so with DS2 and DS3 I knew that the pain relief available didnt work well for me - so used water for DS2's birth and just focussed on breathing for DS3's birth (fortunately both of those births were v quick). I have friends who love love loved gas and air and other friends who had no issues after epidurals and had the births they wished for - so you can only find out what works for you when you're actually in labour...

My plan was to see how it went once in labour and I was open to anything if the pain became to much.
As is happened both of my labours where ridiculously fast and I didn't get so much as a sniff of G&A and it wasn't that bad for me, BUT everyone is different.
Don't try to tough it out, if the pain is unbearable use what you need to to get through it.
Someone once said to me "You wouldn't have a tooth taken out without pain relief so why go through labour without any"

cantthinkofagoodone Fri 22-Nov-13 13:07:42

Oof, I did it without as it was a bit fast and even the paracetamol had worn off. Not recommended, personally.

I tried G&A but it didn't seem to do anything?

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