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Induction without epidural?

(35 Posts)
BonaDea Wed 20-Feb-13 17:48:17

I'd be interested to hear of people who made it through a syntocinon induction without an epidural. Although I wouldn't want to rule anything out, I'd really like to avoid an epidural as I want to stay mobile and self sufficient if possible during my labour and I also really want to involve further interventions. From what I can see the induction - epidural - instruments / section route seems pretty common!

But everyone seems to be agreed that induced labours are much more painful and so I am wondering whether perhaps it is better to just accept that I will need an epidural? Any stories of just popping one out on gas and air and hypnobirthing despite induction?

beckie90 Wed 20-Feb-13 17:55:42

I had induction with dc1, Was fast (well 4.5 established) and didn't have epidural. I found it to be less painful then my dc2 back to back labour. I had gas and air. smile good luck xx

Lionsntigersnbears Wed 20-Feb-13 17:58:06

I did but then I will say I had a pretty fast labour. They got the drip up to full speed at 3pm and dd was born at 8.40. I really don't think I could have coped with a long labour at that intensity of pain, and I think that's maybe where the problems come in. I coped with gas and air and screamed a lot, which sounds negative but I found that yelling my head off actually really helped, like this feeling of counterbalancing the pressure of the contraction if that makes sense? Yelling was actually a very positive thing for me, and I was lucky to have an experienced midwife who wasn't trying to shut me up.

I hope that's a positive-ish story?

SneezySnatcher Wed 20-Feb-13 17:58:24

I was induced with no epidural, despite a back-to-back baby. It honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, although obviously painful. Managed with gas and air. I wasn't as mobile as I wanted to be as obviously the drip is a bit restrictive and I was on continual monitoring.

She didn't exactly 'pop out' though - I was in labour for 14 hours (although only pushing for 20 mins).

I accept I am lucky though!

firawla Wed 20-Feb-13 18:00:32

is it your first baby or a subsequent one? my 3rd was induced but did not end up needing the drip as breaking waters was enough, which is why i ask because you dont have to presume that you will definitely definitely need the synto?

cece Wed 20-Feb-13 18:01:11

My first one was pessary induced. Then at pushing stage I had a drip as well. Had gas and air in earlier stages along with birthing pool. For the pushing stage I had no pain relief.

acjfluff Wed 20-Feb-13 18:05:58

I was induced without epidural, though I was screaming for one for about 20 minutes until the midwife told me I was ready to push.

I had gas and air but had to have diamorphine before the drip as it hurt sooo much. Having said that, I did fall asleep between contractions once in labour blush

My official established labour was only 4 hours 20 minutes and I'm really glad I didn't have an epidural now as he came out like a rocket and then the pain didn't matter smile

whatyoulookinat Wed 20-Feb-13 18:09:17

I was induced with twins & didn't have an epidural, it was too late by the tine I wanted one. Labour was quicker & less painful than previous labour which started spontaneously.

I have had inductions twice and went in to established labour with the tablets and therefore no drip.
I won't lie it was incredibly painful and I was about to have an epidural when a more experienced midwife came in and saw I was ready to push (I went from 4 to 10 cm's in half an hour). So for me I had no pain relief at all but only because labour was so quick. 4 hours with DC1 and 2 hours with DC2.

mamapants Wed 20-Feb-13 19:50:05

I know you are asking for people who did it without epidural but thought I'd share my story anyway. I was induced with a syntocinon drip and found it incredibly painful I was told not to sit up as when I did my baby's heart rate stopped I could only tolerate the pain when sitting up.
I really didn't want an epidural because of the reasons you listed above and I asked for asprin or paracetemol whichever one it is you are allowed and lasted 30mins waiting for it to kick in, I then asked for gas and air but couldn't get the hang of it. I did then ask for an epidural. I managed to stay still long enough for them to do the epidural by using my hypnobirthing techniques as until then I'd been writhing in pain. The epidural stopped the pain of the contractions but almost right away I felt the urge to push. Although my labour only took just over 2hrs they were in a rush to deliver for various reasons so I only was given 2 attempts at pushing before they tried using the ventouse at which point I told the lovely doctor to f* off and pushed my baby out.
So the epidural stopped the pain of the contractions but I could feel when to push and it didn't end up in interventions so if you want an epidural it doesn't mean you won't be able to have an intervention free birth and at that point I honestly didn't care how they got my baby out as long as they did. So don't stress about it!

Portofino Wed 20-Feb-13 19:52:54

I did and did not find it unbearable. But I ended up with emcs due to distressed baby. The epidural would have meant I could have been awake. It meant a lot at the time.

Dolallytats Wed 20-Feb-13 19:59:50

I was induced with the drip because of complications in the pregnancy. I was in labour from start to finish for 45 mins. There was no build up, the contractions just went full on in less than a second. DH is convinced that they forgot to check how many cms dilated I was before turning the drip up more. This may be true, but to be honest, the whole experience is very blurry!! Apparently there were 8 people in the room....I couldn't have told you if I were giving birth live on stage!!

Have to say though, given the choice I would go for the 45 mins full on rather than the 26 hour with an epidural that I had with DC1.

I didn't have the drip (well I did once dd was out but that's besides the point!) but o had my waters broken twice for failure to progress. I had no pain relief at all as I didn't like the idea of g&a (too many people had described it as similar to being drunk which would have been my idea of hell)

It was fine, definitely ramped up in intensity but totally manageable

FannyFifer Wed 20-Feb-13 20:16:16

Induced both times, first time had epidural, second time didn't need it, both v similar labours in duration, waters broken then syntocin drip etc

Chunderella Wed 20-Feb-13 20:58:57

I wasn't induced, but did have syntocin towards the end of labour as contractions were slowing. No epidural. It was very painful. Have you thought about a walking epidural? I'd never heard of them until seeing it on MN, but some posters have had one and liked it. As the name indicates, you can walk around with one in.

fathergoose Thu 21-Feb-13 02:31:51

I almost made it without one. I eventually had one after being in labour for 36hrs: I was so tired I could hardly see straight, and the epidural gave me a chance to doze whilst I dilated those last few centimetres.

If my labour had been shorter, I think I probably could have done it without an epidural, but by that point (no food or sleep) I was pretty much at my limits. However, I do vaguely remember a midwife (not the one who was normally with me - some random) 'suggesting' I have an epidural and me agreeing: I wasn't really prepared for it to be honest. I don't want to claim she pushed me into it, but there was a definite pressure/encouragement.

Oh and the hypnobirthing went right out the window with the induction I'm afraid: the pain was too crazy (I had it all the way up for hours...). I also remember my midwife reminding me that I'd put on my birth plan that I'd done the hypnobirthing thing and to try to breath through it and me laughing in her face...

princesssmartypantss Thu 21-Feb-13 02:50:29

I was induced with ds, no other experiences to compare with, i had gas and air which did make me feel drunk but lovely dh held me when i felt wobbly. I also had diamorphine which although meant i was so chilled of i was snoring between contractions i think with hindsight it might have slowed things down, but afterwards the time i was desperate for some relief. As for moving around i had to be monitored constantly but managed yo make full use of the length of the wires and the fact the machine was on wheels, luckily had an enthusiastic student midwife who was happy to keep re positioning the sensors so baby was monitored.
Hope all goes well.

weegiemum Thu 21-Feb-13 03:10:48

I had syntocin augmentation in my first labour with no epidural and induction (pessaries) with my 3rd at 37 weeks, with only gas&air. It was sore, but the mobility really helped.

Some places do "mobile epidurals", my friend said it was really good.

CruCru Thu 21-Feb-13 09:00:49

Yes, I was induced. I had 19 hours of active labour and had a TENS machine (not sure it "worked" bit it distracted me during contractions), G&A and some diamorphine.

BionicEmu Thu 21-Feb-13 10:06:07

I had an induction without an epidural 4 weeks ago. I wasn't able to have an epidural due to spinal problems. It was actually a lovely birth though!

Propess pessary thingy got me to 3cm dilated over the 24 hours with the odd tightening, then they broke my waters but still nothing happened. Was put on the drop at 2pm, didn't have my first contraction until 3:15pm, DD was born at 5:07pm, just had gas & air and stayed as mobile as possible.

I had a fantastic midwife though. I was terrified of induction without an epidural but she explained how they do it & showed me the protocol - they start you on a v low dose of syntocinon, then double it every half hour, so it really did just build up gradually, like a normal labour. (This was DC2, DC1 was a spontaneous labour at 34 weeks, total length of labour was 2 hours 20 mins for him.)

Even though I had the drip in my hand and the ctg monitor attached constantly my midwife was very encouraging about staying upright and mobile. She even moved the bed to one side, against the wall, so I had more space to move around & found me a birthing ball that was actually properly inflated! The midwife, DH and my best friend just followed me round moving the drip-trolley and adjusting the ctg belts so neither really affected what I could do/what position I wanted to be in. I eventually fell in love with the doorframe to the toilet and took to grabbing that, putting my head against it & swaying & humming through the contractions.

At one point I begged for diamorphine & may have said that I'd take the damn drip out if they didn't give it to me, but since I started pushing a few minutes after that we put that down to being in transition.

Yes, it hurt, but I don't think any more than my first labour. But it really was a wonderful labour, I look back on it & smile, whereas with my first I look back on it and cry!

BonaDea Fri 22-Feb-13 16:24:47

Thanks, all for the feedback. This is all really encouraging (including those stories which DID involve induction!).

Am completely undecided on TENS - not sure whether it will just be forgotten about on the day or could be a useful distraction...

CruCru Fri 22-Feb-13 18:59:32

I don't think TENS is all that expensive so I would get one anyway. Do bear in mind you can't use it in the water though.

Chunderella Sat 23-Feb-13 10:19:54

Its worth a try, you lose nothing by giving it a go. I seem to remember reading on here that about half of women find TENS useful to some extent and half don't. I'd say if you're looking to avoid an epidural during inductionl, probably a good idea to have access to as many natural pain relief options as possible.

Hey. I had to be induced because i had cholestasis (which is a still birth risk) at 38 weeks. My boy did NOT want to come out! I was in hospital for a week being given the gel and the pessarys etc (nothing doing) before they decided to break my waters. That did nothing either so a few hours later they hooked me up to the drip. They warned me that most people on the drip would have an epidural. I wanted to "see" if i could cope without it. Within half an hour of being hooked up i was have contractions on top of contractions and in AGONY. They gave me gas and air just to try and keep me still enough for the epidural to be administered but i hated it. Once the epi kicked in i was fine. BUT. My labour lasted 18 hours....i could NOT have done that with no pain relief. It ended up with me pushing for an hour and a half, baby being distressed and being rushed to theatre for forceps delivery and full on morphine. I now think, if i'd have gone into labour naturally i would really like to try NOT to have an epi. i def think it was the reason it all went wrong at the end. However i didn't have a choice because they HAD to get the baby out. So that's what you need to try and find out....if you're going to have a long labour then do it, otherwise you'll be exhausted. If they think it's going to be only a few hours then you might be ok. They obviously have levels of how much syntocinon they give you, depending on how much your body naturally responds so you won't necessarily experience such full on contractions so quickly. I hope this doesn't scare you?! that's not my intention. and also i know it's hard to predict how long a labour will be so perhaps it's not very helpful advice? :O I just know that i wish i'd had more awareness of what the induction process entailed before i went thru it. smile

DeathMetalMum Thu 28-Feb-13 05:42:20

I wasn't induced but had to have my labour speeded up with syntotcin due to waters breaking naturally but having merconium in them, hospital gabe me a cettain amount of time to allow labour to progress but it didn't.

I was as mobile as I wanted to be due to continuious monitoring and the syntotcin. I didn't have a epidural (though I would avoid one at all possibilities really not keen on he idea) I did however have two or three doses of pethadine. Followed by a 'normal' vaginal delivery. Was pushing for a long time. One MW was ready with instruments too.

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