Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

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?

Syntocin drip after pessaries and ARM didn't get DS moving. I pleaded and got the wireless CTG monitor which made an enormous difference. I was able to move freely and use the birthing ball. Entonox got me all the way through to a non instrumental birth. HTH.

AllBellyandBoobs Thu 28-Feb-13 14:45:47

I had the syntocinon drip and managed without an epidural. I had a tens machine for a bit, then paracetamol when I was about 5cm and gas and air when I got to 8cm. I found I was able to control my breathing really well until I had gas and air and that was very useful, my contractions peaked at 8 seconds so I knew I didn't have long to go before the worst was over smile When that was no longer really working I asked for gas and air and found it to be amazing stuff. I wasn't able to move around unfortunately due to the level of monitoring of me and the baby. Keep an open mind, you have no way of knowing what your labour will be like or how you'll feel at the time but syntocinon definitely doesn't mean you'll have to have an epidural.

rrreow Thu 28-Feb-13 14:32:44

For my induction I had one pessary overnight, then had my waters broken. Contractions started straight away so I didn't need the drip. The contractions quickly became unbearable though. They came so fast and were so painful that they just about floored me, I couldn't stay mobile. So I did ask for an epidural at that point.

As it happened DS was born really quickly (3 hours from breaking waters), so although the midwife called the anaesthetist by the time he was free I was already pushing.

I had a TENS machine and G&A. Definitely would recommend both, it's better than without. TENS machine is helpful up to a point. At a certain point I didn't notice it anymore though, I think it was permanently on the Boost setting but I didn't realise that until after giving birth. G&A just took the edge off for me. While using it I didn't really notice its effects, but when I used it afterwards (while getting stitched up) I definitely noticed how it just completely makes you high!

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 28-Feb-13 12:24:55

Keep an open mind. I was induced with the drip and had a mobile epidural so I moved around a lot. You are already a bit restricted by the drip anyway. They wanted to get DD out sooner rather than later so they turned the drip up high very quickly. It was agony and given the choice of slightly more movement or the agony stopping, I'd go for the agony stopping every time. Even with the epidural it wasn't pain free but it was bearable.

Everyone is different, they always harp on about "don't let them force you onto your back it's a terrible position" - for me it was the best position to push in, I tried loads of different positions but DD moved down the birth canal most when I was on my back.

Keep an open mind and do what's best for you at the time, not what worked for others or what you think you should do.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 28-Feb-13 12:12:13

similar experience to JessHelicopter. I had the epi 18 hours after the start of established labour and I know that I couldn't have gone on without it. I was completely exausted and in constant contraction and I developed an infection so I had a high temperature on top of that. I think it's important to keep it as an option and don't feel like you have 'failed' because you asked for one... and also know as much asy ou can about the induction process!

isambardo Thu 28-Feb-13 12:01:26

Also I just wanted to add, I didn't read about induction drips on chat forums before having one and I have since - I would have been much more nervous if I had as so many people say it's much more painful! Only had one baby so nothing to compare it to, but my experience was positive. Everyone is different, you just have to ask for what feels right at the time x

isambardo Thu 28-Feb-13 09:41:02

I was induced with a drip in November. I was able to be mobile despite being hooked up to monitors and was standing or on a birth ball most of the time. I felt like the pain was manageable all the way through to be honest, had a tens machine on and used gas and air for the final 3 hours (30 hours total). No instruments either.
I wouldn't assume you need an epidural, it seems to be so different for different people.

I was induced with drip with DS. I had gas and air followed with pethidine injection when things got really going. I so nearly made without epidural but DS got stuck due to a medical condition he has that meant his skull plates were pre-fused so I needed forceps in theatre to get him out. I believe that if he had had a 'normal' head I would have made it without one!

floatyjosmum Thu 28-Feb-13 07:21:10

I was induced with dc2 and it was easier than dc1 which was spontaneous and much less traumatic.
Went on drip about 1pm and didn't feel painful till after 6 - had her at 8pm. No epidural - just gas and air.
No instruments involved either

Emsyboo Thu 28-Feb-13 07:17:41

I was induced took 3 days to get going and 4 days to give birth! Had everything from gel, having waters broken and drip.
I had gas and air and diamorphine I thought I wanted an epidural but the pain was manageable so kept putting it off then when they said it was time to push I asked for one and was laughed at lol as baby would be here to soon. I assumed pushing would be more painful than contractions but for me wasn't and I was fine glad I didn't have an epidural in the end.
Good luck but if you need it have it! X

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.

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

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.

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.

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...

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!

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now