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To not understand why 'no pain relief' in childbirth is a source of pride?

(353 Posts)
bronya Fri 02-Aug-13 12:31:56

I accept that some people hurt more than others when giving birth, but surely, it's not clever to go without pain relief if you need it? If you want it and can't get it, I feel for you. If you choose one variety over another, that is your choice. Equally, if your body simply doesn't hurt enough to need it, then aren't you lucky!

How is the whole screaming in agony for hours on end, a GOOD thing? I just don't see it. Pain relief is available, why not have it?????

Fluffy1234 Sun 04-Aug-13 20:27:35

I had my 3 DS's without any pain relief, I've never thought of it as something to be proud of. I'm just proud to have had 3 lovely boys.

jammiedonut Sun 04-Aug-13 19:45:32

Haha my fanny has certainly never been bucket sized, pre or post baby and I still managed to squeeze out thr 99th centile head circumference of a 9lb+ baby without pain relief. It fecking hurt though and I begged for pain relief through the last 9 hours of my 23 hour labour but was refused as I've said before because of allergies. Am shuddering thinking about it

BellEndTent Sun 04-Aug-13 00:47:42

My first labour, I begged the horrible midwife for drugs only to be told it was too late, I didn't need it, baby would be born sleepy etc. I was in agony (horrible 22 hour labour which started off back to back) and insisted. Was given pethidine, made little difference to the pain and I felt terrible for not being "strong enough" to cope and having to argue.

ShadowMeltingInTheSun Sun 04-Aug-13 00:32:06

Not sure I'd call not having pain relief in labour a source of pride.

I didn't have any pain relief in labour with DS (unless you count the one dose paracetemol & codeine I threw up within 15 minutes of taking them) - this was mainly because labour progressed much faster than the midwives or I expected it too.

If anything, when I was going to baby groups with DS, I felt almost ashamed to talk to other new mums about this because I was worried that they'd think I was bragging or something for having had a fast (almost) drug-free labour. Although I'm pretty sure that if I'd been in labour for the average length of time, or longer, I'd have been demanding pain relief.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sun 04-Aug-13 00:12:52

Wouldn't bother reading the above post-it's late, it's long and I just feel better for having typed it! As you were!

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sun 04-Aug-13 00:09:44

On balance, I think most people on this thread actually are saying that birthing a baby, by any means, is an achievement. And acknowledge the role of many factors in the route that baby takes. I still find difficult the congratulations or awe new mothers receive for having a relatively intervention free birth. But I have a bit of a weird perspective on achievement generally because I believe in being grateful for any achievement and the advantages it brings rather than being proud as such. Was it Newton who said the "standing on the shoulders of giants" line? I feel that sums it up really. Every straightforward birth involves the prerequisites of at least some of these:genetics, access to good information, a supportive partner, good midwifery care. So in terms of sense of achievement - we should all have that for birthing our babies. In terms of pride? Why should I feel more pride in my gas and air and breathing birth than my friend in her crash section birth? I don't see why someone who goes drug free should feel less-the posters suggesting that aren't helpful but more? Can't see it. And, hissy fit or not, I still find it very unpalatable to then bring caring more for the child being born into it. How about those mothers who found it hard to bond after a traumatic labour because they are so messed up by what happened? We are fast returning to a time not so long ago where women are terrified of labour because they have few options for pain relief available. Previously it was because epidural and the like weren't routinely available. Soon it will be because women feel its such a dangerous thing to do for their baby.
Isn't there a bit of middle ground?
Oh and by the way, mini fingers, you are so wrong about me blaming others for how I feel about my parenting decisions. It's just that actually, gas and air in labour was one of my better ones. My second and third births where the midwife didn't deny me it during pushing were even better.

MaryKatharine Sat 03-Aug-13 22:40:43

Epidural takes a max of 20mins I believe to take effect. I requested it immediately and was ignored. But as I posted previously, the worse part was the midwife had the audacity to give me the speech about being proud and how she knew I could do it all without one. Spectacularly missing the point that I knew I could do it. I ad one it before. The point was I didn't want to. angry

wharrgarbl Sat 03-Aug-13 22:37:59

Then I have no idea why you're pushing the ideas you are.

MaryKatharine Sat 03-Aug-13 22:36:53

Yes but I didn't have an hour!
I was in labour for 42mins and I pushed for 9mins. I wanted a bloody epidural so as not to feel pain having had the lat 2 pain free. I was denied it because the midwife decided I could do it without pain relief so I should. I think that is a disgrace.

Minifingers Sat 03-Aug-13 22:36:30

"I'll keep right on giving myself a hard time about what a shit mother I am because of having an EMCS"

If you want <shrugs>

I have no intention of giving myself a hard time about my forceps birth following having an epidural. But hey ho, each to their own.

wharrgarbl Sat 03-Aug-13 22:35:49

And after the fetal distress, what happened then?

janey68 Sat 03-Aug-13 22:35:44

I think to be fair that last post was defending against the sneering comment about women who give birth naturally having fannies like buckets. I mean why on earth would anyone even think that in their head? Unless they have their own issues and can only deal with it by imagining such things

Minifingers Sat 03-Aug-13 22:32:33

"So not sure I buy into the cause and affect with regards epidurals".

Well I go by the evidence presented in the Cochrane index, which is what the NHS bases its patient information on.

35 of the 38 studies in the Cochrane review look at outcomes associated with epidural use women taking pethidine as the control group. They are not comparing women having complicated labours who opt for an epidural with women having straightforward births where they don't need pain relief. The studies compare two groups of women who are having labours difficult enough to warrant the use of sedation or an epidural. And even given the fact that opioids are associated with higher rates of non-reassuring traces in labour, epidural STILL resulted in more cases of fetal distress than pethidine.

wharrgarbl Sat 03-Aug-13 22:29:58

Good-oh, then Minifingers, I'll keep right on giving myself a hard time about what a shit mother I am because of having an EMCS. Job's done.

Chunderella Sat 03-Aug-13 22:26:13

Are you 12, LaGuardia? I would've hoped we might manage a sensible discussion without derogatory remarks about each other's vaginas.

Minifingers Sat 03-Aug-13 22:25:45

"minifingers, those correlations are slightly skewed because women are rarely given epidurals as and when they want nice and early".

Because most women in the UK aren't admitted to hospital before they're in active labour.

The majority of women who request an epidural in active labour get one within an hour of request.

"So the foetal distress is often there anyway or caused by a long and difficult labour which is fen the only time."

No - epidural CAUSES many cases of fetal distress. It's the physiological effect of a big drop in the mother's blood pressure, which is what can happen as the epidural starts to work. Women with an epidural are also more likely to run a temperature in labour which can lead to tachycardia in the baby, and (if the mother has had prolonged rupture of the membranes) a suspicion of infection which can result in a baby being separated from its mother and even being subjected to lumbar punctures - because doctors can't always tell what is causing the temperature.

"The effect of opiates are a different matter but rarely dangerous to baby. They are more likely to need help because they are so sleepy."

Why should you have to prove long term harm to a baby as a justification for being cautious about a drug (which is actually a shit analgesic anyway, hence a number of hospitals deciding now not to make it routinely available for labouring mothers) which is known to impair breastfeeding and sometimes result in a frightening situation where a baby needs to be bagged and masked at birth? I don't want my children to be sedated with a strong opioid, not if there is no benefit in it for them, and not, especially, for the first hours they spend outside the womb and interacting with me! I appreciate that other people think sedating a newborn baby is no biggie, by for me and lots of other people it is!

Actually LaGuardia, it's the stretchiness that's key, and width of the pelvic opening. If you're going to comment on my anatomy at least be sure you have some idea what you're blathering on about first smile

janey68 Sat 03-Aug-13 21:24:12

Women don't require pain relief because they have Fannies like buckets? LMAO - anyone who makes that sort of comment sounds like they have issues with their own experience frankly

By all means have pain relief if you want or need it. Just try not to make pathetic put downs to women who don't.

wharrgarbl Sat 03-Aug-13 21:20:02

*"Highly debatable, except in the very short term."

It's not 'highly debatable' that babies are more likely to need resuscitating at birth if the mother has had opioids. *

Excellent not reading for content there.

LaGuardia Sat 03-Aug-13 21:18:17

They didn't require pain relief because they have fannies like buckets.

MaryKatharine Sat 03-Aug-13 21:16:30

minifingers, those correlations are slightly skewed because women are rarely given epidurals as and when they want nice and early. So the foetal distress is often there anyway or caused by a long and difficult labour which is fen the only time. The effect of opiates are a different matter but rarely dangerous to baby. They are more likely to need help because they are so sleepy.

The pregnancy in which I wanted an epidural was my 4th. I had had 3 other straightforward vaginal births. All quick, no distress and two without any pain relief. Not sure an epidural would have led to foetal distress in my case.

So not sure I buy into the cause and affect with regards epidurals.

Minifingers Sat 03-Aug-13 21:13:36

Oh for goodness sake, be an adult. We can't all make optimal choices in relation to every aspect of our parenting, we just can't. Circumstances just conspire against it sometimes. No need to have a hissy fit and start blaming other people for your negative feelings about your parenting decisions.

scraggydoodledo Sat 03-Aug-13 21:08:55

Giving birth without analgesia and having a root canal without analgesia are totally different to me too; I would have to agree with Janey. It is interesting to talk to people from other countries because, whereas an epidural is typical here, it isn't in many other countries. I doubt that there are major physiological differences.

Lots of reasons for that, a lot of which have already been mentioned.

More doctors opt for CS not because if is better but because doctors only get called in when things go wrong and see the post natal complications of difficult births. They therefore have a v skewed experience.
Overall, uncomplicated vaginal delivery is safest but there is no guarantee of that.

I have never bragged about not having an epidural nor commented on other women's choices and have never even experienced anyone else bragging either. I wonder if certain antenatal organisations and the media are responsible for the guilt that some women feel about their birth choices rather than individuals.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sat 03-Aug-13 20:57:03

Brilliant-now I feel as if I shouldn't have had bloody gas and air during what I had considered three births I had breathed hard through and managed calmly and well. I know damn well that I'd I'd had particularly difficult births with less brilliant support I'd have needed more. So pride never actually came into it. But I certainly felt okay about the consequences for my baby. Perhaps I should also have thought more carefully about having gas and air for a serious unjury I sustained whilst pregnant. Or refused morphine. And used hyonotherapy durung tge surgery. Or been better prepared so i didn't get hurt in the first place. Because a stronger, more stoical, more baby focused woman might have. I wasn't cross at the start of this thread but none of the justifications for feeling proud of pain relief choices has held water for me. And then to go into questioning women's care of their unborn child. Enough.

Minifingers Sat 03-Aug-13 20:34:57

"I am having some major dental work done next month."

If you were pregnant and your dentist offered you pain relief for dental treatment which was known to cause fetal distress, would you use it and not think twice about it?

Stop comparing drug use in labour with drug use in situations where only one person is involved. It's pointless.

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