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Does the syntocinon drip make contractions a lot more painful?

(64 Posts)
sunndydays Tue 17-Aug-10 12:35:05

Do most people who have this have an epidural?

mamaloco Tue 17-Aug-10 12:38:01

Yes. I had freinds who have been recommended to have the epidural before they put the drip. I was envy. I had to beg for mine for 3 hours as it was unbearable, but DD1 was back to back and not properly engage so pushing somewhere in my back.

aquavit Tue 17-Aug-10 12:40:46

I had syntocinon drip and no epidural, just gas & air. Contractions were (blessedly) more frequent (had been in labour for two days by then so was just desperate to get on with it!) but no more painful.

Why do you ask, are you going to be induced?

hope all goes well for you smile

sunndydays Tue 17-Aug-10 13:06:17

No, I was induced and had the drip but they wouldn't give me an epidural. I was only 36 weeks and dd was back to back and I just think they were mean! Especially as it was so rushed, 10 hours from breaking my waters, I am still very grumpy about it grin

eejaykay Tue 17-Aug-10 14:40:21

Not surprised you are grumpy about it!

I had syntocin when my contractions disappeared (I'd been pushing for an hour when the doctor checked and said 'this lady is not fully dilated, grrr). Anyway, I asked for an epidural and the lovely doc said 'what a good idea' and a very handsome anaesthetist came and sorted it out (amazing how people who bring pain relief are so gorgeous. Apparently I flirted with him outrageously!), although not til after the syntocin kicked in - those contractions were strong, and v painful.

So yes, had epidural, but I did have to ask for it.

mamaloco Tue 17-Aug-10 15:39:27

I am still grumpy and it was 5.5 years ago. I had the epidural 1/2h before the CS in the end. angry

mousymouse Tue 17-Aug-10 15:44:49

was induced with ds, not induced with dd. I think not induced was more intense (quick 5 hour birth), but there was always a gap between contractions. when I was induced the contractions just came and came without any realy gap in between. I think that was the main difference.
induced - no pain relief at all (MW bitch did not let me use g&a)
spontaneous - only g&a bliss

muslimah28 Tue 17-Aug-10 17:13:12

yes i think they are more painful. i had an epidural which didn't work all the time and it was very severe.

what is it with midwives and not allowing g&a?? in both the 3 hour stints my epi didn't work i wasn't allowed gas and air until the very end when they really could see i had absolutely had enough!

mum2oneloudbaby Tue 17-Aug-10 20:37:14

Aquavit you had my labour grin

I asked the mw this as she recommended the drip after v. v. long labour and she said that it would be managed i.e. gradually increasing the amount in order that the contractions became more frequent and more effective as they would naturally anyway and she was right it did. G&A needed only.

ItWasADarkAndStormyNight Tue 17-Aug-10 20:40:48

In my experience yes, ended up with an emcs as ds couldn't cope, drip made it worse. However my waters broke early and he was prem, unlikely to happen to you. It does speedup labour though which in most cases is a very good thing smile

vinchaud Wed 18-Aug-10 18:33:00

Definitely. Had 2 DCs with G&A and far less painful than syntocin drip with no epidural with DC4. Gave in and had epidural after hour and a half.

PinkElephant73 Wed 18-Aug-10 19:48:58

Agony, Im afraid. I had syntocinon during 2nd stage as contractions had more or less stopped and I was exhausted. For some reason they thought it was a good idea to give syntocinon before the pain relief. I was screaming uncontrollably with each contraction and could not move - could hardly bend enough for the anaesthetist to be able to put spinal block in. He said right Ill have one more go and then if not will have to be gen. anaesthetic - I just managed to bend enough then.

Bobbalina Wed 18-Aug-10 19:55:14

Syntocinon is the devils work imo, mainly because you need continous monitoring meaning no active labour.

I had a hideously painful labour, mainly because I could not move freely, had at least 4 epidurals and eventually a c section, the worst of all worlds really.

I would go straight for the c section if in this situation again - ask them what percentage of syntocinon labours end in c- section - I bet it is very high.

pebblejones Wed 18-Aug-10 19:59:32

I managed only 3 hours on it before the midwife stroked my cheek and said 'would you like an epidural?'. I couldn't say 'yes please' fast enough. The epidural was amazing so fast, I went from not being able to speak to chatting away like nobodies business!
I don't really remember those 3 hours (DH does and is still quite traumatised), I probably don't remember because of all the gas and sir I was guzzling!

PaulineCampbellJones Wed 18-Aug-10 20:05:52

I went through the roof once I had it (failure to progress after waters breaking). Had an epidural in the end as I was so exhausted and out of it on gas and air.

JuneBugJr Wed 18-Aug-10 20:27:53

In my experience - extremely painful.

Was having contractions, which were painful but managable, but dilation was very slow, so they decided to use the syntocin. Within half hour, the pain was unbearable, and I just didnt know what to do with myself. Babies heartrate dropped suddenly when they cranked the drip up, and got carted off for EMCS. The drip not good for me or the baby.

Of course others have more positive stories than me, but you do hear it is more painful, and most women have an epidural with them for good reason!

nickstermum Wed 18-Aug-10 21:05:58

I had the drip before the epidural simply cos it took them hours to get it to me! Yes it was horrendously painful - epi any day of the week for light relief!!!!

storminateacup10 Fri 20-Aug-10 18:00:47

JuneBugJr- you had exactly the same experienc eas me by the sounds of it.
mamaloco and Bobbalini- I agree with you 100%- oxytocin drip is evil itself.
I was doing ok before they attached that damn thing to me (didn't even explain exactly what it was they were doing, so i had no idea it was oxytocin at all)...labour a bit slowed down and dilating slowly but surely...contractions manageable.
Following drip, I can only describe what followed a pure torture- so wracked with pain that I could not move and barely breathe. Contractions so hard they were off the scale of the monitor and every 5-6 secs.
Managed to bear this for a couple of hours- body shut down completely because of agonising pain and so dilation also stopped.
Had to beg for epidural in the end, by which point contractions then burst my placenta- lost 2 litres of blood and DD heart rate plummeted.
Rushed in for emergency CS.
Sound familiar ladies?!
They were very busy the night I went in and I strongly suspect they knew exactly that I was going to end up in theater and did everything to rush me through in that direction to free up my room.
What really galls me is that I was only in labour for 4 hrs when I arrived so I don't understand why the hell they could not have given my labour more time...
Don't let them anywhere near you with that drip unless there is literally nothing else that can be done, that's my advice!
It has taken me nearly 2 years to even consider having another baby because of the trauma of my first birth.
And it could have all been quite easily avoided too :-(
Good luck.

LittleSilver Fri 20-Aug-10 18:38:45

Had synto with DD1. The scariest bit was not being able to draw enought breath between horrendously painful contractions to ask for an epidural. Which then didn't work.

DD2, laboured spontaneously and couldn't believe how, well, absolutely fine it all wwas! Not pain free by ANY stretch of the imagination, damn painful in fact, but nothing I couldn't handle with G and A (and I have the pain threshold of a gnat)

DD3 was induced in a BIG hurry due to rocketing BP. I held off the synto for 9 hours, swearing I was NEVER having that evil stuff ever again. And boy did I regret it hen I did cave in.

PG with DC4 now and I am NEVER having it again. I'm still angry about it now.

harverina Fri 20-Aug-10 23:06:09

In my experience, the drip makes contractions come faster - this means you don't necessarily have the "natural" build up of contractions so the pain comes faster. I had gas and air and diamorphine. Opted not to have an epidural though midwives did encourage me to consider one before having the drip. Yes, it was painful but I felt it was bearable. If I was induced again and on the drip, I would still not have an epidural.

blueshoes Fri 20-Aug-10 23:31:51

Bobbalina: "ask them what percentage of syntocinon labours end in c- section - I bet it is very high."

Agree. It is not just the mothers who cannot cope. The baby can also go into distress from the intense contractions, as dd did. She was born by emcs, me under GA.

The midwife said 'some babies don't like the drip' - well, nice of you to tell me AFTER I agreed to have the drip and ended up with emcs.

elvisgirl Sat 21-Aug-10 02:28:17

Agree with storminateacup - felt like I had been tortured, & also littlesilver - couldn't draw breath to even ask DP for a sip of water or work out how to do the gas & air. At one point I was considering making a run towards the window to jump out. I thought they were getting a tray ready for the epidural but it was the baby tray. Three hrs had passed but in that kind of pain you can't think of anything else. At that point I knew at least there was an end in reach (unfortunately that end was a retained placenta, GA to remove it, PPH of half me blood & days in ICU recovery). They'd given it to me cos of previous 48hrs stop-start labour & hardly any dilation. Absolutely criminal to be in that state so tired & be given it without an epidural.

So IMHO deffo have the epidural first!!!!

SkiHorseWonAWean Sat 21-Aug-10 07:33:24

elvis "Funny" you should say that. confused (I didn't have the drip, just the gel but my experience echos many here) - I managed to draw enough breath to tell the doctor I was going out the window if they didn't sort it out!

I'm very embarrassed to have had to resort to such a "threat" - but I do wonder if that was the point at which they started to take my distress seriously... having been offered a paracetamol for pain relief. hmm

vinchaud Sat 21-Aug-10 07:43:09

DC1 given syntocin for slow dilation and meconium in waters. Ended with foetal distress and ventouse.

DC2 at MLU so no syntocin, lovely waterbirth.

DC3 planned homebirth, transferred but still natural delivery. Meconium again but no syntocin this time.

DC4 induced, syntocin to speed things up (!), foetal distress and emcs (though big baby as well so had agreed to emcs if things went wrong)

So for me syntocin definately messes up the whole birth process.

nooka Sat 21-Aug-10 07:49:49

I think so. Contractions are more powerful and they aren't regulated by your body so are more out of control. They also don't build up in the normal way. I had an epidural as part of prep for a c-section after unsuccessful VBAC with a drip. Not a good combination. The worst and most scary experience of my life. I am told I have a high pain threshold - I managed to break both my arm and jaw a few years later and the medics were very surprised at the X rays (and they gave me lots of painkillers very quickly lol). I think it was the feeling of being totally out of control plus being trapped with all the straps and the drip. Still at least I really can't remember much except the wonderful feeling of no more pain once the epidural went in. dh was much more traumatized and it really messed up our relationship for years.

Totally reasonable to be grumpy!

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