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Can someone come and talk to me about pain relief!

(29 Posts)
Dollybird86 Fri 13-Sep-13 16:44:11

Hi all
I'm trying to write my birth plan and thinking about pain relief Im open to all options but would like to start with stepping stones rather than go 0 to 60!
•Did a tens machine did it work for you?
•Birthing pool pro and cons?
•Diamorphine? How did you find it? Did it just take the edge off or were you able to try and relax and rest until it wore off?

Thanks in advance for all ur replys!
(I hope I get some) smile

NomDeClavier Fri 13-Sep-13 17:00:34

Tens didn't but I probably put it on too late! Worth a shot.

No pool available.

Loved gas and air which you don't mention.

Historically I've done well on diamorphine and would have chosen it over an epidural but I also know that it sends me into a very floaty, trancey state so would be careful about when I used it. Also you need to consider the effects on baby and the need for monitoring etc.

Can I also chuck hypnobirthing in there? It's not pain relief but it is a way of dealing with the pain.

AuntyDiluvian Fri 13-Sep-13 17:01:49

Hi Dolly. I put on my birth plan that I was planning to use/try TENS, gas&air, and water, but that I was open toall ooptions. Didn't like the idea of pethidine but if my labour had gone on for days it may have been perfect to help me rest.
In the event I did just use g&a, water and tens- they were all really useful for the different stages of my 12hr+ labour and I liked feeling I had a 'next stage' of pain relief to go onto when things got tough. The pain was never unbearable because the pain relief helped me bear if IYSWIM.
I also did an Active Birth class at the hospital, much cheaper than NCT and so helpful for positions & breathing which I really did use in labour. Would recommend that too.
Good luck!

I used a birthing pool for birth of DC1 (dd) and found the water very helpful, would definitely recommend it.
With DC2 no water pool was available (in other hospital) but I stayed in the bath at home for as long as possible, and then made a mad dash in to hospital just in time !
Good luck with your birth flowers

Hope you get lots more experiences and ideas here - I think thinking things through beforehand for a birth plan is very helpful preparation smile

Dollybird86 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:23:36

Thank for ur advice, I didn't put gas and air as I assumed it was a given and have read bits on hypnobirthing but I don't have a great pain thresh hold but have been doing medation for a while so there are parts of that I can pull on for breathing and keeping me calm.

NomDeClavier Fri 13-Sep-13 22:00:09

I would put tens or water below gas and air - for me that's the step before diamorphine because you're starting to get into drugs, and equally it may not suit you. It doesn't suit everyone.

Bloodsocks Fri 13-Sep-13 22:11:38

My tens didn't stop any pain but was more of a distraction for me which is probably the point of it! Gas and air was brilliant for me, didn't have time for the pethidine I was demanding though so can't offer any advice on that, and someone was in the pool already and my bath wasn't deep enough to cover my bump so can't help on the water front either.

<helpful emoticon>

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 13-Sep-13 22:19:38

for me,
I started with paracetamol
then tens which I had no idea if it was working but didn't dare take it off just incase it was working really well.
tens came off and I got in the pool it felt like heaven I felt light instead of heavy and clunky and could move during the cramps anyway that felt like it made it feel better, (not something I found on dry land)
I thought child birth would make me feel like I was going to die so I save the gas and air for that point.
That point I never came so I had my first gas and air whilst the lovely midwife was doing some embroidery on my foof as that was HONESTLY more painful than the baby coming out.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 13-Sep-13 22:20:13

Get your TENS on early - ie as soon as things start happening and way before you're even thinking of going to hospital.

Start small with paracetamol and cocodamol.

You may have a warm bath at home before you go in. If you're induced (I was with ds1), then having that as a plan in hospital was good for me (I got to 9cms with TENS, a couple of cocodamol and a bath).

Write that you're keen to try gas and air (if you are), and that if you're not getting on with a mouthpiece then you'd like to try with a facemask (friends of mine have struggled to get a seal with their lips around a mouthpiece but have got on great with a facemask).

I put in my birthplan that I really didn't want any drugs that could cross the placenta and make the baby sleepy (such as pethidine) unless i really wasn't coping because I was very keen to bf and didn't want a sleepy baby making it more difficult.

Add in that you'd like to keep as mobile as possible for as long as possible. That helps with controlling pain too.

Good luck!

NaturalBaby Fri 13-Sep-13 22:25:16

Tens - no. I went to a tens course at the hospital and they let us try one on our arm, it put me off and I didn't bother getting one. They taught us about firm massage at the base of the back which helps though.

Birthing pool - amazing. I had my 1st 2 in one and 3rd without and really missed it! The feeling of getting in mid labour was of immense relief.

Can't offer any more advice, I used hypnobirthing and it really helped to give me something to focus on and feel in control of.

happydutchmummy Fri 13-Sep-13 22:27:07


my birth plan was gas and air, then pool, then pethadine then epidural in that order... I figured I'd try for a natural birth but if the pain got too bad to take the meds and not beat myself up about it

The gas and air was lovely stuff, and I ended up having a fast delivery just with the gas and air. It does dry out your mouth, so pack straws in your hospital bag so your birthing partner can hold a drink for you during contractions.

Also, I'd say try to keep as active/mobile as possible during early stages of labour. I found that doing the breathing I'd learnt I my ante natal yoga classes really useful ...

elcranko Fri 13-Sep-13 22:31:35

I was induced and contractions were intense from the start. Paracetamol and codeine didn't do anything for me. Diamorphine helped me to relax between contractions. Gas and air was great and helped a lot. Until I was put on the drip, which ramped up my contractions further. I then ended up having an epidural. I had said before the birth that I really didn't want an epidural but when the time came it was absolutely the right decision for me. Didn't try tens or water so can't comment on them.

Keep an open mind is my advice. You might need more pain relief than you think or you might manage on less.

BlackMogul Fri 13-Sep-13 23:33:32

Epidural. Went to sleep in labour! Total bliss. Was woken up for the actual delivery by my midwife. Other mums were screaming with the pain. ( I could hear them from my birthing suite) . Why go through all of that when you can relax? Brilliant first time and had epidural second time too.

NotCitrus Fri 13-Sep-13 23:51:13

Tens was great on way to hospital, about 6 hours in. Then got g&a and then waited for pool to fill - about an hour, but was fine.
One thing with pools is you may be ordered to get out after 6-8 hours if nothing has happened - or strongly suggested but evidence is it can slow things down further if you've gone that far. My 8 hours in it being fed grapes and having head massage in between g&a was wonderful! Shame about still only 6cm at the end...

Have you ever had g&a or pethidine/diamorphine? They make some people sick.
I ended up with an epidural for my SPD, so after that labour was just tedious for another 20 hours. I found thinking of it as a flowchart was helpful - if x happens, I probably want Y, but am worried about Z.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Fri 13-Sep-13 23:58:33

I get on very well with TENS, have now used it for two labours plus back pain following a car accident. You need to get the machine on as soon as things are happening so it has a chance to work. It's helpful to have spare batteries and electrode pads in case labour goes on a bit. I've got a MamaTENS which I bought from Amazon for less than £50, which I liked. It got me through a 20 hour back to back latent phase with DS, and to 7 cms with DD, combined only with paracetaml.

Gas and air is also really helpful. There is a technique to getting the most out of it; you need to start inhaling it as soon as a contraction starts as the effect has a slight delay to it, but once you work out that you can breathe both in and out through the mouthpiece it gets easier. You can't overdose so the only time you might get it taken off you is if the MW/ obstetrician needs you to concentrate. I used it with TENS and found it very effective. I also hung on to it for internals and stitches.

Pethidine was ok for me with DS. As he was spine to spine my latent phase was slow and sore, and two shots of pethidine kept me going when I was really very tired and tearful. I was offered an anti-emetic, but
refused it as I wasn't queasy. I liked the sensation, it didn't take the pain away but it made it not matter to me. However, it meant I wasn't very lucid at the actual birth, and made DS sleepy enough to make for a slow (but successful) start to BFing. I chose not to use it with DD and wrote into my birth plan, with community midwife support, that if I was induced or if baby was back to back again, I wanted to skip straight to an epidural. HTH.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Sat 14-Sep-13 00:02:39

Posted too soon.

Finally, I learned some mindful breathing techniques during late pregnancy, and found that very, very effective in the earlier stages, and also when used with G&A later on.

NomDeClavier Sat 14-Sep-13 09:16:14

Oh for stitching request a local anaesthetic. That way you get one jab and can hold your bsby. instead of lots and lots while frantically inhaling G&A.

Billy11 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:27:17

epidural only !
when it came to pushing... two pushes in 6 mins and the baby was out you can still feel some of the pain in ur ribs really high up
best decision ever

Xmasbaby11 Tue 17-Sep-13 15:47:04

Water - did nothing

Tens machine - did nothing

Diamorphine - made me dizzy and I couldn't stop puking

Gas and air - made me dizzy again and v dry mouth

Epidural was the only thing that worked to diminish the agony. Just wish I'd had it sooner than 24hours in!

I was disappointed as I'd been led to believe the other forms of pain relief were effective. They were not - not for me, anyway.

Thurlow Tue 17-Sep-13 15:59:15

Tens machine was amazing, I did 24 hours on that and loved it. Though it is painful itself - but somehow it was a more manageable pain and it distracted from the pain of the contractions. Start early and then work your way up the levels as you want. I was worried that if I worked up too quickly I'd run out of levels, but that didn't happen, so just keep turning it up.

Gas and air just made me pissed blush but having said that it did work a bit.

The epidural was the single best thing that happened to me. Ever. And I am probably including the baby in that! grin It was just bliss. But then sometimes you are factoring in exhaustion as opposed to pain relief so it's slightly different. For me the epidural was less relief from the pain and more respite from the pain, if that makes any sense.

pokesandprodsforthelasttime Tue 17-Sep-13 16:33:31

Paracetamol - might as well as taken 2 smarties for all the use they were

Water - made no difference

Tens - made no difference

Birth ball - helped because all the pain was in my back so I couldn't lie down

Gas and Air - amazing

Epidural - amazing

Thurlow Tue 17-Sep-13 16:42:21

Oh yes, water - hated it, hated it, hated it. I was inclined towards trying the pool if there was one available but I just detested being in the bath at home and wanted the Tens machine back on,

stargirl1701 Tue 17-Sep-13 16:52:53

Labour started 2am. It felt like period pains. I stayed in bed till 6am then went downstairs as I was ravenous! I ate 3 bowls of cereal, a few bananas and 6 slices of toast. I got in the bath at 7am and took 2 paracetamol.

TENs on at 8am. DH & I watched a movie until 11am. The contractions were stronger. I did the breathing & visualisations from ante natal yoga. I phoned hospital at 4pm. They sent me to local MLU to be examined. I was 8cm so decided to stay at MLU.

I took off the TENs and got in the pool - I was concerned about this as the TENs was working and I didn't know how I would feel in the pool. However, the pool was amazing. I felt weightless. 2 more hours of contractions in the pool then Transition which lasted 30 minutes or so.

About an hour of pushing and DD was born underwater. I was the first to touch her as I lifted her. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and then DH cut it.

A very empowering experience but nothing like my birth plan which was EPIDURAL in very big letters!

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite Tue 17-Sep-13 16:59:38

It is very personal.

I had very intense latent stages. I saw someone said that they'd put gas and air below water, but for me (for various reasons this didn't happen), G&A would have been mighty useful to get to the point where I was dilated enough for the pool. I loved gas and air, but others have said it does nothing for them.

Tens- irritating buzzing feeling. Did nothing but annoy me. Ripped it off within half an hour. Others love them though!

Diamorphine/pethidine - only thing I was dead set on avoiding. Sleepy, out of it, etc all very frightening ideas to me, so I said I would move straight to epidural, which with DD1 I did (nothing but pool for no. 2).

Epidural - I'm one of those who found it an awful experience. For various not particularly dramatic reasons, but one was that towards the end (despite apparently being appropriately sited and being topped to the max) it provided incomplete pain relief. And being topped up to the max I couldn't move from my back. Ended up totally attached to gas and air for the last hour or two (even between contractions!).

Water- like a magic wand which took away all pain. Literally no pain after I got in. However, DD2 had shifted from back to back just before I got in, so it was possibly a combination of the water and the massively high endorphins I'd built up over the previous few hours with the sudden drop in pain.

So, for me, gas and air and water were the ones I'd want again.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 17-Sep-13 17:58:37

TENS - did nothing

Gas and air - did nothing

Pethedine - Did nothing for the pain (tisn't pain relief after all) just stopped me from complaining and kept me trapped in my pain and distress.

2nd time, breathing and hypnobirthing meant I never asked for anything more (though perhaps because I also knew that except for an epi (which can also not always work and might not be available) there was nothing else that would have any effect).

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