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tell me YOUR stories! (and help me choose)(33 Posts)
could people please post their stories on pain relief during birth that WASNT epidural ?
I'm 27 weeks pregnant with my 2nd and I want to try a different pain relief!
I had paracetamol up until I was about 9cm then gas and air. I would recommend having something stronger than paracetamol! I liked the gas. It didn't take the pain away completely but made it bearable . I liked the fact that it worked quickly and wore off quickly. It did make my mouth very dry so I sipped water between contractions.
I had pethidine during pregnancy for labour without progression. It was great, it allowed me to sleep.
TENS helped up until about 5-6cm
Gas and air made me feel a bit queasy with my first but ace with my second.
First was a water birth. Best pain relief ever!!!
With my first i had pethidine and it made me very sick and disorientated, wouldn't recommend it.
With my second it was gas and air and moving around.
The second was a lovely positive experience. I was in a birth centre and just felt more relaxed and in control than my first birth in a hospital.
DS: paracetamol, warm bath, TENS, gas and air, pethidine. Long spine to spine labour but totally doable.
DD: TENS, gas and air. Much shorter labour and DD right way around. Again, totally doable - was already 8cm when I got to the delivery suite.
Bath and paracetamol to start, then TENS until about 6cm. Moved onto gas at that point. MW suggested pethidine at 9cm as I was exhausted and she thought it would help me rest until I was ready to push. Sadly pushing got there first and I delivered before it reached its full effect. The sleep afterwards was the best I'd had for months
I don't recommend giving birth so quickly that you don't have time for pain relief like I did with my
3rd. I was looking forward to the gas and air too. I had gas and air with my other two and I loved it.
With DC1 I had a home birth and it didn't hurt enough for me to need any pain relief apart from one contraction where I was very tired and lay down on my back on the sofa, and realised, as I started yelling and leapt up from the sofa, that everything is read about avoiding lying on your back was true.
With DC2 I had a home birth again but the labour was short and intensely painful. I had a birth pool which was provided blissful relief and stopped me from noticing the trickle of waters down my leg, which felt as though I was constantly wetting myself. I think my body did its own endorphiney sort of painkiller as I really didn't care about the pain after a while, I was so blissful out. I did natal hypnotherapy beforehand, which might have helped.
I think if I were doing it again I would work my way through the following in order as I needed them:
Good birth environment (feel safe, warm, dark, few disturbances, privacy, known people, food, drink, freedom to move).
TENS machine (did nothing for me, but some people love them).
Water (birth pool)
Gas and air
Most people find that not all of those options are available, and some don't appeal, so I guess it all depends on the situation. Are looking for alternatives to an epidural because you fancy something lighter this time, or did you have a particularly grim epidural and want to avoid one totally and would rather, say, have a general anaesthetic if you need a section?
15 hours in total
Managed a couple of hours just by doing relaxed breathing, then had some paracetamol. About 5 hours in I put the TENS machine on, used gas and air for about the last 4 hours. I also had a couple of warm baths (without the TENS, obviously), one with oils, during the day.
I did look into hypnobirthing but didn't have chance to get to a proper session, we were shown a couple of techniques in antenatal classes and I think the fact I sing helped with getting the hang of the deep breathing for relaxing.
Meant to say. I wanted to try a water birth but there's only one at my local hospital and it was in use when I got there.
G&A for ages and TENS machine, DS was back to back though, so ended up needing pethidene. It just made me feel drunk and sleepy but worked to relax me a bit so that it would progress a bit easier. I did end up not being able to recall a lot of the end though because of it, and it made DS very sleepy. Gave birth lying on my side hooked up to a foetal monitor and a drip because of how long it took.
2 X 30/500 cocodamol
And about an hour of G&A intermittently. I remembered everything and DS2 came out crying and fed from me straight away. I gave birth with no intervention from midwife, kneeling on my bedroom floor, leaning in the bed.
If you can do it without pethidene then that's the way I would go every time. But... If you need it don't beat yourself up over it. In my birth plan I wrote that I didn't want to be offered it, but I would ask if I needed it, and on my first I felt like I needed it and it helped. With the home birth I didn't have that option, but I ended up not needing it anyway.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
With my son (first baby), I had my first twinge of labour at midnight 1/11. An hour later the pain really ramped up and I used the tens machine and had a bath to help during contractions.
A further hour later the pain was very intense and I started feeling nauseous. I went into the hospital at 3am to be told I was 9cm dilated and wash rushed up to delivery in a wheelchair. By that point it was too late for an epidural and I began to push. My son was born at 5am weighing 10.6lbs.
The only part I wished I'd had an epidural for was the stitching up afterwards that bloody well hurt!! Anyway my advice would be get a tens machine and make sure your DP knows where the boost button is and stay at home for as long as possible. Being in a comfy environment helps speed labour along.
Oh, also, DS2 was born in the membranes, it only ruptured after his head came out, which (according to the midwife) cushions the birth so it isn't as painful. He was out in just 2 pushes.
I had gas and air and remifentanil during labour after being induced and after epidural failed. Gas and air was ok but the remifentanil was brilliant. I could control how often I received it by clicking a button and it wore off quickly so that I could feel to push when I needed too. Also allowed me to doze off and nap.
Water and gas & air for me. Then nothing at the end.
I had awful awful back pain and if the water hadn't taken the edge off I would have had to go for something stronger.
I must admit, I thought that the idea of water as pain relief was woo bollocks, but it did really really help.
TENS machine throughout for both. It really helped distract me from the contractions. Funniest thing was when my husband went to pick it up when we let the delivery room and it gave him a massive electric shock! It had been left on at its highest setting.
Gas and air for both. This worked very well for me. With my second I didn't have anything else.
For my first I also had some pethidine. Can't say I remember it making much difference. Certainly didn't do enough to allow me to sleep!! I wouldn't bother with it again.
I was one of my sisters birth partners on her second and she wasn't coping too well with G&A, and they got her into the birth pool and the difference in her was amazing, it REALLY relaxed her. I was really surprised by the difference.
Diamorphine - I was sleeping inbetween contractions after this, contractions were very strong still so continued to use gas and air.
Midwife suggested I get the epidural after 24hours active labour so I could sleep for 2 hours before pushing. She said if I had tried to push without sleeping it would've probably ended with an emergency c-section.
The epidural was amazing
I had morphine as it was all you could get in the midwives unit - that and gas and air. The weird thing is though, I wasn't offered gas and air until after the morphine but I wish I just had that first because I found it way more effective. The morphine just made me drowsy in between contractions but did nothing for pain relief so I found it so pointless. I was glad it only lasts 4 hours tho so was long out of my system before I actually gave birth which means it had no effect on my baby. For future births I would for sure make sure to ask for gas first!
TENS machine and the techniques from Juju Sundin's birth skills work ed for me. I only got gas and air for the stitches, I'd have liked it earlier but I do like that I was clear headed throughout
I had paracetamol then gas and air for last 5 hours. Birthing pool for last 5 hours too which was amazing. Also did Lazy Daisy birth classes and the breathing exercises and active birth postures like the camel walk and visualisation during contractions really helped manage the pain. Birth suite was also lovely and cosy and dark with twinkly lights, my own playlist of music and a perfect unobtrusive midwife who just let me get on with it in the pool. I had a wee panic with the pain at transition (DH recalls me shouting I can't do it, my bum is going to fall out! ) but the midwife wafted Frankincense under my nose which miraculously brought me to my senses and I could manage again. Hadn't anticipated using aromatherapy but it was helpful. Also think mental prep from the classes and natural endorphins really did help as I had to have a colonoscopy about a year later. As I was still breastfeeding I wasn't allowed sedation so had to have have and air. I found it didn't seem to help as much as it had in labour which made me wonder if it had really just helped me breath better to manage the contractions. I am now pregnant with my second and desperately hoping that my experience is repeated this time. Good luck!
I had nothing with dc1, tens with dc2 & 3. Also gas and air for stitches post no. 3.
I knew I wanted to avoid pethidine, I'm a puker and just knew I would vomit. With dc1 would've had an epidural but arrived at hospital at 9 cm so no point.
Had dc2 at home and found being in safe / familiar environment, plus knowing what to expect from first labour meant experience was almost pleasant.
Dc3 was longer labour but manageable with tens. If it had gone on through the night (born 2am), I would've gone for something (anything!) to let me sleep as was at 24hrs+ without sleep.
I think your own confidence and how comfortable you are in environment make a big difference, but baby position is probably key. Dc3 was back to back, hence slower and it was the length of time, not the intensity of the pain that was the problem.
I started off in the water, I tried gas and air and didn't like it and continued without. Whilst it isn't pain relief, I found that hypnobirthing really helped me manage the pain and remain calm, so would recommend that, I just used a book and cd, the water was nice for me up until pushing stage.
Paracetamol and codeine, 4 puffs of g&a. Then refusals of any pain relief (by medical staff, not by me) whilst I had forceps.
I then ended up with a spinal block for post delivery surgery. If I ever had to give birth again, I'll be having an epidural asap.
It was fucking awful. Most horrific experience of my life.
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