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Diamorphine or pethidine?!? Advice/experiences needed

(39 Posts)
RPC3110 Tue 20-Sep-16 00:52:39

So I'm 31weeks and decided to really start thinking about what I want during labour however I'm not entirely sure. So I need some advice/experiences, which is better diamorphine or pethidine?

I have a terrible pain threshold so guaranteed I won't take pain well, I want to start with gas and air but then I don't know where to go from there. I did want an epidural but I'm thinking against it for various reasons, it would now have to be my last option I go to.

A part of me feels like having diamorphine in one dose in early labour is like saying I'm done/ I quit before I've even begun but people say it's suppose to be the best form of pain relief and I haven't a clue what pethidine is like but I know you can have it in active labour in 1-3 doses before 8/9cm so to me seems more reasonable. I'm just scared I'll be so out of it I won't remember and the baby will come out floppy and unresponsive as both can cross from me to baby. Someone please tell me if they are the same or one worse/better than the other? It would help me make up my mind a lot more, I know everyone doesn't always have the same reaction but I'd rather hear it from people who have had these than just from the information given in my antenatal classes.

Tootsiepops Tue 20-Sep-16 01:03:28

Are you doing NCT ante-natal, by any chance?

AddictedtoGreys Tue 20-Sep-16 01:13:05

I had pethidine with my first DC and I said I wouldn't have it again. It made me very sleepy straight away, so I was sleeping between contractions, but waking up at the height of the contraction and not feeling like it gave me any actual pain relief. I felt like I was away with the fairies, and even though it helped my body relax and go from 3 to 9 cm in just over an hour, I don't remember a lot from my labour at all. It was like there was a fog in my mind. There were complications that were unrelated to the pethidine, but DS was born with quite a low apgar score and was quite sleepy for the first night. He is absolutely fine now though! I never used pethidine with my second DC and my memories are very clear.

NoMudNoLotus Tue 20-Sep-16 01:14:52

From my knowledge as a nurse & somebody who had diamorphine - go with diamorphine.

It is much better at controlling pain - pethidine not so much - that tends to make you more drowsy .

I felt lovely with diamorphine grin pain free and alert to everything .

NoMudNoLotus Tue 20-Sep-16 01:16:10

And I'm glad you said that addicted as it backs my post up!

Although I'm sorry your birth was not as you wanted.

RPC3110 Tue 20-Sep-16 01:22:09

No I'm taking the nhs antenatal classes that my hospital offer.

wayway13 Tue 20-Sep-16 01:26:23

I had diamorphine twice during labour because they (long story) couldn't facilitate the gas and air.

I was dopey and out of it. DD was dopey. I "failed to progress". DD "failed to progress" and got her head stuck. I had to have an episiotomy and forceps to yank her out.

I slept through her first feed. Midwife latched her on and I passed out. DH held her in place for a full 30mins. I won't get that memory back.

I'm 37w with DD2 and my birth plan says "No diamorphine!".

wayway13 Tue 20-Sep-16 01:28:51

Ps that is literally the only thing on my birth plan this time because no one actually looks at your birth plan anyway.

RPC3110 Tue 20-Sep-16 01:43:32

Wayway13. Wow twice, surely that would be enough to almost knock you out.

Tootsiepops Tue 20-Sep-16 01:48:15

I had pethidine, but I'm one of the few people it doesn't work on. Annoying. I found gas and air more effective.

LillianFullStop Tue 20-Sep-16 11:07:36

I'm told it is one or the other and depends on your hospital which one they use.

They say it's beneficial only in early labour to give mum some rest before the show really kicks off. My hospital recommend it if you've been labouring a long time without rest. I don't like the sound of it either - I don't want to feel the pain but I would also like to be mentally present for the birth. Epidural sounds ideal in my case.

RPC3110 Tue 20-Sep-16 11:32:17

Lillianfullstop - my hospital use both, I don't want both though just one of them. Is what your talking about pethedine or diamorphine? Because they normally won't give you diamorphine in the later stages of labour or at least my hospital doesn't, pethedine they'll give you at any point providing your in active labour but not fully dilated.

Being a first timer I've no idea what the effects are going to be like, that's why I want to know how others have felt who've experienced it. I don't wish to be stuck in bed with epidural, I want to be able to actually get up and walk around a little. ok I'd want to be some what pain free yet still able to know when my body has the urge to push

crayfish Tue 20-Sep-16 11:41:16

I didn't have either but a girl on the ward with me when I had DS had diamorphine. She was really out of it for ages afterwards and struggled to breasfeed initially as a result. She said she couldn't remember much about the labour and was like a zombie for quite a while afterwards. Personally I would rather had had an epidural than either D or P. What are your reasons against an epidural?

crayfish Tue 20-Sep-16 11:43:24

I would also advice to just wait and see. Not every labour is the same. Mine was very very quick and therefore I was only allowed gas and air (I was 10cm dilated when arrived at hospital). Yes it was agony but the gas an air really worked for me and I initially thought I would have an epidural to be honest. You don't need to decide now, just take it as it comes.

Mirandawest Tue 20-Sep-16 11:47:28

When I had DS and then DD the hospital I had them in used diamorphine and not pethidine.

I fell asleep having taken it with DS and then was rubbish at pushing. Needed forceps to get him out although this was partly due to his heart rate going down and him needing to come out.

Used diamorphine with DD and remember asking if it would make me go to sleep again. They said it wouldn't but it did. I was again rubbish at pushing but managed slightly better that time.

Didn't notice any particular effect on the alertness of either DC

Mirandawest Tue 20-Sep-16 11:48:31

With DS I ended up having an epidural afterwards so they could stitch me up, but this is an unusual way to do things.

YorkieDorkie Tue 20-Sep-16 11:53:36

Gas and air is incredible!

I requested an epidural because my baby was back to back so I knew I was in for a long ride (I had contractions for 5 days before being admitted!)
I had full blown contractions when my waters broke but no progress. 16 hours later with no progress it was the best decision!

Pethidine allowed me to sleep overnight when nothing was progressing. It did give me some relief.

elastamum Tue 20-Sep-16 11:54:56

I would have an epidural. Both mine were induced with a drip and gas and air just makes me vomit. With DS2 I insisted they site the epidural before they put the drip up and I played scrabble in the delivery room between contractions until I shoved him outsmile

LilyRose16 Tue 20-Sep-16 12:02:12

Medication affects everyone differently. I had diamorphine when I was only 3cm dilated, I progressed very slowly. It didn't really do anything for the pain and I felt fully 'with it' and remember everything. I think pethadine might make you a bit more foggy. I wouldn't bother with diamorphine if there was a next time as unfortunately it did nothing for me, but it might work for others. Before labour I didn't want any pain relief other than gas and air but I changed my mind, be open to anything would be my advice!

Fuzzywuzzywasabear Tue 20-Sep-16 12:09:18

I had diamorphine during the first stages of labour which was great but it started to wear off and it hurt like he'll so I then had an epidural which was amazing!

I was also dead set against an epidural right up until I was in labour, I think the best birth plan is to see how you feel once you're there

LillianFullStop Tue 20-Sep-16 15:49:46

RPC I'm talking about diamorphine. My hospital don't offer pethadine for labour.

RPC3110 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:27:46

Yeah I might keep my options open until the time comes rather than trying to settle on something now.

I didn't want an epidural as I heard it lowers your bp and I have already low bp. Plus they insert a catheter for urine which grosses me out but I guess if your numb your not going to feel it. I'm also worried I'd end up forever being numb from the waist down which is probably silly to worry about. I supppose if it gets rid of pain and keeps you somewhat alert I'd rather than take that than have something like diamorphine or pethedine that may make me sleepy and baby sleepy

StubbleTurnips Tue 20-Sep-16 20:35:43

My birth plan this time only says 'no to pethidine / diamorphine - yes to epidural'.

I had diamorphine (two lots), it made me sleepy - had failure to progress, then DD in distress as back to back and she got in a tizz, ended up with an epidural / forceps / epistisomty birth.

Post birth I felt terrible, missed the night feeds - DD was too sleepy to latch on. Terrible first day / night. The midwife / hv explained that diamorphine can have that affect.

I'm a chicken so next time it's epidural straight away and sleeping until I'm told to push.

StubbleTurnips Tue 20-Sep-16 20:51:55

rpc last time I had a newer epidural, don't ask me what kind the anaesthetist did explain, that meant I could feel and move my legs still. I had low bp all pregnancy and it wasn't an issue, also didn't know I'd been catheterised!

hopeful31yrs Tue 20-Sep-16 22:10:36

Pethadine given in early labour completely wiped me out. Progressed to 10cm in 4 hrs with back to back baby but it did nothing for the contraction pain. Infact completely Zonked me between and as PP said I'd wake for each contraction. Was horrible. Gas and air lovely in comparison and in retrospect would have liked to use just that (although I was told I wasn't in labour and so wasn't given anything else after the initial pain injection!)

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