Terrified of being sick during labour.. help?(32 Posts)
I have had a couple of weeks off work due to exhaustion and I think it has given me too much time to think!
I'm 27 weeks pregnant and I am severely emetophobic (phobia of vomiting) don't question why I got pregnant etc I knew it was a risk.
I'm starting to feel sick a lot from acid.. but the thing I am terrified of is being sick during labour. I have read all these horror stories of people being sick from the first contraction to the delivery! I am having images of me throwing up all over the hospital bed or waking in the middle of the night labour starting by me being sick.. my anxiety is so bad at the moment I'm having panic attacks and only sleeping a few hours a night.. anyone have any advice or experience? I'm so scared.
I was really anxious about this when I was pregnant too. I was planning on refusing any pain relief etc in case it made me sick. Speak to your midwife about your concerns. I was sick in labour (but I was very sick throughout my pregnancy) but at the time it wasn't bad. Your body gets flooded with hormones and your natural instincts take over and I found this stopped my anxiety about being sick.
I wasn't sick during labour at all
I might have had a few ahems from the other end but I wasn't sick
Tbh during labour you don't have a lot of room to be thinking.
speak to your midwife.
yes, many women are sick during labour, but many others aren't.
I don't know if medicines are available/safe during birth but my sickness was 'physical' due to the strong contractions not 'ill' iyswim.
You won't care when you're in labour. I was sick once but I think it was because I'd been advised to drink Lucozade will be sticking to sips of water next time.
Try not to worry. I am the same and have managed three pregnancies and labours without being sick.
Gas and pethidine can make you feel sick but with the gas you can stop whenever you like. I think the best thing you can do is research and learn some relaxation techniques so that you can feel as calm and in control as possible. Tell your midwife now and when you are in labour.
Try not to worry. I think some people are much more used to and likely to be sick but it definitely isn't inevitable.
I was sick in labour (and all the way through both pregnancies)But I was in so much pain I didn't care. The midwives are really good and have everything on hand. I'd try not to think about it. You honestly don't care when your in labour.
Have a chat with your midwife about your anxiety and see whether you can do an antenatal course to make you more informed.
If you are already feeling sick from acid, speak to your GP about having omeprazole which is great for heartburn and safe during pregnancy.
Contractions didn't cause me to feel sick but everyone is different. I would suggest avoiding painkillers in labour that can cause nausea or vomiting (pethidine, gas and air etc) just in case. If you think that it is the pain that is likely to cause you to be sick, maybe consider an epidural early on and make sure your birth plan clearly states your phobia.
Good luck and I hope it all goes well for you.
Former (recovering?) emetophobic here.
I was only sick once in labour because I did too much gas and air
But I was in so much pain and there was so much else going on, I honestly, honestly did not give a single fuck. And if it happens to you, you won't either. I promise.
Labour does something strange to your brain and takes you into a completely different dimension of space and time where things like that just do not matter or even register.
Oh OP I feel for you I was(am) the same. I told my consultant and he prescribed an anti vomiting medicine when I went to be induced with DS3. I had an epidural and all was fine.
With DS 2 i refused pethidine and gas and air as I suspected Id be sick and just had my boy without pain relief at all.
With DS1 I wasnt sick and had just an epidural
Tell your doctor. In my experience they were brilliant with regards to my phobia and sorted it out
I'm not going to lie, I was sick with a lot of my contractions when I was on established labour and with pushing, I had no sickness in pregnancy and no pain relief during labour. I have heard that some women are given anti sickness medication though.
It's not inevitable, but even if you are, you will not care and neither will anyone around you. I speak from personal experience - you are more concerned about the next wave of contractions and if your baby will ever make an appearance! Same also applies to nudity, swearing and possibly pooping. Social norms and anxieties really do go out of the window and your body takes over.
In the meantime, try out some relaxation techniques and focus on the fact you will soon be meeting your baby (congratulations).
I can completely empathise. My emetophobia ruled my life. I was so scared of it during labour that I wouldn't have gas and air and definitely no other drugs but I was lucky and wasn't ill in any of my labours. If you are this scared tell the gp, midwives etc. There was one point in my second labour when I thought I was going to throw up and I said to my mum (best birthing partner ever!) I'm going to be sick! Pass me the paper bowl thing! But it didn't happen. I am so used to fighting the urge to be sick I think I just fought it back. You're probably the same?! If you relax and enjoy the labour, which is totally doable, you will be in control and less scared. Easier said than done but try not to let this fear ruin the rest of your pregnancy
I was sick with contractions and I'm emetophobic. The worry beforehand about it was much worse than the actual event. I'd find a way to manage the worry (natal hypnotherapy perhaps?) because if it happens to you in labour you will likely find, like others have said, it's a non event and incomparable to being sick when ill
I don't mean to minimise your worry as I'm certain it's on your mind a lot
I was sick all the way through pregnancy and labour. During labour it didn't feel very bad, it felt like part of the process and getting one step closer to seeing my baby.
Out, of 4 last labours I was sick during only 1 and tbh being sick was a bit of a break from the contractions!
Honestly once you're well into labour there is,too much else to be thinking about. However I would still have a,word with your midwife if you are so worried about it. Good luck
Sorry no idea where that random 'last' came from!
Completely anecdotal but I am an emetophobe and have never even felt slightly sick in any of my three labours. Always been found scoffing biscuits and trying not to get crumbs on the entonox mouthpiece.
I'd advise two things: speak to your midwife about pain relief options that do not carry the risk of nausea as a side effect, and get some peppermint oil to sniff during labour. I was very sceptical if it might work (I was nauseous, though not sick, during my first labour, so wanted to be prepared the second time round ) but it was fantastic. I had slight waves of nausea during the transition stage and sniffing the bottle of peppermint oil made me feel much better. Definitely worth a try!
I was not sick during labour and I had gas and air.
Have you considered hypnotherapy? I don't mean hypnobirthing but hypnosis to deal with your fear?
If you feel very anxious it can cause you to have a longer labour so it's best to try and be calm and feel in control -if possible.
Or get the anti- sickness drugs (I never knew these existed!)
Good luck, keep calm.
Thank you everyone, your messages have been very helpful :-) I have started taking omeprazole and although it hasn't got rid of the acid completely I have felt an improvement.
Spoke to my midwife and she's written in my notes about my phobia but didn't seem too interested.. I'm seeing a consultant in December a few weeks before due date so going to mention it to her. Having days where I think I'll be able to cope and other days where I just cry all the time as I'm so scared.. it's ruining the last bit of my pregnancy
Unfortunately there is no predicting it - I never had as much as a moment of nausea at any stage during my pregnancies (2 mc at 12 weeks, one successful pregnancy and now over 30 weeks again) but I vomited with every single contraction until I got my epidural. No idea how or why that had an effect on throwing up.
However it did feel like a very different sensation to, eg food poisoning, much less distressing and not physically painful or repulsive in the same way. . But that is probably no help for you.
If I were you, I would firstly seek treatment for your anxiety or phobia. And if that does not help, consider your options for a more controlled delivery like a planned section or epidural from the very beginning if your doctors advise that pain relief has the least chance of vomiting.
Also is your phobia vomit in general or only you vomiting yourself? If the former, definitely try to address it now as babies spew a lot, from posseting excess milk to regular full-on projectile. If all of that would trigger a phobic reaction, your life will be very stressful and I think it definitely worth taking measures to avoid this.
I didn't vomit during labour, so it's not guaranteed that you will
Can you make sure that your birth partner also understands that you want to reduce the likelihood of being sick, and this needs to be take into consideration for any pain relief options? I found that no one opened my notes / birth plan, but listened to DH on the big stuff
I'm emetiphobic too which was why I had zero intention of any pain relief, i was terrified of the potential side effects. I had no vomiting at all and was in full control and completely empowered by it.
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