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Pain relief that won’t make me lose control

(21 Posts)
Daffydillo Sat 16-Mar-19 19:41:46

Is there many options for pain relief in labour that won’t make me lose my mind?

I had gas and air last time, and I wonder how much it made me lose control. I did have a pretty awful labour but the main thing that sticks in my mind was my inability to have any control, I felt like I lost my mind.

Someone said I should try Pethidine but surely that would be much worse?

OP’s posts: |
SlB09 Sat 16-Mar-19 19:43:16

I had diamorphine and it was fine. I was sleepy but definitely not out of control x

Di11y Sat 16-Mar-19 19:47:45

my midwife encouraged me to ease off the g&a for the crowning, the adrenaline has kicked in and it helps you focus.

at least with g&a if you stop taking it you feel better pretty quickly.

Naughtysausage Sat 16-Mar-19 19:54:28

You should check whether pethidene is given with an anti-emetic in your trust too. Being sick never makes you feel in control!

Doublechocolatetiffin Sat 16-Mar-19 19:57:13

I definitely wouldn’t take pethadine, it was off my list of medications as I hated the idea of being out of it and not being able to do anything about it. Gas and air was much better second time around as I ate more. Best for pain relief and having a clear head is an epidural, no pain at all!

Notso Sat 16-Mar-19 20:01:38

I had pethadine for pain relief when I had a PE in my first pregnancy. Not only did it make me sick I had to go for an x-ray and remember being in a corridor slumped in a wheelchair drooling and not being able to do anything about it. I couldn't walk or talk properly, they had to call DH down to speak for me.

redcaryellowcar Sat 16-Mar-19 20:05:26

I had diamorphine and gas and air on first dc birth, hated the dizzy feeling so managed dc2 on a warm bath and some sheer determination, and was so pleased that when he arrived I felt totally with it! He was 9lb4oz, and did make a bit of a mess on exit so I ended up with some local anaesthetic while the doctor stitched me up, but not that nasty woozy feeling. Dc1 was a much longer bad induced labour and I don't think I would have managed without some pain relief.

PostmanPatIsIncompetent Sat 16-Mar-19 20:11:12

Epidural? That had no mental/emotional effects at all for me, just took the pain away. Massive contrast with pethidine which was hellish for me, I felt like I had no control at all and also got incredibly paranoid and sad about things that had happened years ago. Really what I wanted while in labour!

Jealous of hospitals who give diamorphine. I would have given my left arm for that grin

Cuddlysnowleopard Sat 16-Mar-19 20:15:43

I had diamorphine with DS1 and it was horrendous. I just felt groggy sleepy, but still in agony, so I could express just how much pain I was actually in. By the time he was born, I was hallucinating, he was in distress - bloody nightmare. I whole thing was a blur, took me 18 months to get over it.

I had an epidural with DS2, and felt absolutely in control. Marvelous experience.

DamonSalvatoresDinner Sat 16-Mar-19 20:16:09

Water! I can not recommend a water birth enough.

I've had 3 kids and I've had gas and air for all 3, diamorphine I believe for the first and pethidine for the second. The two with painkillers made me feel not very lucid and didn't help the pain even a little. Both were agony.
The third birth didn't have pain relief other than G&A and I had the baby in a birthing pool. The pain was literally halved! I was fully lucid, fully in control and the pain, whilst definitely there, it was nothing like the others.

Ridingthegravytrain Sat 16-Mar-19 20:17:42

pethadine made me feel so out of control it was awful. And did nothing for the pain.

PostmanPatIsIncompetent Sat 16-Mar-19 20:22:59

Cuddlysnowleopard God, sorry to hear that - I had diamorphine for something else and have always wished it had been available for my births, but sounds like it can be as bad as pethidine was for me.

God love epidurals, though. I still remember the cool trickly feeling and the pain disappearing and thinking, "oh god this is ACTUAL MAGIC"

Fr3d Sat 16-Mar-19 20:27:14

Acupressure points for labour. When used during the peak points of contractions, took it from an 8 down to a 5 so way more manageable

BangGoesThatTheory Sat 16-Mar-19 20:28:27

Same as Riding re pethidine, plus awful hallucinations.

Had gas and air for second birth, much better pain relief and felt totally in control.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Sat 16-Mar-19 20:31:21

I had diamorphine and literally could not stop vomiting for 24hrs despite being given anti emetics.

I’ve found out as the years have gone by that I am just very sensitive to opioids and need a much lower dose than the regular person otherwise i get all the horrible side effects such as vomiting, nausea, hallucinations, dysphoria etc.

If I could do it again I’d avoid all the opioid drugs and just use water. So soothing and a very effective pain killer.

CallMeCarolDanvers Sat 16-Mar-19 20:31:25


My birth plan was water ---> gas and air ---> epidural. Skipped the g&a in the end, and the hospital did a mobile epidural so I was able to stay mobile and active and upright, walk to the loo, bounce on a ball etc, whilst totally pain free.

Daffydillo Sat 16-Mar-19 20:36:53

@Fr3d would love to know more about pressure points!

Had water last time up to a point where things went wrong, oh how I missed the safety of my pool!

OP’s posts: |
Tinyteatime Sat 16-Mar-19 20:40:24


Babdoc Sat 16-Mar-19 20:41:25

If your priority is excellent pain relief, with no sedation or blurring, then the epidural is unbeatable.
Nitrous oxide (“gas and air”) wears off within minutes of you stopping breathing it, but it’s much less effective as a painkiller and will make you a bit woozy while you’re using it.
Opiates such as diamorphine (heroin) or pethidine provide reasonable pain relief, but are notorious for causing nausea and vomiting, and also cause sedation and respiratory depression.
TENS machines don’t make you sedated or sick, but the pain relief is fairly minimal- about as good as nitrous oxide or paracetamol.
All labours are different, OP, even for the same mother with subsequent births, so I’d just keep an open mind about what analgesia you may need and see how it goes on the day.
I’ve had patients who initially refused anything and wanted the hippy chanting/whale song cd approach, but who were screaming for an epidural after half an hour, and others who booked an epidural in advance but actually delivered comfortably with nothing but a couple of puffs of entonox!

Daffydillo Sat 16-Mar-19 20:50:08

Thank you @Babdoc.

I had a 4.8kg baby last time, no epidural as I didn’t want one. It remains in my mind I don’t want one this time either but I would like to be a bit more in control as possible. I became someone I didn’t recognise and it has taken a very long time and lots of support to cope and move on.

I go from one extreme to another, low intervention birth in a MLU or ELCS, I don’t want the invetween!

OP’s posts: |
Fr3d Sat 16-Mar-19 20:56:42

Google acupressure points for pain relief in labour. I think it was Gallbladder 32 we used, as I was using a birth ball. As contractions came on, i would tell dh when to apply pressure to take the peak off. Would need someone with strong hands as your birth partner I think...or maybe use elbows.

A couple of times dh wasn't ready...oh the difference it made.

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