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"I'd like an epidural but can't face a shouting match with the midwife. Perhaps I'll try hypnotherapy instead."(69 Posts)
Love the comment from Abigail.
Basically saying that labour won't hurt if you use hypnotherapy, then admitting that she hasn't actually had a baby. Can't wait to see her in labour, no doubt screaming for drugs.
LOL @ Abigail comment!!!!
I went in thinking the pain would be minimal and even if it wasn't, I am a tough girl who can cope.
I was in searing agony and asked for (and got straightaway) an epidural, so none of the article rings true for me, athough I'm sure it does happen elsewhere.
I think that if the pain is more than uncomfortable in second stage labour (or what I would call well before the pushing stage) then unless you are dead set against one, that's the point to request an epidural, and mean it - don't say "I think I might need one at some point". They need time to page an anaesthetist.
I actually feel very sorry for Abigail. I mean I expected it to hurt but it hurt a lot more than I thought it would. So if she thinks it won't hurt then it will probably be 10 times worse!
'I'm a strong believer that you get what you expect to get. So if you're expecting agonising, searing pain, what pain you feel will be magnified by the fact that you're expecting it to be absolutely awful - perception and expectation is everything. When I eventually have a child, I want to use hypnobirthing techniques. There are amazingly encouraging videos on Youtube - looks like a wonderful peaceful way to give birth.'
I'm in the US now and epidurals are absolutely the norm, meaning that the majority of women labour in bed and are prepared for any complications - an IV in their arm and nil by mouth except ice chips from the moment they check into hospital. I think it's important that women are aware of the risks of epidurals and the effect they have on labour and the spiral of interventions. For a start being immobile and not eating is likely to lead to exhaustion and failure to progress, hence the insane caesarean rates (near 50 percent in my local hospitals).
That said, yes, women should be able to choose whether they want one. Labour really, really, really hurts.
But the pain is /more/ manageable with support, yet women are not that well supported generally in hospitals. Giving birth with a doula is shown to reduce pain and interventions. And I watched an amazing hypnobabies video recently where the woman literally closed her eyes, breathed through the contractions and smiled afterwards. I was at how calm she was, so I think there is some truth in it. I took a rather half-hearted visualisation/self-hypnosis approach to my last labour and it helped, but I'd have liked to have gone to proper classes and really worked at it, I think it can be surprisingly effective.
No doubt, Bumper. So does mean if I expect to win the Lotto it'll happen? I strongly expect to lose 2st. Oh, wow! That was easy!
The problem is though when you're in transition you're likely to throw any birth plan you may have had out of the window. Some women shout "Give me an epidural and a caeserean now!" and others shout "I want to go home and I want my mum!" - the midwives have seen it all before and they can tell a desparate plea for pain relief from a mad transition-fuelled outburst. I suppose the problem is if they keep denying the request on the basis that you could manage a bit longer, then it turns into transition, it can seem a bit like a conspiracy!
Fuck's sake - why do people insist that giving birth is up there with dying in terms of pain? Granted, some people have a horrendous time, but lots don't. I think culturally as well if we ever heard slightly less pessimistic accounts of childbirth people might have a slightly easier time.
Has Zoe Williams already had kids or is this the first?
'why do people insist that giving birth is up there with dying in terms of pain?'
Because for a good many of us, it is terrifyingly painful.
I wound up giving birth to Dd2 drug-free and I am so scarred by the level of pain I felt I still have nightmares about it.
I was in so much pain that my mind was powerful enough to actually put off the birth of DS until I got that damn epidural.
Sure, it's not like that for some women, but it does for some. It's real, they're not imagining it and all the positive stories in the world won't change their pain receptors.
ONLY during labour/childbirth are people treated as if they're imagining the pain they feel and treated like second-class citizens.
Because it happens to women, of course.
If it were men who gave birth there'd be all different sorts of pain relief and/or support available.
"If it were men who gave birth there'd be all different sorts of pain relief and/or support available."
Interesting - and I bet it's true.
I appreciate what you're saying, and I know that some women have a terrible time, and relief should be available. I just wish that this wasn't the only scenario perpetuated on the tv or by people trying to scare the crap out of first time mothers. But that's an aside, I suppose.
'I think it is terrible that you have to chose between having an epidural and having your DH with you!'
Where is that? I've had an epidural and forceps delivery and DH was there for all of it.
same, DH was right there with me during my labour, whih involved forceps in the theatre. Fun times.
oops, I had both epidural and spinal tap. LOVED my anaesthetist, he was a beautiful man.
CherryChoc is bang on. For DD2's vbac, I wrote a birth plan about how I wanted a really really natural birth. During transition, I was all, "No! I cant do it, I want a caesarean!" which was absolute bollocks. I didn't and the midwife recognised that and helped me through it. It wasn't that long afterwards that DD2 popped out. It's very natural to have a crisis of confidence at transition and I am very, very glad she recognised that I didn't really mean it.
This sort of thing is so difficult for midwives though - pain is very subjective. For some people, labour is relatively easy. For others, it's near unbearable. Weighing up what a woman really needs and wants while she's in pain is hard for both her and her caregivers. This is why birth plans are a good idea and why ideally, a woman should know her midwife well and be able to communicate the sort of birth she wants and to discuss the possibility of epidurals in a calm state before she's in labour. If the midwife and mother both understand her feelings beforehand, they can renegotiate more effectively during the birth.
Sadly, with the NHS, you can't guarantee who your midwife will be and your baby will likely be delivered by a complete stranger so it's no wonder this communication isn't really possible.
I had a straightforward birth 3 yrs ago.
The trauma is still fresh and puts me off having another child tbh.
I approached it in a calm, this-is-okay-I-am-designed-for-this way but NOTHING ever prepared me for the horrific pain. Awful, truly awful.
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