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pethidine - positive experiences?

(78 Posts)
iamamummy Sun 16-Aug-09 23:00:12

hi ladies

I am due to give birth in 5ish weeks hopefully at home if the midwives agree.

All i have heard is negative stories about pethidine and how out of control/sick it makes you feel. so when i gave birth to ds1 i never really considered it.

I just want to know is it really that bad?


lisbey Sun 16-Aug-09 23:15:41

I had it for DS1 and don't remember it making me feel bad or out of control, but equally I didn't feel it helped much with the pain.

DS1 was very sleepy for the first couple of days and I did wonder if the pethidine had something to do with that, so I didn't have it with DS2.

cece Sun 16-Aug-09 23:18:49

I had it with DC2. It helped remove me from the pain. Also made me sleepy, which helped with a labour overnight.

With DC3 I felt a bit more out of control. Afterwards the mw and DH were laughing about me ranting about chicken burgers and crap cars hmm. I can't even remember thinkiing it!

feedthegoat Sun 16-Aug-09 23:26:32

I had it and didn't feel sick or out of control, just abit spaced if that makes sense. I don't think it helped that it was the early hours of the morning and dh was watching a documentry on Rasputin which all started to feel a little surreal after pethadine grin. I did feel relaxed after it.

Like you though lisby, ds was very sleepy afterwards. Despite what felt like a hundred midwives manhandling me in hospital no-one could get him to latch for breastfeeding properly either and 4 blistered days later I gave up. It's probably abit of guilt (I was happy with my decision but you know how it is , you always wonder) but I've often wondered if the outcome would have been the same if he hadn't been so sleepy.

devotion Sun 16-Aug-09 23:27:45


i had it first time and i was really scared about getting it as i hate feeling out of control but i have to say i LOVED gas and air (felt bit queasy at first but was fine) and the pethidine was even better.

i was away with the fairies for about 4 hours!!! i do not really have any memories of those four hours. but i do know i still felt the pain but i fell asleep between contractions which was handy when labouring through the night. my labour was 12 hours.

with my 2nd it lasted 11 hours and i had just gas and air with tens - no pethidine. this labour was more painful because i guess i was "with it" the whole time. the reason i did not have pethdine was because i expected it to be shorter because it was my 2nd so i kept thinking i was almost there! plus everyone i know said there 2nd labour was about 6 hours and i was thinking i can handle that easy.

just be open and do whatever you feel like at the moment.

just read you are having your baby at home - lovely!


skybright Sun 16-Aug-09 23:29:37

I had Pethidine very late on in my second labour,DD had to have an injection to reverse the effects,was a little out of it after having her but no sickness.

The trust that i live in does not give Pethidine anymore,it is Diamorphine no matter what number labour you are on.

logi Sun 16-Aug-09 23:51:24

Hi last week i was in with my daughter when she gave birth and she had diamorphine (which is what they use now) and she was about 9cm dilated but it didnt do anything for her but she was very very sick.

monkeyfeathers Sun 16-Aug-09 23:57:30

I had pethidine with DS1 and it was awful. I was very, very sick and felt really dreadful. I was completely aware that it hurt (a lot) but I didn't care about it. I found that a really horrible feeling and I was so glad when it wore off.

I didn't actually want pethidine at the time either, but they wouldn't offer me anything else (not even gas and bloody air) and the pain was too much for me, so I gave in. There's no way I'm letting them do the same this time!

nancy75 Sun 16-Aug-09 23:58:30

i had it, wasnt sick or queasy, felt abit spaced out and dont really remember too much about the birth. i wasn't out of control i knew what was going on around me, just kept kind of nodding off!

starynight Mon 17-Aug-09 00:14:18

had it with dc2 wasnt sick or didnt feel like i had no control just didnt help that much with the pain from what i can remember

showmethemummy Tue 18-Aug-09 16:01:31

had pethidine with dd2. it was a very short labour (3.5hrs) and I asked for it as soon as i was seen by mw at hospital, because another mw had advised me that it works better if you have it early on.I also had gas and air throughout.

I thought it was good; because the labour was so short, I was a little bit sleepy when I was supposed to push, and wonderfully relaxed, rather than stressed and anxious as I was with my first daughter's birth. I think maybe that set me up for recovering well after labour, because mentally I was in a much better state.

Didn't seem to have much effect on dd2, who was wide awake after birth.

slushy06 Tue 18-Aug-09 16:26:58

I had only pethadine on ds1 but only gas and air on dd I liked it in a 24 back to back labor it let me get some sleep also on dd labor I had pain during the pushing stage but I didn't feel any pain only urge to push on ds. Ds had no bad side affects and bf fine I thought it was good if you are tired and need to sleep.

Ineedsomesleep Tue 18-Aug-09 20:39:58

Yes it is. My Mum had it with me. Was totally out of it for 3 days and I had to be resuscitated.

My Grandad had it when he broke his back, he had resus too.

My Sister had it when she had apendisitis, resus too.

Really didn't want to risk it with either of mine for obvious reasons.

Have you discussed it with the midwives? The stats say that it increases your chances of having a c-section and interferes with establishing bfing.

mrswill Tue 18-Aug-09 21:41:09

I was induced and it turned out to be a very long labour, resulting in me having every drug going! They gave me pethidine when it was clear i was going to continue labouring over night, i had two doses. It made me out of it a bit, which was helpful in dealing with the pain, but it didnt take the pain away at all. It wore off very very fast, and i found it pointless really. Gas and air was the only thing that helped, and the epidural before my section. If i ever had another child i wouldnt have it again, because i didnt feel there was much benefit.

TheMysticMasseuse Tue 18-Aug-09 21:47:30

i was really anti when preparing to have dd1, but then i ended up having a long and slow overnight back labour and the mw was very encouraging about it, so i said yes.

i loved it! it doesnt take the pain away compleltey but definitely takes the edge off and i could sleep between contractions (unbelievable I know), it really gave me some much needed respite. all wore off well in time for second stage so i think the timing was excellent.

and dd1 breastfed brilliantly from 10 minutes old and didn't sleep for a year so i doubt it made her sleepy hmm

with dd2 labour was a speedy 3.5 hours, the last one in water, so i didn't need it.

be open to it and see how things go. personally i hated gas and air which everyone raves about...

ClaraDeLaNoche Tue 18-Aug-09 22:01:43

I thought it was fabulous stuff. I was a sick as a dog but didn't care, that's how good it is. You're still aware of the pain but not really bothered by it. You'll still be compus mentus, just a lot more relaxed.

fruitymum Tue 18-Aug-09 22:02:04

I had pethidine and an anti emetic with both my deliveries. With the first delivery I felt a bit like a space cadet and said and saw some rather funny things but that may have been due to tiredness as well. Second time I had a half dose 1 hour 20 mins before DS was born , again with an anti emetic(anti sickness drug) found it really took the edge off the pain.....That was only last Tuesday !
Both babes a little sleepy but both breastfeeding just after delivery. Everyone is different and you just won't know how you wwill cope until the time comes. Good Luck!

preggersplayspop Tue 18-Aug-09 22:03:17

I had it and had no problems. I didn't think gas and air did anything for me at all. I remember throwing up and I am sure it was the G&A rather than the pethidine that did it. The pethidine made me spaced out and a bit floaty but doesn't take the pain away so I liked it because you could still feel what was going on.

I remember calling the midwife in and telling her the pain was 'changing' and it all felt different and I think that was because my DS's head was nearly out!

My MW told me it would speed things up, which I remember thinking was a bit strange as the antenatal classes had told me it would slow things down, but it certainly did seem to speed it all up - it was all very quick in the end.

I had no problems with DS being sleepy - I remember pacing the ward the next night because he wouldn't sleep and was constantly at the breast (he's not really changed since ha ha). Everyone else was asleep!

I agree the best thing is to try to be open minded and not rule anything out.

Goober Tue 18-Aug-09 22:07:39

I had it with DS1.
Was as sick as proverbial pig.
No control.
And didn't give a shit if the baby died.
He was delivered by foreceps after almost dying, as I was so numb.
I vowed to never have any pain relief ever again during CB.
I had 2 following pregnancies and they were both drug free and natural.

I hope this puts you off taking it.

beatiebow Tue 18-Aug-09 22:13:41

I had it with my first birth and although I didn't experience any negative side effects (that I'm aware of) I don't think it helped either. I felt a bit drunk and removed from the pain for a while but once it had worn off the pain was back with a vengeance and I couldn't help wondering if it just prolonged the labour.
Found gas and air were sufficient for my next (home) birth.

TheHeathenOfSuburbia Tue 18-Aug-09 22:18:32

I had pethidine towards the end of my labour with DD - the midwives assured me I wasn't in labour and it was too early to start taking gas and air. But if I really needed something for the pain, I could have some pethidine.

TBH I had already chucked up all there was to chuck, so no, I wasn't sick any more. In fact, my major impression at the time was that it was like being really pissed but without the need to puke that I usually get when I've drunk too much blush

So of course I was, in fact, in labour, fired DD out about an hour later. Don't remember much pain, though she was only 6lb. She was a bit sleepy at first, had trouble BF the first night but successfully established after that luckily.

4andnotout Tue 18-Aug-09 22:23:51

I had it with dd1 and dd3.

With dd1 it made me feel really sick and i had to have a sick bowl all the time although i wasn't actually sick, and i felt like i kept blacking out, i could hear everything in the background but was struggling to stay awake and focused.

However with dd2 pethedine was my last resort because i was nervous about sickness again but it was perfectly fine, it really took the edge off the pain and helped me immensly.

mrswee Tue 18-Aug-09 22:26:02

Hi I noticed you said hopefully having your LO at home -

I'm not sure about your area but where I live you can't have any pain relief other than gas and air, if you have a home birth. I think it may be the same every where in case of adverse effects.

EyeballsintheSky Tue 18-Aug-09 22:28:10

Had it with dd, very quick 4hr labour. I've never taken drugs but now I know what it feels like to be stoned. I was totally out of it. I remember a bit of pain and asking DH for lots of water and I remember that it hurt but not much else afterwards. I felt as sick as a dog for a couple of hours after she was born.

DD never did latch on but I have no idea if that was the pethidine or something else.

Chunkamatic Tue 18-Aug-09 22:36:32

I had it with DS. When I arrived at hospital I was really panicking and anxious and felt I couldn't cope. Having the pethidine helped to relax me and deal with the pain.

However, it did make me sick and I went from panicking to just not really giving a shit, so spent about 8 hours laying on the bed not doing much. When the shift changed and I got a better midwife she made me get up and about and things really started moving then, I went from 4cm to 9cm in 2 hours (it had taken more around 8 to get from 2cm to 4cm!)and he was born not long after that.

So, it helped me in one sense, but with hindsight i do think if i'd had a midwife who could be bothered to help me or reassure me in the first place then I wouldn't have needed it and could have, maybe, had a shorter labour.

My advice would be to keep an open mind - and the best of luck!!!

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