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any tips for pain relief free labour

(34 Posts)
1dilemma Thu 15-Oct-09 23:59:34

Obv if I need it I will have it and this would only be or those lucky enough for a smooth ride

but does anyone have any tips for a pain relief free labour? what worked for you? what didn't? how about a water birth? (is the pool very hot?)

urm anything else useful?


StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Oct-09 00:03:27

Message withdrawn

MinkyBorage Fri 16-Oct-09 00:04:48

tens machine

AmpleBosom Fri 16-Oct-09 00:05:58

I've had all three of my births without any pain relief but then they were all very quick, Ds1 2 hrs, Ds2 2.5 hrs and Ds3 25 minutes.

The thing that helped me get through was just concentrating on my breathing and sort of going into myself/blocking out what was going on around me.

Each time though i would have quite happily accepted drugs if i felt i needed them and very nearly did have something during my last labour 6 weeks ago.

Just keep an open mind because there are certainly no medals for doing it drug free.

Good luck smile

Monstermomi Fri 16-Oct-09 00:07:12

had a horrible birth 2nd time around so for the 3rd time, I used hypnotherapy (just the CD). although birth was still quite painful (how could it not?) I found the coping strategies, relaxation I learnt through the hypno CD really helped me feel more in control. I still used g&A but that was the only thing I used.

Haunty27 Fri 16-Oct-09 00:13:25

I'm going to write this and read what you will.

I had this beautiful image of drug free natural childbirth. Had a bit of gas and air, which made me vomit immediately, to cut a long story short after 14 hours of labour I had only dilated 5cm so the baby couldn't get out and went into distress so an emergency cs had to be had. This still amazes me to this day as I thought I would just give birth.

*Never say never*. And if I had my time again I'd have had every painkiller available.

But that was me and we are all different.

Keep an open mind and have options available should you need or want them.

JustAnotherManicMummy Fri 16-Oct-09 00:35:47

My advice is similar to AmpleBosom. You do find something quite primal happens and you go into yourself and become almost trance-like focusing on the breathing getting through each contraction. I don't know if the hypno-birthing cd I used helped... I'm a bit sceptical... but it didn't hinder.

I had a birthing pool that was about 37 degrees. It did go down to about 36 which was when I wanted to get out. I went in it just before transition and found it really helped.

I had a bit of gas and air around the time of transition but found it broke my focus and so doing it again I wouldn't have g&a (except for stitching up. Then it is essential!).

I was at home though. I think if I was in a hospital I would have been much more tense and I would probably have asked for an epidural. Labour was about 8 hours for me.

Each birth is different. Next time I might plan to be at home and end up induced with inervention and an epidural. Who knows!

1dilemma Fri 16-Oct-09 00:46:41

Thanks all

Prob. should have said I've had a couple allready grin and have quick labours, had some G&A last time and didn't really 'need' it so kind of wanted to get some tips to see if I could manage without IYSWIM.

I fancy a waterbirth but have been advised that they probably wont have time to fill the pool grin

I absolutely would have it if I needed it, but have been having paracetamol discussions with friends again yesterday and it got me thinking......

Should I be asking my mw about breathing? (I can't remember anyone telling me what to do/not do with the others)

Starlight I find the idea of a doula really really offputting (unusual I know but the idea of paying someone I don't 'know' to be there just seems really weird-I just don't get it I know) but I am happy with my midwives!

JustAnotherManicMummy Fri 16-Oct-09 00:52:59

I got the breathing stuff from the hypno-birthing cd. It was mentioned at NCT classes but that mainly focused on active birth positions. MW was as useful as the proverbial chocolate teapot.

I too was/am not keen on a doula for the same reasons! Plus DH is quite assertive and I can boss him around in a stroppy way whilst being nice and polite to everyone else... and in agonising pain grin

I'll have a look for a link for the CD...

JustAnotherManicMummy Fri 16-Oct-09 00:54:36


DailyMailNameChanger Fri 16-Oct-09 00:59:55

My advice is a bit pathetic I feel but it did work for me - I had to practice to get it right, my first births were fraught and scary - my final birth I took control of, I made decisions all the way through the end of my pg about how it would work and I told all the people hat mattered what those were.

The decisions I took were these... I wuld not be hurried, I would not be pushed, I would not panic. Sounds silly? In practical application what it meant was this, I was confident that no-one would do anything withot my say so, everyone knew that, if I could not answer right now, they were to wait until I could. All involved knew my ideal and also knew that I was happy to change if I felt it was required.

I planned out what I hoped would happen, I planned contingencies where I could (eg Csection, monitoring etc) and then I stopped planning. Once I was confident everyone was on the same page as me I refused to worry any more.

When I was in labour I was able to divert myself onto other things, I took rescue remedy in water (a lot) and then thought about the other dc, I rang my mother and chattted about her meal out... and hung up when I felt like it, confident that sh would know why...

I guess what I am trying to say id this... I envisaged my labour as I wanted it, I dealt with any forseable issues that may have come up and then i told everyone I could think of what I had decided and simply expected them to fall into line. I did not waste time or energy wondering what if X objects to Y I made it plain that this was about me and nothing else would suffice.

My birth was simple, almost easy and pain free - not really pain free but the pain that I could deal with, it never got scary or out of control.

The biggest thing for me was deciding where to have my child, for me I felt most in control at home - being at home was a huge step. For you it may be a different place, don't worry about where it will be jsut give thought to it, if you feel hospital would be best for you make that happen, equally a MW unit and so on.

I may be wrong but I feel strongly the most scary thing about pain is feeling out of control, being in pain but being in control makes it all much easier to deal with. Take control!

Everyones experience is different but you have to know that none of them are wrong, if you awant drugs ask for them without fear, if you want ice ask for it, if g&a makes you sick don't use it. Move around, stay still, swear, scream, be silent as fits you best. It is only when you try to fit in to someone elses ideals or vision that things start to be wrong IMHO!

DailyMailNameChanger Fri 16-Oct-09 01:22:18

1dilemma, I have precipitate labours too - very fast ones! they do make you feel out of control, I think that is why I feel control is such a big thing!

Sorry for the X, very very long, post - hope it makes some kind of sense!

1dilemma Fri 16-Oct-09 01:32:56

Oh thanks it's been very helpful reading everyone's comments.
Seems like different things work for different people which is important in itself.

I will be talking to mw tomorrow

I told dp last night that I'm thinking he'll be at home with the other dcs he was quite good with the first but drove me mad last time (my SIL had ofered to take dc but then refused on the day. fine. but in their usual fashion then engineered repeated phonecalls with dp which I found REALLY annoying grin)

I have just realised that they have also managed to crash into the delivery room every time and hang around virtually to watch the stitches yet have failed to do anything useful eg could have offered to take dc to McDonalds for 1/2 hr.

Yet when SIL had her last we weren't allowed to see the baby for about 3 weeks!

I think some of my isoos are coming out here

I'm off to bed before I get cross!


l39 Fri 16-Oct-09 08:30:47

I want to put in a vote in favour of tens machines .

My youngest was born on the 10th. The hospital midwife was very sceptical about my report that the waters had gone and 2 lots of monitoring and 2 examinations with a speculum later she still didn't believe me (advice to anyone left with a tiny trickle only after repeated gushes - take one of the saturated pads to hospital in a plastic bag.I wish I had.)

She let us out to wander in the carpark about 2pm. 'Knowing' that I was only having painful Braxton Hicks, I felt stupid putting the TENS machine on half an hour later, but it really did help. The contractions got more painful, but by turning the machine up during them and down again in between I was able to keep moving. At 3.30 when they checked me for the first time, having decided I was in labour after all, I was at 8cm.

I kept the machine on, but did go for gas and air once we got to the room with it in. Baby was born at 4.27. Original midwife had had yet another speculum exam scheduled for 4.30.angry

Anyway, despite not having the couple of hours a TENS machine is supposed to need and going in with a very pessimistic attitude

[husband, in carpark "They're every 4 minutes, I think you're in labour"
me - "No, this is just wasted pain! The midwife would have seen something if anything was happening"]

the TENS really did work for me and I would advise giving it a try.

EldonAve Fri 16-Oct-09 11:14:17

TENs was good for me

I have hypno CDs and random whale music stuff if you want to borrow them today or tomorrow

If you can cross your legs til the 28th I can have DC if need be

gorge2003 Fri 16-Oct-09 12:28:46

i had a drug free birth 6 weeks ago nearly...although i was begging for an epidural but it all went too quick for them to do it (2 hours 28mins) so tried gas n air felt sick so gave up!

what i did was breathe breathe breathe! oh and funnily enough outside my window there was a sign saying 'parking for dialysis patients only' and i concerntrated on that every contraction...pretty hilarious! i will never look at that sign the same again!

and as i had to be on the bed as dd's heart kept dipping it was awfully painful whereas leaning over the bed hugging the birthing ball and rocking my hips was heaven but i had to stop that!! grrr

Woodelf Fri 16-Oct-09 14:48:58


I had a waterbirth with my son and I felt that being able to move freely was very helpful. I had HypnoBirthing and found that to be very helpful especially in the earlier stages of labour so I could cope at home without going to the hospital too early. That said I was 43 when he was born which made no difference whatsoever. Gas & Air was available but I forgot/didnt need it!

flybynight Fri 16-Oct-09 16:08:09

I had my last two withou pain relief, again like Amplebosom they were pretty quick. The one thought I cling too whilst breathing etc etc is:

"When you think you really can't cope anymore, you are almost there."

That has always been true of my experience, when I am panicking and in transition, the job is almost done.

I don't know if that is any use to you at all, but I know it works for me!

VicarInaBooTu Fri 16-Oct-09 17:10:03

i had my second without pain relief - but i had a home birth and im sure thats why. id just go with it and see how you feel at the time.

1dilemma Fri 16-Oct-09 20:57:42

Thanks all
I asked mw if I had missed out on the breathing instructions and then forgotten them but they seemed pretty OK that it was just breathing and not panicking!!

Eldon that's REALLY kind of you offering to give birth for me grin

I'm expecting it in half-term actually-cos that would be really inconvenient!!

I'd love the hypnos and whale music are you around tomorrow late afternoon/early evening? we have to go out a bit in the morning coffee? some of dp's wine?

we had some classic FM last time, theme from Star Wars they play it the whole time.
I have a very clear memory of telling dp that there was no way I was giving birth to the theme from Star Wars managed to hang on for a few more minutes grin

Mybox Fri 16-Oct-09 21:25:01

I've had three with no pain relief and found that I felt completely normal between contractions.For the beginning & peaks of contractions strong pressure with a hand on the small of my back really helped. Had very quick labours though.

suzi2 Fri 16-Oct-09 23:33:54

I had DD without pain relief in a relatively long labour at home. Being at home was the biggest help so stay at home as long as you can.

Breathe. Learn some breathing techniques and exercises. I was blown away at just how powerful this was at helping me cope and easing the pain.

Visualisation. I had a CD that told me to "breathe a warm golden light to your baby" and it sounded naff, but it helped at the time.

Do what your body tells you. If you want to raise a leg mid air during a contraction then stamp it like a bull, do it.

Stay focused. For me I decided to do whatever the hell I wanted, and I didn't feel bad about not talking to people or hiding in the bathroom for 30 mins or whatever.

Try different positions. I pushed DS out when on my back and it took two hours (massive head though). Whereas my DD I knew I needed to be more efficient and got on my knees and she was out in two contractions.

Don't rule out pain relief, but do it if YOU want to. I had MWs tell me with my DS "I'll get you the G&A" and "you're tired and could do with something extra". When I think back, I never requested it, I never wanted it and I thought I was coping well. It really knocked my confidence too. I wish I had just said "i'm doing ok" but I suppose I was terrified that they knew of impending agony around the corner I didn't!

girlynut Sat 17-Oct-09 02:34:06

I had DS2 four months ago at home with no pain relief and he weighed 8lb9oz.

The key for me was planning and feeling in control. As well as hubbie, I had my best mate as a kind of doula (she was great at telling the midwives their staff shortage wasn't our problem and we weren't coming in to hospital!) We went to hypno classes, had a really positive expectation and practiced breathing.

Being at home made all the difference - we just chilled out watching DVDs and having nibbles! And I had baby in a water pool which was warm and relaxing.

Of course, everyone is different but the best advice is to stay calm. It hurts so much more if you get scared or stressed!

EldonAve Sat 17-Oct-09 08:28:36

1dilemma - Noooo I will have the existing DC grin
I am around all day so just give me a call and we can escape to the coffee shop or wherever

magnummum Mon 19-Oct-09 20:31:52

In my case staying calm (initially)/focusing on breathing and a firm midwife (for when I stopped being calm) did the job both times, second time was twins. Have to say both times also quick and in part due to the hosptial staff not letting me in until they reckoned it was too late to give me anythinghmm. Good luck with it all.

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