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Induction tomorrow -- should I go straight for an epidural?

(24 Posts)
Yaya70 Mon 18-Jul-11 15:49:15

Hi, I've also posted this question on the childbirth thread, but figured there might be more traffic here.

I'm heading for an induction tomorrow (at 42 weeks). I was planning a natural drug-free birth, but because of the induction I'm having to reassess that.

I know that inductions can be more painful, and a couple of people have advised me to go straight for an epidural if I have to go on the drip. I was wondering whether anyone had managed to give birth without drugs after having the induction.

This is my first pregnancy btw, so I've no idea how I'll react to the pain, though I think I have a fairly high pain threshold.

Any other tips to get me through the induction?

HLSalter Mon 18-Jul-11 17:39:40

I was induced last Monday. I had planned to try with gas and air and have an epidural if it got too painful.

The induction process for me started with a pessary inserted at 1pm on Monday which had to be in for 24 hours. I was 2cm dilated when this was put in. By 4am Tuesday morning I was in agony and so had a bath to ease the pain and then started on the gas & air. 4cm dilated by 10am and had the pessary removed. My waters were broken at 1pm and by this point I was in agony with contractions so they gave me an epidural before they started me on the hormone drip. Epidural had to be topped hourly, but it stopped working after the first hour. so they had to try and re-arrange it in my back otherwise they would have had to take it out and start all over again. Eventually got it working again but the baby's heartrate kept dropping with every contraction so they then turned my hormone drip off to try and get his heartrate steady again otherwise I would have needed a c-section. Hormone drip started again and by 8pm I was feeling the need to push. MW they told me that I wasn't allowed any more top ups on my epidural. Started pushing at 9pm and he arrived 25 minutes later.

Personally I couldn't have handled the contractions without my epidural but the actual pushing was fine with just gas & air. It's strange because you never know how you will cope until you are in that situation.

Maybe have the epidural but not have it topped up hourly? That way at least if it is too painful you don't have to worry about getting hold of an anesthetist etc.

Anyways sorry for the essay, hope all goes well for you. xx

piprabbit Mon 18-Jul-11 17:44:24

The first phases of induction (pessaries, water being broken etc.) aren't a lot different from going into spontaneous labour (except the hands up fanjos stuff). However I found the contractions on the syntocin drip very uncomfortable, very quickly and was glad to have an epidural - wish I'd taken ti when it was offered when they put the drip in, instead of trying to wait it out.

Good luck.

LovelyDaffs Mon 18-Jul-11 17:48:09

My middle dc was induced, I'd attempted to go natural home birth for the first abut ended up in hospital after days. The induced delivery was the best of the three mostly because I had the epidural first (was dilated a bit). The whole experience was great, pain free and quite good fun. Can't say that for the other two. I'd go for it.

Flisspaps Mon 18-Jul-11 18:39:22

My advice?

Don't go for the induction unless it's medically indicated (failing placenta, growth problems etc) - being 42 weeks pregnant isn't necessarily in itself a reason to go for induction.

However, should you end up on the Synto drip (you may not) then take the epidural, and ask for it to be sited before they start the drip so that the anaesthetist isn't unavailable should you actually need one later. Contractions don't build up gradually and your body will not produce endorphins to counteract the pain, which it does with a spontaneous labour.

Best of luck smile

chickydoo Mon 18-Jul-11 18:41:11

Oh Yes.....go for it...Don't wait like I did....couldn't find anyone to do it, when I really wanted it.

cherrybug Mon 18-Jul-11 18:42:47

Hello - I was induced suddenly and quickly with DD at 39 weeks due to having obstetric cholestasis (they diagnosed it and sent me straight to hospital, was terrifed!). Managed with TENS machine and gas and air which was fantastic as I was really worried about the medical management leading to C section (my birth plan, which of course went out the window, was all massage, water pools and active positions!)

It's really hard to know how it will turn out so wait and see how you go but being induced doesnt necessarily mean you'll end up needing an epidural. Good luck!

RandomMess Mon 18-Jul-11 18:45:07

Def wait and see, take your tens machine etc. If they put you on the drip then yes ask for an epidural!!!!!

I've had 4 induction all different experiences and never had an instrumental delivery nor needed the drip.

Fourleaf Mon 18-Jul-11 18:55:30

I was induced and ended up having an epidural, despite not wanting one and being very pro natural birth etc.
My strongest word of advice would be to not have it too late - I wasn't examined before being given an epidural, and was actually 9-10cm! I couldn't sit still and consequenly ended up with the dreaded post-epidural headache. So... if you think you will need it then yes, I would get it in there early, whilst you are still fairly calm and have time between contractions.
Good luck - you'll be fine. Even with what I went through it all seems so insignificant now, really, when I look at DS (20 months).

FootprintsOnTheMoon Mon 18-Jul-11 19:00:19

I was induced w/o epidural.

Tbh, I was already mildly contracting when they started, so I think it was less of a shock for my body.

FootprintsOnTheMoon Mon 18-Jul-11 19:03:36

My main issue was that they overdid the inducing, which stressed the baby and almost ended up with me being c sectioned.

I spent a lot of my labour mobile (walking up down stairs, around the ward, on the beach ball). I would't fancy being pinned to the bed epi or no epi - you miss out on a lot of natural encouragement for the baby to GET A BLOODY MOVE ON - which is obviously the quickest way out of the pain!

Concordia Mon 18-Jul-11 19:07:55

i've been induced twice althoguh never with the drip - which i think is the really painful thing. in fact with DC2 i said to the midwife, if you do anything else to make the contractions worse (ie the drip) i might just kill you! poor woman.
anyway that aside, first time i managed with no pain relief at all. well, cocodramol.
second time, did have the epidural.
first time was just gel and more gradual, second time they broke my waters, much more intense. i think i would just see how it goes, certainly don't get your epidural with your first dose of gel, you coudl spend days on your back!

Concordia Mon 18-Jul-11 19:09:24

have to say the thread is a bit contradictory! i guess it depends how you feel about being immobile. dont' be too frightened of the induction though.

londonmackem Mon 18-Jul-11 19:13:40

I was induced by the syntocin drip (waters already broken and 2cm dilated). I lasted 3 hours before I gave in! I couldn't have gone any longer as the unnatural contractions caused by the drip are like being hit by a bus. If you go through pessary, waters broken then see how it goes. If you need the drip just have the epidural as all 'natural' labour is out of the window anyway (in my eyes).
I did need a catheter after about 3 hours and it was a ventouse delivery but couldn't have managed the 12 hours without the epidural.

Fresh01 Mon 18-Jul-11 19:15:15

I was induced for DC2. I was over 40 weeks and already a few cm dilated so had my waters broken. I asked not to be given the drip straight away but wait and see what happened. After an hour some mild contractions had started but not as much as midwives wanted so agreed to drip on low dose, it was increased a bit after a while then as contractions started they reduced it again then stopped it as labour took over. I hate being on my back in labour so spent all of my labour (apart from the final pushing) on the birthing ball, even whilst being monitored. I had to ask for the ball as I knew from DC1 that I wasn't going to be lying in bed. I got through with only gas and air and DD2 was born 4 hours after my waters were broken.

I wouldn't say I have a good pain threshold but I have had all 3 with only gas and air, will see what happens with no 4 in December.

Good luck for tomorrow

BaldricksTurnip Mon 18-Jul-11 19:16:57

I was induced twice, had pessaries, waters broken and drip with the first, no drip with the second. Just had gas and air both times. Bloody painful as I have huge babies (9lb 12oz both times!) but I still managed it on my own and without epidural. Second birth was much faster but still very painful. Ultimately you have to do whatever gets you through. I had it in my head that although I was being induced, I wanted to do it by myself and I did. Hopefully this time around I can avoid induction but you never know until you're there. Best of luck x

bagelmonkey Mon 18-Jul-11 19:24:34

I was induced for DD at 36 weeks for IUGR/ placental insufficiency. My plan was to try the gas and see how it went and maybe have a happydural.
Didn't need the pessary, they just ruptured my membranes. Midwife went away to do paperwork and said she'd be back in an hour to start synto drip as I was unlikely to start contracting. Started contracting very soon after she left. By the time I thought I might need some gas & air it was time to start pushing. Took about 2 hours. In the end I had local anaesthetic for episiotomy for forceps delivery.
If I needed a synto drip I'd probably ask to see the anaesthetist first.

EssentialFattyAcid Mon 18-Jul-11 19:27:42

From my experience stuff the induction and you should proceed directly to csection as you have a good chance of ending up there after a very long and draining labour anyhow.

Sirzy Mon 18-Jul-11 19:30:12

I would say wait to see how you feel as everyone is different.

I was induced with the drip and was fine on G and A, for the pushing I didn't use anything as the Gas and air was annoying me.

I had spoken to the anaesthetist when I went in to be induced who was very honest with the pros and cons of epidural which helped me decide it wasn't for me. At no point did I feel the need to change that.

wigglesrock Mon 18-Jul-11 19:33:08

I was induced with dd2 (3 years ago) I was immobile for exactly 20 mins while being monitored. I had gas and air, no further interventions (and I'm not a hero with regards to pain) Gave birth kneeling by side of bed, mobile the whole time. I've had 3dds and it was my "easiest" labour and also the one I felt most in control of re contractions etc. Good luck.

pearlgirl Mon 18-Jul-11 19:41:06

I have had three inductions and each time I have had the synto drip having had pessaries at first. The first time I went about 90 mins with the drip before asking for an epidural - the second time I wouldn't let them put the drip in until I had an epidural and the third time I used gas and air - but had decided that i would ask for an epidural if I wanted it later - when I decided I probably did want one I was ready to push and so didn't have one. I have had one uninduced labour which was fast and used gas and air for the stitches.
With ds1 I ended up with a forceps delivery but with the others there has been no other intervention.

Yaya70 Mon 18-Jul-11 20:29:29

Thanks so much ladies. Your advice is so useful. I guess I'll see how I feel tomorrow, but at the moment I'm thinking perhaps the epidural might be the way if I do end up on the hormone drip. I'd hate to be in agony and the anaesthetist to be unavailable.

I guess I just feel a bit disappointed to not be able to have the natural waterbirth I'd been hoping for. But I'm sure all that will disappear once the little one arrives.

TheSugarPlumFairy Mon 18-Jul-11 21:59:51

i had an induction with DD at 40w+11. I had three loads of pessaries over 2 days which did almost nothing. Eventually moved on to a Synto drip after having my waters broken. I asked for the epidural to be placed before they started the syntocin.
My NCT teacher had warned me that a synto labour would be brutal so i wanted the epi in place before we went any further which they were fine about and seemed to even expect.

The epi was brilliant. I was mobile enough to be able to shuffle around the bed, felt all the pressure and sensation of the contractions but none of the pain. The labour lasted 3 hours and DD was born. We spent that time chatting with the student midwife who was monitoring me and having cups of tea. It was great. Am hoping now for a repeat performance for No2 due in march.

good luck tommorrow. Hope it goes well for you.

CURLYMAMMA Mon 18-Jul-11 22:07:52

I was induced twice. First time I had the drip and eventually an epidural. In this instance find out if there is a queue for the epidural, don't leave it til the last minute and then find you have to wait. I could move my legs and walk once baby born. Second time, I had the pessary and sent for long hot bath (I think this was helpful) - contractions and baby came immediately afterward v quickly and used gas and air. Both experiences totally fine and great in their own way. Good luck.

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