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WHY is such a big deal made if you use drugs in labour?

(281 Posts)
hamster Sun 24-Jul-05 08:46:30

I'm a little curious as to why so many women think that because you have pethidine/epidural/any other drug, you are a bit of a wimp.

I had an epidural during my last labour, and continuously people have felt the urge to comment. Things such as "Oh I did it with just gas and air", or "A friend of mine went through labour with absolutely nothing"

I do appologise if I do sound petty, but it really puts a dent into your confidence
My sister has just been through labour, a couple of days ago, and I know that this will be one of the main topics of conversation next time I see the family, as such a big deal was made of it before the birth.

At the end of the day, I would have thought that as long as you have a healthy baby at the end of it, what does it matter?

helsi Sun 24-Jul-05 08:49:33

I agree. I never even set out with the notion I wouldn't have drugs. I knew I would have something. In the end I had everything going including pethidine which was the only one I wanted to try and avoid due to it crossing the placenta but I had that too in the end.

helsi Sun 24-Jul-05 08:50:08

In fact I had labour for 18 hours and c-section!! experienced everything I did!!

mancmum Sun 24-Jul-05 08:53:13

I totally agree === I was very scared of giving birth naturally and had 2 selective CS --- both were a fab experience and I recoverd in hours and was up and looking after my 10lb kids within hours,lifting and feeding them on my own...

So positive outcome, healthy and happy kids and mum -- what to criticise you would think...

But I have been torn apart on these boards for this decision by some women who think that putting themselves thru the agony of giving birth seems to make them better people... to me it is personal choice -- you assess the risks and your own personality and make YOUR choice and no one has the right to have a go at you...

As you say, it is all about having a baby... you gives a monkeys about how it came out?

Harriett Sun 24-Jul-05 08:58:34

I am being induced tomorrow and am fully signed up to every drug option going- in fact, I would love to have the epidural done today just to start off in style...
Isn't pregnancy and birth and having a brand new baby stressful enough without the added agony?
as my mum says, 'you don't get a medal for having a natural birth'- she should know, she did it naturally with overdue twins

hamster Sun 24-Jul-05 09:00:46

I agree, some women think that because they go through the "agony" of birth, that they are better people. I have friends who openly admit this.

It really upsets me that I am feeling this way about going to see my sister and new baby.

Mancmum-respect to you for doing exactly what you wanted. I did consider selective cs, but I'm just as much of a wimp when it comes to that!

kid Sun 24-Jul-05 09:03:14

Why not have the drugs if they are on offer?
I don't see why women would want to go through hours of pain when there is pain relief available.

I personally tried gas and air as I'm terrified of needles. I did manage on it but after about 12 hours I demanded an epidural and was much happier.

ebbie22 Sun 24-Jul-05 09:07:21

I fully agree with what all of you are saying,I was lucky and didnt need anything as managed quite well by myself then by the time we got to hospitail it was too late.....But now i am pregnant again,i am worried sick how i will cope,and if it will look frowned apon that if i need to take every drug going i will be classed as a wimp...

SoupDragon Sun 24-Jul-05 09:09:02

Personally I think it's appalling for women to use drugs in labour. Don't you know how bad cocaine, heroin and crack are for your baby???

hamster Sun 24-Jul-05 09:10:47

Where are these hosptials?


SoupDragon Sun 24-Jul-05 09:11:20

Sorry, couldn't resist - it was the first thing I thought when I read the title!

Socci Sun 24-Jul-05 10:04:09

Message withdrawn

moozoboozo Sun 24-Jul-05 10:10:56

I left my NCT group after one of them actually said to my face "Oh did you have a c section because you were too posh to push?" and I said "No because if I hadnt, me and ds would have both died" I also explained that I had had a 12 hour labour and ended up with an epidural to which she waxed lyrical about her drugless water birth and lack of stretch marks

If I'd been at her birth, I would have drowned her in the birthing pool. I hate people who view motherhood as some kind of a competition

megandsoph Sun 24-Jul-05 10:13:18

would anyone turn down pain relief if they were having a root canal at a dentist?? am sure as hell I wouldn't

and used the same thinking when it came to labour with DD's (epidurals all the way with my two here and it was greatttt!! )

Flossam Sun 24-Jul-05 10:13:33

Pain is what the person says it is. In as much everyone feels it differently, at different intensities. Everyone's labour is different, some are longer and more tiring. In as much I never judge anyone for feeling like they want an epidural etc. I'm sorry you feel that people you know do, but you have your baby safe and sound however they arrived and that is all anyone can want really isn't it?

janeybops Sun 24-Jul-05 10:33:47

i know someone who had a bottle of wine and she said it was great! helped alot.

bobbybob Sun 24-Jul-05 10:39:52

I have a good pain threshold and had a quick labour, I didn't need anything. I'm sorry of that upsets some people, but I honestly didn't.

I had a friend who was terrified of giving birth and I suggested she think about an elective section (which she did do in the end).

Our babies were the same size - I don't think she is any less a mum than I am, we both had safe deliveries in the way we wanted.

hunkermunker Sun 24-Jul-05 10:42:10

I didn't have pain relief because I react badly to drugs and knew I'd end up a vomiting shivering wreck if I had anything morphine-based (makes my blood pressure drop through the floor) - that's even with an anti-emetic as well.

I am also very allergic to plaster (yes, even hypoallergenic ones that "nobody is allergic to"), so the idea of having a blistered crusting back from an epidural didn't appeal either.

The one puff of gas and air I had made me retch too and I loathe being sick (well, who likes it?!), so decided against it. I was in the water, which helped a lot anyway.

I was lucky - I have regularly been through worse pain than labour and knew I could cope with it. But I do not gloat about this, nor do I think that other women should do the same.

I find the "there's pain relief available, why not take it, are you some kind of martyr" viewpoint equally offensive, tbh. I'd be interested to know what kind of pain relief people who say that think I should have had, given the above.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 24-Jul-05 10:44:57

From what I know, the more drugs you use (particularly things stronger than pethedine/gas + air), the more likely you are to end up with more interventions, and an instrumental birth, or a section.

I didn't have the choice of rejecting pain relief in my "labours" as I had two sections. But the epidurals made me feel quite ill, and as I'm needlephobic, the whole experience was pretty unpleasant.

motherinferior Sun 24-Jul-05 10:45:16

There's this idea about doing it 'properly', which is a sort of weird mishmash of Biblical injunction ('in pain and suffering shalt thou bring forth children') and sub-Kitzinger 'it doesn't really hurt' and 'it all affects your baby' strictures.

Dunno. I've done it with an epidural and done it with gas and air and a home waterbirth. Hurt like hell both times.

Aragon Sun 24-Jul-05 10:45:49

I've no idea why such a fuss is made. I think that some people when informed about different drugs and the pros and cons only see the bad without the good and start advising that they should be avoided. As an ex-midwife I can give you 101 different problems associated with epidurals for example but I can also tell you that when a woman is having a long and exhausting labour they are the most fantastic things ever. And if you hate pain they are just as fabulous. I always think people should know the pros and cons but then be able to make up their own mind.
Some of us have quick and trouble free labours and don't need drugs of any description and some of us are not so fortunate and have everything going (me for starters). At the end of the day how you feel afterwards matters - if you ended up with lots of pain relief because you had inadequate midwifery support then that is a big deal but if you had pain relief because you needed and wanted it then don't let anyone make you feel guilty - look at you fabulous and gorgeous baby and celebrate your achievement.

Miaou Sun 24-Jul-05 10:46:11

IKWYM about the "competitive" comments - sadly these are usually people who end up being competitive parents - eg "can't your little Johnny sit up yet? Darling Oscar has been sitting for weeks now" grr...

I always make a point of saying to pregnant women (particularly with their first), that there is no shame in having an epidural or pethidine or whatever else they need, and can often be heard saying what Harriett's mum says! And I make sure that I never make value judgements on how people handled their birth experience.

Sorry, that sounds a bit pompous now I've written it down! I had epidurals with my first two dds and make no apoligies for it though.

motherinferior Sun 24-Jul-05 10:47:13

Interestingly, the risk of an instrumental birth with an epidural only goes up by about five per cent, from seven to 12 per cent in total. Which is a lot less, overall, than we're led to believe.

Wrote a piece on this a while back, and I was very interested to find that out, as I was indeed in that instrumental 12 per cent with an epidural.

motherinferior Sun 24-Jul-05 10:48:37

Oh, and those studies from which the figures came are predominantly based on the old-style epidurals which pretty well immobilise you.

All according to a fabulous obstetrician with the most gorgeous Irish voice.

Aragon Sun 24-Jul-05 10:49:56

Is his name "Pat O'Brian" with the gorgeous Irish accent. If so I worked with him and he's very good.

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