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AbbyMN needs your "pain relief in labour" thoughts.

84 replies

AbbyMumsnet · 01/10/2008 16:20

More site stuff going on Chez Abs. Oh, it's been a laugh a minute here, what with tales of flying ventouse, vile forceps and other gory bits and pieces.

But now, at last, a less thorny subject: drug use.

So, did you have pain relief? If so, did you plan to have it beforehand or was it something you decided on during labour. At what point did you have it - and what methods did you use? Did they work? If so, how long for? Were there any drawbacks for you, your labour or your baby?

And if you didn't have pain relief was it because you were adamant that you wanted a "natural labour" (and before anyone gets uppity about my using that term, you know what I mean, so let's not go down that route, eh? ) or was it simply that, for you, labour wasn't as painful as you expected/you have a very high pain threshold etc.

So, bring on your tales - I'll be most grateful.

OP posts:
littlefrog · 01/10/2008 16:21

i had a homebirth, assumed i'd have g and air. but put on my birth plan that i'd ask for it, didn't want things forced on me.
forgot i'd written it
was thinking about other things
no pain relief

(natal hypnotherapy cd on a loop though...)

bythepowerofgreyskull · 01/10/2008 16:24

I didnt have pain relief in my first labour because I had heard so many horror stories about giving birth that I had it in my head that I was going to feel like I was going to die.
So when I didn't I just knew it was going to get worseso I thought I would save my options for when it hurt more.
The point where I felt I couldn't do it any more was as DS1 was crowning and by then it was too late.
I did however have gas and air for my stitches and it made me feel so tipsy that I started talkig to my midwife about bum sex as she stuck her finger up my bum to make sure she hadn't stitched right through

DS2 I already knew I could cope with the pain so was much more relaxed about it all. same as above for gas and air with stitches though.

NotCod · 01/10/2008 16:24

oh GOD NO abby

NotCod · 01/10/2008 16:25

no pain relief apart form gas and air
no reason why

cmotdibbler · 01/10/2008 16:25

I had gas and air from 6cm, mostly to stop me throwing up. But it did work. Only downside was that I scratched my face badly on the mouthpiece by leaning on it

The best things were the non drug though - really hard back massage and a hot flannel on my back (DS was OP), and my lovely doula

I never got to a point where I wasn't coping, so never got to thinking about other pain relief

RubySlippers · 01/10/2008 16:25

i had gas and air only as had been told i wouldn't be able to have an epidural so i had to deal with it

i just listened to my body - was upright and mobile/squatting and it was all ok

What helped was 2 birth partners to support me through it - no doubt at all how much that helped

Was euphoric after delivery; told DH i "would be doing that again"

DS was also back to back

girlandboy · 01/10/2008 16:25

Didn't want much pain relief beforehand, and managed to get through both labours with a tens machine. Briefly tried one puff of gas and air and vomited. The midwife took it off me straight away.

Labour was every bit as painful as I had expected, second labour was more so, but he was just under 10lbs and I think that made a difference to me. First baby was 7lb 6oz and I delivered her myself.

Definitely didn't fancy pethidine because I had heard it can affect baby. Didn't want epidural cause don't like needles.

Tens took the edge off the pain, but no more. And at the end of the labour, I don't think it made any difference at all.

TillyScoutsmum · 01/10/2008 16:26

Was fully intending to have any pain relief I wanted/needed (including epidural)

Had paracetamol (v. early stages) and TENS machine. It wasn't as painful as I had anticipated and was also quicker so I was able to manage the pain. I was just starting to get tired and thinking I might need something else (gas and air) when I was told I was fully dilated so didn't need it. Had loads of it for the stitches after though

TillyScoutsmum · 01/10/2008 16:27

oh - and dd was back to back and 9lb 12oz

BecauseImWorthIt · 01/10/2008 16:28

Tens machine and gas and air (what a wonderful invention that stuff is!) only - no time for anything else, and no real need as it was all so quick.

Majeika · 01/10/2008 16:28

I had PE with my first PG and was drugged up to the eyeballs and couldnt feel a thing!

Between contractions, which I couldnt feel, everyone else geared up to it and I sat there - pushing - and then asked the MW during the contraction if she was going home yet or staying with me for the duration! Everyone laughed but I thought it was relevant!!

DS1 and I were quite ill afterwards and it took a long time to get back to normal.

With ds2 I gave birth in Italy and NO PAIN RELIEF was available - nowt, niente, nada! so as soon as I was offered a waterbirth I went for it and it was fab! I was fine and ds was fine and we went home after 3 days and the recovery was much speedier than first time round.

Tamarto · 01/10/2008 16:28

DS1 Half a paracetamol, i was 18 i think the midwives thought i'd have hours to go, so ignored me mostly untill he was nearly out

DS2 Gas and air, he was back to back and it hurt!

DD Gas and air, it lasted forever the little minx had her head sitting squint in the birth canal.

I didn't feel i needed anything more with any of them, although some attention when labouring with DS1

Tamarto · 01/10/2008 16:30

I do wonder if the size of DD had anything to do with how much more difficult it was. she was 7lb 3oz the boys were 10lb 2oz and 9lb 10oz respectivly.

Flier · 01/10/2008 16:31

my pain relief (2nd time around) was the hot water tap - or rather the hot water coming from the tap, as was an unassisted home birth. Oh and TENS machine prior to getting in the bath, and bach rescue remedy

1st time around, pain relief was gas and air and TENS

snowleopard · 01/10/2008 16:31

I planned to have an epidural, largely because of fears about internals - I finally got one after 12 hours of very slow and painful labour. It mostly worked, but left some painful spots - and I think it did help slow down an already slow labour though it's impossible to know for sure. Everything stalled and I ended up with a CS after another non-dilating 12 hours.

While having the epi put in, I had gas and air and was really surprised how effective it was - I loved it. The pain was so bad, I'd assumed G&A wouldn't do much. If there's a next time I'd want to try G&A on its own.

Decided beforehand I would not want pethidine or anyhting that could affect the baby.

Tried TENS at antenatal classes and hated the sensation, so that was out.

CantSleepWontSleep · 01/10/2008 16:32

Gas and air and a TENS machine with dd. Didn't want to have anything else because of poss effects on baby and increased likelihood of intervention.

Will let you know about ds in a few days!

WhereTheWildThingsWere · 01/10/2008 16:33

First labour, first 30 hours (oh yes) nothing but breathing and massage, then gas and air, once they put me on oxytocin, then a spinal when the tit of a consultant announced 'hmm it will have to be forceps and you're going to need a big episiotomy I'm afraid' .
Having the spinal was horrendous, (no, I'm sorry you can't take gas and air to theatre with you and please can you not push, grrrrrrrrr), but once it was done it was great, after being in very painful labour for 36 hours the midwife saying 'now I'll let you know when you are having a contraction, so you know when to push' was like a dream come true.

Second labour was very quick so just a bit of gas and air for pushing.

As far as I was concerned gas and air was fantastic, no sickness, just like being hopelessly pissed to the point where nothing seems to matter, but wears off really quickly.

Flossish · 01/10/2008 16:33

DS, 1st baby back to back (copy that comment RS - still is in fact!) didn't get much pain releif (waters broke early morning, presented at delivery suite that evening, didn't want to check progress as infection risk), two paracetamol and voltoral were all that was offered when my DM demanded something!! I did have tens but frankly was wondering from loo to bed to back again and it just got in a bloody annoying tangle and I didn't get a chance to read the instructions to know there was a boost button. Eventually given G + A minutes before discovering that I was in fact fully dilated. Thought that is was heaven in a mouthpiece.

DD was totally different, induced so slow build up which I didn't have with DS. waters were broken for me and tried again with the tens. The midwife told me it was working but you could have bloody fooled me. Especially when about half an hour after giving birth i still had the pads on and could feel nothing.

This time I got given G + A at 5 cms as the pain was immense. First few puffs and I cried out that 'It's not working! I want an epidural!!' DD born within about an hr weighing in at 10 and a half pounds. I often wonder if it was the induction or the big baby that made this labour so painful and have told DP that I'll have to have another to find out. Dp however believes we don't really need to know!

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain · 01/10/2008 16:35

DS1, induced, MW offered pethadine, I had no idea what it was but if it helped 'take the edge off' as she told me, I thought it can't be a bad thing. Once the pethadine had kicked in I knew nothing else, when I came round after DS1 was born found I'd had an epidural which apparently didn't work until I tried to stand up to go to the post-natal ward.

DS2, also induced, had banned any mention of pethadine, used the G&A mouth piece to bite on from about 7cm, but didn't get any good lung fulls of G&A throughout the labour. Think I had about 3 proper puffs of it when she started stiching me up after, but soon realised that actually stitching isn't any more painful than an injection so put it down.

This time, as long as there is a G&A mouth piece to hand, I'll be fine (...she says shitting it very bravely)

annmar · 01/10/2008 16:36

I had pethedine with DD1, the G&A made me dizzy. Pethedine was great.

With DD2, different HA, no pethedine, only diamorphine. It worked as pain relief, but I was hallucinating, started to feel paranoid and had a couple of major panic attacks. Diamorphine was horrible.

My only thoughts pre-labour were that I didn't want an epidural.

If I have another DC, I'll have to do without pain relief, unless the HA have started using pethidine.

BigTeuchLittleTeuch · 01/10/2008 16:37

Gas& Air and diamorphine twice.

Went straight into established labour so nothing for first 30mins, G&A for an hour, diamorhpine (didn't work), requested epidural but had to wait, told 2 hours later it was time to push and too late for epidural so panicked and asked for more diamorphine...didn't work but distracted me for a while.

G&A for stitches (ouch)

Just paracetamol aferwards as didn't want any more spacey drugs. Baby was prem and sleepy (from my diamorhpine probably!) and I wanted to be as alert as possible.

DeJaVous · 01/10/2008 16:37

I didn't have any pain relief drugs except for a local whilst the ventouse was done. I did use a birthing pool which should be classed a pain relief IME.

I'm in the Netherlands and there is no pain relief offered for home births (and yes, that includes gas and air). I was quite happy with that and prepared to go to hospital if I couldn't hack it.

In the end I had to go to hospital for a ventouse delivery after the stupid MW forced me to push for an hour with no urge to push I was given an injection of local before it was done and more local for the stitches.

TBH I the pain wasn't as bad as I had expected, I mean it was fucking bad, but I could handle it fine.


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WhereTheWildThingsWere · 01/10/2008 16:37

Oh and both mine were spine to spine to, ds had cord wrapped around his neck three times, and dd was a brow presentation.

Midwife said 'goodness me, you don't do easy babies do you'

I'm not doing any more either.

sfxmum · 01/10/2008 16:44

with dd it was a very long labour, over 48hrs

at first I wanted as natural as possible and for the first 24rhs of proper active labour I used a tens which was fine

but after a couple of days of not sleeping was susceptible to suggestion and was given Pethadine this was awful I felt paralysed but still in pain, absolute hell

eventually I had an epidural which am sure delayed labour even further but managed a VD without extra assistance

TheArmadillo · 01/10/2008 16:47

wrote on birth plan that I didn't want any painrelief unless absolutely necessary. Ha

Started off with TENS machine that was ripped off and thrown soon after I entered the delivery room as every time I tried to get on the bed the wires got caught, came out adn gave me an electric shock. Plus by then it was doing fuck all.

Ended up with gas and air (bit through first mouthpiece so had to be replaced), pethadine, and an epidural that was topped up 3 or 4 times (I could still feel my lower half, but not the pain so didn't affect me as some did). I also was given stuff to force the contractions (2 types as first didn't work).

I had a ventouse and an episthingy (where they cut you) and collapsed shortly after as had lost lots of blood (got given 3 litres afterwards).

Was not an easy birth adn came out thinking at least I didn't have to have the emergency c-section they were threatening me wtih.

Am pleased I had the pain relief as remember little of the birth - which in my case was a good thing. I remember the important parts, but have forgotten the stuff that left my dp shaking.

I'm quite happy the amount of stuff I had as the outcome could have been a lot worse as there were problems. Was in hospital for 5 days in the end (mixture of problems with ds and with me), but a c-section would have been harder to recover from I think, and I'm glad I managed to avoid it.

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