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Your experiences with pain relief

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13/02/2006 at 16:20
That's a look at the main options for mums-to-be, but it'd be great to hear about your experiences with the different forms of relief on offer, whatever you used. If you have general observations on pain relief in labour then here's the place, if you want to add your experiences with specific medicines or therapies then please do comment in forum threads at the bottom of the specific articles.

Looking forward to hearing abour your experiences and opinions!
20/02/2006 at 17:02
i found tens really good with my first baby, you just need to make sure that it sure that it stays on at all time and stays sucure. else it stops working.

good luck.
21/02/2006 at 15:44
I agree, I thought TENS was great for pain relief but you do need to get it on early otherwise it's more of an annoyance.
23/03/2006 at 15:11
I had gas and air but I just found it was a distraction. It's weird, because my mum had all three of us on gas and air at home! And my sister really found it good and didn't need anything else.
I liked TENS for the contractions etc but then I ended up having an epidural as well. At first I felt like I was giving in to pain relief, but my labour had been long and I needed to be able to rest. It didn't completely cut out the last stage pains, but it did let me rest a bit and get the strength to stay the course!
23/03/2006 at 19:35
I also had a tens m/c which was good but my pains got quite bad and started using gas and air which I found helped (but it did make me feel and be sick) then after 11 hrs or so I had pethadin (which was great as I actually got a little bit of sleep during the day. My midwife saw me throughout the day and in the end she said I should have an epidural as she agreed it would be better for me. Unfortunately the doctor was really busy that night and I had to wait ages for it to be fitted but once it was the relief was fantastic. I could still feel what was going on but without the pain and I'm glad I had it. I hadn't set out to have all of it but sometimes thats just how it works out. My daughter was then born at 1.15am (after waiting for over 26 hrs to appear). The best bit was that I could sleep afterwards!! Hope this helps and hasn't put you off!
24/03/2006 at 20:30
hi maria,

all i can say is you'll know when it happens what you want to have!

i was addiment i would NOT have an epidural but ended up having one!

i tried gas and air but it made me feel light headed and sick.

i also had a pethidine injection but i felt out of it and not in contol at all.

Don't feel like you have to take the pain, you don't win any medals for going through pain,

one thing no one had told me when looking at pain relief was that if you have an epidrual you can still have a pocket of pain, i had it in my right hip after having mine but later found that my baby's head wasn't engaged properly and was pushing it out.

i was upset at first i felt i'd let myself my partner and little mathew down because i had a c section but now i realise it wasn't my fault, just remember what you want to happen doesn't always come true.

4 months on and it was all worth it! hope this helps. x
21/04/2006 at 21:28
I only had gas and air i thought it was amazing that good i couldnt feel contractions at all so when it was pushing time i had to be told when they were coming lol xxx
21/04/2006 at 22:14
i think its impossible to plan ahead or completely rule something out. i thought i was just going to have gas and air but ended up having epidural-fantastic stuff, i wanted to bring some home, lol-seriously though it really hurt and i couldnt cope with the pain without epidural! and im planning to do it all again. i'm asking for epidural first next time.
x x x
22/04/2006 at 12:33
I tried gas and air- made me sick!

I had 2 shots of pethedine, The first injection managed to keep the contractions from getting worse, which was good, but I was hoping for more of a numbing effect! The second injection didn't do anything at all!

Then I had an epidural- which once they put it in right worked like a dream! So much so I fell asleep!!

I would be open minded with regards to pain relief in labour, you really don't know until it happens how well you will cope! And like Lucy said- you don't get any medals for putting yourself through agony!
Having a baby should be an enjoyable experience, if you want pain relief ask for it. Don't feel ashamed!
28/04/2006 at 16:10
I went in with an open mind. I had gas + air and spent some time in water although I opted for a "dry land" birth.

I am very fortunate to have an extremely high pain threshold and manage to get through mainly with positive thinking and mind-over-matter-type thoughts. Laughter, believe it or not, helped a great deal. The gas + air made me feel a bit sick and lightheaded and I had to stop using it because I kept slipping under the water!

This time I'm hoping to get through it just the same way - but again I'm keeping an open mind.

My only advice to anyone would be don't rule anything in as definite but don't rule anything out because each labour is different and you will not be able to tell what will work for you at that precise time.
30/04/2006 at 11:27
I had a tens machine at home but found it next to useless (maybe I was using it wrong?) then gas and air when we got to the hospital, which I loved and wouldn't let go of!

The midwife broke my waters and the contractions intensified, so I asked for an epidural but by the time they'd moved me to another room and found an anaesthetist I was fully dilated so couldn't have it.

I was still in a lot of pain after the birth and had trouble delivering the placenta so was given pethidine, which did the trick but made me really spaced out - I remember laughing hysterically whilst being stitched up!

This time around I'm planning a home water birth and am hoping to feel more in control of the whole experience.

Just one more thing to say - within a couple of hours of the birth I absolutely knew that I'd do it all over again without any pain relief at all for such a fantastic result!

02/05/2006 at 12:01
I used gas & air for most of my labour and then pethidine which knocked me out completely - I have no recollection of the last 4 cm's at all. Was mostly awake and with it during the pushing - which was a completely different sensation and I didn't use any pain relief for that part. Going to try water and g&a this time.
05/05/2006 at 22:28
I was etermined to have as few drugs as possible for the birth of Georgina, who finally arrived four weeks ago after being induced, I ended up having one of everything on offer during the worst fourteen hours of my life!
I would highly recommend a TENS machine, it works wonders and in the early stages of the labour helped me keep my mind off the pain whilst fiddling with the knobs, try and get one with a booster button too!
I had pethadine, witch did help the pain for a couple of hours, but it made me feel really drunk and i did seem to be drifting out of relaity a little, i guess it was not for me.
The gas and air was good but if you over do it you can feel aginquite drunk from the effects, but the fact it made my nose tingle was amusing at the time!, and again a distraction.
I also had a drug called Meptid which is a lot like pethadine but without the sickness effect, and i would say i highly recommend that although I understand its not available at every hospital as it is costly compared to pethadine, but it can be given much nearer the end of the labour as it has less affect on the baby too.

Finally I had an epidural, which I had really not wanted, All i can say about that is do your research before agreeing to one. Mine went wrong and left me with numb legs but a huge burning sensation all over my abdomen and the feeling that somone had dropped a house on me, and made the pain worse. I also ended up with a side effect called a dural tap, which is where the needle puncturse the spinal membrane allowing fluid to leak out causing terrible headaches for about a week meaning I was unable to look after my baby, Apparently this side affect can happen in up to one percent of cases, and is only cuarable by waiting for the effect to wear off or having a second epidural another day where they put your own blood into your spine to clot and plug the hole created, I had this done twice and neither worked. Epiduarals can also make the labour longer as you may have to wait for some of the effect to wear off before you can start pushing.
In retrospect I would advise try to use as few drugs as possible, stepping up to the next when you really feel you need it, but if at all possible, avoid epidurals, it may help during labour but it can cause loads of long lasting side effects which could ruin your first few days with your baby!
06/05/2006 at 07:06
Melanie that's awful, I knew there could be side effects to epidurals but never realised the extent of them - you were so unlucky!
06/05/2006 at 22:00
I was unlucky to have the additional pain and the dural tap (The puncture of the spine causing the pain after) as these two effects are not necessaraly related, but the side effects are there and not widely known about. I was given no information at all from midwives or the hospital prior the the birth of Georgina. I don't want to scare anyone but I would have prefered to have been better informed, so I wanted to share my experiances.
10/07/2006 at 17:11
It's been really interesting to read this thread.

I'm due in 15 weeks time and already have a birth plan made up (in my head!), although I'm calling it more of a 'Birth Wish List' as if something doesn't go to my plan, I don't want to beat myself up over it.

Am hoping to get through with TENS, remembering what my Hypnobirthing cd's said and a sense of humour! Am open to gas and air but would ideally, after doing a lot of research, like to avoid pethidine and epidurals!

Mind you, let's just see what happens on the day!!
10/07/2006 at 18:04
Hello all ,i found this interesting as i have just had a met with my midwife and our practice nurse who both have quite different and definate ideas what a first time mother should have and consider,it left me feeling a little dazed,the only thing i can remember is that if i want an epidural i need to book a week in advance of my date.My poor partner was just as bogled as me!
11/07/2006 at 09:02
Seeing what happens on the day is a good plan - can't believe they expect you to book an epidural in advance mosschops, how on earth are you supposed to know whether you'll need one or not?

My birth went nothing like how I had envisioned it, but in the end I was very pleased with how it was. I was in there for a long time and tried labouring in the birthing pool, all kinds of contraction intensifiers (including an enema- yuk!) and when I wasn't dilating at all after over 16 hours of intense contractions I had an epidural and then acupuncture and homeopathy to try to encourage dilation - it did work eventually. I didn't have pain relief apart from the birthing pool until the epidural as they don't use gas and air and tens here.

I was lucky and escaped a c-section (just) but I was fully prepared for the possibility mentally, and you just need to remember that the most important thing is that the baby comes out healthily and you're ok too, not whether or not you get the perfect birth you had envisioned before-hand.
11/07/2006 at 09:06
Oh, I should say that it was after acupuncture and homeopathy and when they turned the oxytocin drip down that I eventually started to dilate and a natural birth became part of the picture again. I don't know what the homeopathic treatment was, but most of the midwives here are trained in acupuncture, homeopathy and aromatherapy and they seem to find them useful tools in childbirth - don't know if that's why they don't use gas and air, pethidine etc.
11/07/2006 at 20:58
Wow, it'd be fantastic if they did acupuncture, homeopathy and aromatherapy here instead of resorting to 'drug' drugs (if you know what I mean?).

How mad aswell that in some places you actually have to book an epidural in advance!! If I had an epidural in mind and hadn't ruled one out, I'd book it and see how you felt on the day, see if you really needed it or not. Better to have it and refuse it than need it and not have it available!
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