Spinoff of a Spinoff: Pain medication during child birth

I was actually just thinking of posting this question yesterday, then I saw that thread today on the Non-Hair Board.

For those who elected NOT to use pain medication / epidural, what were your reasons? The reason I ask is because I've been seriously considering trying to go without, but when a friend asked me why, I couldn't answer. If I do it, I want it to be for the right reasons - not just so I can feel tough or something.

I tried to look on WebMD for some information about epidurals, but wasn't able to find anything. Does anyone know of other good sources of information?
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
I can't give you any specific sources off the top of my head, but I have read on several different websites that epidurals are a major factor contributing to the high C-section rate, because they come along with monitoring, restricted mobility etc. etc. which makes it harder to push and sometimes prolongs or stalls labour. They can cause adverse reactions and side effects as well. And epidural babies supposedly come out drugged and less alert than natural born babies. Going drug-free gives you more control as to how you birth, more mobility, etc.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Thanks Amneris, that's just the kind of stuff I was looking for

Keep 'em coming ladies!
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
And epidural babies supposedly come out drugged and less alert than natural born babies. Going drug-free gives you more control as to how you birth, more mobility, etc.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I've had one epidural at 4 cm and my labor went on for 5 hours after that one and the baby was alert and ready and able to nurse and I've had an epidural at 10 cm and gave birth 16 minutes later and the baby was alert and ready and able to nurse. I can only speak for myself and my experience though.

The second time, (I am agreeing with Amneris here ) I put off the epidural for as long as possible, because I wanted to be mobile and not restricted to the bed. I still had to wear monitors and have an IV because I was high risk (pre-eclampsia) but I could drag them all with me and go to the restroom or just go for a walk or sit up or roll around however I wanted to. I was able to handle the pain until I tried to push and then the pressure pinched both siatic nerves so not only did I have the labor pain and the pain from my old hip injury but I had 2 legs with pain shooting down them. I wanted the epidural then. I don't recommend waiting that late in the game to get one, but the longer you can hold out, the less exposure the baby has to the medication.

Also consider doing research on post-partum pain medication. I took my Vicoden joyfully every 6 hours and my ibuprofen every 4 hours. And I breastfed exclusively
Oh! I forgot to mention that I have heard from friends that a natural birth is SO empowering to them as women, and that the high afterwards is like no other... that alone made me want to try it!
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I had lots of reasons
1. No matter what they tell you to the contrary, any drugs you take cross the placenta and affect the baby. All the studies I have ever seen have compared epidurals to IV narcotics and in those the epidural babies were in better shape. But I have never seen a study of epidural vs. no drug babies.
2. I was terrified of being immobilized, catheterized, stuck on my back. I wanted to be able to move. For personal reasons (that scares me worse than pain) and also because I know that labor can stall or slow down because baby is in a bad position. The best way to get the baby in a better position is to move around and shift your position. You can't do that if you are numb from the waist down. In that case if labor stalls the only options available are those that I consider last resorts: pitocin augmentation, c-section, forceps or vacuum.
3. I did not want to tear badly or an have episiotomy. I figured my chances of staying intact were better if I could choose a comfortable position and also feel what was going on. I ended up with a tiny tear on top of one of my labia that healed perfectly and has given me no problems.
4. I did not want to risk any of the side effects of epidural (spinal headaches, low blood pressure that would require me to stay in the hospital longer, possible paralysis, swelling from IV fluids) unless medically necessary.
5. I wanted to be in the best shape possible after baby was born so I could take care of him, not recovering from the drugs.
6. I wanted the best possible start to breastfeeding.

Basically I believe that labor is a natural process. When it is going well, I think it best to interfere as little as possible and to listen to your body and let it do its thing. When things are not going well, it's great that we live in a time when medical science can help in so many ways. But if everything is going OK then I believe you should leave well enough alone.

If you want to go natural, I suggest you really educate yourself as much as you can. Read up on the hows, whys, pros and cons of various interventions. Read up or take a class about alternate pain management techniques. Have a great labor support person with you - someone who believes you CAN do it without drugs. If you don't think your partner is up to the job, hire a doula. Know about the stages of labor and what normal feelings are for each stage. Tell your health care provider what you want and what you don't. Write up a birth plan. And be prepared for the unexpected anyway.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
Oh! I forgot to mention that I have heard from friends that a natural birth is SO empowering to them as women, and that the high afterwards is like no other... that alone made me want to try it!
Originally Posted by Amneris
That was true for me, but I had lots of more concrete reasons to do it too, as outlined above.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
yup, a non med birth is empowering as all get out but like Geeky mentioned there were definitely other reasons. Meds begin a domino effect of intervention and medical staff (whether doctors or nurses) are pretty much well known for making it seem like something is absolutely necessary when it's only necessary for purposes of covering their own legal butts.

First time around like I mentioned in the other thread I was fine until I got to the hospital and baby flipped sunny side up. I got a shot of stadol and from that moment on I was hooked to an IV, throwing up, loopy and not "present" mentally to the point that I came to right as I was about to push. Recovery was great but it took a while for the meds to wear out and we had a rocky start to nursing.

Second time around I showed up at the hospital around 8cm. I labored for about 2 hours and was walking, kneeling, squatting, in and out of the bathroom for position changes and no IV. I remember when I was transferred to my room the nurse asked me where my IV caddy was then looked at my chart LOL.

I was able to get up and hop in my wheelchair to be trasnferred about an hour after Ryan's birth and could have sooner but they were cleaning both of us up. I was able to nurse him right away and we did have issues with nursing later on but they were related to his frenulum and positioning in the womb not the labor.

The only thing I took after labor was a couple of doses of ibuprofen and that's because with the 2nd birth I'd heard (and confirmed) that the PP cramps are stronger. Especially when you're nursing (which is great! serves to contract your uterus back to size and pass clots). This is usually done artificially via a shot of pitocin after pushing so be sure to speak to your caregiver if you want to skip the pit which I did.

Ian was very sleepy the night after his birth and the following day. Nursing was rocky even once we got home until I went back for an out patient LC appt. Ryan was alert, no eye drops so he was very much into looking at me, nursed very well considering his short frenulum. Also, Ryan passed meconium but he was born without a snag (I also passed meconium at birth). And even though he passed meconium we waited until his cord stopped pulsing to cut it and he was just fine, no issues whatsoever.
Basically I believe that labor is a natural process. When it is going well, I think it best to interfere as little as possible and to listen to your body and let it do its thing. When things are not going well, it's great that we live in a time when medical science can help in so many ways. But if everything is going OK then I believe you should leave well enough alone.
Originally Posted by geeky
This was my reasoning. Now as it turned out (and I posted on the other thread), it didn't work out for me in the end (long labour and stuck baby head) and I did elect to have an epidural shortly before starting to push. I have to say that all things considered, I was really pleased with my epidural - I could still move around and push in varying positions, I could feel my contractions and DS was born bright eyed and alert.

I would still opt to do without meds next time around, but I am not disappointed with the birth I had.
I was able to get up and hop in my wheelchair to be trasnferred about an hour after Ryan's birth and could have sooner but they were cleaning both of us up. I was able to nurse him right away and we did have issues with nursing later on but they were related to his frenulum and positioning in the womb not the labor.

The only thing I took after labor was a couple of doses of ibuprofen and that's because with the 2nd birth I'd heard (and confirmed) that the PP cramps are stronger. Especially when you're nursing (which is great! serves to contract your uterus back to size and pass clots). This is usually done artificially via a shot of pitocin after pushing so be sure to speak to your caregiver if you want to skip the pit which I did.
Originally Posted by marielle448
I was up and walking around (no wheelchair for me) probably 15 minutes after Ben's birth, and demanding a sandwich, cause man, I was famished. Labor (esp transition) was painful, the pushing was actually really exhilarating for me (and I am sure that had everything to do with the position I was pushing in) and afterwards I felt tired but great, kind of the way I feel after a good long run.
I didn not have to take any painkillers after labor. I had put a mix of aloe and witch hazel on some big maxi pads and tossed them in the freezer before labor, I used those for a few days.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
Labor (esp transition) was painful, the pushing was actually really exhilarating for me (and I am sure that had everything to do with the position I was pushing in) and afterwards I felt tired but great, kind of the way I feel after a good long run.
Originally Posted by geeky
If you don't mind my asking, what position were you pushing in?
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Pixie---I did want to try to have him with out pain meds...But i got the IV fluids just in case, since in my case there was a HUGE chance i would have to have an emergancy c-section, personally i did not want to be knocked out during the birth, so i wanted to be ready just in case.

I went in there not in labor at all, and as contractions started, i really thought i could do it, but after a while, i just started getting really really tired and just needed a boost to get me through, i DID NOT want a c-section (it would have kept me there longer and he was being sent 1 hour away) so i opted for an epidural to try to get me through. Next time i would like to make it a little longer (i did not get it until about 2 hours before he was born)

Go in with a plan A, B, C and D, realize once you are in the situation your plans may change!....mine was as follows...

A - completely drug free using rocker, ball ect.

B - I want drugs, DH talks me out of it with new focus tactics, helps me breath through it ect.

C - epidural

D - C-sec.


It was more in depth, but that was the main ideas.

make sure every nurse and your Dh knows the plan, write it down and have then put it in you chart, I had mine posted by the computer and i made each new nurse initial it as they came in so they understand.
Oh, and for further information, Pixie, the book I recommend to everyone, regardless of their preferences for meds, is The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. It is meant for the support person but I found it full of good information for the expecting mom also. I suspect Simkin is pro-natural but she is not at all pedantic about it and the book has great and balanced info about what happens in labor, what complications can occur, what interventions you might be offered and their pros and cons, etc.

If you don't mind my asking, what position were you pushing in?
Originally Posted by PixieCurl
Initially my midwife tried having me in the classic sitting with back propped, legs in the air position, like below, but with my legs higher and held up by the midwife and hubby.

I found it extremely uncomfortable. I could not push with my legs up in the air - I needed something to really brace them against.

I ended up in a half-kneel, half-squat position, up on the bed while I was pushing, holding on to the shoulders of my husband, who was standing right nest to the bed.

Between pushes, I kneeled and rested my upper body on some pillows.


After he crowned, my midwife told me to lay on my side and supported my leg, so that he would slow down and minimize tearing.

I don't necessarily think that this is the magic position that will work for everyone, but the fact that I could move around until I found one that worked for me was great. I pushed that baby out in 45 minutes - I know that if I had had to stay on my back it would have taken me much longer and been much more painful and tiring.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
I am DEFINITELY going to print out this thread. Those pictures are great Geeky! I'll have to check out that book too
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Because it took so dang long to get the epi, I labored until 10cm with no drugs. Whenever I had a contraction, my body froze. I clenched every muscle in my body, the pain was so excruciating. This was during transition, when the contractions seemed to be coming back to back. I'd say, "oh god! Another one. Somebody help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand. I was wringing my hands and I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. The toning definitely helped. But those of you who knew what you were doing, what should I have been doing to relax my muscles more during transition? I felt like I was fighting every contraction.

Geeky, I have the Ina May book you always recommend. I will probably read it in the next couple of months.
Because it took so dang long to get the epi, I labored until 10cm with no drugs. Whenever I had a contraction, my body froze. I clenched every muscle in my body, the pain was so excruciating. This was during transition, when the contractions seemed to be coming back to back. I'd say, "oh god! Another one. Somebody help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand. I was wringing my hands and I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. The toning definitely helped. But those of you who knew what you were doing, what should I have been doing to relax my muscles more during transition? I felt like I was fighting every contraction.

Geeky, I have the Ina May book you always recommend. I will probably read it in the next couple of months.
Originally Posted by medussa
Transition was hell for me too. The contractions were right on top of one another and so strong that instead of resting between them I was steeling myself for the next contraction, so I felt the same way. I wish someone would have told me to relax between them, but I think even though I was miserable, I was not showing it so my husband and midwife thought I was OK. The only thing that really got me through it was knowing that I was in transition, which is the shortest part, and that it would be over soon and I would get to push and see my baby. I remember thinking at one point that there was no way I could do this and I was just so very tired, too tired to push a baby out and then have to take it home and take care of it too - and I knew from my Bradley books and classes that this kind of thinking was just a sign of transition and that I was in the home stretch.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
WebjockeyGuide
Guest
Posts: n/a
I wanted to be home so drugs aren't an option. I also don't like being in hospitals, nor do I like taking drugs/needles etc. I like the intimacy and flexibility of being in my own home. Besides both grandmothers had 10+ children at home, Fiance's mom gave birth at home and I dont see a real need to go into a hospital to give birth. My pregnancy has been quite uneventful - no high blood pressure, no ailments, measuring on schedule etc.


I've also had several conversations with midwife and doula about breathing, visualization techniques, aromatherapy, and the like. I have a birthing tub, a ball and whatever little tchockies my midwife and doula plan on bringing to make me comfortable as possible. My "team" has been very good about prepping me for birth as well as emphasizing the need to "let go".


And in the case I do have to get transported to a hospital, I have 2 respected advocates and a very forceful fiance to make sure that things go well.
Because it took so dang long to get the epi, I labored until 10cm with no drugs. Whenever I had a contraction, my body froze. I clenched every muscle in my body, the pain was so excruciating. This was during transition, when the contractions seemed to be coming back to back. I'd say, "oh god! Another one. Somebody help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand. I was wringing my hands and I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. The toning definitely helped. But those of you who knew what you were doing, what should I have been doing to relax my muscles more during transition? I felt like I was fighting every contraction.

Geeky, I have the Ina May book you always recommend. I will probably read it in the next couple of months.
Originally Posted by medussa
Transition was hell for me too. The contractions were right on top of one another and so strong that instead of resting between them I was steeling myself for the next contraction, so I felt the same way. I wish someone would have told me to relax between them, but I think even though I was miserable, I was not showing it so my husband and midwife thought I was OK. The only thing that really got me through it was knowing that I was in transition, which is the shortest part, and that it would be over soon and I would get to push and see my baby. I remember thinking at one point that there was no way I could do this and I was just so very tired, too tired to push a baby out and then have to take it home and take care of it too - and I knew from my Bradley books and classes that this kind of thinking was just a sign of transition and that I was in the home stretch.
Originally Posted by geeky

It is SO hard to relax when they're continuous like that. And I didn't even make it to transition. I had my epi at 4cm - and even THEN I was arching off the bed. My L&D nurse would tell me when I was at the top of the contraction, and to relax b/c it's going to go back down - this was hugely helpful. It made me realize that there was an end to the pain.
~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
Babywavy, I forgot about that..i had mike do that for me, i would look the other way and Mike would tell me when it had peaked, that really helpped me to relax.
it really helps to have a support person like a doula or a midwife that will be there for the whole labor not just when you're ready to push. My midwife came a bit too late to help me identify transition the first time. With my doula the 2nd time around she was great, pretty much knew I was in transition without me saying anything, kept people quiet and away from me and pretty much had her hands on my back pressure points constantly. She also had me doing those belly dancing hip rotation moves during transition and I also loved the toning in conjunction with that. I'm sure I was the "loud birthing lady" at the hospital but I didn't care. If jumping on one foot and balancing a ball would have eased the pain I would have done that too.

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com