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Thread: Drug-free labour

  1. #1

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    Default Drug-free labour

    Just wanting to know how you got through your labour without drugs? Especially those who were induced, seeing as though it's harder and faster that way.


  2. #2

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    Tegan,
    I can't comment personally on inductions as I haven't had one. I have had 5 labours though and my first began with a bang and continued for 33 hours with contractions beginning at 2 minutes apart. So, I guess I can speak about labours that begin with a bang!

    I believe there are a few really beneficial things to helping cope with the challenges of labour.
    SUPPORT: the support of another woman known to you that has a positive attitude to birth and can advocate for you, laugh with you and remain strong for you for the duration of your labour whatever that may be. I understand for some women they only want their partner. Ensure that he can maintain all of the above for you.

    ACTIVITY: Being active as long as possible. This is still possible with an induction. You can ask that you not be continually monitored and that you have mobility with an iv stand. I think this is really important. HIp swivelling, fooot stamping, squatting whatever feels natural to you during contractions. Some women love the fit ball.

    WATER: I understand that birthing pools sadly (and outrageously) are not available to all women in all birth facilities - especially induced births but you will still be able to use the shower. Most facilities have double shower heads now so one nozzle can be on your tummy and one on your lower back (or again wherever you feel it's needed). I have seen this help tremendously, and personally I have used it and LOVED it. Combine this with activity and an upright positiion.

    MIND: I believe the mind is the most powerful organ required to birth your baby. Surround yourself with positive people. Visualise the moment of birth. Affirm to yourself: MY body perfectly and safely births my healthy strong baby...
    When you hear your mind using fearful statements or thinking fearful thoughts replace these thoughts with positive affirmations. Even if it doesn't seem right just change the words. It really does work. When you are in labour ensure you use positive statements - clue your support people up on this. For instance, I have heard many women yell NO! when a contractions comes - change this to YES, come on baby! Our words and our minds are very powerful...

    I wish you beautiful labour vibes. I look forward to hearing your wonderful story in the coming weeks...

  3. #3
    chelleg Guest

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    Hi Tegan, this is my own personal opinion rather than a 'midwife' opinion. When i had Lilly i was induced and had a drug free labour and birth. Before labour i had no real plans for what i wanted to do. I'd never been in labour before, i had no idea what to expect so i went in with an open mind. If i needed something i would have it. I truely believe that having an open mind is the key. The more anxious you are about NOT having pain relief the more likely it is that you will need it. You need to set your mind free, relax and let your body do what it was perfectly designed to do. If for some reason you do need pain relief then don't beat yourself up, you are not a failure. Make it known to your suport people and your midwfe that it isn't your ideal to have pain relief and then the onus will fall onto them to keep you focused on non-medicinal forms of pain relief. My other tip is to remind yourself that it will end, every contraction is one you wont have to do again, and one closer to meeting your baby.

  4. #4

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    Agree with everything Deb has said......

    Tegan, I was induced with Charlie, and did it without any pain relief.....it was fairly fast (2 hours from sytocin (sp) & waters breaking to birth, and I found it full on intense and fast.

    I had managed drug free with Olivia, so I was fairly determined to do drug free for Charlie too....so for me, it was a mental choice first, then planning and knowledge from then, so I knew what I could do to alleviate/distract from the pain. (Fitball, shower, jogging on the spot.......)

    I drilled into DH that if I asked for drugs, that he was to basically ignore me! (I knew that I would carry on like a pork chop through transition! And I did......but he, bless him, made me look him in the eye as I screeched "Get me drugs" and I ended up swearing at him that I could ****ing cope without. LOL!)

    GOOD LUCK!

  5. #5

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    I think it depends on the method of induction too. I was augmented with my first, so labour had started then I was put on the drip, and to this day I know I couldn't have done it without an epidural. With my second, I was just determined that I had a job to do and had to get on with it. I asked for pain relief, but I was found to be 9cms so I again told myself, I have no choice but to get on with it. Second births are very different to the first so you may find it somewhat easier to keep on track with what you want and it may not go for as long so you may not be as tired. So its hard to say For a drug-free birth, you need good, strong support. It's funny that I hear so many women who have had homebirths or births in birth centres that are free-standing, that if they would have been in hospital, they would have asked for an epidural. So lack of having and good birth support can help you achieve what you think is unachievable Of course an ideal birth support person (if you have one) would be someone who has had a birth that you are wanting. Someone who knows what it takes to get through, yet supports your decisions at the same time.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
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  6. #6

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    Tegan, I totally agree with Kelly - second deliveries are much different to your first. I went in to spontaneous labour with No 1 and ended up with gas, pethidine, epidural and forcep delivery, but with No 2, I was induced (for various reasons including my own request), with ARM and then the drip an hour later, but was adamant that I would not have an epidural and minimal pain relief. I found the induced labour to be far better than my first and got through it with just gas. I found that focusing on a specific item and my breathing helped, and with NO 2 it is alot easier to tell yourself that once a contraction has passed, that is one contraction closer to seeing your baby!

  7. #7

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    Good to hear that others have had a better induced labour 2nd time around. Hopfully it will be for me aswell. I'm having him in the birth centre, so hopfully that makes a difference than last time. They actually let me have a birth plan too unlike last time!

  8. #8

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    Tegan,
    It's great that you are birthing your baby at a birth centre. Midwives in these centres are usually very pro active drug free labour. They will have lots of tricks up their sleeves in terms of positions, encouragement etc.

    Even though I have never had an induced labour my first labour was quite arduous (I am being polite). I wouldn't have made it without the support of my woman birth support. No matter how much I love my husband or how great he is, it just doesn't ring true when he says YOU CAN DO IT, NOT LONG NOw! We are all different but I know through all my labours when he has said that I have felt intense anger!!! I remember in my first labour asking him how the hell he would know this!!! A woman who has birthed can really tell you and support you. So if you have access to a support person then that would be wonderful. Being at a birth centre you are likely to have formed a relationship with your midwife and that is the best possible way to birth.(knowing your midwife)

    I do disagree that it's best to go in with out plans. I think you need to have a firm idea of what you want and what you don't and why. For me I knew I didn't want narcotics and I knew why. These are all personal choices that each woman has to make in an informed way. Without having an idea of what you want and what you want to do in certain situations I think makes things tough on the day. Of course we need flexibility because sometimes unforseen circumstances occur. However, again we are all different.

    Good luck Teagen on your journey...

  9. #9

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    Hi,

    I had no choice LOL.

    I had a very quick labour at 1 hr and 4 mins and my epidural arrived 10 mins after i gave birth.

    It was an intense labour but i dont regret having no drugs. Im really glad i got to do it drug free once.

    That labour was an induction too.

  10. #10

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    I dont think i could have done it without drugs. I was in so much pain. I had the gas which didnt do anything but make me cough and then the pethadiene which calmed me down a whole lot. Bubs was 8lb 9oz (first bubs too) so i dont think that helped with the pain but yeh i envy anyone who can do it drug free

  11. #11

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    It went to fast to have anything

  12. #12

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    I managed a drug free first labour of 8 hrs 15 minutes. I was a week overdue and really worried about having to be induced as well, so I was very pleased when I went spontaneously!!

    My best advice? Definitely look for support, but learn how to BE YOUR OWN SUPPORT PERSON. Trust that your body can do it, educate yourself about all the options, and speak up if you possibly can, if you're not happy with something. Also, let go of all your inhibitions about what you look like, what you sound like and what you act like whilst in labour. I carried on like a madwoman, told the midwife several times to talk to the hand when she tried to communicate with me during a contraction (I spent practically all of my labour upright and walking) and yelling in Primal Scream territory while my body was spitting my baby out! Tell yourself it's OK to let go of your pelvic floor and help your body do it's job. It doesn't matter if you poop or pee yourself.....trust me, the midwives have seen it all before. It is a raw, physical experience and it really helps at crunch time to utterly let go of what other people might think.

  13. #13

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    Well didn't manage to do it drug free unfortunatly. But labour was 37hrs on and off and I lasted 30hrs without drugs!

  14. #14

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    I think you did a fantastic job Tegan!!!

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    Yep I have to agree with Christy there Tegan. You did great

  16. #16

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    I think it can be easier to let go and allow your body to get on with the job better with a professional support person, knowing there is someone in control of external factors to lean on. Worrying about yourself or your partner or relying on your own self-encouragement may not be an ideal situation, because we all have a *crisis of confidence* at some stage where we wonder if we really can do this. I know what you mean in what you said LOTL, and wanted to add this bit because relying on yourself in labour can be extremely demanding. It can make it so much easier to be able to feel the stable rock of someone else, have someone else argue your birth preference for you - you need to feel held, encouraged and supported! And yes, be your best support person before the birth by educating yourself in the best ways possible. But allow youself to let go and rely on others to help you get through the tough spots. You can be amazed at the difference it makes
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

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