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Thread: Drug free labour

  1. #1

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    Default Drug free labour

    Hi,

    I'm due in March with my first and am hoping to have a drug free labour. I was just wondering how people have had this experience and how it was for you.



    Thanks

  2. #2
    paige Guest

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    Hi Amber

    I had a drug free birth water birth with my third child in August 2003. I'm due to give birth this week and am hoping to have the same experience. (My first was a c section and my second was an induced delivery with gas & epidural.) I can honestly say the drug free birth was much, much better and less scarrey than the previous vaginal birth BUT the absolute key is having your mind prepared. I did hypnobirthing in the months beforehand and it really taught me how to breathe and visualise through each contraction plus allowed me to deal with any fears I had prior to the labor. It made an ENORMOUS difference - I never imagined I could achieve a drug free birth but it is possible and it's so worth it for the recovery - I didn't tear as I knew exactly what to do whereas with the epidural I had little sensation to know when to start/stop pushing and I ended up with a 2nd degree tear that took 2 weeks to recover from.

    Having said all this, labor is painful and I'm quite anxious about going through it again but I do know the difference between drug free and medicated and I will do my very best to avoid drugs if possible.

    Very best wishes to you.

    x

  3. #3

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    Amber - well done on aiming for a natural birth - it's becoming harder to achieve one these days when there is such a hight rate of medical intervention, lots of it unnecessary too. Aiming for a natural birth is such a wonderful gift to offer your unborn baby.

    A great way to really help you achieve this is to hire a professional birth attendant or doula - the stats speak for themselves (you can read the full info here: http://bellybelly.com.au/birth-support ):

    "As recognised by the World Health Organization and according to many independent studies from around the world, where an experienced birth support person was present, the following benefits were observed:"

    For the birth

    * Reduction in length of labour (by an average of 98 minutes)
    * The use of analgesia reduced by 35%
    * Epidural use decreased
    * Reduction in oxytocin augmentation (drip to speed up / stregnthen labour) by 71%
    * Reduction in use of forceps by 57%
    * Caesarean births reduced by 51%

    Data from meta-analysis of twelve trials (includes data from a wide variety of medical, cultural and economic settings).

    For mothers

    * A greater sense of fulfillment with the birth experience
    * A greater satisfaction with her partner’s role
    * A feeling of better bonding with her baby after the birth
    * Lower rates of post-natal depression

    For babies

    * Reduced amount / time of hospital stays
    * Fewer admissions to special care nurseries
    * Increased breastfeeding success
    * Higher APGAR’s or post-birth assessment scores

    Also you might like to read this article I wrote on aiming for a natural birth: http://bellybelly.com.au/articles/birth/natural-birth

    Use water if possible - baths or pools after 7cms (earlier can slow labour due to the weightlessness) and have supportive, encouraging people with you. You don't need sympathy in labour, you need encouragement to keep working through that pain! Mums are a bad choice for that reason, they don't like their little girls being in pain and want to help them get out of pain
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  4. #4
    mooshie Guest

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    Hi Amber

    i had a completely drug free labour with 2 out of my 3 births, and yes i did ask for an epidural both times lol (that was about 5mins before bubs were born lmao)

    if you can go for it, the pain yes it is bad but the outcome is just wonderful, i had gas and pethidene for my first birth but they just made me vomit, with my 2nd i laboured in the shower and my 3rd i wanted to labour in the bath but she was born before the bath was full.

    my dh always made a smart comment after the 2 drug free labours that it looked like i could do it all over again, yet after the first one i was a bit woozy for a few hours and dd slept alot (probably from the peth) and wasn't very alert and didn't feed well at all.

    anyway i could go on but i wont = just wishing you all the very best in what you choose

  5. #5

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    For me, I think preparation well before the day was the key to achieving a drug-free birth. My DH was really supportive, telling me "I think you can do it" and similar things when I mentioned I was nervous about the birth. We discussed it several times and I knew he would support me all the way. It really helped build my confidence!

  6. #6
    Bec Guest

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    I would like a drug free birth and I am getting a book on birth and also some information on hypnobirthing as I think it is the way to go.

    I am due early May and I now starting to read up on labour and birth.


    Good luck with it.

  7. #7

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    Some great books to read are "New Active Birth" by Janet Balaskas, "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer and "Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering" by Sarah Buckley. Throw away "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" - it's as useful as rubbish!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  8. #8

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    Hi Amber,
    It is very easy to say during pg that 'yes I do want drugs' or 'no I don't'. I just went with the flow (I didn't have a birth plan for any of my deliveries) of the labour and had pethidene with #1 (to aid sleep), nothing with #2 (no time) and pethidene and gas with #3 (painful induction) Also at my hospital (small country town), they cannot offer epi's as there is no full time anaethistist. I am very happy with the way all my deliveries went and had supportive MW's who gave me the final decision on pain relief.
    But don't feel dissapointed in yourself if you choose no drugs, then find you change your mind!
    Cheers, sherieb.

  9. #9
    angelfish Guest

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    I think that's a really good point about staying flexible. I have had two home water births without drugs, and I was absolutely thrilled with how they went. But I was lucky to have fairly straightforward labours. Although I am strongly in favour of using as little intervention as possible, I don't believe in masochism or going through torture just to make the point that you don't need drugs. I would advise all pregnant women to get as well informed as possible and make a plan for how to manage without drugs. But also accept that if you have some kind of complication, and/or an extremely long/difficult labour, then drugs may be the best choice for you after all. Make the decision that YOU will be in charge of your labour and birth, and use whatever is right for you.

  10. #10

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    I had a drug free birth this time, partly due to a quick labour (3 hours) can't tell you I would've stayed drug free if it was longer though. But I did use a TENS machine. It's totally drug free and non invasive, you stick it on your back and it send electronic messages to brain which distracts you from labour pains. Im not sure how much it helped but it certainly distracted me (particularly the three times I turned it right up instead of off... OW)!!! anyway, it was $10 a week to hire from a physio. Youcan call your physio and they'll give you a go. really worth trying. I had mine on up until about 10 minutes before bub arrived.
    Good luck oxox

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by sherieb
    It is very easy to say during pg that 'yes I do want drugs' or 'no I don't'.
    Absolutely, and that's why in my article, Mission: Natural Birth, it discusses your reasoning behind your desire for a natural birth. In some circumstances, it's not going to hold you in labour, and some will, but your motivations and how much you've researched your options play a huge part on if you decide to have drugs or not in labour.

    My birth teacher who has been a Birth Attendant and educator for 26 years (attended over 1000 births) has created a chart, which has six different descriptions of birthing women, from those who want no pain and whatever intervention, to those who want no intervention and no pain relief - so one extreme to the other. One of the groups is the 'wait and see' group, and she describes it like this... "She waited... she saw... she didn't like!" Every midwife that has seen her model completely agrees with her and the predictions of each group, that it's very accurate. Of course, some of us can be in the mind of a natural birth and go with the flow - but this model is designed with those in mind who don't really research anything or have no other thoughts that, we'll see what happens. It's an amazing model and I could even find an accurate description of myself with my first too!

    But no matter what, it's those in your circle around you that play a HUGE role in what you can do. The encouragement, confidence and stamina of your support people is contagious and if you can offer that energy to the mother she is very capable of birthing normally. I think too many of us don't have this great support and don't realise how much of a difference it really makes.

    A note on the TENS machine - you can't use it in water and if you have a caeser - so that's the only downside. If you can get into a tub from 7cms, it's amazing what it can do for the birth.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  12. #12

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    Default drug free labour

    Thankyou so much everyone!

    It really is amazing to hear different stories and points of view, I wasn't sure how many people chose this option (I'm the first of my friends to be pregnant). My mother had drug free births for the three of us and knowing it could be done definately made me want to give it a go, but she had 4 hour labours with us all so I am open to an epidural if things get really difficult. I really appreciate the input (and i will look into the TENS machine!)
    Thanks

  13. #13

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    Amber - is your mum going to be present for the birth? She might be a great person to have with you as she knows what it takes to get through a drug-free birth. Often mums can be a bad choice for labour support people but if she's strong and willing to help you get through, then she might be a godsend. Of course, as long as she's not going to be the kind of mum who is worried about her baby girl in pain and insists that you use pain relief because it's there
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  14. #14

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    Default drug free labour

    I did offer but she looked a little squeamish and said 'if you really want me to I will'. I think she would probably get very upset at seeing me in pain and try to give me something herself! 8-[
    I'm not sure if my DH will be able to stand it either (me being in pain) so am thinking I may have to get an outside support person to stop him from begging the Ob for drugs!

  15. #15

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    LOL Amber, that happens often - if it's not mum begging for drugs it's her partner or mother, who are freaking out! Try calling Optimum Birth in QLD - Chris Vose runs it and is an awesome woman - hillarious too - she's a doctor, midwife, doula and all the rest, very educated. She runs a Doula training business there and also a doula hiring business. You might be able to get a student if money is an issue but if you can get a doula or birth attendant, they are worth more than their weight in gold - they normalise the pain and help both mum and dad relax and enjoy their birthing journey.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  16. #16

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    Default drug free labour

    Do you know if hospitals mind you having someone there? I've been going for pregnancy massages and the masseuse is also a midwife and she has a lot of the same ideas of birth as I do (not cutting cord unless absolutely necessary, bonding time after birth etc) so I was thinking of asking her but wanted to run it by my OB first.
    Or do I check with hospital? I don't want to tread on any toes, my hospital is a private one but agree with active birth and have a spa etc so I think they are flexible but am concerned about how they view it. Any ideas :-k

  17. #17

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    Actually the majority love it Because normally you have one midwife running around like a headless chook trying to manage up to four women or so - so they know the women are with someone supportive and helping them which in turn helps the midwives. They know if something happens, the support person will come to them etc., but most of the time, birth is a completely straightforward process. That's great they love the water use - like I mentioned above don't get in until 7cms or it can slow your labour.

    Take yourself lots of personal possesions like pillows and even a doona, something with your smells on it to make you feel more comfortable and even photos.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  18. #18

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    Default drug free labour

    That's great! Thanks for letting me know about the 7cm thing also, I had visions of being in there until the little one was ready to pop out so I'm glad I know now instead of finding out when I arrive!
    I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, now I just have to wait to put it all into practise - which is taking FOREVER ](*,)

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