thread: Labour drugs

  1. #1
    elise1888 Guest

    Labour drugs

    What kind of drugs did you all use and how effective were they? And if anyone has had an epidural, does it hurt when you give birth, or do you jus feel pressure?

    Kim =P~

  2. #2
    Scarlett Guest

    I used gas while waiting for the epidural, it made me feel really out of it but eased the pain. At one point I was conviced someone had turned the lights out but in fact I had closed my eyes. I only had the epidural in for about 10 minutes and it took away the contraction pain but not the pressure of pushing. The dr told me it is a different set of nerves that you feel this with.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Aug 2003

    I had a shot of pethadine that did nothing but make me tired. It didn't help at all with the contractions.
    I also had the happy gas which sent me off my head. I was laughing hysterically but it didnt really help with the contractions much cause by the time it started i could barely lift my hand to put it in my mouth. By the end i was sucking on the gas between contractions for entertainment.
    I didn't have an epidural cause i didn't want one, and also i wouldnt go to the hospital until right at the end and i was already 9 cm dilated and almost ready to push.
    Ashlea was posterior and they told me i would need an epidural because of this, and I must admit it probably would have helped cause my back felt like i had a rusty blunt knife being twisted into it for the entire (32 hour) labour.
    I still say go the happy gas. I had my own little party with it

  4. #4
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    I had gas which seemed to be more of a distracting thing than a pain reliever. I also had pethidine which made me tired & took the edge off the contractions.

    I eventually had an epidural & it took away ALL pain which was great, but it only lasted about an hour or so before wearing off. I ended up having a ceasarean so can't say about the pressure cos I didn't progress that far, sorry.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Apr 2003
    Western Australia

    I had an epidural with both births and will have another one this time round.

    I THOROUGHLY recommend it.

    My theory - why be in pain when you don't have to!

    Best wishes

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Aug 2003

    Kelli, it makes sense doesnt it.
    My biggest fear with the epidural is due to some major back problems. I fell off a horse when i was younger and as i was falling I could see its hoof about to land on my head so i had to kind of twist to avoid it and landed on my lower back on the road off a 16hh horse. Now i have a permanent fluid lump and have to be very very careful with it so i didn't like the idea of having beg needles stuck in anywhere near it. I also was freaked out by the catheter!

  7. #7
    katanya Guest

    I had an epidural too, as I was induced, and was tied to monitors anyhow, so why put up with the pain when you can't move around!

    In answer to your question, my epidural worked perfectly, I was numb but could move my legs still and could feel pressure, but NO pain..I was really lucky as I have heard stories of women who have only half effective etc..

    My recomendations are if you are going to consider it:
    -Get it early on, no point getting through the hard bits to scream for it at the end
    -when they are putting in the needle in your spine, try your very hardest to focus on what they are asking(bewteen contractions), they ask you if you feel it here or there, because this may have some bearing on your pain relief an effectiveness
    -Always remember it usually takes an hour or so to get the anthesist there as they get called for emergencies like c-sections, so keep that in mind when you are ordering it, dont get to a 10 on your pain threshold
    -keep pushing the button for extra (it only allows you to push every 15 muns anyhow) as if you let it wear off the pain will come back..
    - put on the TV and relax!

    I had NO problems pushing Felix out, it took me 3 contractions and he was out, no tearing, I was able to feel him right at the end but no was wonderful!!

    I say that I'd like to try to go natural next time but reality is I had such a great time I think I'd have 10 children that way!

    Good luck!
    BTW I hated the idea of gas as I wanted to be sick the whole time, and I didn't want mind altering drugs like pethadine..labour is an mind blowing experience enough anyhow!

  8. #8
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

    Sorry guys but I am going to get on my soapbox! LOL

    I think one intervention pretty much leads to many others. With an epidural, you are flat on your back in bed, which means you are working against the forces of gravity and your body's structure (coccyx curving upwards), meaning you are likely to have more interventions including assisted delivery. A semi reclining position in bed is pretty much the least optimal position for birth. Also, there is not enough research yet to see what longer term effects this might have on the mother and baby.

    Please research all methods of pain relief, I am currently writing an article on it for the main site, but I feel it's terrible how as society, there is too much routine intervention going on which of course leads to pain relief or more interventions. I think once you are induced or augmented, you are pretty sure to be ending up with an epidural or other pain relief due to the effect of the induction drugs on your uterus.

    I think it's sad to think that we could be heading down a path of labourless birth, when it's the most empowering and amazing thing you can go through. In comparison, my natural birth was much less painful than my induced birth. Of course, all births, women and their babies are different and sometimes we need pain relief (i.e. there is no way I could have done without it when I was induced) but with Elijah I had nothing and was fine.

    Each to their own, and I am not saying those with pain relief preferences are bad or wrong, but please do some research and make sure it's what you want. Each drug has an effect - an epidural lowers your blood pressure which lowers oxygen circulating to the baby. That in turn with a reclining birth position adds to pressure on the baby's head and less surface area in your pelvis to help deliver your baby... squatting to deliver can increase this to an amazing 30% extra!

    Sorry to get on my soapbox for such an innocent question, but I think our generation has been brought up expecting to have babies in hospital, hopping up on the bed and having the baby born asap as painless as possible. Now knowing there is an epidural if we want it at call and it can get us out of the situation we are in, of course it's going to be seductive. Active labours are known to help with pain and have much greater outcomes. The 'seduction' of the epidural is so great! But with a little positive support from an experienced support person (as in someone who has either laboured before or a professional) can really make a huge difference... studies show much, much less pain relief being used, less intervention, caesars - the whole lot when there is an experienced birth support person in the room.

    Don't get me wrong, it's great having the medical backing we have now for emergencies and things like that, but when the World Health Organisation stipulates that Caesars should ideally be performed at around 10% of required cases (worldwide) and some Melbourne hospitals are currently around 30% and the highest being 45%, it makes you wonder which path we are travelling down...

    Off soapbox LOL
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    In 2015 I went Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Aug 2003

    hey again, just on what Kel said, I was lying on my back at the hospital for hours having posterior labour and the midwife was telling me to push cause i was fully dilated but it hurt too damm much
    Eventually i got off the bed and knelt down on a mat thing, leaning on M's knee who was sitting in a chair in front of me, and once i was in this position Ashlea was born in 3 pushes. I agree with the gravity thing, giving birth lying down would be so much hard work!

  10. #10
    katanya Guest

    I think one intervention pretty much leads to many others. With an epidural, you are flat on your back in bed, which means you are working against the forces of gravity and your body's structure (coccyx curving upwards), meaning you are likely to have more interventions including assisted delivery
    I do agree with you Kelly and if I wasn't induced I doubt I would have been quite so keen for the epidural, but as you point out when you are stuck on a bed then it leaves you little options for natural pain relief as you aren't even able to rock in pain, all you can do is clutch your foetal monitor and moan..

    I was one of the luck ones who had an epidural and didn't need any other intervention and pushed him out pretty fast, part of this I believe was that I was well rested, but since my body seemed to be able to function with this so well, I just wonder how I would have gone if I'd been left to my own devices..

    TBH next baby I am going to try to wait longer before being induced, because eventually he would have come out! Lets hope I can stand up against the doctors next time

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Life Member

    Jul 2004
    House of the crazy cat ladies...

    I'm another one that was induced into labour (due to waters breaking), and I also ended up having an epidural.
    I don't know if I would have gone ok and not needed the epidural, if I had not needed to be induced.... it really is too hard to say.
    They also recommended me to have the epidural to lower my BP as it was getting a bit too high during labour.

    However I admit when making my birth plan I was pretty open to the idea of any sort of pain relief (except pethadine) anyway.

    I had absolutely no problems with having an epidural. I could still move and feel my legs, but could not feel the pain.
    I felt no pain when they were putting the needle into my spine - even though they had to redo it twice!, and it was a welcome distraction from the pain of the contractions at the time.
    When I reached the pushing stage I actually was unable to feel 'when' to push, but I was lucky enough to have a wonderful midwife who encouraged me and guided me to push and stop pushing at the right times.
    Aidyn was born into the world, with me having no tears, no episiotomy, and no interference such as forceps or venthouse needed... and I know that I am very lucky that things went as well as they did, and I'm very grateful for that fact!

  12. #12
    Melinda Guest

    I had every pain relief available to me........I simply could not have coped otherwise. I went into labour naturally and wasn't induced.

    I started off having the gas, which I agree with Sarah, seemed to be more of a distraction than anything else. I had an intra-muscular injection of pethidine which did help me for a short period of time once it started to take effect. I had IV pethidine as well, which did absolutely nothing. I had an epidural which worked wonders when it started to work and yes, I could feel a LOT of pressure, but no pain. I remember thinking that I had to be close because of all the pressure I could feel, but I ended up having to have an emergency caesarean.

    It didn't hurt when I had the epidural put in. I felt a slight popping sensation, but it definitely did not hurt. Mind you, I was having shocking contractions and sucking on gas like nothing else LOL!! I could still move my legs, but they felt quite heavy.

  13. #13
    mooshie Guest

    okay well with my first i had the gas first (my hubby reckons it looked like i was stonned lol) but it made me vomit, so i pethidene with the anti nausea drug as well - can't tell if the peth worked or not it made me feel kind of weird and i was to scared to have an epidural.

    2nd - nothing just aromatherapy oils

    3rd - nothing (although i begged for an epidural when she was crowning lol)

    i don't want to be a matre (sp?) or anything but i am so scared of epidurals i just sort of grinned and beared it so to speak, having said that my 2nd and 3rd labours were quite good and fast (7hrs second) and around 1hr of true hard labour with 3rd). maybe next time i might opt for an epidural just to see the difference although after lani maybe next time i might not make it to hospital lol (i hope there is a next time lol)

    good luck - gees i wish i found belly belly when i was pg with number 1, but i didn't have a computer then and i am guessing bb wasn't around then lol

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jul 2004

    When I first tried the gas i felt heaps sick but after i tried it again, it was best friend! The gas helped me so much. I had pethadine a couple of hours before i gave birth and i believe it didn't make a difference at all, but DP says i was a lot calmer.

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2004
    Sunshine coast, QLD

    I had just the gas, and i remember turning to hubby and mum and said i was going to suck this **** till i cant remember my name, well i did forget my name but didnt help one bit with the pain at all for me!! Just stoned and in pain!
    This time around i am getting an epidural if all goes to plan, i am still trying to keep in my mind that i might not get one if things happen to quick etc so i am not shattered if i cant get one.
    I dont understand why they give pethadine though? I had it when i had surgery and it just made me very drowsy, would be helpful i guess if you needed rest, but cant see its benifit if you are in active labour?

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2005

    I have seen the negative effects of an epidural and it makes me VERY wary.

  17. #17
    Platinum Member

    Nov 2004

    This had been an interesting thread to read. Being pg for the first time, I have decided that I don't want pain relief and will try to learn how to breathe through it and even look into hypnobirthing as some of the July Belly Buddies are doing.

    Kelly's post was good and it makes sense not to be flat out on the bed to give birth if you can help it. I fell off my horse a few years ago and crushed the L1 verterbrae. I am seeing a chiropractor routinely until the birth and he told me that lying on my back would not be recommended with the injury.

    I suppose everyone is different and everyone has a different pain threshold. The pain is a lot less when the baby is born and the painful contractions don't last forever. I would prefer to put up with the pain rather than pass any of the drugs on to my baby. That is how I feel now but my opinion on this may change with not knowing how bad the pain can be when the time comes.

  18. #18
    *Yvette* Guest

    This is a very interesting one. I’m wondering what an epidural is like too. Katanya had some really good advice re not leaving it too late, I’ve heard lots of stories about it being too late or wearing off at the wrong time. If you’re gonna do it, (the epidural), you may as well do it right & do some research & preparation for it.

    I’m totally with Kelly re one intervention leads to another. Just read lots & lots of birth stories from different sources and you’ll see a pattern emerging. I have heard some great epidural stories where all went well, but so many bad ones, often beginning with induction & ending with c/section. Beware the induction I say, and if it has to be, tell them ‘not til I see the anaesthetist’. The epidural drugs do affect the baby and do affect your labour. It’s interesting what Ambah was told about it helping the BP, perhaps sometimes it has good effects other than pain relief.

    I’m scared about it going in wrong & causing damage, & about the headaches, & about it affecting the progression of labour. And I want to know if I have one in if I can still be upright or on all fours. I’m told they might want to have a spinal in rather than an epidural (different space, spinal = ready for c/section) but I can have it with no drugs put in it unless required. I want to know if you can have it without the drip and continuous monitoring too.

    If they tell you you need something because, ie need induction because waters have broken, failure (I hate that word) to progress etc, always question it & think the BRAN thing Kelly has mentioned. What are the BENEFITS? What are the RISKS? Are there ALTERNATIVES? Does it need to be done NOW?

    Experiencing the pain of contractions is not for everybody, but with the right kind of support through labour you might amaze yourself with what you’re able to do, and how you feel about the pain.

    And whatever you do, try to stay upright. That gravity thing is so sensible, so obvious, whenever I watch Discovery Health I’m yelling at the TV saying ‘get that poor woman off her back’ lol.