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Thread: Pain Relief in Labour

  1. #1

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    Default Pain Relief in Labour

    As some of you may know, I'm planning on trying to have as natural a birth as I can. I really don't want an epidural at all, but if I have to have pethidine & gas I'm perfectly fine with that. So what I wondered is what people have used as pain relief without medication while they were in labour.

    At our antenatal class last week they were suggesting different positions & movements to help with pain in ealry labour. These included making circles with your hips or making a sort of elvis style pelvic thrust. They also suggested leaning forward is helpful.

    Ice packs & hot showers were also recommended. What the physio said was that if something is really cold or really hot you're mind concentrates on that rather than the labour pains. Ever noticed how if you have a headache & stub your toe you forget about the headache cos of the pain in your toe - apparently the body can deal with only one pain at a time...

    It was also suggested that alot you can get through alot of the pain with meditation. I have some relaxation music (with nature sounds in it) that I'm planning on taking with me. They suggest that leading up until the birth you practice relaxing to whatever music you want once a week & then when you get to the hospital that relaxing music should help somewhat.

    Has anyone used these techniques successfully & what other things have you tried? I'm interested in trying anything really & I know at least a few others that are in 3rd tri at the moment are also interested.


  2. #2

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    I had a hot shower which helped soooo much with the contractions. Also while having the hot water under my bump(coz thats where all the pain was) i rocked my hips from side to side which i found also helped a lot. I also found that walking around made the contractions seem less intense than if i was laying on the bed.

    HTH!

  3. #3

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    Oh, also forgot to add that i played relaxation music and i found it took my mind off some of the pain too and it made the whole atmosphere a lot more relaxing.

  4. #4

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    I was in the labour bath at the hosptial but cause it was so huge I found there was no way I could get comfortable and also found it brought the contractions on quicker lmao. I had heat packs but they did nothing really.

    Love

  5. #5

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    Good on you for giving a natural birth a try Sarah I tried to with Marisa but had to be augmented (waters broken and drip), so I ended up with an epidural as I couldn't cope with it.

    With Elijah, as you know I was at home until 8-9cms. I guess I thought I could cope longer at home, as while the contractions were very painful, they were nothing like the ones I remembered with Marisa. I moved around positions, I found the one that worked the most was on all fours (on the couch so I could rest my head on the pillows) and at times with head down, bum up and lots of cushions. That was I could make all the noise I wanted and it was muffled too ROFL!!!

    I can't really say I did much else, the bath and shower didn't really do it for me. When I eventually got to hospital, I found it really beneficial that the midwives were really reminding and encouraging me with the breathing. I just couldn't do it with Marisa, I had contractions on top of each other and couldn't think for a second. But this time I had little breaks, so I could stop and think about it. It's great having a 'coach' there with you. I would love to have a doula if I go again - it made it so much easier having someone there with the confidence to tell me what to do and that I was doing a great job.

    Apart from that, it was all very quick, just a long labour which neither myself or the midwives really knew how much in labour I really was LOL!!!

    Good luck matey, I think it's a great accomplishment if you can get through a natural labour - definitely something you'll be very proud of afterwards

    Ps. (I know not all of us have the opportunity for a natural labour due to health concerns for the mother or baby or other, I just wanted to say the best outcome is a healthy mum and bub no matter what, and I didn't write the above to discriminate against anyone who can't have a natural labour). I still want my epidural should there be a next time I'm proud to have done it naturally, but I didn't have any choice otherwise ROFL!!!
    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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    I remember Mark putting on the radio while I was in labour with Cairenn and all I could say was something like "Man that music is CRAP!!!!!"

    With Liam's birth, I remember using visualisation and it helped me get my mind off the contractions (a bit!). I just closed my eyes, breathed deeply and pictured a rose opening.

    Best of luck with your natural birth - having said the above, I will definately be having another epidural as I actually enjoyed Liam's birth. (I didn't enjoy Cairenn's as she got stuck.....enjoyed the end product though of course!)

    Seeya

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys

    I am totally aware that complications can arise & that I might not be able to handle the pain, so am totally prepared to do whatever I have to to get my little man out safely. I'd just like to try without to start with at least

  8. #8

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    I'm with you Sarah... I would love to go into labour and give birth with no drugs... but it may be a different story when I get in there! I intend on trying to have an as active a labour as possible so keep your fingers crossed for me! (fingers crossed for you Sarah)

  9. #9

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    I walked up and down the corridors of Kal Regional hospital while in labour with Liam! Bloody drip was like a ****y shopping trolley and became a real pain!

    Active labour is supposed to really help and I reckon the walking did for me!

    Good Luck!

  10. #10

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    Sarah - I know you'll do the best for you and bub I just like to add little 'disclaimers' to my posts so others don't think I am generalising or pushing a certain view
    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

  11. #11

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    Totally understand Kel. Just thought I should add too that I'm not under any dillusions that things will go exactly perfectly as I want them.

  12. #12

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    Hey Sarah,
    I'd like to think I can do a natural birth, but really - I have no idea! My Mum had 2 shockers, and 2 good ones, all with epidurals (my older sisters epi one was stuffed up, and my older bro was a c/s) My sister was induced with both, one was an epidural cause of high BP and the other was completely natural (Which she is really proud of, but was super quick!)
    Thats all I have to go on as to what mine might be like. I'm trying to do some reading about the effects of drugs on the "natural" order of how things work, and its really interesting reading about the natural chemicals the body makes to get through these things.
    My sister says that in Japan there is very litttle intervention, and the mothers pretty much do it themselves - they are quite shocked at the amount of intervention the western world takes.
    So - I dont want gas and pethidine, but I'll consider the epidural if I have to, but I'm really planning on going the hot/ice packs. I have had so many sporting injuries, and I know what pain is! I have also had very painful periods, and I know heat really helps with the cramps. Much more so than medication! I think alot of it is like what Kelli said - and I love the idea of a rose opening - I think that sounds great.
    My Mum told me you have to treat each contraction as a wave - go up with it, and down, and thats how I've always treated my period cramps.
    I don't know - I think it is just really important to go in with an open mind - try anything, and maybe find something - liek walking - that will work for 10 minutes. Then maybe try something else!!
    It will be interesting......

  13. #13
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    hi there everyone

    i am very fearful of epidurals don't get me wrong i believe they can be wonderful its just i have heard some not very nice stories about them over the years and they have just scared the ....... out of me lol

    however i believe in the best way to approach the labour is all about keeping yourself and your baby healthy and happy and to trust what the midwives or obs say and go with that.

    so with my first i opted for gas - yuck made me puke not nice
    had pethidene shot with anti nausea drug thought it would make me pain free but nope i still felt everything

    with my second - i said i didn't want gas or pethidene so i was dreading i might have to have an epidural but i coped really well with a hot shower and holding the shower hose thingy onto my belly with each contraction i was in there for around 2hrs sitting on the seat and standing, also had relaxation music on and aromatherapy oils clary sage and lavender i think (4 1/2 yrs ago - memory is shot lol)

    with the lovely lani - i had nothing at all no time whatsover lol i really wanted to try a bath but she was born before the bath was full, my labour was so quick with her (1hr) i really only had 12 bad contractions and was on my side hanging on for dear life on the headboard of the bed lol but it was great and i was on such a high - although i did ask for an epidual as her head was being born lol

    i really think after 3 births 2 with no drugs there was an amazing difference in the way i recovered after, with my 1st i had the drip for induction and an episitomy (sp?) and the pethidene and gas really just did not do it for me, having said that i do plan for another and i sincerely hope i have a similar experience as with lani but hey if i don't doesn't matter as long as bubs arrives i just don't mind

    good luck - just remember each contraction passed is one step closer to meeting bubs.

    see ya

  14. #14

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    I was hoping to keep the birthing process as natural as possible, but was overwhelmed with how quickly the contractions came on after I was induced wth a drip, and so asked for an epidural. For me, the epidural was superb and made the labour pleasant and relaxing, and I will definitely ask for an epidural next time.

    Having said that, I know people who have gone without pain relief - one used just a TENS machine, and she found her experience great and swore by the TENS machine.

  15. #15

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    Hey Sarah,

    With Olivia I went into the whole thing thinking "I will take anything they offer me, just as long as I can get her out safely & healthily"!

    I laboured a home for a fair while, just pacing round the house, and when I got to the hospital it was a lot more intense and I found that rocking my hips and doing a mini jog on the spot whilst leaning over a bar fridge was helpful.

    The shower (very hot) pummeling onto my back as I leaned forward in the bathroom (I felt my contactions totally in my back) was great, and I think I was in there for hours!

    I did ask for some pain relief when I saw my OB, but by that stage I was 9cm dilated and he said "Too late for that!"

    Once I was in the delivery room I had music which did distract me, & I also rocked on a fit ball: that hip/pelvic rocking movement really helped!

    So I did it all naturally with no pain relief, but next time round, again, I shall be happy to take anything they have got, again, as long as I can have a healthy baby in my arms at the end of it!!

    Best of luck sweetie............

  16. #16

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    Ladies your comments are all very interesting. Like Sarah and Fi I`d like to try and have as much as a natural birth as I can, DH & I do not want an epidural (unless they have to do a caesar). Like Sarah I`m going to give it a try and not have anything but if the need arises I will have something afterall as long as bubs and myself are okay thats the main thing.

    Take Care

    Deeanne

  17. #17

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    I admire people who are able to birth their baby without interventions. However - as one of the midwives told me - I have a low pain threshold! I still stick by my dedication to the epidural...

  18. #18

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    I just wanted to add that when I had Lily, the doctor said that he was truely amazed that I did it without an epidural, because her shoulders got stuck and my pelvis was a bit too small. Over the last week i can now start to remember what the pain really felt like. I seriously cannot believe i did it, but if you put your mind to it and just concentrate on what you're doing, I think that you can get through anything. Just remember that girls!

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