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Thread: Drug-Free Birth

  1. #1

    Question Drug-Free Birth

    OK, maybe a bit early to be thinking about this, but I'd like some feedback from women who know!



    DH and I haven't decided where I'll be giving birth yet, but I've already said I want no drugs. Everyone I speak to over here who's pregnant plans to take as many drugs as they can be given (I've had pg women speak to me about this before I knew I was pg) and I astounded everyone by saying that I'm not planning to have any drugs when my time comes, they all think I'm mad!

    So I end up saying; well, I'll probably change my mind at the time and ask for them, but I really don't want to, yet I'm being made to feel like I'm really stupid for considering a drug-free birth . I've seen a picture of the area an epidural affects and TBH I don't want all those drugs in my baby's system! I have always wanted a drug-free birth, ever since I have been old enough to start thinking I want babies. I rarely give myself painkillers for anything and just ignore the pain as I feel like I'm cheating by taking painkillers - pain is a sign from the body that all is not right, you should deal with it, not suppress it!

    So is it possible to go drug-free? Or am I really deluding myself? DH will stand by pretty much anything I want, commenting "don't argue with an angry woman in labour" (bless ), but I don't want drugs!

  2. #2

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    It is prefectly alright to have a drug free labour and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. It's your choice and i say go for it! I was planning to with my frist but ended up having gas(which i asked for) and pethadine(which i didnt ask for but wasn't in the right mind to argue) This time though, i am more educated about it all and will definatly be trying my hardest for a drug free labour. So i say, go with what YOU want. If you want a drug free labour, then try it. If you end up having some drugs, don't feel like a failure either. you would have done the best as you possible could and no one should argue otherwise.

  3. #3

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    What Tegan said, is perfect, I went drug free for the first one, then for the second all hell broke loose, i was in soooo much pain, and my pain tolerance is pretty high, in the end i asked for an epidural, as soon as he inserted it jaydens head popped out, i was so tense with pain that i could not dilate but as soon i was relaxed it was effortless, then they found out why i was in so much pain, he came out posterior, head up, which means his back was rubbing on my back.
    Just goes to show you never know!!!! What i recommend is to be open minded,leave your birth plan open, Preferabley no drugs but if unbearable will consider it.
    Third time round i am taking it as it comes!
    You are a hero regardless whether you take drugs or not!!!
    Goodluck

  4. #4

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    I had a little bit of gas with the twins , and my latest was entirely drug free, it was a vbac ( #3 was emerg csec ) and bubs was 10 pd 4, a bit of rocking, some moaning, focussing on my music helped and a baby. ( after 9 hrs, and shoulder distocia) IT DEFINATELY CAN BE DONE!!!!!

  5. #5

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    Yep, can definately be done........I don't think of myself as having a particularly amazing pain theshold, but I gave birth to Olivia totally drug free (7 hour labour, shoulder distocia) and whilst I was induced with Charlie, so had the induction drugs, had no subsequent pain relief drugs of any kind........

  6. #6

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    Yep I agree can be done! I had some great support too, I think that does make a world of difference. Doula/Midwives can definitely be the crutch you need to help you get through the rough patches. My experience is similar to Vanitas we did pretty similar things by the sounds of it. I used music, moaning, birthing balls, walking, showers/bath etc etc All great focus techniques.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  7. #7
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    ryn

    i have had 3 babies, from way before becoming pregnant i heard a couple of horror stories re epidurals and i made up my mind i would never have one. when i had my first baby i was induced with the drip after my waters broke and contractions went walk about lol, imo the drip causes the contractions to become much more intense and painful, i tried the gas and it made me throw up everywhere, i then had pethidene which to be honest i don't think made a difference. anyway onto bubs number 2, i didn't have any drugs at all, and i must say i am no matry and i don't think i handle pain to well but i was determined to try and do it without drugs, i used the hot water from the shower and also aromatherapy. with number 3 i was induced via the gel being 10 days late i chose to be induced and dd was born in 1hr - i do remember however begging for an epidural when her head was crowning and midwife and ob just laughed and said it was just about all over.

    so i have had 2 completely drug free births and i can honestly say afterwards i felt so good, whereas with my first i was a bit out of it from the pethidene had really showed no interest in my baby i was just glad it was all over.

    if i have another child yes i will endeavour to go drug free again, but i will always keep my options open even tho i am still scared to death of epidurals lol. it is not for everyone and everyone handles things completely different but it is a different kind of pain in a funny way it is a good pain.

    just don't listen to all the horror stories and believe in yourself and your abilities in what you can do, you will be fine. make the decision you want, make sure your birth partner knows what you want. i remember with my first i was begging for an epidural after i was sick with the gas and my dh was wonderful and kindly reminded me that we could try something else before the epidural as he knew how scared i was of them.

    sorry i have rambled

  8. #8

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    My births haven't been totally drug free as I had gas, but I'll try to hold off for as long as I can this time. I also used TENS machine during early labour and used the bath for both. I pushed out Mason without any gas at all, but needed a bit with Angus as his labour was a lot quicker and more intense.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the quick replies girls! That's so nice of you.

    I am aware that drugs are an option if I really can't cope, but having my SiL and BiL think I'm mad for being excited to see bubs for the first time just because SiL was so drugged up she and BiL couldn't remember how to spell niece's name, let alone be excited to see her (this was a couple of months ago)... well, I just want to be awake and alert and have Leibling awake and alert too. My mum had loads of drugs with me and I slept for my first week, needed to be woken up for feeds and mid-feed.

    Anyway, over here it's such a hospital-drugs-intervention culture that it's nice to know that it doesn't have to be that way!

  10. #10

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    Ryn, not sure which bit of Sussex you are in, but I have had friends and my SIL who between them have all given birth to 7 kids without any drugs at all, all at St Richards in Chichester.........

  11. #11

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    Thanks Lucy - that's about 60 miles away or so, but would be worth it. My hospital have quite a high induction and C/S rate, but then I do work with people who have medical complications of pregnancy so I'm sure I hear about the worst case rather than the best, even so people think I'm mad for not wanting drugs.

    Hmm, might arrange to have a week's holiday by the coast come February LOL.

  12. #12

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    *puts hand up* I did it without drugs! (well... had ONE puff of gas.. blerk.. on my last contraction before pushing mind you!!) The fact that you want to do it for your baby will make all the difference. That's what got me through. My labour was augmented with the drip, but I wouldn't say it was unbearably intense.. perhaps if #2 isn't augmented, I'll know the difference with the intensity of contractions?

    Anyway.. there's an article on the main site which talks about the body's natural painkillers which I found to be great, so I totally focused on letting my body do it's thing, and having a fantastic DH there supporting me and reminding me of why I didn't want drugs was everything I needed.

    Do be aware of the transition stage tho.. that's where you are likely to cave! (Hence my puff of gas right at the end.. bit disappointed.. but it was so ineffective I don't count it. LOL) Do lots of reading, be prepared with positions etc, and you'll be able to do it.

    I copped a lot of rolled eyes and knowing looks from people too.. all saying how I have no idea what it's like etc etc. But I knew soooo much more about the stages of labour and how the body works to get that baby out than they had ever heard, and as a result I'm sure my knowledge of this stuff is what helped me have a very fulfilling birth experience.

    Good luck!

  13. #13

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    Ryn I went drug free with my ds and it was the most wonderful, empowering moment in my life. It is certainly possible if you are prepared and aware of your options. In my birth plan I had a list of steps 1 try and go drug free, 2. try min air/gas 3. if induced may ask for an epidural.
    I had to be induced and had my waters broken, at first they had me lying on this stupid table hooked up to a lot of machines, when my first contraction came it hurt like [email protected]##. Then as I waited for the next one I got so tense thinking "no, I don't want another one to come" That one hurt more than the first. That was when all my reading and knowledge stepped in. I got off the bed and walked and swayed. Went to the loo (got the machines taken off still had the drip) then I could really get into labour.

    What nobody told me was that labour is about hard work not about pain. If you understand why it is hurting (muscles contrcting and pulling up on your cervix to dilate) you can let your body do it's thing. I found myself having complete trust in my body and just going to a really primeval place where labour was the whole focus.

    Sorry this has turned into such a novel but I just hope that every woman can have such an amazing birth experience. It is truly amazing what your body is capable of if you just let it do what it needs to do.

    In short read Active birth, learn about different positions, listen to your midwives and the most important set of questions "Do I have to have it now? What will happen if I wait 5 or 10 minutes?

  14. #14

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    Until I started TTC, I had always been one of those women who says "yep, I will want all the drugs they can throw at me". Then I started to learn more about the effects they could have, and I decided I'd try for a drug-free birth (even though the idea terrified me). It can definitely be done! Trust your body; women have evolved to give birth Learning about relaxation techniques can really help too, and of course good support during labour.

  15. #15

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    1. Great pre-natal education (you are very lucky to have the active birth centre in the UK!). Read the right books, speak to the right people and watch some great natural birth DVD's - they show you how possible it really is.
    2. Continuous & known birth support (including making sure you mingle with a cheersquad for the birth you want!)
    3. Consider having a home birth - very low rates of medication, often shorter labour, very high rates of natural birth, next to no intervention including caesareans (around 1.5%) and that nurturing care you get from a midwife, at home is gorgeous.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; July 2nd, 2006 at 08:38 PM.
    Kelly xx

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    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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    Certainly (from what I have heard from friends and family who are in the baby birthing zone in the UK) homebirths are really widely supported in the UK, Ryn....much more so than in Australia......... but a GF of mine who lives in Brighton, who has given birth to her 2 babies at home, was telling me that Sussex NHS Trust has the 2nd highest homebirth rate in the UK (after a rural county like Devon, I think?) with some astounding rate such as 8%?

    So if anything Ryn, you are in the right place...............

  17. #17

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    I really want a home birth, but DH doesn't want me to, just in case. Ah well, have to see how we go! I do know I really don't want to go to the hospital!

    As for reading and education, the midwife at the hospital on Thursday wasn't happy with me that I didn't want to give Leibling the vitK injection - apparently baby won't feel it, but I still don't want someone sticking a needle in my newborn! I've been told that I should only consult the NHS Book as that tells me "all they want me to know" - all well and good, but what about all I want to know?

    I do know that SiL wanted a natural birth but ended up in labour at 4am (waters broke 11pm Christmas Eve) and by 11am was being preped for a C-Section - might have been because she needed it (she says the docs said she was too small to get the baby out), might have been because it was Christmas Day... but I just don't want that pressure on me.

    Hmm, if it's Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust that's behind the homebirth movement then that's fab, as I'm under them, but have to check about Mid-Sussex PCT (we have two different healthcare providers, one for the hospital and one for the GP, not sure which the homebirth midwives come under, it may be the PCT). Guess I'll have loads more questions for the PCT midwives on the 11th when I see them!

    Thanks everyone for all the information and giving me lots to think about.

  18. #18

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    Ryn, I will post some stats so he can see how much safer you will be at home then There are less rates of PPH at home too - there is no synto use (a drip to speed up labour) which is linked to it, there is just a so low rate of intervention, and if you need to transfer thats okay, but transfer rate is really low anyway. Midwives are so capable! Here is some Vitamin K information. It's actually a UK midwifery discussion.

    It's still early days, maybe he just needs some confidence and information to reassure him it will be okay. Watch some homebirth DVD's / videos with him, so he can see how interactive dad is and how beautiful it is, compared to how it will be in hospital. Perhaps dont tell him the birth DVD's you bought are homebirth ones, just say you bought some and want to watch them with him and see his reaction
    Last edited by BellyBelly; July 3rd, 2006 at 07:54 AM.
    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.

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