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Thread: Is natural labour easier or harder than induced labour?

  1. #1

    Default Is natural labour easier or harder than induced labour?

    I was induced with my first baby, my labour went for 4.5 hours but was so intense for the entire duration. I remember begging for an epi (Missed the timing for it) and a c-section (I must have been desperate!) but ended up only getting a bit of gas for it and just somehow making it through. By far the most painful experience of my life and hardest thing i've ever had to do.



    Now that was only 11 months ago and i'm due again in January with our 2nd baby. Needless to say it's all still a bit fresh in my mind and i'm petrified! I know women who have nothing but great things to say about epidurals but have also heard horror stories so have not made up my mind about them as yet.

    I guess what I want to know is, does natural labour hurt less than induced? Does it go for longer (much longer?)

    Is there anyone that has done both, how did you find the experience comparatively between them?

  2. #2

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    I haven't done a natural birth yet, but I'm sure hoping it will be different. As I understand it, the intensity of contractions is much greater on syntocin, and the absence of endorphins (released with natural oxytocins) and absence of a build-up in labour compound this effect. The other complicating factor with a lot of inductions is that because of the greater risk to you and baby, they have to monitor you a lot more carefully, which reduces your mobility and ability to cope.
    Every birth experience is different though, so there's really no telling what it will be like this time round. I feel sure it will be better, if only because I will have more freedom to do what I need to through labour.

  3. #3

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    Have to do the school run but quickly:

    Have done both. natural is better, not "easier". During natural labour i got proper rests in between contractions.... with my worst induced labour there was no break... it was just one long exruciating contraction. My third labour had to be induced but my doula helped me argue to keep the syncotin dose as LOW as possible... it helped but if i had the choice i'd go natural natrual natural!

  4. #4

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    I've only had natural, but in my (inexperienced!) opinion, a natural labour is "easier" than an induced one. With an induction your body might not be quite ready to start the labour process so things might not be as loosened up and it all happens so much faster with syntocin being fed into you, rather than your own hormones producing it and making things happen.

    Having said that, every birth is different, so it's probably a bit hard to say!

  5. #5

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    I've only had 3 natural births - although the first they came in every few hours and muttered "ifthisdoesn'thappenfasterwe'llhavetoinduceyou " and the second I was supposed to get induced the day I had her, so I've had close calls Had gas for pain relief, so could move around and whatnot, which helps apparently.

    I didn't find any of them *that* bad. Bloody painful yes, but not impossible to deal with. And it just magically stops hurting the instant you get given the baby at the end, which is fantastic. Endorphins rock! If you are allowed to move you end up finding a position or rocking or pointing a shower at you or being rubbed or just ANYTHING that hurts less, and being able to choose your own position is nice. I guess that is the 'empowering' bit the natural birth activists keep harping on about. I may have been young and utterly uneducated at my first birth but I got the birthing ball, bath, beanbag etc despite not knowing they were even options and walked out of there with the baby afterwards so it can't have been *that* bad.

    Goes to show education helps but hospital policy helps more

  6. #6

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    Maybe "easier" was the wrong word to use.... I don't mean easy in general, I think what I mean is kinder on your body than induced? ( If that makes sense). Going from 0 - 10cm in 4 hours was almost unbearable, and i'm not suggesting that natural labour is "easy" but perhaps hopefully just a bit kinder on the body making it easier to cope?

    I think the real reason I want to know about this is because if it's significantly more bearable than last time I might give the epidural a miss and just go the gas again, if it's the same as last time though i'm considering having it despite the associated risks because I honestly don't think I can do it again.

    People always say that once you've done it once you know what you're in for and are more prepared, is it normal to be this petrified 2nd time round if the 1st birth wasn't "traumatic"???

  7. #7

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    I have done both too. My first labour was induced with Syntocinon and took 9 1/2 hrs. I went into labour naturally second time and it took 15 1/2 hrs. I agree with Bathsheba that natural was better even though it was longer I managed to sleep through the first half of my second labour and stay home until the final 3 hours where as I was awake for the whole first labour in hospital so it seemed longer.

    Also as Bathsheba said there were more breaks in the natural labour and a slower build up hence the ability to sleep between contractions. I managed both on gas. Both had a similar level of pain towards the end but with the induction I remember the contractions being on top of each other at the end where as there was still some spacing in the natural labour right up until the pushing phase. Interestingly I never got the urge to push when I was induced but I did with the natural so I wonder if that was also affected by it being driven by artificial hormones and my body not quite being as ready.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcellus View Post
    I haven't done a natural birth yet, but I'm sure hoping it will be different. As I understand it, the intensity of contractions is much greater on syntocin, and the absence of endorphins (released with natural oxytocins) and absence of a build-up in labour compound this effect. The other complicating factor with a lot of inductions is that because of the greater risk to you and baby, they have to monitor you a lot more carefully, which reduces your mobility and ability to cope.
    Every birth experience is different though, so there's really no telling what it will be like this time round. I feel sure it will be better, if only because I will have more freedom to do what I need to through labour.
    Quote Originally Posted by RumpledElf View Post
    I've only had 3 natural births - although the first they came in every few hours and muttered
    If you are allowed to move you end up finding a position or rocking or pointing a shower at you or being rubbed or just ANYTHING that hurts less, and being able to choose your own position is nice. I guess that is the 'empowering' bit the natural birth activists keep harping on about. I may have been young and utterly uneducated at my first birth but I got the birthing ball, bath, beanbag etc despite not knowing they were even options and walked out of there with the baby afterwards so it can't have been *that* bad.
    It's funny you both say that because besides the odd "check" of my cervix, I was encouraged to labour in the shower, bath, however and wherever I thought might help. I was in the bath for awhile but the last hour or so all I wanted to do was half lie down on the bed and thought there's no way I can possibly move!!!

  9. #9

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    I think you just pointed out one of the possible downsides of inductions right there, TTC2!

  10. #10

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    I have only had natural labours. But I don't think you can say that one is easier or harder then the other - because it depends on the person and the labour. I have had 3 very quick labours. Quick does NOT mean easy. The intensity of contractions went from 0 - 10 in about 2 mintues. Nothing made it easier. It was full on the whole time. I couldn't move for most of it, without extreme agony and was constantly uncomfortable even in the very breif moments between contractions.

    I have had people who have been induced tell me that that is much harder. Maybe for them it is (although how these people can make that call when they have been induced everytime is beyond me, they haven't experienced anything else). For me, the only way it could be harder would be for the intensity to be the same but the time to be drawn out longer (and then maybe not because I might then have an oppertunity to try some drugs ).

    It is no use trying to compare your labour to anyone elses - they will be different, as are own individual pain thresholds. It isn't even that possible to compare your own labours to each other, because these vary depending on a lot of different factors two.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by RumpledElf View Post
    I think you just pointed out one of the possible downsides of inductions right there, TTC2!
    Yeah I think so!!! I am assuming this time I'll go naturally, not induced. I'll cry if they tell me they need to induce me again!!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is natural labour easier or harder than induced labour?

    My sis has had both she told me if I can help it not to be induced because she hated it. Her body pretty much went from zero to one hundred contraction wise in no time whereas with natural your body gradually works it's way up In intencity giving you time to get your head around it.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by misty View Post
    I have only had natural labours. But I don't think you can say that one is easier or harder then the other - because it depends on the person and the labour. I have had 3 very quick labours. Quick does NOT mean easy. The intensity of contractions went from 0 - 10 in about 2 mintues. Nothing made it easier. It was full on the whole time. I couldn't move for most of it, without extreme agony and was constantly uncomfortable even in the very breif moments between contractions.

    I have had people who have been induced tell me that that is much harder. Maybe for them it is (although how these people can make that call when they have been induced everytime is beyond me, they haven't experienced anything else). For me, the only way it could be harder would be for the intensity to be the same but the time to be drawn out longer (and then maybe not because I might then have an oppertunity to try some drugs ).

    It is no use trying to compare your labour to anyone elses - they will be different, as are own individual pain thresholds. It isn't even that possible to compare your own labours to each other, because these vary depending on a lot of different factors two.
    This is true... I guess I was just hoping that natural labours might be kinder on the body because it's prepared itself for it, rather than being forced to start prematurely making it a bit easier to cope with the pain, even if it is the same intensity.

    I'm not trying to compare my labour to others either, just hoping that some women who have had both induced and natural might be able to shed some light onto how they coped with both comparitively. I do understand quick doesn't mean easy as I said earlier, my choice of words when making the title of this thread was wrong.

  14. #14

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    Ive had two induced labours and one natural labour and for me the natural was oh so much easier and less painful. That said; I didnt find my induced labours ridiculously painful but compared to natural labour they were worse. All my labours were less than 3 hrs and drug free. Odds are your next labour will be a bit easier compared to your first regardless of how it occurs, I think mentally your better prepared. You did a great job having a drug free induction; just remember that youve done it once and are capable of doing it again. Then just take it as it comes

  15. #15

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    I haven't read the other responses. For me, my natural labour was easier by far than my induced labour. I had alot of pre labour with my natural labour and wasn't even convinced I was in labour when I went to hospital. I actually only went in for some panadene and sleeping tablets because I hadn't slept much in days. But when I got there they checked me and I was 8cm dialated and almost ready for my baby to come. With my DD I was induced and went for no contractions or anything to contractions on top of each other in a few hours. I was in the labour room for almost 23 hours in labour it was only that I was sooo determined not to have a c/s that I managed to stay there that long, plus I think it was a pretty busy night for the midwives and ob's so I got away with it! I was threatened with c/s a few times and then after pushing for about 2hours, they threatened me again, and then with a vacuume extraction. It was only that the ob took so long to come to me that I managed to push with ALLLL my might and get her out on my own.

  16. #16

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    I wasn't having a go at anyone.
    Just trying to point out that you never know what you are going to get or how it is going to go until it actually happens, and then there is nothing to say that things would have happened the same or differently if you were / weren't induced.

    My labours have all gone from nothing to contractions 2mins apart and full on straight away. If I had only had inductions I might think the induction was the reason. But this is just how my body does things (apparently).

    So if you had a quick intense labour with an induction. You may have a slower labour without, BUT you may also just have another quick intense labour. You won't know until it happens.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by misty View Post
    I wasn't having a go at anyone.
    Just trying to point out that you never know what you are going to get or how it is going to go until it actually happens, and then there is nothing to say that things would have happened the same or differently if you were / weren't induced.

    My labours have all gone from nothing to contractions 2mins apart and full on straight away. If I had only had inductions I might think the induction was the reason. But this is just how my body does things (apparently).

    So if you had a quick intense labour with an induction. You may have a slower labour without, BUT you may also just have another quick intense labour. You won't know until it happens.
    Ah but wouldn't it be nice if we knew ahead of time... I think it's a design flaw. I think i'll just tell DH he can birth this one, i've had my turn.

  18. #18

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    I've had natural & induced labours neither was easier or harder than the other.

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