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Thread: Labour with no drugs?

  1. #1
    frankie Guest

    Exclamation Labour with no drugs?

    Hey gals,

    Im 30 weeks with my first baby and im starting to think about the labour, A few of my friends have just had babies and two of them had no meds all natural. I dont know if i can do that, im usually a wuss about anything that has pain involved, how painful is labour going to be?



    How many of you out there experienced a natural birth with no drugs? and how painful was it?

  2. #2

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    With my 3 labours i only used gas which didn't really do anything but take the edge off the contractions and i must say it wasn't by choice that i didn't have drugs it was more that by the time i would have considered something it was too late and i was ready to push.

    You don't get a medal for not having drugs so if you just go in open minded and maybe have some idea of what drugs are available then at least you can make an informed decision when the time comes.

    I think some people can make you feel bad if you are considering drugs so just don't listen to them as you can make up your own mind.

    Good luck xoxox

  3. #3

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    Well i had my first son i had an epidural it was the best. With my second son i had no pain relief, i am now pregnant with my third and i am still going to see how i go. It really depends on how you handle the pain. I am not going to lie to you it bloody hurts. My first labour was a long one and my second was a short one so i think that really makes a difference. I would only say to is to take it as it comes don't go into labour with expectations. If the pain comes to much then ask for something whatever your personal preference is. Good luck and honey if people go back again and again ( in my case) it can't really be that bad.

    HTH Nikki

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    Hey frankie

    try this thread

    x

  5. #5

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    Most people who achieve natural birth prepare well and make good choices.

    I have an article here with lots of ideas, but you need to place yourself in the care of someone who supports normal physiological childbirth, have support that will help you achieve your goals, like a doula (studies say 50% less c/s, forceps, pain relief etc with a doula) and prepare well.

    The Pink Kit is great to give yourself some birth skills as well as knowledge and of course surround yourself with a cheersquad - people who have done it / believe you can do it / want to get it too.

    It all boils down to good support and philosophy of those around you.
    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.

  6. #6

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    I went in with a plan in regards to medication... I wanted an epidural and all the drugs in the world... however things don't always go according to plan!! I was offered a shot of morphine to ease the edge off contractions... as I have never had this drug before I think I was a little "high". I asked the nurse if I could still have an epidural once morphine has worn off and she said sure. However.... whilst on the morphine I dialated to 7cm and the nurse refused to give me an epidural.. so all I ended up having was the gas (which did not much after my waters broke). My advise is stick to your plan if you don't like too much pain. However I must say that I was impressed after the birth that I survived with just gas. You will know when the time comes what you would like in terms of medication etc. Goodluck

  7. #7

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    I went into labour wanting an all natural, drug free birth, I achieved it but it was nothing like what I expected.

    I completed a calmbirth course with my partner & wasn't scared of labour or pain at all, I thought it was a natural process that is not designed to hurt...

    ....but it did. Oh my god it really was the worst pain & I've had some bad pain in my life. I felt totally unprepared for the pain because I really thought I shouldn't be having it!! Like I said, I didn't have drugs but that was mostly because I had choosen to birth in the birth center & although they had gas, my midwife was not about to offer it to me, I honestly don't think it would have helped though.

    Having said all that though, everybody is different.... I wouldn't be suprised if I really am just a total wuss lol.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  8. #8

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    I went to a birth centre where they don't offer epidurals, so it wasn't an option (I would have had to transfer to the hospital, which I really didn't want to do). My advice would be know what is available if you absolutely have to have it, and also know how you react to the drugs. I know that I feel nauseous and fairly "high" on opiate drugs so I didn't want to take pethidine or morphine (sp?) although it was offered. I tried gas but it made me feel sick. So I ended up drug free and yes, it hurts at the end but that bit doesn't last long, really. And afterwards you get the most amazing feeling of achievement.

    That said, I don't think you should go in thinking you can't have drugs and then if you need them, feeling like a failure. Things change, just make sure you have a good birthplan and a support person who knows what you want and can advocate for you.

    Good luck for the birth, whatever you decide!

  9. #9

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    I haven't given birth yet either so we're both newbies at this Just wanted to say that, as while I intend to have a natural birth, having not been there I can't of course know what's like and I'm not passing any direct judgment on the use of drugs in labour.

    I found some really compelling discussion about drugs in labour on "The Business of Being Born" documentary. My memory of what it was saying from the bits that really stuck with me were:

    - Women pushed for drugs in child birth through the western feminist movement. The "I shouldn't have to wear Eve's pain" mentality meant that we started to think we shouldn't have to have pain labour and we 'deserved' something better. But then the question is, have we ended up with something better or have we actually made it harder on ourselves through the medicalisation of a natural process.

    - Also, having drugs in labour upsets the natural balance of hormones that your and your baby's bodies produce to guide you through the process in the best way that only our amazingly in tune bodies can do.

    Just some food for thought. No, you don't get a medal for going drug free, but you may end up with a better outcome and recovery.

  10. #10

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    Yes, it hurts, but you know what? For me it was a 'good' hurt I thoroughly enjoyed my labour, and can't wait to go back and do it again. Hopefully no gas, no nothing next time

    Every person is different, and every labour is different. For sure, go in with an open mind, but do your research, know how each pain relief method works, and what it's side effects are, so that you can make an informed decision. As Kelly said, most people who achieve a drug-free birth do not fluke it, they are well prepared. You might not get any medals from anyone else, but you'll want to give one to yourself you'll feel that bl00dy good afterwards

  11. #11

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    Hey Frankie

    Labour without drugs is VERY possible. And I think Janie and Kelly are right in what they are saying about being well prepared.

    So many women put a hell of a lot of pressure on themselves during their pregnancy though, when making choices about pain refief, which in result puts so much unecessary stress on them. Pain relief is there to help, and not to add to our worries. In the big picture, the fact that whether or not you have any medications during labour is not the issue.The issue is that YOU need to make a choice that YOU are completely comfortable with (Maybe that's to use mediactions or not to). Don't worry about what anybody else is doing. It's your labour and do what you want to do.

    Of course labour hurts, it's just a real uncomfortable, intense pain. Very difficult to imagine. But I found that in between contractions (mine ranged from being every 5 mins to every 30 seconds apart) I got a tiny break so it wasn't just constant IYKWIM. I didn't have any pain relief, but that's just me. I don't believe I am any braver then any other woman, and of course it doesn't make me any better then anyone else. The fact is, that it was my choice and things just happened in a way so I could achieve what I wanted.

    Also, what I think is really important is to NOT BE AFRAID of labour. Read about everything, different experiences etc. Let your body do what it needs to do. I'm sure that you will absolutely shock yourself when you realise what you are capable of doing.

    All the best

  12. #12

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    I also enjoyed my labour experience and am really excited to do it again. Like sasha said - you get the most amazing feeling of accomplishment and feel like you can take on the world.

    yes, it hurts and I'm not really very tough when it comes to pain but labour pain (usually) builds up gradually so you have time to adjust and I really focused on having a positive perception of the pain. Plus, once the baby is born, it's all over (although you are still pretty sore for a while).

    There's nothing wrong with using pain relief if you want to - I know people who swear by epidurals - I think they make the whole experience a little more... civilised?... so it all depends on what kind of experience you want.

  13. #13

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    I was in labour for three days so it wasn't the pain that was the main problem for me, it was not knowing when it was going to end!

    I think read about some natural pain relief methods - Juju Sundin's Birth Skills book is highly recommended and takes a common sense approach. This doesn't have to be an either/or situation. You can see how far you get with the pain management techniques she explains, but if you end up wanting drugs you will do so knowing you've done your best.

    I ended up having an epidural AND forceps but I couldn't be prouder of the way I handled my birth.

    It is my firm belief that all labours have different levels of pain and all people's pain thresholds are different. So there is really very little point in comparing ourselves with each other and passing judgement on whether natural or drugs are the go.

    But I also very much agree with Kelly that you are much more likely to have a natural labour if you have good support people and you do your research. There is absolutely no point in going into this saying "oh, I'll just see what happens and do a bit of deep breathing." That's probably not going to cut it.

  14. #14

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    Yup so many people bag birth plans and say it all goes skew wiff anyway, but the thing is you can't just have a plan and it all just works. So you have a plan - what have you done to give yourself the best chance of it happening? Where are you giving birth? What support do you have? What reading have you done (not up the duff and what to expect like every other person LOL!) and what education? What is your and your partner's philosophy of birth and labour pain? So many things couples need to do if they are serious about their birth plan. I think this is why so many doctors and midwives laugh at birth plans because people walk in with them like they would an order at mcdonalds.... LOL
    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.

  15. #15

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    I won't bleat on about this, as I appreciate everyone has different experiences, and I may have been "lucky" but I have had 3 vaginal births, and I loved every second of all them.

    For my first, I had NFI to be honest....a vague plan, which went awry, but I ended up having a totally natural drug free labour and birth, despite shoulder distocia.

    Birth number two was (unnecessarily!) induced, and aside the induction drug, no other pain relief or drugs or intervention at all.

    Birth number three was FAST. I had done some birth hypnotherapy, and I honestly did not feel any pain: it was AMAZING.

    I am likely the extreme, but it is totally possible to do it without drugs.

    Very best of luck!

  16. #16

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    I have had 5 great births, one with an episiotomy and forceps, all with no pain relief at all. There are so many ways to cope with the pain if you prepare yourself. But remember, needing something isn't failing!! I SCREAMED for an epidural with my 3rd (posterior, and turned sideways while pushing!) but it was too late!! I kept telling myself through each really bad contraction that it will stop in a minute, and it did help. If you go in ready to cope with each contraction as it comes , rather than the "whole" labour, you will.

    Good luck, and if you need something, then you do!!

  17. #17

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    Sorry to double-post but to give an example:

    If I hadn't read about natural pain relief methods, I would have begged for an epidural at about 3cm I reckon. As it was I refused an epidural when it was offered and kept going till I was 7cm. By this time I had been in labour for three days and had had 7 hours sleep in total in those three days and my DD was posterior! If I'd had a support person, I reckon they could have motivated me to keep going or at least gone for gas first instead of straight to the epidural. So what I'm saying is that pain is just one part of the overall jigsaw puzzle and it's how you put those pieces together that will determine the overall result. I should also say that your ob's attitude will also come into play especially if you go private. The midwives told me that had I been under a different obs' care, he would have whisked me off for a caesar instead of just taking a wait and see approach as mine did.

  18. #18

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    DW has had two natural births, both in water, no drugs or pain relief. It's all about mindset, I think - if you can honestly believe and trust in your own body (and it's obviously served you well so far) and have a supportive partner with you that you can trust in, it will see you through.

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