41 answers

Besides an epidural....what Else Is Available During Labor

I am exploring other pain management options during labor...the feedback I've heard so far..has either been to go all-natural(drug-free) birth or an epidural. I have heard of hypnobirthing,Lamaze techniques and so on...but are there other medicated options that's somewhere in between?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their response. There are options out there that I did not know about. Thank you for opening my eyes to all the possibilities!

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The only thing that I had with my first was stadol. With my second I didn't have anything. It is good to have a plan, but much faster recovery if you can stand not having anything.

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It's not what you're asking, but I have to put in my two cents: why not go with the epidural? Natural childbirth is overrated. You get to enjoy and really remember the birth, the first time you saw your baby's face, etc., when you are NOT in agony.

I had epidurals with all three of my kids (but I tried natural for a day or two with my first until I couldn't take it any more and my body refused to dilate because of intense pain), and guess what? They are all of above-average intelligence.

1 mom found this helpful

With my children I opted for the interthecal (spelled wrong, but it sounds like enter-thee-cul) its a walking epidural, it still goes into your spine, but it only numbs you from feeling the contractions, you can still get up and walk to the bathroom when needed, and feel every thing "down there" when it comes time to push, it was a nice break from front and back labor!! From what I understand few hospitals offer it, so just check with your OBGYN he/she will know what is avaiable for you at your chosen hospital.. Good luck and may you have a fast labor!!


There are a lot of other things out there. Most of them are pain killers/ relaxants. Just tell them noepidural but you also dont want to deal with the pain and they will take care of you. You can talk to your DR about this. This gives you an option if you want to try natural but want a way to help imediately if you need.

With my daughter (7 years ago) I was induced (i.e. petocin)-labor went from nothing to OMG very quickly. I was adamantly opposed to an epidural, I saw it as a sign of failure (other women can do without, why couldn't I? And I feared a spinal headache). So my first pain management was Nubain (sp?)-best way to describe it was like someone injecting a pitcher of margaritas in my arm. Felt great at first, but probably why I ended up vomitting later. They can only give every 3 hours, and I was back in pain within 2, and no where near ready to push.

I finally gave in an got the epidural. I was a wreck physcially and emtionally by then-and cried for an hour over my "failure." I was then able to sleep for several hours, before my 3 hours of pushing. My almost 10 pound sunnyside up sweetheart would have been an emergency c-section without my amazing doctor, and without effective pain management.

I totally commend that you are educating yourself on your options before the contractions start-but please don't do to yourself with I did to myself by thinking there is anything wrong with an epidural. You just want you baby at the end, and as one nurse said to me, "they don't give badges for martyrs."

Good luck with everything!

i dont know much about the meds. a friend of mine had fentanyl and described it like having a glass of champagne to take the edge off. i went drug-free both times and it was hard but rewarding, pretty long labors both times.

i had a real different experience both times and i can say it had everything to do with my perception of the experience as well as my support for the birth. please read ina may gaskins guide to childbirth. there is a chapter in there about pain management that i drew from heavily the second time and it was useful. also, my oversized bathtub saved my day.

For my first labor and delivery, they gave me somehting called Fentanyl (not sure if that is how it's spelled). It is suppose to take some of the pain away without numbing your body. It didn't work for me at all. They gave me one dose and nothing. Then they gave me a second dose and for a few minutes, I felt a little strange but it didn't stop the pain.
My second delivery and, more than likely, my third (due to give birth in 2 weeks or so) I will have an epidural. For me, an epidural made me feel more comfortable.
Here is some advice that a ton of people gave me. Don't try to be super woman. "Giving in" to drugs, doesn't mean anything. I tried doing the no drug thing with my first but I was in so much pain and was so tired that I just had to.
Congrats on the baby!! I wish you nothing but luck!

I hope you are signing up for a birthing class at the hospital you intend to deliver. That is where I learned all the medical options available when I had my daughter.
I didn't have an epidural. I had phentanyl in the beginning (which can be given 1x/hour). The first hour it really helped take the edge off. The second hour it helped for a few minutes. The third hour I felt nothing and wanted more pain relief. However, much to my dismay, without consulting me, my nurse gave me Demorall (a stronger narcotic). For me personally this drug makes me very sleepy. All I wanted was to sleep except I kept having these really bothersome painful contractions waking me up. I don't remember much about the actual deliver and the hour after my daughter was born because I was in a narcotic fog.
I am currently in "due any moment mode." The only thing I know for sure is that I will be insistent with every professional who walks in the room that I don't want demorall! As for the epidural, I'm a little more afraid of that than I am the pain of labor. But I'm going in this time with an open mind, and I don't see giving birth naturally as some challenge of womanhood.
Learn your options and when the time comes do what you feel is best for your body and your baby!

Hi R.,

I helped my daughter in law deliver my granddaughter with the help of magnetic therapy. She had her natural and started out with back labor pain and when I put the magnet on her back and belly the pain stopped.

She was very grateful to have her natural with no drugs.

If you would like more info email me and I will share.

Happy Valentine's Day.

N. Marie

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