S.D. asks from Fort Collins, CO on January 09, 2009
Pain Meds. for Labor- What Did You Like?
I would love a buncha information from you all on what everyone used to relieve the pain of labor (other then an epidural).
I am hoping to do a totally unmedicated birth at Poudre Valley Hospital birthing center(doctors and nurses will attend); my mom and many other women who I know have had successful births w/o anesthesia/ pain meds. and I have a doula so I feel positive about this working out...but I started childbirth classes this week and I am getting nervous!
I've been thinking about getting a back-up plan prepared; especially because I hate hospitals and I feel like I might not be able to get comfortable and let the birth unfold- even though PVH is really nice, it's still a medical facility. I'm most interested in TeNS and I also saw a distilled water injection- I've done a little research, but I want advice; has anyone done TeNS?
I want to get prepared in advance so I have more options besides just getting a shot of narcotic or an epi (A class is required for TeNS to be used).
I'm planning on using message, breathing, visualization, and meditation tequniques so far. I want to know what narcotic injections people have had good or bad experiences with- I really want to be alert and I want to try ANYTHING else besides an epidural. Tell me what hypnobirthing is about too, please.
Thank you all for all your wisdom!
So What Happened?™
Hey all you great mom's. Thank you for all the ideas, suggestions, and supportive comments!
It took me a while to find out what happened myself, but I gave birth to a little girl Fri. March 13th at the PVH birth center without medication, and I'm very proud of myself. I used the jacuzzi tub in my room a lot and once I was in transition my doula, Adam, and I were all chanting as low as we could go- which was phenomenally effective in keeping the contractions low and not letting them get into my head too much.
I definetely went to the special place where laboring women go that some of you talked about and was pretty much untouchable, as I was in another universe. At one point I was in extreme pain and I thought about an epi, yet even then, the thought of some guy sticking a tube in my spine was not appealing at all. The next day my doc said it was the best birth she had attended in 3 mos. Very Empowering.
I did take the TeNs class, but I never used the unit, as it would have prevented me from getting to go into the water.
K.D. answers from Provo on January 12, 2009
I highly recommend hypnobirthing. If you practice and have a good support system there to help you use the tools you get from a hypnobirthing class you can have a wonderful labor experience with no drugs. I had both my kids with hypnobirthing techniques, was induced with the first, and still did not need any kind of pain medication (except for a local anethetic while they stitched up my tear from my first). BUT, practice and support are VERY important if you plan on using hypnobirthing.
Good luck to you!
M.P. answers from Fort Collins on January 10, 2009
I didn't want to repeat what the other wonderful ladies said so I'll just respond to the TeNS machine. I had an emergency c-section with my first and luckily had a vbac with my second. I wanted to go natural too but after my first, learned about both the drugs as well as natural alternatives to labor pains. That helped me to be more open to all the possibilities to help regulate the unknown pain I would experience. In the end, I started using the TeNS unit (the class was really quick but you should sign up now because they fill up rather quickly) and it helped to take the edge off (it didn't remove the pain). My other ways to deal with the pain included a couple of shots of something into my iv (it was a quick acting pain reliever that lasted about 20 minutes) and taking advantage of the jacuzzi tubs that PVH has (that actually helped a ton!).
In the end I think the most important thing is to know your own limits and to have a supportive partner with you (although the nurses at PVH are WONDERFUL). Also, I have several friends who got more scared after childbirth classes than they were before going (I think that's natural!). Good luck with your childbirth no matter what bath you take. Using pain meds doesn't make you any more or less of a mother; you have to do what is best for you and your baby.
1 mom found this helpful
M.C. answers from Denver on January 12, 2009
Something I would not be without again, that is so low tech is a heat pack of some sort, especially if you can find one that has some soothing herbs. I don't know how you would heat it in a hospital. Find out what is possible. The one I used was heated in our microwave for a home birth. I held that during contractions and moved it around to different tight spots and it also worked wonders for the after pains. I know you were asking for info about drugs, but seems like you have a great chance at not needing them! Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
B.D. answers from Boise on January 10, 2009
I had two in hospitals and my last was a home birth that I loved. No pain meds and she cut my labor in half! First and formost is breath slow not fast! This produces natural endorphins plus gives you something else to concentrate on. the slower in and out breaths that you can do the less pain. It is amazing. If you hold your breath or breath fast the pain is worse. I don't care what Lamaze says do not pant!
Second a midwife will have you drink so much raspberry tea you will think you are swimming in it! It does something for the womb. I took raspberry capsules 2-3 times a day as I am not a tea drinker. Then the last month she has a concotion that she gives you with more tea and other things which helps to prepare the womb. It was all very amazing. With all of this the pain was very doable. In fact I was ready to push before I knew it. Three and a half hours of labor from 8 was great. I did hemmorage a bit but a little cayenne pepper under the tongue stops that. It was a beautiful experience and my other kids even helped. My midwife now lives in Utah. If you have any time I would take red raspberry!
J.C. answers from Casper on January 09, 2009
As a mom of six I have had 6 different births. My first was a c-section but I was put completely under as it was an emergency. My second was a VBAC with epidural, but I was not too happy because I couldn't feel how hard I was pushing, or if I was even pushing at all. My 3rd was another VBAC w/out an epidural. I had a shot of narcotics to hold off, because I thought that I wanted another epidural, but that just made me loopy and I had no sense of time or anything. When that wore off, I was told that the epidural was coming,but I was already at 10, so it wasn't happening and ended up with no meds for the pushing. My 4th was completely pain-med free as I liked the fact with the previous one that I had control over the pushing, and she came really fast (4 hrs from first onset of contractions). The 5th and 6th were both med free because I like the faster recovery that no meds has (and they both came fast---within 1 hr of getting to the hospital). If I were to do it again, it would be med free, but that is me. As this is your first, I would be flexible in your expectations. Try med free first and if that isn't working then do something else, your whole outcome is to have a healthy baby and if not having meds is stressing the baby, then better try something else. The hospital staff is there to support you, but they also want a healthy outcome, and if your choices aren't getting it done, then they are going to try and advise you on other options. Listen to your body, but listen to the nurses and doctors too.
Congrats and good luck
C.J. answers from Provo on January 10, 2009
Dear S. D I have had all my four children with out medds. I took a class on nattal child birth. But I think the thing that help me the most was my desire not to have the same probles my mother had with her last child. Thy gave her gas which was atached to her arm and she overdost on it. It may have gave my sister brain damage there not certin but I did not whant to take a chance. So I would try it for the health of your baby and your self. I found that looking at a spot on the wall and praying to my father in heaven helped a lot. And having my husban there was a great suport to me.
Good luck . C. J.
J.M. answers from Denver on January 10, 2009
I have had 3 boys and each labor was very different. My water broke a few weeks early with my first and smallest baby (8 lbs)and then I had no contractions. My doctor put me on pitocin and gave me an epideral after my aunt asked for it. I was in so much pain I couldn't think to even ask. I went into labor on my due date with my second (9 lbs 1oz) and only had 2 shots in the IV. I was able to walk more during that labor, it was painful but went quickly. With my 3rd I was induced because of size and fast labors. I requested the epideral before she broke my water. It was on a pump and was awesome! It was the first birth my mom had been able to attend mainly because it was scheduled. I was able to play cards with her and just hang out through most of the labor until I felt the urge to push. Then it hurt for less than 30 minutes and was over. Good luck trying without meds, but the end result is the same - a beautiful new baby. You're not any less of a mom if you need the meds.
M.R. answers from Boise on January 10, 2009
I don't have any experience with medications since I have a horrible reaction to the majority of them. Just the thought that the side affects of the medications were enough to make me just grin and bear natural birth. Really walking, walking, walking worked great. My longest labor was only 4 1/2 hours because I walked a ton, like 2 miles a day even on the day my 1st was born. I feel like the pain was minimal because labor was not drawn out by the use of medications. Most people don't realize when they plan to use medications that it actually lengthens the time of labor. By the time I had my 4th, using visualizations, walking and meditation she was born in only 45 minutes. Keep going on your plan since if you focus on it you really should only need to use medications if an emergency occurs. Otherwise at least for me, it was too late by the time I decided it was painful enough to deal with the side affects and it was over within minutes of that. Keep up the positive attitude about birth and and use the information from you class as just that. It's information, not a requirement to use it.
D.K. answers from Denver on January 09, 2009
Please have a back up plan for true medical help if necessary. Most births can go off without a hitch but it is safe to say a lot of women have unexpected emergencies or things aren't as they planned for.
I had preeclampsia very late in my pregnancy and had to be induced on the first child, went in for my 36 1/2 week appt and was rushed to the hospital. Never planned on that. I had to have pitocin and then magnesium to prevent seizures and she had to be delivered at 37 weeks. She was healthy and fine but I totally trusted the hospital staff.
With my second, he was huge and we scheduled induction because he was going to be too big to let the 40 weeks go by. I ended up having an emergency csection as his heart rate dropped and he was stuck crooked in the birth canal.
You can prepare all you want, but modern medicine has saved many babies when the unexpected happens.
Epidurals are wonderful, you are still there and present, no danger to the baby and will help make it a pleasant process. I labored for five hours without meds with my son and it was torture and it was not enjoyable. Once I had the epidural I was relaxed, more ready and things were much easier. He unfortunately was too big and got stuck and we had to go for a csection.
While doulas are great, have a good back up plan with real Drs as you just don't know what to expect!!!
Hospitals and maternity wards very much know what they are doing, make it a pleasant experience all around and help you transition well to motherhood. La Leche league reps are at the hospital to help you, the baby gets a full over checkup upon birth, that in itself is priceless. I hope you will understand that your plan may be great and work, but don't count on it 100% or be too concerned about hospitals and avoiding them.
Good luck, God Bless and keep us posted.