43 answers

Pitocin

Has anyone ever delivered without an epidural once they induced you with Pitocin? I know that contractions are supposed to be unbelievably strong with that drug, so it makes it difficult to birth without pain meds...but I was just wondering if it is possible.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone! Just trying to get an idea of what it will be like as my doc said that by between 34-37 weeks gestation we'll be able to tell if we are going to schedule an induction or a c-section, so, just wanted to hear that side of it. I'm going to post a question about why I even need to be induced or that c-section is a possibility right now. THANKS!

More Answers

I was given pitocin and thought I was going to die! I don't know that I would've survived had I not been given an epidural! But every labor, every woman is different. You may be able to handle it!
L.

2 moms found this helpful

I would not suggest trying to deliver with petocin without an epidural. For my first child I wanted to try no pain med but the Dr. pushed me into the petocin -- my water broke but the baby hadn't dropped and the contractions were not progressing. The pit made the contractions feel like intense crashing waves with no break in between. I went from nothing to full blown in what felt like minutes. They sent my husband out of the room to give me the epi and when he came back he said I was like a completely different person. I slept for a while and woke to start pushing. For the second, they also gave me pit, but this time they gave the epi first -- much better combination! Good luck and cut yourself some slack. There's nothing wrong with using pain meds. At the end of the day, you just want to deliver a healthy baby and have the energy to bond with them when they arrive:).

2 moms found this helpful

Hi J.: I delivered vaginally after being induced with pitocin. My advise is to take the epidural. Your body litterally goes from nothing to full blown labor in a very short time. That said after delivering the second naturally I can you that I had the full birth experience even with an epidural the first time. You won't be missing anything and if you're like me, you don't want a c-section. I was terrified of them. I was told that because your body does not gradually lead up to labor, you can have trouble and that's why an epidural is done. Good luck and congrats....
PS: I married my best friend too, its wonderful.

2 moms found this helpful

I was in labour for almost a day when they gave me pitocin (though not in my birthing plan) - I laboured VERY hard for another 6 hours when they told me that I needed an epidural to rest (which is what I had been saying all along was what I needed)- I did have the epidural(after fighting it for a while), fell asleep almost immediately and woke up with my son's head crowning. So it all worked out (which is what matters anyway) - all that being said I would think that if you had something like a bath or a way to relax or were rested that you might not need the epidural. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Please, please, please do not put yourself through that kind of unecessary pain!
I was given pitocin with my second child and had to deliver without and epidural. I had evey intention to deliver without pain meds even with the pitocin but about 15 minutes into it I was in unbearable pain. They gave me a pain med through my IV(I don't remember what) but it didn't help with the pain it just made me sleepy in between contractions. Once they give you the Pitocin you cannot move. Well at least the nurses said I couldn't and to tell you the truth thee was no way I could.
I got to the point where I was screaming for an epidural but of course it was too late and I was fully dilated.
I know you want honesty so I will tell you it is very HARD to do it without the epidural so if you have an option I wouldn't put yourself through the unecessary pain.
Don't forget the pain doesn't stop after your baby comes. You still have to deliver the placenta which was extremely painful for me also. Then they push on your stomach to help aid the uterus. This is all so sore and tender after you deliver. I'm sure it wouldn't be if you had an epidural.
The pitocin makes the contractions come twice as fast and twice as painful. Save the energy to hold your baby after your delivery.
I want you to know I am not exaggerating about the level of pain. I gave birth to my first child completely natural with absolutely no pain meds whatsoever and it too was a very painful experience but in no way did it compare to the level of intensity when I was given Pitocin with my second child.

1 mom found this helpful

I had pitocin and ended up delivering without....was unbelievably painful. I don't say that to scare you. Mine was very unusual. My I was 35 weeks and found out that my water had been leaking, just a small leak, but they found it because they thought I had a uti. I went to the ob and they did a stress test, determined that the baby was ok and to go get my things and come back to the hospital. I was there for 3 days before they determined that I needed pitocin. Once given it, it took hours to get to 3cm, then I went from 3cm to 10cm in the matter of an hour! They usually won't give the epidural until 5 and not after 7cm. So needless to say i didn't get one. I pushed for over an hour and my son was only 4.5lbs! because he was early, he was also face down, which caused tearing and most of the pain. If he had been a few weeks older, he would have been heavier and probably face up, which makes delivery easier. I ended up really scared because they had to put oxygen on me and kept telling me the baby needed to come out now.

Granted, my experience with pitocin was probably not a typical case, but, it was painful for me. After, the pain subsided easily. And of course, when you see the precious baby you just brought into the world, it really does make you forget any pain you may be having!

1 mom found this helpful

i got pictocin with my 2nd and thought i could do it without the epi. about 20 min later i thought i was gonna die, begging for the epi, and the anesthesiologist was in surgery, they had to call to get another one out of bed. it was the worst hour and a half of my life, painwise, anyway. plus, i was clenching so tight against the pain that even though i was dilating the baby wouldnt come down at all. it was awful. with my 3rd baby, i didnt let them give me the pic until i already had the epi. obviously, that is the route i recommend, if you have to have the pictocin. nasty stuff. best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

Did all four without epi. Two with pit. Painful but
doable. Epidural really did not come into the delivery
room until the late 80s. Prior to that you did labor
with small amt. of pain med if absolutely necessary.
So yes, you can do it without an epi and with pit.
Good luck.

Unless you absolutely have to be I wouldn't recommend being induced. I had to be due to medical reasons but was assured I could still deliver vaginally. However, my baby didn't like the Pitocin. Every time I had a contraction his heart rate dropped with the contraction (its okay for the heart rated to drop after the contraction but not during).

They kept stopping and restarting the Pitocin but it kept happening so they said they had to do a C-section rather than allow things to further escalate into an emergency situation.

I was not emotionally/mentally prepared for a c-section.

You probably have enough advice... but i'll add my 2 cents anyway.

Go in with an open mind. I wanted to go natural, but I wouldn't dilate after my water broke. After 24 hours of laboring naturally, they gave me the pitocin. I really didn't want the epidural, but i was literally exhausted. I fianlly asked for the epidural and still labored for another 14 hours! Unfortunately, the epidural didn;t work. I don't know if it was bad luck or the fact that I was too tense and scared of it... but it only numbed my right leg and I felt the very intense labor and childbirth in my center and left side.

My point is.... I am sure it is okay if your labor is reasonable and nature takes its course... but 38 hours of laboring is more than I could take. I wish I was more open and relaxed for the epidural (maybe it would have worked).

So, I am sure you can try to go naturally, but if hours are passing and you are getting exhausted... be open minded....

Hi J.,

While Pitocin does typically make contractions more painful, it is possible to deliver without an epidural. Some things to consider:

Talk to your dr/midwife about increasing the Pitocin dose very gradually. This will give your body time to release the endorphins which will help you cope.

Have you heard of Hypnobirthing? It is a self hypnosis technique used in birth that many women find profoundly helpful.

Lastly, I'd recommend having a doula present to help with comfort measures and give you tons of physical and emotional support during your birth.

Good luck!

Yes you can. I did it with my second child. 3/24/92 ( I know, awhile ago) I had made a decision not to take any type of pain med prior. Take a good class and practice focus & breathing.

I had heard that the length of your 2nd labor is generally about 1/2 of your first labor. Mine fit that exactly - so I counted on only having a few hours of labor start to finish.

Congratulations on your family!

L.

I havea 7 week old son that was delivered without an epidural, and i was given pitocin. My water had broken 12 hours before with little progression so they began pitocin at 930 am. At 1130 I asked for Nubain (a muscle relaxer) which helped me rest between contractions. At 330 the Nubain was worn off and I was in so much pain, I was throwing up. I asked for the epidural---but it was too late, I was fully dialated. I pushed for 2 1/2 hoursand had my son at 615 pm. Its possible but not pleasant, but it is worth it with an incredibly alert baby.

I have heard that too. However, my mother gave birth to me after having pitocin but not having an epidural. She had very erradic contractions and was in labor for over 24 hours (I don't remember the exact number). Then they gave her pitocin. She actually told me that the pitocin made her contractions less painful because they became more regular with breaks in between them, and she quickly progressed. In the end, I was born without my mother needing an epideral.

When I was pregnant and we'd talk about labor, she would always tell me to take the pit, that it made her labor easier. Of course, I didn't listen. I refused the pit because my birthing class led me to believe that it would lead to me needing more drugs, perpetuate a cycle, and result in a c-section. I ended up needing a c-section anyway because I wasn't progressing and my baby went into distress. My contractions were also erradic, and I often wonder if things would have been different if I had taken pitocin when the doctor recommended it. I should have listened to my mother!

Hi J.,
I had both of my daughters, 14 and 2.5, induced with pitocin with no epidural or pain meds. I had them fast after I was induced so I remember the contractions coming on strong, but I wanted to be alert and on my toes after the deliveries and I also didn't want to risk a possible c-sec. It should go by much quicker with your second one. I am having my third, due 7/30, hopefully, I won't need the pitocin and all will go well for a quick delivery with him. Congratulations and good luck!

Wow, you sure did get a variety of responses! I had pitocin and no epidural or pain meds whatsoever and I did not find it to be terrible. Painful . . . But not "I thought I was going to die" painful. I really loved my labor - I was so proud when I was done.

Some important factors I identified - 1. Your level of pain tolerance / fear of the event. 2. How much pitocen. In my case it was the lowest dosage possible throughout the entire 12 hour labor and pushing. 3. Your level of mobility. I was able to move almost the entire time I was in labor, until the pushing. Anytime they had me lie down on the bed or even sit on the bed for long, I was in agony. Anytime I was able to be upright for a contraction, it was much much better. I was strapped to the monitor the whole time, but it could move with me, along with my IV. I even got into the shower with it.

Good Luck!

Yes I have been induced with both of my boys and had no medication. It was not bad, but I have not had a normal labor with out meds so I do not have anything to compair it to. If it helps I did not have meds with my second child knowing I was going to be induced and I refuse to have meds again with the 3rd (which I am due 7/8) It is not bad at all, I would not be doing it again and again if it was the tortchure some describe it to be. Relax sweet heart if child birth was that bad no one would have more than 1 unless twins. You will be ok.

I had pit with both my babies. My first I wanted to be all natural, I even made them put it in my chart not to even ask me if I wanted something for pain. The contractions were exteremely intense, I had none and then they had to keep increasing the pitocin and when it it it was NONSTOP! I worked through everything fine, then I was pushing and it was the worst experience of my life, then I had to stop pushing for a moment and I thought I was going to die. My baby ended up having to coe out with vaccuum assistance, I have asthma and went into a full attack, could not breath, he became apneic after birth and had to spend 2 days in the NICU from the stress I put him through. I was so mad that they made me take pitocin, along with internal monitors. The hospital and staff I went to for the first birth were not helpful to me in being natural. So I chose to have an epidural with my 2nd (even though different hospital and they actually were VERy willing to help me naturally) but it was the best experience. I am now expecting my 3rd and I am assuming things may go as usual and I will need pit and if I do I will have an epidural, if not, I may be willing to try nonmedicated (I just want to be TRUELY nonmedicated -- no pit!!)

It is possible--I did it. Although, if you have the choice, you might want to skip the pitocin--research has linked pitocin to increased rates of c-sections, and also to increased risk of hemorrhaging.

It's also true that epidurals are not without risk, but you may know all this already. I have a handful of friends who have had problems--3 who had the epidural headaches, and one with lasting back pain, a year later.

I'm not telling you all this to scare you, but just to point out that these interventions aren't without risks, and that you're best to avoid them if you can.

Dear J.,

My own experience is only quasi-relevant, but I do want to pass along the experience of someone from my childbirth class. One of the women in my class was diagnosed as having low amniotic fluid, and her doc told her they would need to induce. She called the childbirth instructor and basically asked what you're asking here. The instructor told her it *might* be necessary to induce, but to request another ultrasound before being induced, because fluid levels fluctuate a lot. It was only 24 hours after the doctor had said she needed to induce, but this woman's fluids were now completely normal. She went into labor on her own about a week and a half later and delivered naturally.

So ... you didn't state why you needed Pitocin, but you may want to repeat the diagnostic procedure before you take it.

My own experience with Pitocin was sort of unusual. I delivered completely naturally but was unable to deliver the placenta. They gave me Pitocin for that, and I found those contractions to be so painful I agreed to take Demerol. However, I'd already had my wonderful little boy, so a lot of my motivation, adrenaline, etc., were not as strong. Under other circumstances, I *might* have been able to handle it, but honestly, it would've been hard.

Best wishes, whatever happens, and congratulations on you lovely family and your new arrival.

Hi J..
I was induced with my second, they broke my water and I was on pitocin. My labor progressed VERY rapidly with my second. with my first I was in labor 26 hours (also with pitocin but had an epidural). I never even had time to get the epidural. They did try to give it to me, but it would not work because I had gone too fast. I dialated from 2-10 in 20 minutes and, yes it was painful, but weirdly exhilarating at the same time. ha. So, yes it is possible...painful, but doable. I think given the choice I would do the epidural, but I have to say, I had a real sense of pride getting through it without. :)

Hi J.,

I delivered my first baby - a beautiful little girl - on 4/17/09 without an epidural or any pain meds. My water broke at 4am, and by about 5pm I was still only 3cm dilated. So, I was given a pitocin drip, which definitely helped move things along. The contractions were painful, but it was manageable. I was also very fortunate to have the support of a wonderful husband and an incredible doula.

Hopefully you won't need pitocin for any reason. But, if you do, know that you can still deliver without meds. Hope that's helpful.

I didn't read any of your other responses, so please forgive me if I am repeating advice for the twentieth time!

I tried with my first to go all the way to the end with no epidural, starting from being induced with Pitocin. I made it till 4:30 (started at 9 am) when I finally caved in. As I was getting the epidural, the nurse told me that she had never in 10 years of nursing seen someone be induced from the beginning and go straight through without an epidural (different I guess if you get a little pit to help you through and not the full dosage). My new motto when I have children (and what I tell everyone I know!) is "If they say Pitocin, I say Epidural!!" With my second I got the epidural right away so they were able to up the pitocin much more quickly and stronger, so my labor was only about 3/4 as long and I delivered my second in three pushes as opposed to the three hours it took with my first! Good luck to you in whatever you decide!

Its all about your tolerance for pain. I had pitocin and yes, it definitely makes contractions stronger and more intense, but it wasn't horrible and I still had a very good birth experience. I received the epidural on the advice of my OB but didn't press the button to get it working so I delivered without much help from the epidural. You're going to get a lot of different opinions but every body is different and every birth is different. Just know it doesn't have to be that bad. Good luck! :-).

**K.**

Hi J.,

yes it is possible and done to this day; I am a labor RN and the facility where I work does not do epidural, only spinal (you can walk with a spinal), and yes some women decide not to use pain medecine or a spinal during an induction with Pitocin; I suggest that you go with the flow about pain managment decisions; concerning the intensity of contractions, it varies a lot too; some women stay very comfortable while on it, some request pain meds or a spinal; Pitocin is a very slow drip that we adjust every 15 to 30 minutes if needed. the best to you, let mamasource members know how it went!!
D. RN Vermont

Yes, it's possible. I did it 19 months ago. It wasn't fun, but I was determined to have a natural birth and, fortunately, I had a relatively short labor of about 5 hours. I was also able to push him out in 15-20 minutes! I consider myself pretty lucky!

Hello J.,

Yes. I was induced with my first son in 2001 with Pitocin. I had a natural child birth. My water broke at 6:30pm and that's when the back labor atarted. It is painful, but what child birth isn't? I was given Nubane(sp?) Drip. It's a pain reliever through IV. It helped alot and so did the tub. They put me in this jacuzzi tub for relief as well. I gave birth at 10:50pm. My mother asked me if I would do it again and I said yes. Talk to mothers who have had the Epidoral a few plus years ago. Not all the stories are peachy and ask what types of discomfort they have now. My Aunt is a maternity nurse. It's not all that safe. Good luck with number 2 and God Bless.
H.

Hi J.!

in response to your request-its not fun. but you can do it.

why i say this, i delivered my second son on 3/12 with a NON-working eipdural after being induced with pitocin. it can be done, my epi worked for about 1.5 hrs-just long enough to get me from 3.5-9. if you can do intermitent monitoring (keep the bands off your belly) it might not be as bad for you-they wouldnt let me take them off so i was not a happy camper. get in the tub if they have one, that takes the pressure off. it was much harder than having my first son with a working eip induction, that being said the recovery from olly (second baby) was nothing. with max i was in agony for days, after olly i had no pain once he was delivered.

ask if there is a pitocin free induction option for you, max was a little white pill (cant remember the name for the life of me sorry) i dont know why you are being induced so it may not be an option. after doing both pitocin was much faster started at 10am and he was born at 452pm, my first son we started at 3pm and he was born at 709am.

lots of luck and let us know how it goes!
K.

email me if you have any questions

Don,t do Pitocin! I had two boys. My first they gave me pitocin. I was comfortable but in pain while in labor until they gave it to me to help me contract more regularly. After that it was intense pain but I refused epidural so if you question is can it be done the answer is yes but youd be insane if you think pitocin is a good thing to have. With my second (3 mths old yesterday!) I told the doctors I was not to have pitocin under any circumstance and still refused and epidural. I did most of my labor at home and was only in the hospital about 2 hrs before he was born. There are ways of doing it without and other things they can give you to induce or speed things up. Pitocin should be a banned drug. I have never heard anything good about it from mothers who have used it.

I actually did deliver after pitocin w/o an epidural- My body reacted the opposite to the drug though, I had pretty strong contractions for a while and then my labor stopped.I ended up laboring an extra four or five hours while they waited for the drug to wear off-they had me in tub though so it wasnt too awfully bad- and I even took a nap for a little while!

Hi J.,
Of course it is possible to have an induced birth without pain medication. I'm a childbirth educator (Bradley Method) and about half of my students who receive pitocin do not use any pain medication. My suggestion is to take a good quality childbirth class (I don't mean the hospital sponsored prepared childbirth) like Bradley or HypnoBirthing, a class with a high rate of unmedicated birth and techniques specifically geared toward unmedicated birth.
Good luck!

Hi - My son is 4 months old and I delivered him with no painkillers, even though I needed pitocin to get the contractions going.

My water broke, but I did not start having contractions, so I was on the highest dose of pitocin for a few hours. The contractions weren't too painful until the very end and by then I was almost fully dilated. This was my second child and they say that the labor is often much faster. It only took about 2 hours to go from 3 centimeters dilated to ready to push, so although the contractions were very painful, they were bearable for that length of time.

Good luck to you! Please let me know if you have any additional questions!

I had pitocin and the information I found out was this: Pitocin only helps your body contract or speeds up the process if you need it. It doesn't have any effect on the strength of the contractions. Your contractions are going to be as strong or as weak as they would be if you were naturally dilating and contracting. I'm not an expert, but this is what I found out. I hope it helps!

Hi J.! My first child (I have 3) was induced with pitocin. It was administered appx 7:00 am and my daughter was born by 12:15! HOWEVER, the nursing staff was unbelievably busy that day and tending to other moms in labor that I missed my window for an epidural. Yes, it was very painful once the contractions kept coming - I had lamazze and it seemed that I couldn't breathe or focus at one point. The nurse finally came back and I was ready to deliver imminently... they did give me 'something' to take the edge off (through the IV) and that did help, so there is something else out there that can be used other than the epidural. I didn't have an epidural w/my 2nd child (no pitocin though) and had the epidural with my 3rd - although the needle was a bit scary, it made the birth very comfortable. Good luck!!!

Hi J.,

Yes with my first child (now 16)- I was enduced due to the babies size + I had toxemia. They started me on the Pitocen for about 10 hours- I wasnt dialating at all- the pain was horrible- they took me off & wanted to start fresh the next morning. 6am came with the pitocin, again constant contractions with no dialation, every 4 hours the doctor would come and check and still nothing. I couldnt take anymore, so they took me off & wanted to start again the next morning. The thing is once they took me off the Pit, the contractions kept coming (this usually happens but fades)for the next 3 hours- the doctor came in and said you are fully dialated and its too late for any drugs.AHHHHH!

With my second child I was also enduced with Pitocen but this time I was able to get the epidurale... TG!!!

Moral of the story- doesnt matter how much pain/ discomfort happens- its all worth it in the end :)

Best of Luck to you!

I am a SAHM to 3 girls-13, almost 12, and 19 1/2months....I was given pitocin for all 3 deliveries and have yet to have an epidural. The contractions are stronger and faster, but it gets you to dilate faster so you can deliver faster. Was given demerol (SP?) for the first for pain (did nothing) no drugs for the second, and nubane (Made me sick to my stomach) for the third. I wanted an epidural for the third, but after I was given the nubane, everything went so fast (from 3 to 8 in about 15 minutes) I didn't have time :(

It is possible to deliver after pitocin and not have an pain meds. I did it with my little girl. I had started having contractions every fifteen minutes on a Wednesday and it didn't progress further than that until Saturday morning at 1 a.m. when my water broke. When we went to the hospital my contractions stopped and they put me on pitocin to get my contractions to start again. I didn't get an epidural, my choice, and I told the doctor when he could stop the pitocin as my contractions where starting before the machine gave me the next dose.It was painful, but it is manageable with breathing and focus.

Yes, I delivered both of my kids natural after being given Pitocin both times. Trust me it was not by choice. The Pitocin works so quickly on me that I got the same excuse with both kids its too late!!!! If I had to do it again I would have an epidural at the same time the Pitocin was given. It really does make labor so much more intense. My feeling is if you are going to have the same result why suffer needlessly. So I guess the answer is yes it's possible but no I wouldn't do it again. Good luck to you and your family.

PLEASE DONT DO IT! I delivered both daughters one with and one without an epi. (not by choice) It was more dangerous for my daughter without the epi, I got so tired I couldnt push, and yes the pitocin makes it stronger. My second daughter I had an epi and all went well, no side effects, she is healthy (very) and perfect just as the first daughter but without the horrible experience.
Please, dont risk anything, the epidural also makes the experience so different and you feel so much better to be able to bond with your daughter.
That is just my experience and obviously feel strongly about it.
Good Luck (2 girls ROCK!)

Hi - I was induced with pitocin for my 1st and only child (so far) and I didn't take any pain meds until I was 7cm dialated. It wasn't too terrible (in my opinion) but I was getting scared so I took some pain meds. Then, I finally agreed to the epidural when it was time to push because I think I was just plain exhausted by then from the contractions. I wound up with a C-Section because my son decided to go belly up on me mid-pushing so it didn't really matter whether I had been induced or not! But I was a trooper and made it most of the way...drug & epidural free. I had back surgery when I was a child and have a fused spine. It made it extremely difficult for an epidural to even be administered and that's why I was trying to go without one. However I did feel that I would be able to have an easier time pushing if I went with the epi right before the end.

Best of luck to you! I'm a july baby too....LOL

Yes- it's completely possible! Did you deliver your first baby girl w/o an epidural? I had pitocin with my second delivery and even though the labor was very different than with my first child, knowing that I'd made it through once and knowing what to expect kept it manageable. Best wishes! :)

Hello, J..

I actually delivered my son after Pitocin with no epidural. They also had to break my water. I had back surgery, so I had no choice, I couldn't get an epidural either way, but it wasn't as excruciating as I heard it would be.If I compare my daughter & my son, (I didn't need Pitocin with my daughter) I would say it was a little more painful with my son, but not unbearable. The good thing about Pitocin is it moves things along REALLY quickly! I went from 3 centimeters to 10 in like a half hour! Anyway- don't worry. You'll be able to handle whatever comes along. When you're in labor you know you need to get it done- and you will!

Good luck with everything.

Hi J., I had both of my sons without any drugs. While I was not induced with either, I did have my water broken with my second son (born 8 weeks ago) so in some ways I can identify with your question. When my water was broken, the contractions became very strong and fast, perhaps a bit like what it's like when induced.

My first labor and delivery was super-fast so I didn't have time for pain meds or to process just how much what what about to happen would hurt. Fortunately it was over quickly and I was so exhilerated by the experience I wanted to give a drug-free delivery a shot with my second son.

My second labor was longer and as I said, the doctor broke my water, but I was able to make it through drug-free as I had hoped. The pain from the contractions hurt A LOT and toward the last 30 minutes I was getting a bit angry that I wasn't fully dilated since I really wanted the experience to be over with! But, I made it through -- as I'm sure you can too!

Once fully dilated my son was born after just 3 pushes over the span of about a minute and a half. The intense, painful contractions lasted for about 20 minutes leading up to the birth and prior to that I had about two hours of tough, but manageable contractions. If the last 20 minutes was a 10 on a pain scale, the two hours of tough contractions were a 7-8. My husband did a lot of screwball things to entertain and distract me those two hours; I was really grateful for that!

My pain threshold is quite high, I should note. When admitted, I wasn't sure I was in labor but upon exam was 4 cm dilated and contracting every 4 minutes (which I couldn't feel). I wasn't uncomfortable with the contractions until the last two hours, and my in-hospital labor was about 8 hours. Depending on how your first labor and delivery went may help you decide if you want to go for a drug-free experience this time. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best!

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