Pain Relief in labour?


I had gas and air and pethadine with my first ten years ago and I was really sick and out of it I really don't want to be like that with this one but don't know which one if not both made me feel like that?

Maybe I should just cut to the chase and go straight for a hard core epidural....

Just wondered what everyone's thought were.....


  • amwardyamwardy Posts: 68

    I had an epi with my first (doctors orders due to high blood pressure).. and my poor daughter was waiting to be pushed out for 4 hours before anyone noticed! She was then rushed to NICU because of it. I didn't really feel like it was that exciting an experience. THE BIRTH OF MY FIRST CHILD and it wasn't an exciting experience?!? I didn't feel I'd achieved anything, and I was so sore down there for so long after! It was agony that next morning!

    With my second, I just had gas and air. I was a bit drunkish, but i think that was more the pain than anything else. I was not sick and I wouldn't say I was "out of it" either. Boy it hurt and boy did I scream but hell it was worth every second of it! I felt like I'd just acheived the greatest thing ever. I bonded with my baby much faster. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience... and while I vowed that night that I'd "never do that again"... the next morning, I felt no pain whatsoever, and vowed that I definately WOULD do that again! I'd much rather the pain for a short while than having to look after a newborn without being able to sit down without a rubber ring underneath me!!! haha.

    Epidurals are so overrated. AND you have to have a BED BATH afterwards! No thank you!
  • Emma_GiffordEmma_Gifford Posts: 1,589
    I am on my third pregancy and I am really looking forward to labour! It is amazing and exhillarating at the very

    With the first it was painful and fast - I had pethidine and I was out of it! I personally didnt like the feeling of being out of control and its all a blur! I was 19 years old and I did not prepare myself at all -BIG MISTAKE! I panicked like mad and was hysterical!

    My Second labour was amazing i breathed through the contractions and didnt find them painful until the last stage - I then used gas and air with the breathing and this helped me lots to get through it.

    I personally would never have an epidural - yes it blocks out the pain but you are more likely to get nasty after effects such as tears, and internal injuries from the use of forceps! a friend of mine couldnt have sex after for 6 months because she had forceps due to an epidural and she has severe incontinence problems which really get her down! - it stops your body laborouing correctly - you cant listen to and trust what your body wants to do. I think you even have to be catheterised!! all of these things are yet more ways of introducing germs to your body - such as MRSA and C-diff - these bugs dont avoid maternity wards! there are a lot more cons than there are pros to having an epidural IMO. However there are situations where it is necessary.

    Instead of thinking what pain relief should I have - go into labour fully prepared with breathing techniques and how to keep a calm head - hypnobirthing is meant to be really good and I am going to try it this time around along with a birthing pool - see if I can avoid the gas and air

    Fear and panic induce adrenalin which overtake your bodies hormones and causes pain. All I would say is arm yourself with information! go to NCT classes and read around the web for real birth stories to get a realistic idea of birth and what its like.

    I would seriously consider a midwife birthing centre or a home birth - being in a comfortable non hospital environment can help so much - if you feel more relaxed in a home like environment then labour will be less painful.
  • donna518donna518 Posts: 177
    hi i had an epidural and it wasnt until the last minute however i had no side effects but the doctors said it was given to late to work but i managed on lavender oil and gas and air i was snorting lavender oil every 2 mins it was amazing it is really calming i would def recommend it but its your choice at the end of the day

  • ecr1975ecr1975 Posts: 288

    i've had 3 kids and each labour has been so different. my first went on for days (literally!) and i had an epidural as i was exhausted but felt a bit cheated as i had to be told when to push etc. so i never felt in control of the whole birth. for no. 2 i was induced and used gas and air and it was all over in a matter of hours and he was a whole 3 pounds bigger that my first baby! for my 3rd baby i laboured ina birthing pool and it was wonderful. i enjoyed every moment, was fully in control and had delivered within 2 hours.

    they were all so different but the main element for me was having some control in the situation. i wouldn't choose to have an epidural but thats because i am lucky enough to have enjoyed my last 2 labours.

    em x
  • Emma_GiffordEmma_Gifford Posts: 1,589
    I suppose its easy to make decisions when you have the benefit of experience em! Both of us clearly feel empowered by our experiences and we know the pain and how best to deal with it - I do remember all too well before my first labour wondering what it would be like and being petrified of it which is more hindrance than help - the horror stories you hear aswell! crikey!

    All I would say is dont make my mistake in my first labour and not be prepared and get armed with information - get to the local library and get some books. I am reading a good one at the moment by sheila kitzinger - she has written a few I think.

    here are some online articles worth a read.

  • -kia--kia- Posts: 745
    Epidurals make me cringe..just the thought of them.. I'm not having one unless I absolutely have to..and you have to be catheterised which makes me want to run away screaming!!

    Told the midwife I didn't like the idea of having an epidural and she was like oh no you won't need one of those..which is good..don't fancy people pushing me to have one! She also suggested a homebirth to me cause i dont like hospitals and needles nad people telling me what to do..and its looking more and more inviting every day to be honest.. and a birth pool.. everything i've read says water is meant to help with the pain..
  • daniellepiledaniellepile Posts: 150

    Thanks for the advice ladies it's really nice to hear everyone's stories. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to have a homebirth as I have heart problems and have a pacemaker so have to be in a hospital.

    Lots of people seem to be against epidural's which surprises me :\? I had heard how good they were...

    I guess I'm just scared as I don't think I could cope with another labour like my first although it was ten years ago I can still remember! but like you Jinxy I was only young i was 18 and didn't have a clue, I felt so out of control and the pain was unbearable!

    I don't like the idea of an epidural with the cathaters, needles etc but equally don't want to suffer so much pain and not be aware of my baby like last time.

    Does being in the water pool really help with the pain as the midwife has suggested that?
  • EmmA1981ukEmmA1981uk Posts: 1,065
    i had the same experience as steph and would say the same thing it didnt take me any longer to bond with my son xx
  • jodi73redjodi73red Posts: 221

    thank you and you made me cry

    i havent had kids yet but am going to try as soon as i can ie 3 months before wedding hehe but it is so good to hear someone support home births everyone thinks i am mad because i want a home birth for my first babe.... thanks you are a ray of sunshine
  • MummyCat1983MummyCat1983 Posts: 919
    Right here goes!!!, i went into labour 5 days overdue on a friday, went home told to have a bath, went back saturday evening severe pain, i had a lovely midwife who gave me pethadine and even massaged my hand to encourage the birth! Fastforward to TUESDAY MORNING! they finally realised i needed to be induced as i was crippled with pain and gave me an epidural. I DID NOT WANT AN EPI!!! but they said i was suffering from exaustion and dehydration. i was catheterised with basically no warning. I also had gas and air which me reach, couldn't throw up as hadn't eaten in three days. By the time i was ready to push they let the epi wear off so i felt EVERYTHING including the tearing and sowing up! I ended up limping for nearly a month afterwards because of the epi and the way i was left lying on the bed! never again will i go back to that hospital. i ended up with postnatal depression i strongly believe the birth impacted this. next time round i want to have a water birth and try manage on gas and air fingers crossed.
  • ariel_vampariel_vamp Posts: 2,415
    oh im so sorry to hear that catcollins. Fortunately im luck and have had fairly easy labours. I was induced with my first and as soon as they put the gel in i went straight to 6 cms- they didnt believe me and said it was just cramps from the gel!!! Well it was a horrible labour but only lasted about 4 hours. I did scream for an epi and they prepped me but it was too late!

    I think with the secomnd they give you a lot more controlover what happens. I told them when i was going to push and they didnt even feel to see if i was fully dilated even though i'd only been in labour for an hour and half (i had been at hospital all day waiting for it to start after they broke my waters).

    My 3rd was easy. I managed to start labour at home and he was born in an hour. I can thouroughly recommend a TENS machine- i nearly didnt bother going to the hospital cos i thought labour had stopped!

    I managed all 3 on gas and air- just keep telling yourself that it has to end eventually and breathing through the pain really does work.
  • Looobie69Looobie69 Posts: 6
    I had a water birth with my first and it was a wonderful experience. I was given gas and air when my waters broke but only chewed the end so in effect I didn't have any pain relief at all. unfortunatley I can't compare a water birth to a normal birth as my second child came so fast that not only did I miss out on gas and air (looking forward to sampling it this time) I didn't even get a glass of water!!! It's easy to advise against an epidural but I think every birth is different and so is every womens tolerance to pain. My advice is try and be calm and trust your midwife.
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