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Honest question: Why no drugs/pain relief?

post #1 of 151
Thread Starter 
Seriously, after having 3 children, one with an epidural, one with nothing, and one emergency C-section with a prolapsed cord, I can honestly say that I've experienced the entire gamut.

Please tell me why you think that having no pain relief is preferable.
post #2 of 151
#1. It's best for the baby.

#2. It allows you to move around and birth more effectively.

-Angela
post #3 of 151
Because I didn't want to expose my baby to high amounts of drugs after carefully watching everything I took in for the nine previous months. Because I didn't want to be confined to bed, unable to move. Because I didn't want to take a chance of developing a fever, which could then lead to a full septic workup being performed on my baby. Because I wanted to do everything I could to get breastfeeding off to a good start. Because I wanted to be able to listen to what my body was telling me, without 'noise' interferring with the 'signal.' Because I already have low blood pressure, and I didn't need to be lowered any further.
post #4 of 151
#1 I'm afraid of needles - specifically needles stuck in my back!!
#2 Sometimes epidurals can make it so you can't push effectively. Then I might tear or get cut, forceps, vaccum, c-section. After natural childbirth, I'm not injured, and I feel great afterwards.
#3 Sometimes babies can be affected - I wouldn't want to give the hospital any reason to separate me from my baby (if I can help it, they still find their ways.)
#4 I can't get drugs at home.
#5 I feel a sense of accomplishment, especially when I can use hypnosis and be comfortable without drugs.
...

I'm actually quite a fan of a little Stadol around transition. But I wouldn't birth in a hospital just to get it. (EFM, IV, not being allowed to eat or move around easily, pushing on a bed, not catching my own baby, the hospital treating my baby rough - things I did not like about the hospital). [1st baby at home, 2nd baby transport to the hosptial]
post #5 of 151
- I want to birth at home- hospitals are NASTY

- Birth is not a medical event

- The pain is there for a reason- disconnect it and you're more likely to end up with damage.

Oh yeah, and #1. It's best for the baby.

-Angela
post #6 of 151
Dangerous for mom and baby.

Increases complications including increased "need" for Pit, ineffective pushing, more chances of tears and worse tears, and ultimately increased risk of C/S.

Impaired breathing for baby.

Risk of injury to mother in injection area.

Increased risk of incorrect drug administration.

Risk of shock reaction to drug.

Etc.

Personally, I would never use it ever, but I'm very sensitive to drugs. Even stuff that most people like and consider extremely benign (Tylenol, etc.) makes me feel terrible. I'm unusual in that way I think. But I think it should be available, but I think the risks need to be well communicated and I really think it should be actually used RARELY (not even just LESS but RARELY). JMHO.
post #7 of 151
with my first i had what the medical community calls a "managed" labor and birth with inducement, epidural, threatened c-section, etc

but what really made me want to go natural with the next one was the catheter they inserted b/c of the epidural. i said to myself never again

but then when i actually got pregnant again (6 years later) i started reading. i found out how much better it is for mom and baby. in terms of possible complications, in terms of avoiding a c-section, in terms of breastfeeding relationship, in terms of drugs passing to baby, etc

and then when i actually experienced natural birth (except for the damn episiotomy!: ) i found out how much more in control i felt, how much more in tune with my body i felt, and most importantly how strong i felt handling the pain. i think iwas able to birth more easily and ,more efficiently/effectively without the drugs.

and yeah i did mention demerol during transition but i was mostly being sarcastic and glad nobody gave me any.

next time i plan to remove myself from the hospital setting altogether and either birth at home or at a free standing birth center
post #8 of 151
here's a great article that explains it for me:

http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr.../ecstatic.html

when women's bodies are left alone to their own devices, there are fewer complications and fewer issues for baby.
post #9 of 151
1. It's best for the baby.

2. It allows you to move around and birth more effectively.

3. I prefer to birth at home.

4. I hate needles and pills.

5. I really dislike the huge bruise on my back I got after DS's birth from the epidural that should never have been given to me so late.

6. I like being in control of my own body.

7. With hypnobirthing I truly didn't need any artificial painkillers.
post #10 of 151
I want to birth at home.

I do not want to be strapped to a bed.

I want to be in control.

with drugs so many more complications can arise because you are not laboring naturally and in control of what is going on- feelin git and moving.
post #11 of 151
When I birthed my children... I couldn't really have told you all the reasons I wanted to go natural, except that :

I was meant to as a woman

Then, I had a friend who kept asking me why I didn't want epidurals with my births and after many questions, my answer morphed into:

Because I want to be completely present during the births of my children... I want to feel my legs, and my butt and my abdomen and all that is happening with my body. I don't want drugs to hide my children's births, and I want to be able to move freely when they are born.

Somehow, I could never imagine myself intentionally ignoring the sensation (as painful as it became) of my child's life coming through my body... I am grateful, and I want to do it again one day.
post #12 of 151
If there were a way of getting pain relief that didn't affect the baby, didn't involve a needle, IV, EFM, being confined to bed (by orders or choice), kept me feeling like myself, and didn't lead to a zillion interventions, I'd be all for it.

I had an epidural with my first labor. It was a nightmare -- I had one of those "windows" where all the pain just concentrated into one spot on my leg and it was more painful than before. Plus I was cathetered, on my back, tore, and couldn't see my babies (I had twins) for about 2 hours after their birth because I was numb and in bed. I just swore I wouldn't do it again.

Second time, I had a shot of stadol during transition. YOW. Granted it took the "edge" off, but the feeling of being hazy and drugged and totally out-of-it for an hour during labor was NOT enjoyable. Cross THAT off my list too!

We plan to ttc #4 next year, and it will be a homebirth -- without drugs, ha. I think getting a woman into a comfortable environment where she's empowered and supported, and the pain would be completely manageable.
post #13 of 151
For me, the first and foremost reason is because of the negative effects on the baby. It's really amazing to me that mamas can have a completely healthy pregnancy, eat lots of healthy food, exercise, connect with their baby - but then when they're in labour they just forget about it and dope their baby up with extremely strong pain-killing drugs that affect their breathing and nervous system. :

Also extremely important for me personally is the experience of giving birth. I would not want to be numb to my body's efforts and hard work to birth the baby it has been growing for the last 9 months. Women need to work on not associating labour with "pain" in the traditional sense, and see it more as a purposeful physical experience. Giving birth naturally is an extremely satisfying and emotionally/physically empowering experience.
post #14 of 151
#1. Like 1st poster, what's the use of not taking even a Tylenol for a headache for 9+ months if you're just going to drug them up at the end

#2. I've had a spinal for C-Sec., that was the worst experience of my life.

#3. I can't even stand to lay on my back in the tub (hurts my lower back), I don't know how I could stand to give birth that way.

#4. VBAC's aren't allowed at the hospitals close to me.

#5. I want to minimize my chances of a C-sec unless an emergency - I'm allergic to Nubain (the stuff they give you in the spinal). They'd probably knock me out.

#6. The more I learn the more I'm scared to death of hospital birth.
post #15 of 151
Thank you to all who have posted with such honest answers...

I am pregnant with #1 right now, scared of labor (and not from lack of information--it's just a big unknown), and have been adamant about WANTING pain meds the entire time I've been pregnant. Of course, now, I'm wavering a little and thinking about natural childbirth.

We'll see what happens, but I appreciate the honesty and non-flaming of this thread.
post #16 of 151
Honestly, it's REALLY not that bad. And this is coming from a woman who was in labor for 33 hours, and had been flat on my back for 10 days prior to going in to labor, save for sitting up to eat and going to the bathroom.

I chose to go pain killer free for several reasons (although I did get one mg of Stadol at hour 31 which lasted 20 minutes and got me through transition and then just stopped working... )

1) I didn't want my 30 week preemie to come out drugged and at any more of a risk than she already was

2) I wanted to experience everything my body was capable of

3) I'll do it again with this baby, because I felt like a complete and total rock star after delivering DD, and I was able to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom by myself immediately post partum

Honestly, it was mostly selfish reasons. The anesthesiologist told me he didn't think I could do it drug free, because it's "hard to deliver a baby", and I basically wanted to tell him to bite me, so I made sure not to ask for an epidural. And I was terrified of the spinal headache, blocks, and ending up numb from the waist UP like a woman I know.

Alright, I'm rambling. Sorry!
post #17 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS
Thank you to all who have posted with such honest answers...

I am pregnant with #1 right now, scared of labor (and not from lack of information--it's just a big unknown), and have been adamant about WANTING pain meds the entire time I've been pregnant. Of course, now, I'm wavering a little and thinking about natural childbirth.

We'll see what happens, but I appreciate the honesty and non-flaming of this thread.
I fully admit that I've been blessed with really easy labor and deliveries both times, but I don't think it's that bad either. Before I had my DS people tried to scare me with all their horrible scary birth stories. I chose to tune them out and instead believe in my ability as a woman to accomplish childbirth. Afterall women have been giving birth since the beginning of mankind.

I do understand the fear of the unknown. I remember how it was when I was preparing to deliver DS. Even though I was confident I still ended up asking for pain relief right before pushing. I was 9cm dilated and they never should have given me anything, but my OB was a dope and didn't give a darn about my birth plan which stated that I shouldn't be given anything despite what I say during labor. Anyway, it was such a light dose of epi (I could still walk) that I didn't even need because DS came out right after. All it did was leave me with a huge bruise on my back that hurt like heck for months. Not to mention the headaches!

I highly recommend taking a natural birth course of some kind (i.e. hypnobirthing, bradley, etc...), getting a doula, and preparing yourself mentally. It really helps to be prepared and the more prepared you are the less you will worry. YOU CAN DO IT!
post #18 of 151
I had an epidural for my first birth and it was awful (I had an open incision from an appendectomy three days earlier). Here I had carried this beautiful being in me, we were attached from the moment she first gained conciousness, and then I had to let go of her and I had no sensation of the experience. I wanted to feel that little being leave my body and come into the world. I felt totally disconnected and emotionally raw from the experience. For me, childbirth is the conclusion of an amazing journey and I want to be present the WHOLE time.

Add to that, epidural babies have a hard time nursing often. Epidurals do carry risks. I've still got pain in my back where I had one almost five years ago w/DD#1. Your body is desgined to deliver babies. God made you that way, biology made you that way, evolution made you that way; whichever way you choose to look at it, you are designed to get babies out. Is it *comfortable* uhhhh no, BUT I have to say I love giving birth. I get to be at home, where I'm in charge, and my body is allowed to do what it needs to. I'm totally connected to the experience and in the end, out comes a BEAUTIFUL baby, that I pushed out!
post #19 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS
Thank you to all who have posted with such honest answers...

I am pregnant with #1 right now, scared of labor (and not from lack of information--it's just a big unknown), and have been adamant about WANTING pain meds the entire time I've been pregnant. Of course, now, I'm wavering a little and thinking about natural childbirth.

We'll see what happens, but I appreciate the honesty and non-flaming of this thread.
The single biggest tip I have is- Homebirth.

My labor was around 31 hours. With about 6 hours pushing. It was uncomfortable and I was tired, but it was never so painful I felt like I couldn't stand it. I was in my own space and no one was bossing me around or putting me in uncomfortable positions. I would never plan to birth any other way.

-Angela
post #20 of 151
The first time there were no drugs available so I just got on with it

Second time I knew I could do it without drugs so I did.

Third time I was offered an epidural to go with the Pitocin drip but I was afraid that if I had the epi I would end up in theatre so I refused and made it through by vocalising horribly trying to take the pain out of my body and project it into the corner of the room.

The first two I had no intellectual reasons for not choosing drugs - I just didn't. We don't keep pain killers in the house and I don't worry much about everyday pain so I think I approached labour as an extension of that.

The third time I was well aware of the possible cascade of interventions and alreading having transferred from birth centre to hospital I was desperate to avoid any more complications and trauma.

This time I will be at home and although here in the UK you can have Entonox (gas and air) at home I won't choose to have it.

As for what is preferable - I have no wish to be anything less than 100% myself in labour and I feel that drugs would affect my judgement and perception of what is happening. I was a Demerol baby and my mum says I slept for days and was not very perky at all for about a week. Drugs can't be good for babies either.
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