Induced labor without pain medication- worth it? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Chances are, I am facing induction of labor with this baby (not interested in discussing the necessity of induction- I know all my options)  My first two babies were cesarean births, my third baby was a non-chemical induction (foley cath and manual nipple stimulation) and my fourth baby was a natural birth.  My doctor is open to doing a foley induction again and I will probably try to do nip stim, although I am open to doing some pit if necessary.  My foley induction was very long (foley placed at 9a.m. Thursday- he wasn't born until 2:50a.m. on Saturday) and I had an epidural for the last 3 1/2ish hours.  But I also had never had a vaginal birth before and my cervix was not at all ripe when we started, so that could be why it took so long.


So my question is- if you were induced, particularly with pitocin, did you try to have a non-medicated labor?  Did you end up taking something/ having an epidural?  If you didn't end up getting pain medication, do you wish that you had? Would you try to be induced without pain medication again?  I have heard such awful things about pitocin, I am a little scared to even try without it.  Fwiw, my labor and birth with my naturally born baby was pretty easy.  It was quite uncomfortable but manageable all but the last twenty or thirty minutes- that just hurt.  Can't have it all, right? ;)  So I know that my pain tolerance for non-induced labor is fine, I am just concerned about not being able to handle Pit.


Thanks so much!

Midwifery Student and Mama to 2 daughters and 3 sons.     
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#2 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 06:47 AM
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I was induced by my midwives at 37w+3d due to pre-e.  We were at the hospital, but left AMA when they wanted to do pitocin.  Instead, we went home and they gave me a herbal cocktail (involving castor oil, oil of verbena, almond butter and apricot puree, blech!!!) which worked really well, along with making out with my partner and doing squats and telling the baby to come.  When we went back to the hospital the next day, I was 8 cm and 70 percent effaced.  They stripped my membranes and I had a natural labour and delivery in less than six hours.  I'd do it again!  I've heard that pitocin makes the contractions more painful, and lord knows that just isn't necessary!

Good luck with whatever you decide! 

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#3 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 08:57 AM
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With my first I went into labor on my own and was augmented with pitocin mid labor.  The contractions were awful.  I couldn't do it and I got an epidural and it was fantastic.  With my second, I was determined to have little intervention and I found natural contractions to be so much more bearable than pit induced contractions.  I ended up with a strange pain that was far worse than contractions and since I didn't feel as though I could continue with the pain (not of the contractions, but of the unrelenting spasm I was having in my side), I consented to pitocin to hopefully speed up my labor, and I told the Dr. there was no way I was going on pit w/o an epidural.  My dd was born about an hour after the epidural and there ended up being no need for pitocin.  The epidural didn't take either.  Well, it stopped the spasm in my side, but I still felt contractions and was up and walking around right after the birth.  I wouldn't want to face pitocin contractions w/o an epidural (that worked!!).


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#4 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 11:38 AM
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I was induced from 1cm and maybe 50% effacement with my first (my water had broken about 14 hours before - no contractions on my own).  After a couple hours of increasing the dose I had not made progress and it was late evening so they turned the drip to a very low setting, gave me a sleeping pill and the plan was to increase it again next am.  


At that point my body joined the game and I went into active labor and pushed out a baby 4 hours later!  The pitocin drip stayed on a low level the whole time after that so I don't know how influenced I was by it for that 4 hours.  It was intense and I tended to get double contractions (2 peaks without a full break in between) and I think that was likely the pitocin.  This labor though was LESS painful then my recent 2nd and non-induced non-pitocin labor!  


I believe with this 2nd the babies bigger size and possible less then ideal positioning were what made it harder to cope with.  


I did not have an epidural with either one.


So, pitocin does not mean a horrible labor necessarily.  Ask if they will be willing to turn down or off the drop for awhile after induction if your body seems to be getting going well.  Otherwise I would say remain flexible and open to how your individual labor will progress.  If you want to avoid epidural it is not out of the picture for you!!


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#5 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 05:10 PM
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Have you ever done acupuncture? There are labor induction points that promote labor to begin. I had a treatment at 38 wks and at 39 and went into labor that day. It was my first so I have nothing to compare, but supposedly it's a *gentle* labor inducer. My SIL had pit for a couple of hours only and was able to get off of it and have the baby wout pain meds. I don't know how they determined she could stop the pit. 


Good luck!!

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#6 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 05:25 PM
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Not my experience, but my mother had my sister and me with pit (due to her high blood pressure) and no pain medication/epidural.  She acts like it was no big deal, and not much worse than her two natural births.

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#7 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 05:41 PM
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I've been induced 3 times with out pain meds.  The first time was with pit and while the labor was awful it could be because she was face up not just because of the pit.  My youngest was also face up and I don't think it was any less painful than #1 and I refused pit with him.  I have very very fast labors, though, so I don't know if I could deal with a long induced labor with out pain meds.  It is possible and I would- probably will, I don't seem to go into labor on my own- do it again.

Amy, mom to LadyBug, SnuggleBug and StinkBug.  Expecting BabyBug in August 2011.
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#8 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 06:01 PM
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With my 1st I was induced with pitocin.  I initially didn't want the epidural, but after 14 hours I finally asked for it b/c the contractions were just awful, and there was no break in between.  It just felt like one long continuous contraction.  Immediately after receiving the epidural my son's heart rate dropped and I spent the next 11 hours on oxygen, in bed, not allowed to move.  I never wanted to go through that again, so I had my 2nd baby at home with no meds and it was great.  Good luck!

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#9 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 06:20 PM
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If you're having a foley and low dose pit induction, it shouldn't affect your labor substantially. OBs tend to be cautious with pit on a VBAC--they do it slowly. Of course, you can never predict labor and there's always the possibility of needing pain meds--but with a gentle induction I wouldn't count on it. Again, you might get a slow or difficult labor anyway but you should be much less likely to get the neverending, no-breaks contractions that make inductions so brutal.

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#10 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 06:36 PM
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I had pit w/all 3 of my kids and no pain meds.  I don't know any difference.  lol  

It's not so bad.   the contractions hurt of course but like I said I don't know any different!!  

With my first my water broke and I knew no better...ran to the hospital and walked and walked and walked.  I was technically 2 days early.  

My second, I was a scheduled induction b/c my DD had heart problems.   The 3rd I had low fluid and was internally induced which was a HUGE PITA.  the didn't work, so the started the pit and kept upping it.   Once my water broke she was out 45 mins and 4 pushes later.


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Lil' G 11/8/07
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#11 of 16 Old 05-11-2011, 06:52 PM
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I have had 4 unmedicated births, 1 birth w/ epidural, and 1 birth w/ pitocin and epidural.  Honestly the pitocin w/ epidural was the easiest one, as soon as the contractions felt bad I asked for the epi, by the time it was up and running I was 8cm, and baby was born soon after that.  Personally I would not have pitocin without being open to an epi just because the contractions can be closer together with pitocin. 

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#12 of 16 Old 05-12-2011, 03:47 PM
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I had a pit induced birth 2 weeks ago. Honestly the contractions weren't any worse that my first labor which was not induced. I did not have any pain meds either time.

Tandem nursing, Baby-wearing, Co-sleeping, Car seat-checkin' (CRST) Mama to my sweet boys, Peter (4.20.08) and Jasper (4.25.11).
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#13 of 16 Old 05-12-2011, 05:04 PM
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In my experience pitocin contractions are no different that spontaneous labor contractions.  I think you'll do just fine.

Kelly - Labor & Delivery RN, IBCLC, Wife of 22 years, Mom to 4
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#14 of 16 Old 05-13-2011, 04:00 PM
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I think it highly depends on 3 things.


*  Making sure the pitocin is regulated well

*  Your support system

*  Your mindset




I have had two pitocin inductions due to preeclampsia.  I was 1cm and 75% upon admission to the hospital for both inductions.


1st -   I was scared to death, had no doula, and the pitocin was VERY  quickly bumped up - like every 10 minutes  - and I was contracting every 45-60 seconds, contractions were lasting 90 seconds with double peaks.  It was HELL.  I was screaming for an epidural at 2cm and was sectioned for failure to progress 26hrs later.


2nd -  I went into it with a completely different mindset, I had an amazing doula.  My pitocin was VERY slowly administered and didn't even need  bumping after the first 4 bumps because my body took right over.  7.5hr labor, 1.5hr pushing, no pain medication - never even requested it or thought I needed it !

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#15 of 16 Old 05-15-2011, 01:46 PM
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I had 4 unmedicated, not induced labors, and then my last baby was induced for HELLP.  My platelets were so low that I couldn't have an epidural.  It was honestly the worst pain I've ever been in, ever, and I'm still traumatized by it (and the whole terrible experience) almost 2 years later.  

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#16 of 16 Old 05-15-2011, 04:20 PM
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Maybe it does have to do with the rate at which the Pit is bumped up.


My first birth was an induction at barely 20 years old- I have no idea how they dosed me, but I do know that I was writhing on the hospital bed in my own vomit, in agony I had never imagined could exist. I begged for drugs, screamed for them. I was a Medicaid patient in a county hospital with a battle axe of a nurse, so they took quite a while coming, and once they did, I passed out from exhaustion, woke up still too exhausted to push and wound up w/a ventouse delivery.


My DD's birth started slowly w/only a little herbal nudge, and although it was slightly augmented, the contractions were simply not as bad. They really hurt- I still opted for pain relief- but there was no comparison between the first and the second experience.


So I'm thinking it is a combo of things. You may need pain relief, you may not.

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

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