The question no one dares ask.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, first of all, i feel like my whole "status" on MDC could be messed up with this one question, but I am gonna have the guts to not pretend it is "about my friend"

ok here goes:

Does anyone ever take any kind of pain killers, herbs, etc etc during a homebirth, a UC, or anything? We have women right here on MDC "admitting" that they use wine, beer, tylenol pm, marijuana, skullcap, motherwort, arnica, motrin to get to sleep, take the edge off, etc etc during thier pregnancies....

But what about during actual labor? the only thing I have consistently read about on the 'net is the "TENS" machine, but it seems almost exclusively to be used in the UK.

I honestly don't want to do any drugs during labor. I handled it last time and lived to tell :LOL I don't want my baby to be born depressed in any way, I don't want to be transported to the hospital drunk or drugged out I am just truly truly curious.

I and my DH wondered for yearswhy there is almost NO information about this, if it is just inherently antithetical to the natural-ness of the homebirth, if it is taboo, etc. And even what about other cultures? Is it all just too potentially bad for the baby, and that is that---and if so, would any of this be worse for the baby than say when taken during pregnancy itself?

ok
now for my little bag heads
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#2 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Hugs to you! I don't know about home birth drugs/herbs etc. But I can tell you TENS machines are used all over the USA in hospitals, so maybe you could find a midwife who uses one at home. Best wishes!

Amy

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#3 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 05:05 PM
 
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I don't think it's that there's no information on there, or that it's taboo, or that it's bad for the baby. I just don't think there's anything that works well enough to talk about. We've had moms crunch calcium during labor (something about keeping your muscles well nourished), take some tylenol, etc. But really, I just think that unless you want an epidural (and even then, it's not 100%), there's not any PAIN KILLER that works for contractions. There are moms who report having painless births with hypno birthing or just out of the luck of the draw, but that's not what I think you're asking about.

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#4 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 05:35 PM
 
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Is this really taboo?
we tell moms to get rest in very early labor and recommend using water, shower or bath or pool. for a primip we might also recommend something like benadryl mostly to be able to sleep and prevent exhaustion -- I would say it is maybe 1 in 100 that do this. For women who use marjuana , they will use this but I am not too sure it is restful, sometimes it picks up the contractions-- mostly if it is something a woman does normally in pregnancy I want her to do it in labor this includes smoking cigarettes as well- I think holding off can create more tension and inhibit labor. As for pain killing -- only in the sense of relaxation/less tension = pain reduction.
we use St john'swort oil for massage, occasionally viburnum tincture but really I am more of the mind that the safer and more relaxed a mom can be the easier it is for her endorphins to increase and help her cope-- a well positioned baby helps- I have seen that there can be very painful contractions that are trying to adjust a baby's position . moxa sticks -- pressure and massage, sex or passionate kissing for the inclined...
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#5 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 05:49 PM
 
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What is a TENS machine? Is that the same thing they use to flex muscles, like for athletes? It sounds familar somehow.

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#6 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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A TENS machine can make your muscles twitch, but it's mainly used to kind of 'short circuit' the pain fibers of your nerves. When I explain it to paitents I call it the 'library monitor'... just goes in and tells everyone to quiet down. There is some release of natural opiates, but it's not a drug.. not by a long shot.
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#7 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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i think it's because as a homebirther you know that the option is not available and you trust your body enough to guide you through labor to cope with the pain. our bodies are made to give birth without pain killers and with loving support and a great support team (if you choose) then that's all you will need. i don't think it's taboo at all, it's just not really a concern for women choosing homebirth. if they choose to have pain relief they can birth in a hospital or transfer if they're at home.

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#8 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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It never occurred to me to take pain meds during labor- what on earth would work anyway? I walked during labor, ate and drank as much as I wanted, drank RRL tea and camomile tea with honey during my last labor. I take the occasional tylenol for headaches but I can't imagine anything would help for labor pain!

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#9 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 06:22 PM
 
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I think in the hospital the whole system is set up to move a woman into using drugs-- in active labor it is the nurse's job to access pain on a scale of 1-10 every 15 minutes -- and what are the tools given to this nurse once she has the info? mostly to recommend using drugs-- are you hurting? how much? ok do you want me to call anesthesia ... and her concern transmits to the mom that something is not normal, and really the longer and stronger the contractions become and the nurse is not use to seeing an unmedicated birth the more worried the nurse becomes making more fear in a laboring mom....
at home we cannot take this pain nor do we think it is abnormal, we can fell for a mom and recommend position changes or getting into a tub but mostly we know she is fine and baby is fine so it will be ok now if a mom says she wants to go to the hospital and get some drugs we will take her,
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#10 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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I was planning on drinking RRL tea, and using the birth tub, position changes, massage... in our doula training we called these "comfort measures" rather than pain relief, because I can see how they would make the mother more comfortable, but really, unless you're going for hardcore medication, I don't think there is much you can do. I believe pain is all in your perception anyway. If you're scared, then you're more likely to tense up and feel pain. You hear a lot of moms talk about how they felt intense feelings, but couldn't describe them as pain. Some moms will feel the same thing, and understand it only as pain. Of course, labor IS painful, but it's not something you can't handle. My mantra from Birthing From Within: Labor is hard work, it hurts, and you can do it.
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#11 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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I know plenty of women who drank alcohol during their labors. I even know a homebirther who got some kind of drug injection. And I know at least one person who used pot to ease labor (or make it a more interesting experience). I think it happens a lot. Go get yourself Spiritual Midwifery, lots of stories with alcoholic indulgence and pot too. Of course, that was the 70s and 80s and if people do it now they are less likely to share about it freely I don't think it's a bad thing. It happens inmany cultures actually. There's another book for you, Childbirth Wisdom From The World's Oldest Societies. They talk alot about medcine use in traditoinal societies. There are plenty of other stories out there about it too. I, personaly, have not but that has more to do with the fact that I have a huge tolerance for any kind of drugs, alcohol included. I'll have wine handy at this birth, but it's for after birth partying. Eveyrbody else is welcome to libations at any time though

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#12 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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The thing that gets me is this: Why is it ok to have a NARCOTIC for pain relief in labor, but its taboo to reccommend a glass of wine to relax & maybe get some sleep? That's the question I present to my doula clients.

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#13 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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I know that my aunt's midwife told her to go home and have a glass of red wine when she was in early labor. I don't really see anything wrong with having a glass of wine to help yourself relax and get some rest to gear up for labor. IMO its better than a narcotic. Now, having a bottle of wine is a different story.

MY ex SIL swears that her midwife told her it was ok to smoke pot while pregnant. She did throughout her whole pregnancy. I don't really agree with that. But I guess it could be seen as equivelent to taking herbal remedies.

I was the paranoid pregnant type, I only took one tylenol while preg and was worried about that.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#14 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 09:05 PM
 
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I honestly don't think tylenol would touch the pain of labor. I did take some arnica at some point, after I think.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#15 of 27 Old 10-16-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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It is my understanding tha in the UK homebirth midwives may give the mother Entonox (laughing gas) or even injections of a demerol-like drug to help with pain, although in the US I have never heard of this. (perhaps a UK mom can give more info?) I too have wondered about this, as i am desperate to have less pain in my second labor...

CPST
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#16 of 27 Old 10-17-2005, 01:19 AM
 
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The midwives I know around here don't give anything for pain because they don't want to interfere in any way, since intervention leads to intervention, or can anyway. But really, at home births, it seems that MOm is so comfortable in her own environment and in charge of her labor that she is really active in pursuing what feels good to HER. Sure it's hard work, but I see them so in tune with their bodies and so at ease in their own skin in their labors..unless it's really an irregular labor. I think it makes a HUGE difference to just be at home that you are already a step ahead of the game in pain relief because you already have the "relief" part just by being at home.

But besides that, I agree with the PP that said that there ain't nothing OTC that could compete with the strength of powerful effective labor.

At my homebirth I had plenty of meds afterwards, when I really felt worse than in labor, believe it or not. My afterbirth ctx were downright ugly, plus my 10 lb boy ripped my old epis. scar, and then the hemorrhoids.....I was coping better during labor, and wanted lidocaine, codeine and whatever else she had on her...NOW. :LOL

OH and I highly highly highly....etc. recommend renting a birth tub. It took the edge off so effectively.
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#17 of 27 Old 10-17-2005, 02:57 AM
 
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There are TENS units in the U.S. too! Most chiropractors are familiar with them, and I was lucky enough to have a dentist who used one while doing my dental work (fillings and such). He said he'd had a patient who was a hemophiliac (sp?) and had trouble healing from being injected. There's a good explanation of TENS in Birthing from Within, but basically it stimulates your nerve endings to the point that they can't pick up anymore sensation (for me it felt like vibrations and like that area had just gone to sleep). It's not painful at all. I've heard it works well for back labor but that you can't use it in water.

It's not really taboo I'd say- but I do think that the type of 'drug' pain relief you're describing would interfere with the rhythm of labor and body feedback. I can't remember who said it but if labor 'hurts', if you have incredible amounts of pain, then it's a sign that something is wrong and that something needs to be changed.
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#18 of 27 Old 10-17-2005, 03:17 AM
 
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To clarify, in the UK midwives routinely carry entonox, pethidine (you call it demerol) is available on a prescription from your GP at 36 weeks along with the drug used to help the baby "pick up" if it's struggling from the drugs (the midwives carry an anti-emetic for the mother if needed), and TENS machines are available pretty much everywhere- literally, in the supermarkets.
The downside is that we get no support in treating pregnancy as anything other than a medical condition- to use homoeopathy, herbs, anything other than movement and positioning requires an independent practitioner or a midwife who is interested enough to undertake professional training in that subject.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#19 of 27 Old 10-17-2005, 03:24 AM
 
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I have never had anyone use alcohol in pregnancy or labor-- in the old days it was a recommendation to stop preterm labor, to drink some vodka or several glasses of wine.
NAC members may have medicine cooking in the house
a CNM I have worked with gives a sleeping pill to first time moms who are not resting in early labor.
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#20 of 27 Old 10-17-2005, 03:30 AM
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If labor is a nightmere and I simply cannot handle it, I will be asking for a shot of a synthetic narcotic type painkiller - but no epidural. I did my first natural though, and the labor was horrid (on my back- severe pre-e- 24 hours...) so I highly doubt I will use anything.

While I have zero intention on using anything, I am a firm believer in having an open mind in case something extreme occurs.

I wish I could use marijuana as an alternative to a narcotic shot to be frank - I find marijuana a wonderful painkiller and appreciate that it is a natural herb. I think it should for sure be used by the medical industry as a painkiller; It's very effective.
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#21 of 27 Old 10-17-2005, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, all of you absolutely ROCK--- I was afraid to peek if I got any responses and 19 in half a day............


Well, this info is all super helpful, and I plan on getting in the fishy pool, massage from dh, and just taking it one ctx at a time.........

in a way it seems like wine would be cool and in a way it seems like it could slow down labor/make me barf/lose "focus" (although I kind of want to lose focus....I dont know)

well as far as marijuana I worry about the baby being born---ummm stoned ------ and fear of transport/drug tests........could be a bad bad idea /also could be like spiritual midwifery-- i have seen some old 70's videos and some of those mamas were h i g h , and I am not judging one bit, but I am not on The Farm and I worry!

I might have looked more into the TENS thing but I am 39 1/2 weeks and its too late!

Well, heres to all of you and your helpful info and to me getting ready to have this baby! I know I can do it, I did it before, and this time I wont have anyone around me who is evil and who freaks me out, and that is going to be the biggest help of all!!!!!!
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#22 of 27 Old 10-19-2005, 12:47 AM
 
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**Quote
It's not really taboo I'd say- but I do think that the type of 'drug' pain relief you're describing would interfere with the rhythm of labor and body feedback. I can't remember who said it but if labor 'hurts', if you have incredible amounts of pain, then it's a sign that something is wrong and that something needs to be changed.[/QUOTE]**

I just wanted to say that while i have heard this and believe that sometimes, maybe even most of the time, this might be true, it isn't always. I had horrific pain in my labor and it was a straightforward and uncomplicated as anything..and actually, statements like this were horribly detrimental to my labor experience, because I honestly thought it wouldn't be very painful if I did everything "right" and that is just plain bullcrappy! While usually pain is a signal something is wrong, Sometimes, even unbelieveable amounts of pain are.....just unbelievable amounts of pain.....I would just caution people to not get caught up in the "if it hurts something is wrong" mindset, because sometimes, it just ain't true!

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#23 of 27 Old 10-19-2005, 06:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
I wish I could use marijuana as an alternative to a narcotic shot to be frank - I find marijuana a wonderful painkiller and appreciate that it is a natural herb. I think it should for sure be used by the medical industry as a painkiller; It's very effective.
I know you're planning a hospital birth, but wouldn't you be able to take an (unlabelled) bottle of tincture in with you? Judging by Susun Weed, it seems to be quite effective- I think you might JUST have time to make some as well.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#24 of 27 Old 10-19-2005, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BobandJess--

AMEN to bullcrappy!!! My labor with ds#3 our homebirth, was astonishingly painful. It wasnt HUGS it wasnt RUSHES it wasnt INTERESTING SENSATIONS, it was bone shattering, flaming car-wreck unbearable shocking pain.

And ummm I take tylenol for a headache and drink a wine to "relax", so why wouldnt I want a little something for labor? (was my sort of original thought)

But I worried about messing up the baby when it came out, like depressing breathing or something. I also worry about if i transfered and they "found out" --- even tho the drugs they give ya at the hospital are like WAAAAY off the chart narcotics so how could they say anything.........

but yes to some of us, the whole bit about if it hurts something is "wrong" is what sends us off to the epidural man instead of within our selves to find the strength to go on.
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#25 of 27 Old 10-19-2005, 09:16 PM
 
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I know that in Germany women that homebirth are often taking "Buscopan", which is an OTC drug for period cramps. It only helps in early labor, but it is said (don't know if there is any actual evidence for it) that it helps relax the cervix and so supports dilation. It's also given in hospitals "to take the edge off", but it's non narcotic - more of a muscle relaxant.

It's available in Canada, but not in the US.
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#26 of 27 Old 10-20-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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There's always the option of acupuncture or acupressure.
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#27 of 27 Old 10-20-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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I had nothing for either of my homebirths but they were in the birthing tub and this was wonderful for pain relief.

I had back labor w/#1 and my mw had saline shots ready in case it happened again for #2.
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