Pain Managment for Labor - ideas? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 12 Old 08-14-2009, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, everyone! I'm at 36 weeks and starting to think seriously about labor. I've already had one natural delivery, during whiich I found out that nothing I learned during childbirth class helped in the least with the pain. It did help to be in the hot-tub and to listen to the doula's voice giving me directions, but I still got slammed pretty hard by those contractions -- I felt much more like I was being torn limb from limb than like I was "blossoming" or "slipping the baby out" or whatever else I was supposed to be imagining. I was also throwing up and fantasizing about an epidural.

I was just wondering if other people have had better luck with specific pain management techniques they learned ahead of time and, if so, what it was that worked for you. This time around, my 3.5 yo daugher will be present at the birth, too, so I would especially like to make the experience as peaceful and happy as possible. I know that how it ends up going is to a large extent outside of my control, but I'd like to do what I can... I will have a doula again and I'm hoping for a waterbirth. Does anyone have other ideas or suggestions? Thanks for any words of wisdom you can provide...
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#2 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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I have heard that Arnica does wonders. I also know that St. John's Wort is safe during pregnancy, for right before dental work (is also a mood stabilizer, but can be used for pain relief), and for after pains. Now, I have not used St. John's Wort personally for labor, but I may consider it if I am having prodromal labor, since it keeps me up all night.

I have had a waterbirth, and it was just wonderful for pain relief. He was a big baby, my biggest ever, and I think it also kept me from tearing. I stayed in the shower and bath until the pool was ready. It went VERY well.

I have heard that massage is good, but I haven't gotten my DH to do anything like that. Plus, I really don't think I would want to be touched, but many women like that. And, yeah, childbirth classes :

Rice packs (rice in a cotton bag/pillow microwaved) on my lower uterus worked really well for early labor that is somewhat painful but come and go. Transition, I just prayed to skip that, and with my waterbirth, I had 2 transition CTX before I was complete and able to push.

HTH, Kymberli
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#3 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 01:27 AM
 
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Well, I used Hypnobabies, but you won't have enough time to do the full program. You might check into their Joyful Birthing set which is geared for mamas with less that 5 weeks before their due dates.

In addition to hypnosis (which took the pain away), I vocalized, used the tub, rocked on a birth ball or in a rocking chair, swayed back and forth while leaning on something, used the shower, and had my dh push on my lower back really hard.

Hope you find something!

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#4 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 03:08 AM
 
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My last labor I used deep breathing, relaxing, and visualizing my cervix opening, plus the birth tub was amazing. With each cntrx I kind of kept thinking to myself "I'm stretching open, and that's good." or something like that, just telling myself it wasn't 'pain' it was 'stretching'. I was able to go until pushing without having to make a sound (not that there's anything wrong with making noise, in my opinion, I just tend to get quiet and withdraw into myself). I didn't start making noise until pushing, and then kind of lost my ability to do my quiet little trance thing, but up until then the labor was very peaceful.

Oh, and I didn't take any classes. I did read a bunch of books during my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies like Ina May and Bradley and Hypnobirthing books, and then just did what I thought would work for me.

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#5 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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hypnobabies.

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#6 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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I am also researching natural methods to help ease the pain. My last labor was unbelievably painful - overall, a beautiful homebirth, I am thrilled I was at home, but I could not and still cannot believe how much it hurt. I am hoping to find something that will help reduce the pain slightly this next time around, I am planning another homebirth.

In researching, I also found these suggestions: stachys officinalis, Blue Cohost, and verbena officinalis - anyone tried any of these herbs during labor?

Has anyone ever had a glass of wine during labor to relax a little and reduce pain? Would that help?

Thanks!
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#7 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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I have had 2 waterbirths and they were fabulous. The first was pain free and the second was nearly pain free. What helped for me (besides the water) was vocalization--deep yoga breaths to really expand my belly for the inhale and then vocalizing with the exhale. It really helped me to relax and ease the pain. With both births I only had a couple transition contractions--I highly recommend having a short transistion

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#8 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCA2008 View Post
In researching, I also found these suggestions: stachys officinalis, Blue Cohost, and verbena officinalis - anyone tried any of these herbs during labor?
Do you mean blue cohosh? I've never read or heard that it helps make birth easier.... In fact, I've read the opposite.

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#9 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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Blue and black cohash act like oxcitocin, might help get it over with slightly faster but shouldn't ease pain. Arnica *might*, but I found it most useful applied vagnially during 2nd stage to bring down swelling.

I used TENS in my second son's birth and it was helpful. It was a small 9v battery unit with a dial to control intensity, with wires coming off it to long sticky pads that went on my back. This one had a modulating intensity so it went up and down within a range while it was on. Felt like a tickly vibration on my back, it loosened tension for me and eased all my back pain, leaving only the ache of the uterine tightening. It's supposed to block some the pain signal along the nerves by giving the vibration signal instead. But DH tried it to see what it was like and freaked out at the lowest setting saying it felt really weird, so it's not for everyone. I used that for 2 or 3 time periods when labor was just intensifying (from early to active labor and in transition), to help me get used to it and move on. In transition when I had small contractions in the space between big ones it helped me ignore those little ones and relax for that space still.

I used a heat wrap on my back toward the end, it was good but I neglected to see how the wrap part worked beforehand, turns out it goes all the way around your belly, and wasn't long enough to go around my pregnant one so I had to wrap it on top.

What helped me most this time was to focus on the productive intensity of each contraction, not thinking about how much the contractions hurt. I'd just vocalize and hang on til each was over.
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#10 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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This is one clip from a video series- you can find more of her videos (there's a LOT of them!) in the little slidey tool bar underneath this video.

I find her to be a little bit annoying, but I listened to this again and again and again and again when preg with my DD and at the time I thought, "this is bunk" but surprisingly it came back to me and helped me.

http://www.ehow.com/video_4939940_la...f-massage.html



It's SOMETHING anyway! Maybe you'll find something in there that helps you out?

Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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#11 of 12 Old 08-15-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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I second the use of a TENS machine. I rented one for my last birth and will for my next. It was AWESOME for early labour and helped me keep really calm, it just gave me a sensation to focus on instead of the contraction if that makes sense. I will stress that it was great for *early* labour and didn't do jack for transition but I think that managing the pain early did keep me from totally freaking out and helped me relax which helped. I rented mine from a small local company that also rents birth pools.
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#12 of 12 Old 08-16-2009, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the ideas! I might try he hypnobabies thing, since I've actually used hypnotic techniques for other things and found that I'm very susceptible to self-hypnosis. It might have also just been the luck of the draw with my last labor -- although it was my first time, it was only six hours long and, out of that, I would say that a good two hours were transition. I went from 3 to 9 cm dilated in one hour, and then the midwife wouldn't let me push because I wasn't fully dialated for another hour or something -- I just had to keep panting through the contractions and I was contorting horribly (like the worst dry-heaves one could imagine) -- so maybe it was just going to hurt no matter what. I mean, there is a certain level of intensity at which everything seems to go right out of your head and right out the window, as far as any planning done ahead of time... It will be interesting to see what happens this time around...
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