Labor With No Medication?

[deleted account] ( 128 moms have responded )

I am 22 yrs old and currently 5 1/2 months pregnant and my son is due on January 24, 2011. I know that I do not want an epidural already because I have heard that it can make labor last longer. At first I was thinking about having just IV medicine for pain but then I also heard that it affects the baby more than the mother. I have two sister in laws who just had their first babies and have told me how painful labor is and now I am terrified about going into labor and having him especially since I am leaning away from pain medicine. Everyone keeps telling me that I should probably have pain medicine but my husband really doesn't want me to and I really don't want to either but I am so afraid it's going to be so painful that I am going to have to. I don't know what to do! Somebody please help!

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Naomi - posted on 10/18/2010

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Well...I would just like to share that I had a natural labor at a birthing center with no medication whatsoever!!! If that is what you chose to do, go for it! Labor is definitely painful, but I felt so connected with, and in tune with my labor without being all "doped" up on pain meds. The pain immediately went away after I had my baby boy. I was 18 years old when I had my baby, and I think that if I can do it, anyone can! Good luck to you:)

Jamie - posted on 10/18/2010

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The best advice I have for you is to have an open mind and educate yourself about what options you have. Labor hurts, but keep reminding yourself that it doesn't last forever and holding your little bundle makes whatever you decide SO WORTH IT.

As for me I had both IV Meds and the epidural and I think that my daughter was just fine. She was loud and active at birth and scored a 9 on both of her APGAR tests. Having the pain meds really helped me relax as I was in labor for 35 hours.

Keep an open mind, do what you think it best at the time and know that ultimately the most important thing is for you and baby to be happy and healthy! GOOD LUCK!

Jenna - posted on 10/18/2010

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I did it without. It's not for everyone I know. We took a 12 week Bradley class to prepare. If your husband is for natural childbirth he will be the most helpful person to have around. I'd also reccomend Ina Mae Gaskin's book which includes some practical tips and some crazy stories that I don't entirely believe but did balance out some of the horror stories people tell you. Childbirth is difficult with pain medicine without... it's difficult. If you don't have complications and you want to do it you probably can. I'm happy with the choice I made. A healthy baby is always the outcome you want and even if you end up with drugs a c-section or an epidural you'll probably have a healthy baby.

Ricky - posted on 10/18/2010

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If you do decide you are going to take pain medications look into the hospitals policies regarding epiderals. I know a few moms who had them in different hospitals and some were not allowed to hold there babies until they could move there feet, which took a couple to 4 hours. Others who had the epi were allowed to hold their babies right away. So that is a something important to look into.

* just do what feels right for you and your baby.

Rachel - posted on 10/18/2010

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Okay, I am one of those women who will honestly tell you that it doesn't hurt as bad as you think its going to. It's definitely painful, but the pain builds up over hours so your body adjusts. It's not like you're fine one second, then in agony the next. For me, the only part that was very, very painful was when the baby was "crowning", and that part is over in a matter of a couple minutes.

Rebecca - posted on 10/18/2010

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I had the epidural with Lydia and it sucked, but didn't slow down my labor. I couldn't feel a thing and had to be told when my contractions where happening so I could push. I still couldn't feel my legs three hours afterwards, I couldn't even tell if I needed to go to the bathroom so would just randomly tell the nurse I needed too so I wouldn't wet the bed. My back was sore for a few days and I still have a tiny scar where they did it that twinges ever so often. I have talked to many of my friends about how there deliveries went, some who had epidurals, some who used the meds, and some who went amazon. In general they loved the epidural except for a few who had similar experiences as me, the ones that used pain meds said that they stop them when you get close to delivery so it doesn't mess with the baby and they still felt the most painful part unaided, and the amazon women who just did it said that the pain is terrible and and intense, but is completely forgotten when they held their baby for the first time. They say that it definitely hurts and anyone who tells you different is a liar, but it hasn't been enough for women to stop having babies for all of human existence. No matter what you decide to do that day will be fine because at the end of it all you will have your baby and the worry that you have right now will seem unimportant to you.

Christine - posted on 10/18/2010

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It all depends on your pain tolerance. If you think you can do it then try it. If it doesn't work out they can still give you medication if you decide at the last minute. Also, try taking some classes that help with breathing techniques.

Letitia - posted on 10/18/2010

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I had to be induced had the iv and petherdine and gas and air had my baby girl at 13.56pm and was home by 8.30pm the same day there was no way i was staying in the hospital another day ,,, 2 me i wasnt scared of giving birth 5 hur 23 min in labour, i was scared of staying in hospital like i did the night befor i was induced u see i really hate hospitals ,

Nicky - posted on 10/18/2010

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The best thing about this is you don't have to decide until you are in labor! I decided I did not want an epidural, my fear of needles greatly outweighs my threshold for pain! I chose to use demoral when I was about 7 cm along. It worked for me. My son had no side effects from it and came out perfectly healthy. It helped me get through the worst part of labor and was worn off by the time I had to deliver so that I knew when to push. I recommend leaving your birth plan flexible. Only you will know if you need something to help you handle the pain. If it gets to be too much, go ahead and try something for it. There's no reason to feel guilty for using something.

Rachel - posted on 10/18/2010

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Yes, supposedly, induction makes your contractions unnaturally strong and painful. Induction (and epidurals) also lead to more c-sections and other interventions, so avoid being induced if possible. Also, as someone else mentioned, if you go into labor thinking that drugs are an option, you're more likely to give in. That's exactly why I chose a midwife/ birthing center over a doctor/hospital. I knew that drugs would not be an option so I wouldn't be able to cave in. And for me, there was no screaming, cussing, crying... I just layed my head on my arms, held my husbands hands and breathed and focused through every contraction. I knew it was for a good cause and could only last so long. I am so glad that I listened to my instincts.

Lisa - posted on 10/18/2010

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I gave birth to my son with no drugs. I was set on not having drugs, though in the middle I almost gave in. Yes it is painful, but it can be done without drugs. I am glad I did it without drugs, though to be honest not sure if I will do it again without an epidural. I was induced and have been told it labour is worse when induced, though since I have only have the one experience to pull from. My husband supported my choice to not have drugs, though during labour he wanted me too (though he never said so). You have time to think about it, so you dont need to decide now. Yes labour is painful but you can do it without drugs if you want to!

Chelsea - posted on 10/18/2010

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I was in labor with my son for 28 hours. I had a natural, unmedicated labor and birth.

If it's what you really want, you need to do your reasearch and start preparing now. Natural childbirth is not easy! If you say you're going to keep your options open, you'll most likely cave. You have to have a very strong mindset. I like the quote "Do or do not, there is no try." -Yoda :)

As for the fear of pain, ask yourself why. Why are you afraid of pain that is happening for a purpose, you won't die from it. It has a beginning and an end and it's happening because it's supposed to happen. Another quote that is highly motivational: "Your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you."

I would recommend watching The Business of Being Born. It's fantastic! Read lots of positive natural birth stories, too, and join a natural childbirth support forum.

You can do this, and you were made to do this.

Good luck!

Sara - posted on 10/18/2010

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I had both my sons without epidural or pain medication and I had a quick labor with both of them (In total only 8 hours for 2 children). It was painful and intense but well worth it. I found the thing that helped the most was sitting in a hot bath and just relaxing between contractions. but hot water did seem to help make the contractions less painful and I thing also helped to speed up the process. also after you have your baby in your arms the small amount of pain to birth them seems so minor it doesnt even matter anymore.

Tracy - posted on 10/18/2010

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Hey Amanda. I'm 23, I have a son called michael who has just turned 3. I had a completely natural birth with him and am so glad i did. I knew from the start that i didnt want any medication and had the midwife write it in my notes. I wanted a water birth and no medication at all. i didnt manage to get the birthing pool but i did go without the epidural etc. I did try the gas and air but it made me sick straight away so i ended up bitig the mouthpiece off and just biting down on it. My son was lying back to back so was the wrong way round and had started turning during the labour which made it more painful fo me but i just kept thinking that it would be over soon and that it was better for both me and him and got through it. I have friends who have had c-sections and friends who went through 48 hrs labour with no medication and also friends who decided the minute they went into labour that they wanted/need an epidural. everyone is different. good luck :)

Miki - posted on 10/18/2010

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OK first, your husband has NO say in this. He has NO idea what you're going to have to go through, it will be completely incomprehensible to him. My husband made the mistake about a week after I had my son of saying he didn't think labor must have hurt too awfully bad because I didn't cry. I nearly killed him.

That being said I understand where you're coming from. I didn't want an epidural, either. Not for any logical reason, just the idea of a needle being IN MY SPINE. Not for me. lol I had really wanted to have a "natural" labor, but even before hand knew that it would be extremely hard. So, I decided that if I got halfway through and wanted the pain meds, I would go for it. I ended up being induced so my baby was monitered the entire time and after I did decide to have pain meds I can tell you my baby was hardly affected at all according to the moniters. And afterwards all his APGAR scores were very good, 10s and 9s.

It will be all up to you and the unique labor you experience, which I know is really not helpful, but that's the way it goes.

[deleted account]

I had my son without any pain meds and it was fine. I used self-hypnosis and breathing techniques during labor. I did not want to use any drugs but I was opened to the possibility of needing it. I practiced self-hypnosis throughout half of my pregnancy and everything went very well when it was time for labor. Just keep your avenues open and research self-hypnosis which could help you.

Emma - posted on 10/18/2010

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god i think the epidural is one of the best things invented! i got induced and i managed till i got to a stage where the contractions were literally on top of each other with no break in between therefore i could take it no more and had an epidural, i would have one again, i think if you have a headach you take paracetamol so if you have labour pain why not take the pain meds if you cant cope and you need it! just decide on the day your in labour and see how you feel you can manage then! good luck! :)

Sarah-Anne - posted on 10/18/2010

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I have a 19 month old daughter, and i am allergic to narcotics, so that pretty much killed all pain meds i could have. after 25 hours of being induced and not dilating, i had an epidural with just the numbing stuff. They increased my pitocin and i finally started dilating. however the epidural made me sick, so i spent the next 13 hours throwing up yellow goo, including the 3hr 50min of pushing. The numbing agent made me lose feeling from my shoulder blades to toes in the back, but only from upper legs down in the front. so while my back labor was relieved, i felt every millimeter of her coming out. i also never felt any contractions, in the muscle contracting and relaxing aspect. my legs kept falling off bed, and i couldn't get them back up. I also didn't want to eat anything for about 72 hours because i felt so sick. i;m not going to say it was worth every minute of it or not. i wouldn't not want to have my daughter, but i know i wouldn't have gone thru with it if given a do over. I am done having kids. tubes will be getting tied as soon as insurance benefit year rolls over. i planned on nothing but the local injection during delivery, but unfortunately that didn't happen. i also had a very crappy pregnancy, 24/7 morning sickness from week 6 thru delivery. everyone always says you forget the pain and will want to do it again and again, i have yet to forget the pain. the only advise i have is to have a plan, make sure everyone (nurses, doctors etc) knows the plan, but keep an open mind about having to change the plan.

Sarah - posted on 10/18/2010

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I had a 19 hr labour without drugs, it really is weird when u start to do it u just know its what you have to do. I myself was worried about having epidurals and all that but if the pain does get unbearable or for medical reasons have it, its why its there. I just kept telling myself manup n do this but honestly if it had been an hr longer i dnt know if i could of done it lol and would of been screaming for the drugs..... I guess u wont know till it all starts you never know it could all be over in a hr ah the joys of labour :)

Nikki - posted on 10/17/2010

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my epidural didnt work neither did the pain meds , I had back labor and I can tell it it was extremely painful, I felt everything, but I got through it and I stayed focused and took the best advice I had ever gotten and kept my eye on the prize.......... EVERY OUNCE OF PAIN WAS WORTH IT!!! To be able to hold my son in my arms and be able to experience such love immediatley. You forget about everything the second they are born, because its doesnt matter, you did it for your child , and I will do it all over again, but I will still try and epidural again.

[deleted account]

I was 24 when I had my baby. I got an epidural and it didnt work. I ended up getting 3 epidurals and none of them worked. My left leg went numb for 20 minutes. I was in labor for 15 hours. It was very painful! I was like the lady in the movies yelling and cursing at everyone. I did not want to do IV drugs because of the side effects it has on the baby and my doctor told me not to do it because the baby would be sedated when delivered. I didnt want my little angel coming into the world on drugs! I think an epidural is a good thing, as long as it works. But, I can tell you that you can endure the pain of having your baby without one. You may feel like you are dying, but you can handle it! Our tolerance for pain is high, especially as young as you are. You can handle it! I lived through it and it makes a funny story to tell. :)

Rachel - posted on 10/17/2010

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When I was pregnant with my son I also did not want an epidural. I was 22, but I educated myself as much as I could about the pros and cons of a natural birth. I felt that pain meds were not healthy for the baby, not healthy for me, and would slow down my labor. I felt like I wouldn't have enough support if I chose to have a doctor, so I chose a midwife instead. I also chose to deliver at a birthing center instead of a hospital. So, I knew that drugs would not be an option. My family and friends doubted my decision, but I knew it was the right one for me. And my midwifes turned out to be amazing. They supported every decision I made, offered me choices, educated me on the pros and cons of every test throughout my pregnancy. They really were an amazing support system. When I went into labor the midwifes filled up the tub and I jumped in. It seriously cut the pain in half. I did not want to get out at all! My labor went quickly and I delivered after about 8 hours. The first 5 hours or so the pain was easily manageable. The last few hours I really had to focus on breathing through every contraction. The last 20 minutes or so (pushing) was definitely the most painful, but it was all forgotten the second my son was out. I never got out of the tub, so I ended up having a water birth. I knew it was an option, but I hadn't decided one way or another. The water just turned out to be such a great form or pain relief that I couldn't force myself to get out of the tub. If I could change one thing, I wouldn't have let my midwife break my water. It may speed things up, but it makes the pain increase. Also, after I gave birth I stood up, walked to the bed, nursed my perfectly alert baby... and felt great. I went home two hours later and there was basically no recovery time. I did tear (and had to get stitched up) delivering him, but aside from that I felt good. if you have enough support you can do it. I tell people all the time that my birth experience was a great one. I'll never do it differently. It is painful, but it can only last so long, and then the pain is gone and replaced with the most wonderful thing you can imagine. You can do it! Don't let anyone scare you into thinking you can't.

Nikki - posted on 10/17/2010

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i have 4 kids 10,6,2,and 1 for the first i had no time for meds she was out while the nurse was getting me undressed for my only boy the 6 y/o i was in labor for 4 days and could not relax i was vomiting and hadn't eaten and was so frusterated. after fighting to not have meds i finally told the to get the epidural and it was the right choice for then. i could relax and her was out in 15 minutes after i had it. i had feeling on the left side so i didn't miss all the pain but i could finally relax. i did have a bad anist....? and he forget to tell me he was going to poke me and i moved and for the first 4 month i couldn't carry my son and still have nerve pain but just tell them to let you know before they poke lol. my 3rd i had to be induced and it was a harder labor but i made it through with nothing and did fine. the last one i had to be induced again and chose to have the epidural again (she decided to wait for her aunt to show up and came in to the world at 3 am so i was tired) this time it went much better no after pain and the next morning i was fine. i found that each birth is different and you will know what you want when you get there and it is time good luck!!!

Kristy - posted on 10/17/2010

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I planned to have an epidural when I had my baby in March, throughout the whole pregnancy I was convinced that I would have whatever drugs they were prepared to give me. My whole labour was only an hour and a half, so I didn't have time for any pain relief. I'll be honest, it hurts like hell. On a scale of 1 to 10 the pain (for me) was about a million. I also found the actual pushing worse than the contractions.

Ultimately, the decision is upto you, I do think now that because I had no drugs she came out a lot faster because I knew exactly how hard it was to push. Talk to your midwife and discuss options, have you thought about having gas to take the ease off the contractions? Anyway,don't stress about it yet.. your plans may go out the window like mine did when you go into labour.

Bonnie - posted on 10/17/2010

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Hi, I have 2 boys. I had an epidural with both labours. My first I was in labour for a little over 9 hours and my second I was in labour for 4 hours and had really bad back labour. To be honest, I found that the epidural helped me to relax a great deal. I have been told numerous times that because you are relaxed once you have the epidural, your labour actually progresses faster.

Ricky - posted on 10/17/2010

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You can have a flexible birthing plan, that is what I had. I wanted to try natural but the pain was too much for me that I ended up using demerol (the iv medication). Demerol didn't seem to effect my son, he came out a screaming healthy baby with the apgar score of 9.2 than 9.5. Dont let others pressure you into doing what you dont want to do. You can also ask for and learn other pain dealing methods like the bath, birthing ball etc...

When I took the IV I waited as long as I could handle between doses. So if I thought there was a chance I could handle the contraction with out it I asked to wait until the next contraction to have the next dose.

Look into and learn about all the different pain medications before you go into labour that way if you opt to take them while in labour your not completely clueless about them and their effects they have on you and your baby.

Jackie - posted on 10/17/2010

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I've had 2 babies myself. My first was all natural without pain meds or an epidural. I will say that the contractions are harder than the actual delivery is. We're all scared the first time but women have been having babies for thousands of years now. By the time you get to the point you can even have an epidural the hardest part is already over. Yes labor and delivery are painfull but your best bet is to not take the epidural. Theres a chance for paralysis if not correctly done or if you jerk while the needles in your spine. You can opt to not have pain meds but if you feel you cant take it then you can ask for them in your IV later. My second child was induced since he didnt want to be born and that was the hardest of my two deliveries. My daughter was 17 1/2 hours of labor and my son was 8 1/2 hours of labor. The strange thing is that once you hold your little bundle its like you forget about the pain. Its like youre just week instead of hurting. My advice to you though is to get up and walk within hours of delivery and keep active while youre healing. This actually makes it easier to heal. With my first child I didnt do that and it took me almost 2 weeks to feel better. With my son I was up and walking about 4 hours later and felt like myself within a few days.

Pamela - posted on 10/17/2010

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I have 2 little girls (one is 6 and the other is 3), with my first I had an epidurl. The second time around, I didn't. Honestly, I'm glad I didn't have an epidurl the second time around, I just felt so much better the day after my daughter was born. When my first was born, I couldn't even feel myself push bc I was numb. The next day I could barely walk, and my back was killing me. With my second, I was terrified but it wasn't as nearly as bad as what people were saying (of course everyone's labor is different). If this is something you would prefer trying, then I say do so. I believe that women can handle childbirth without pain medication, if you control your thoughts and realize you can do it. It is alot better for you and your baby, and afterwards you will be grateful with your decision. Good luck, I hope everything works out well for you.

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