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Epidural or Drug Free Delivery?

  1. #1
    SophieHK is offline Registered User
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    Epidural or Drug Free Delivery?

    Hello ladies,
    Sorry if this has been discussed before, I have checked many threads but cannot find the answers I am looking for..
    I will delliver my 1st baby in September in Adventist, I'm so nervous about the delivery process and I cannot decide between epidural or drug free delivery. Please advise me, tell me more about your experiences!!
    I am with Dc Joe Chan and he seems to think epidural is great but I think I can take it with no medication. Is it really sooooo painful without epidural?
    I also heard about the hypnobirthing but I'm not quite sure what that means exactly.
    I hope you can help me out by sharing your experiences. Thanks in advance!
    Sophie

  2. #2
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Every woman is so different... so is the pain. Some delivery pain can be in the lower back, some around the belly, some higher in the back... Your delivery can happen so fast that you won't have time for the epidural, also it can last for hours and hours and you won't be able to endure it anymore !... That's my opinion, but I think you'll be able to decide only when it happens, and see what you are able to endure or not.
    I had an epidural after a few contractions, happy to know how it felt, but not sure it's worth being in pain for too long, and the epidural effects stopped half an hour before the birth, so I could really push and feel my baby coming down, which was perfect !
    About the hypnobirthing, didn't do it personally, but a few friends who did it didn't really have time to "practise" at the last moment... so I have no good examples there.
    Good luck, and congratulations ! :D

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    really, i would suggest not "deciding" until you are in the situation. you have no idea what to expect (especially since this is your first) and no one can help or know what it feels like FOR YOU. i would keep an open mind about all things. sure, think about your preferences, but keep an open mind as anything can happen.

    personally, i would want all the drugs they could give me without doing the baby any harm. as it was though, i had two c-sections. the first was an emergency and necessary as i had developed pre-eclampsia. the second was not an emergency but due to other complications it was necessary for me to be under general anesthesia (completely asleep).

    i have heard stories of women who "decide" what they want and are so upset when it doesn't happen for them that they don't bond with the baby because they feel like a failure.

  4. #4
    sherwes is offline Registered User
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    Hi SophieHK,
    I have also been thinking about this issue (I am due in 4 weeks). For my first baby I had an elective c-section so had no pain at all so can't help you from experience sorry!

    To help me understand the options I went to see one of the staff at Annerley (I will PM you with her name). She was lovely and explained all of the pain relief options to me. I would highly recommend an appointment with her. The best piece of advice she gave me was that I should understand my options but not make a decision before time. She suggested that I just see how I go and not have any preconcieved ideas. She pointed out that there are so many different experiences of pain during childbirth. Some women find that it is not that bad (and are lucky to have quick labours) and some women labour for a long time and find it very painful. You will only be able to decide if you want pain relief once you are in the situation.

    For my part I will probably end up doing what Frenchy did. For me the ideal is not to have any pain during most of labour but to taper the epi off near the end so that I can feel more (and hopefully push more effectively).

    If you want to know about Hypnobirthing, Annerley offer courses. A friend of mine did it and gave birth with no pain relief. She found the whole thing to be a very positive experience (although she said it did hurt and it was her third vaginal birth!).

    I think that the key is to be flexible so that you won't be disappointed if things don't go as planned. In the end the aim is to have a healthy baby no matter what the birth experience is!

  5. #5
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    Hi, I agree with everyone above - each person is different and has varying pain thresholds and labours.

    For me, I have had 2 natural deliveries each with an epidural - I can look back on both as pretty positive birth experiences and whilst not entirely pain free, the drugs made it bearable (I was induced for one, had some contractions, got the pain relief and let it taper off for pushing. The second I went into labour naturally, stayed at home managing the contractions and then had an epidural asap on arrival at the hospital.

    Again for me, I would the pain was pretty bad and I couldn't imagine doing it with nothing...

    My one condition was no pethedine or anything that would dull my senses as I wanted to be fully aware of what was going on.

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    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    I agree with Carang about not deciding what to do until you are in the situation. I decided what I wanted and then everything completely changed once I was in labour. I ended up having to be induced and that brought contractions on strong and hard and quite frankly, I just couldn`t take it. I ended up having a c-section.
    I am so impressed with the women who have had a drug free birth because I don`t think I could have done it, and from my first experience with that pain, there`s no chance that I will try to have a drug free birth for my next one.
    The one complaint I had for the epidural was that it was tooooo short! I started to feel the pain again after only 2-3 hrs. The needle in the spine, which totally put me off wanting an epi, was just fine and interesting feeling, though the contraction that came during it was not.
    It`s amazing that women can make birth plans at all, hehe. My birth was the complete opposite from what I had envisioned and wanted. But at the end of the day, as long as you get a healthy baby from it, it doesn`t really matter how it goes about.

  7. #7
    Suv
    Suv is offline Registered User
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    Hi SophieHK,
    I had a drug free delivery. Exactly per my birth plan. It happens- its not that uncommon, actually. You know how you see only wild/ serious cases stories on Baby/ Delivery Stories on Home and health channels? Normal, vaginal, drug free deliveries never make the cut because they are, frankly.. boring!

    I think I was lucky in a lot of ways- I had no complications, I also had a doc who would not resort to c-sec at any road bump. If she said, time to have c-sec, I know she means it because there is no other way the baby is going to come out. She did suggest I do epidural though. I was quite adamant that I could not decide before anything actually happens. I had no sense of the pain anyway, so why not take it as it comes.

    I also had a lot of support- from the midwives who encouraged me while making sure I was open to whatever circumstance I was presented with; to my husband who was such a fantastic labour coach. pressing my back, making sure I eat, making sure I breathe (I got really upset at one point and told, no, yelled at him to stop telling me to breathe!:) I was able to stay at home with him for almost all night and when I reached the hospital, I was ready for an epidural but also 8 cm dilated!! 2.5 hours later, I had this little person bawling in my hands.

    Like Cara said, don't feel disappointed if it does not go the way you thought about it. the baby is what matters. But if you do do it drug free .... it is quite an incredible journey! I didn't for a sec feel like a superwoman, just really humbled by the birth of this amazing life you are holding on your chest. And although I respect the number of lives modern medicine saves- there is something to be said about doing it as nature intended it. (And btw, this is coming from a person who had to do ivf twice- so believe me when I say medicine does marvelous things)

    First rule of thumb for a natural ie drug free birth is- don't be scared. There is nothing to be scared about. Its not going to last forever.
    Second is to breathe.
    Third is to breathe.
    Fourth and fifth and sixth.... till tenth point is to breathe. breathing relaxes you. It relaxes your cervix. The faster you can relax, faster your dilation will be! Also see if you can have a bath to sit in. I was fully dilated within an hour of sitting in warm water.

    Pm me if you would like to chat. Goodluck!

  8. #8
    Suv
    Suv is offline Registered User
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    Btw, within hours of delivering, my recollection of the labour faded away. If you asked me what it was like, I won't be able to tell you. Women would never have 2nd, 3rd or 4th babies if they ever remembered the pain.

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