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any advice from mums about pain relief?

I'm a first time mum to be and have been reading up on pain relief, I was determined to have an epidural if I could but I've now read it can make you stop feeling your contractions and the midwife will have to advise you when to push and sometimes forceps may need to be used. if I'm honest I'm terrified of giving birth and the pain as I have a very low pain threshold!! any advice from ppl who have already done it? thanks :)

9 Replies

hi i was like you on my first birth it is scary the not knowing how you are going to cope! i had gas and air and pethadine i never wanted an epidural, my other 2 were just gas and air and that's all i Want for my fourth! Not going to lie it does hurt but you soon forget! I wouldn't of had anymore than 1 if it was that bad! Just think of the positive to come out of it! Ps I've got low pain threshold normally!


Everyone keeps saying to me think of the positive to come out of it all an that's is the bit I can't wait for but the thought of the pain at the mo is really taking over my thoughts! :(

Ppl have told me Pethadine can make you sick and drowsy, but as much as I'd like to have as little intervention as possible I know for me that probably isn't the reality due to me being such a girl lol!! Is there like a certain point u can't have Pethadine like with an epidural if Ur more than so many cm's dilated you can't have the epidural?


The best thing to do is to read up on the different pain relief available to you, know the pros and cons and from there decide what's best for you and your baby and make a birthing plan. Personnally with my first labour I only wanted to have gas and air initially, but when I actually went into labour it went on for so long and wasn't progressing as I hoped so ended up having some pethidine. The only downside to that was that it made me drowsy and since I hadn't slept in over 24h I ended falling asleep which in turn lead to my contractions slowing down and my baby changing position so in the end I had a forceps delivery. But that's me. I didn't want diamorphine because it affects the baby and epidurals carry their own risks (a friend was not able to feel her legs for a week after having one and had to stay in hospital). And as redlz said it does hurt but you do forget. I am know 21 weeks pregnant with my second, I am not looking forward to the labour but I am hoping that this time I'll be able to stick to gas and air ( Fingers crossed). Good luck to you.


Thank you for your advice I would like to see if I could get through with as little as possible I want it to be seemingly pain free (haha) but natural too, gonna continue reading up on my options :)


I had Pethadine & gas and air with my first. I would deffiantly recommend Pethadine. I had paracetmol and gas & air on my second, super ouch as he was nearly 9lbs. Wish I would have asked for Pethadine now. It just makes you feel away with the fairies, i kept on apologising to the midwife and I was positve the student was trying to hit on my husband but he said I was being ridiculous lol:-)


I had just gas and air with my first but my labour was only 7 hours and for 4 of them I slept I cope ok with some pain but soon as I got to a point where labour was established I had a few moments where I cried not sure on how I'm gonna cope but then just thought I'm the only one to get the baby out so just delt with it but you might make a birth plan and wen it comes to it cope fine. Good luck with baby x


I'd ask about how the epidural is delivered. I've just had my 3rd one and they were all different. The first and second were nurse controlled, the third was patient controlled like a morphene pump that delivers just enough to get you through 10 mins and you can't overdose. The first, the nurse turned off the pain relief so that it wore off in time to push. The second, the nurse lowered it so I could feel some pushing, but not incredible pain. The last one, I didn't stop using it in time so I couldnt feel much but was told to push so I did and out he came!

There were some up sides and down sides. The first 2 were a steady flow of pain relief. They were long labours, but I was able to rest and nod off because there was little pain and I was well throughout. I had 2 big babies and I was induced for the first one and the pains HURT LIKE HELL so I was glad to get the pain relief!!! They were both bearable though and the second one was pretty easy really.

The third was horrible. I was sick with every big contraction for about 12 hours, I was laid to one side because I was being sick, so the pain relief only went down one side and therefore one side was as dead as a doornail and wouldn't wake up even when I stopped pressing the button The nurse forgot to tell me to stop pressing, but I was so shattered because I'd had no sleep for 2 days that I really didn't know what was going on.

If I was to do it all again, I would still probably have the same, although I think this time I would talk to my husband more and make sure he stood up for me when I couldn't. I think you have to be flexible in what you want just so you have the comfort of knowing you can change your mind on the day if you feel you need to. I can't tell you how valuable having someone who knows "the plan" is though - I didn't need it the first times, but my goodness I wish I'd drilled him better fgor the third! Best of luck with the labour x


Thanks everyone for your advice, think I'm gonna have a little read more about them all and speak to my midwife and hopefully come to a decision in my head but I suppose nothing will set in stone till I'm actually doing it :) thank you all


Don't think a pain threshold is any thing to go off!

My sister in law very dramatic and mardy, like faint at bloods being taken.

1st Labour 12hrs- got to 8 cm no pain relief, baby was corkscrewing so she wanted petadine made her dosey, I think she would have got him out sooner if she hadn't had it. Baby 8 lb 8oz.

2nd about 4 hrs water birth no pain relief baby 9lb 4oz

3rd ambulance called baby deliverer on ambulance stretcher going up in the lift at hospital no pain relief.

Was at 1st 2 delivery so know this is a fact, 3rd too fast to b able to attend.

Me il take any ' pain ' tattoos, piercing, bloods no problem ! I didn't want an epidural going in to have my son, I had gas and air, diamorphine and was going to get an epidural but he had decelerations so ended up an emergency c section after about 12 hrs solid labour ( a couple of days on and off ). My waters went naturally but contractions faded so was on patocin to make then stronger, baby in Labour went back to back and was distressed, actually pooed inside and had an infection when born which mentioned an extra 2 days in hospital.

So my advice is go with the flow and don't rule anything out, be open minded, you may very well cope with labour so don't jump in a presume u want an epidural but if you feel you want 1 as Labour progreses then have 1.

As long as you get a beautifully healthy baby at the end that's all that matters.

Good luck.


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