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Question
Posted by: anon | 2011/01/19

scare of labor

i am 7 months pregnant and terrified of the labor - i had my daughter in a government hospital and was not given anything for the the pain - i thought i was dying - this time round i am having my baby in a private hospital - i heard the epidural does not work for lots of people - is this true and what else can i take for the pain of labor

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

Epidurals work well for the majority of people. It is the best form of pain relief.
Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: gynaedoc | 2011/01/24

Epidurals work well for the majority of people. It is the best form of pain relief.
Best wishes

Reply to gynaedoc
Posted by: Purple | 2011/01/20

Sorry, forgot to add that at antenatal classes they will teach you about staying upright during labour to help with the pain, make your labour shorter and use gravity to help. About going to the toilet regularly as a full bladder increases the feeling of pain, about using massage or a shower head on your back to help with the pain, about entenox (gas and air), atterax (to relax you) and pethidene (to make you vomit and not help with the pain) and other drugs you can try before trying an epidural if you want to, about breathing techniques to help you focus during a contraction and not to panic (which sounds like is what happened to you at the government hospital).
There are also things like sitting on a birth ball if you don''t feel like walking around, but to remain upright, you can also hire a TENS machine.

Book for ante-natal classes, they will explain all of this there and you will go into the birth so much more confident and less afraid.

Also, if you hire a doula to be with you during labour, she will help you cope and make it a less frightening experience.

However, if you do want an epidural, speak to your gynae about it while you are still pregnant and put that in your birth plan, and then as soon as you are dilated past about 4cm you can have one straight away. You might have one or two contractions before its fully effective as it takes about ten minutes before its fully effective.

Or you can just ask for an elective c-section, but then remember that you will have weeks of severe pain afterwards as you recover from the surgery, so it is the more painful option (according to everyone I know who has had both a natural birth and a c-section - they all say the c-section was by far more painful, though for some of them it was life saving to them or their babies or both, so they are still glad they had that option).

Also, labour is a lot quicker with a second baby, so no matter what happens, you will not be in labour for nearly as long.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Purple | 2011/01/20

Going to antenatal classes will be really helpful as it eases a lot of anxiety.

Epidurals are beuatifully effective for most people. It''s only in a very small minority that they don''t work properly or only give pain relief to half your body. Personally, I think that is from an unskilled aneasthetist administering the epidural.

Just be aware that in a private hospital, even if you go for a natural birth you are very likely to be told you need a c-section for some half baked reason if it is nearing 5pm and baby hasn''t arrived yet, so just be prepared for that.

Reply to Purple

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