FAQ - Labor Pain
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Constant back pain and mentstrual cramps, could this be the beginning of labor?


I am 36 wks and 5 days pregnant and at my last doctors appt my doctor said that I as 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced and that he thought that I would go into labor soon. And all morning this morning I have had consistent back pain and menstrual like cramps that are radiating into my thighs. I have had small scattered contractions, but nothing real significant and not in any pattern. Does this sound like the beginning of anything or just normal for the end of pregnancy?
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Women who have a high pain tolerance-how did u handle labor pain?


I think I have a pretty high pain tolerance,but I know labor will be a pain that I have never experienced before.I plan to see how I handle the pain before deciding on an epidural.I don't really want one since I won't be able to walk around or anything and plus the needle in the back lol.Just wondering how others handled it,I know every woman is different.Any stories would be great :) I am 33 weeks by the way.
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Congrats!!!
I have a very high pain tolerance, I am good at 'blocking things out'. I had to be induced and about 6 hrs after I was given the potossin (sp), the labor pains started. I was in hard painful labor with my son for 25 hrs before getting an epidural. I was only at 5 cm (took me HOURS to get from 4 to 5) and the thought of another day of that pain was too much to handle. My epidural didn't hurt at ALL and honestly, after being in labor for a day, I didn't want to walk around anyway!
I was open to medication but I wanted to see if I could do it by myself first. If my labor had been faster I 100% believe i could have done it naturally, but there were too many variables and in the end, he was way too big to fit through. That along wiht other medical issues meant did ended up doing an emergency c-section after about 30 hrs.
When the pain would come at first, you can squeeze someones hand, scream, breath, rock, etc- being in the bathrub at the hospital helped me a lot too.
After a while though, nothing helps. I found that I kind of got into a 'zone'. You are so tired and out-of-it that you just manage to find a way to sleep for half a second between contractions.

Give it your best shot and never ask for the medication DURING a contraction- wait until after it passes to make the choice (when you ar a little more clear headed) :)
And whatever you do, do NOT feel guilty if you get medication.
Good luck and God bless!!!!  (+ info)

Which pain medicine worked best for you when you were in labor?


Please be honest. I am due in five more weeks and I don't know which pain medicine will be best for me during labor and delivery. I heard that getting an epidural can give you back problems for the rest of your life and I am confused because I run track and field for my college,but I might not be able to run with such pain.

Please give your best advice and I promise,I will vote your answer as the best.

You also have the option of sharing you8r birth stories for a shot at the points too!

Please help me!
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Every woman experiences different amount of pain and every woman deals with pain differently. So hard to say how your labor is going to be.

Your medication options include IV drugs, Epidural (or spinal) or natural.

IV drugs are good because you will typically already have an IV so the route is already available. The disadvantage is that they they can only be given so frequently but don't last until the next dose can be gien. They also cross the placental membrane so the baby is affected by them and becomes "sleepy." This can be problematic if close to delivery time as the baby can have issues beginning to breath adequaltely after being born.

Epidurals, despite public concern, are very safe. Most people experience significant reduction in the amount of uterine pain experienced. No medication can relieve the discomfort of pressure. The main and known side effect is a drop in blood pressure following administration. This can and should be countered by a bolus (rapid infusion) of IV fluid prior to dosing the epidural. The drop in blood pressure can decrease the amount of blood (and hence oxygen) delivered to the baby (that's bad). Spinal headaches would be the next most common side effect. That would be the worst headache of your life, occurring 24 hours after delivery. It is treatable with cafeine and a blood patch. I on't know national statistics but my experience is seeing about 3-4 of mypatients per year with this problem. Lower back pain is typically attributable to the labor and birth process, not the epidural. Epidurals are very safe, unless you move around while the epidural needle is being placed. The smart anesthesia provider will not do an epidural (or spinal) on someone that is not able to cooperate. Patient movement during procedure is biggest risk factor for injury.

I would reccommend you make the decision for yourself. Everyone has different experiences. What works for one person may not be best for you. Best of luck.  (+ info)

How can you tell the difference between real labor pain and pre-labor pain?


My girlfriend is 8 months pregnant and is experiencing the pre-labor pains referred to as Braxton Hicks. How do you distinguish the real pains from the "fake" ones to know when to go into the ER for delivery?
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to be honest everyone says they feel different but mine were pretty much the same amount of pain just more consistant and did not go away... every woman is different!  (+ info)

Can I get pain meds while in labor if I'm a high risk pregnancy?


I'm 38 weeks pregnant and I'm going to be induced this week. I'm considered high risk because I've a miscarriage, stillborn, and I have ulcertive colitis but I haven't had any problems during this pregnancy, can I still get pain medicine while I'm in labor?
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It is hard to know for sure whether or not you would be able to get an epidural, but chances are is if you are high-risk they would probably not advise it. The best thing however, is to ask your doctor about it.  (+ info)

Do you believe labor pain is worse for some woman?


Hi girls.

I was just curious. During my labor I actually nearly passed out with the pain and believed I was actually going to die it was just unbearable even WITH the epidural and yet some woman can have a totally drug free labor? How does that work? I know I was induced, but still i had the epidural but didn't experiance the ''bliss'' everybody goes on about. I actually believe the drug wasnt strong enough.

Do you think some woman get worse pains then others?
Just bored and curious!
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when you went into labor did the pain start gradually or full blown?


and i was wondering if anyone knew that soaking in a hot tub would increase labor pains?
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Labor usually starts off gradual. Soaking in a hot bath would help ease the pains of labor but it wouldn't increase them.  (+ info)

What would you rate your labor pain as?


I have heard that labor is extremlly painful , i would like to ask everyone , what there labor pain was rated as 1 being the lowest pain 5 being moderate pain , and 10 being the worst pain ever!
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When the nurse asked me to rate my labor pain, I was surprised, I wasn't thinking "ouch this hurts" at all. I was in the mama-in-labor-la-la-land, sending happy thoughts to my baby, telling my body to relax so that I could open up, all that stuff. I was so focused. Its a cool place to be. I told the nurse 2 although I was thinking that the discomfort didn't categorize as pain. I've had four natural births and I think the sensation reminds me of the pain of lifting weights, lots of exertion, focus required, if you do too many repetitions you get tired and sore. To prove its not just a high tolerance to pain, I've passed 3 gallstones all within weeks of having babies those are a 10!!! I've had cramps with periods that were way painful and dry socket after wisdom teeth surgery was very painful those were 8. With my last birth I did have three painful contractions where the baby was pressing against my back, I knelt down to move the baby and then I was fine again. (You can learn how to move babies in labor from books or childbirth educators)  (+ info)

Do labor contractions feel similar to the pain of a Charlie horse?


I had a Charlie horse this morning and it was almost unbearable. Is the pain of a Charlie horse similar to a contraction?
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it depends on how far along in labor you are, or how bad your charlie horse is, lol. (Sorry had to add a little humor). I have one son and another on the way any day now and from my son it had gotten intense when I walked. The hospital wouldn't admit me until I was 4cm and I was stretching 3cm so they had us go walk. We went to Barnes and Noble and it was like every few steps I was holding onto a shelf in pain. My husband told me people were looking at me like I was about to have the baby right there. We had also went and got something to eat since it was still early and I had a hard time doing that too. So answering your question, it hurts as you get further along in labor.  (+ info)

What are your experiences with not taking pain relievers during your labor and delivery?


I'm pregnant and will be expecting my first child in August. I've made the final decision to not take any sort of drug or pain reliever through out the birth of my baby.

What are your experiences with having a drug-free delivery? Also if you had taken something for the pain, were your experiences good or bad? Any additional information would be great.

Thanks in advance for sharing your stories.
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With my first child, I had Nubain (narcotic) through IV. I was so immensely doped up I could not keep my eyes open, and I remember very little of my labor because of the stuporous haze. When my daughter was born, she had respiratory depression and needed extra care in the Level II nursery. As a teenager, she developed a seizure disorder, which although I could never prove is related to her condition at birth, it is quite likely that she was oxygen deprived resulting in brain injury which has left her as an epileptic.

With my second, I had an epidural. It was a fast labor and did not have time to work, not at all. I felt everything and it was a "waste". Fortunately, as I said, it was a fast labor. But nobody told me ahead of time that sometimes epidurals simply do not work. I wish I had known so I could have a backup plan.

With my third and final baby, I chose a Certified Nurse Midwife and had an all natural delivery. I was scared, it hurt, but I did it, and I am SO glad I did. Pain is a mental game. If you frame your mind to accept the process, to understand that you are not "in pain" constantly for many hours but rather in tiny 1 minute intervals, it is easier to handle. We as humans / women can deal with A LOT more than we give ourselves credit for, especially in 1 minute increments. It involves a lot of positive self-talk and a good labor coach to keep you focused on the goal. And I have to say, the personal satisfaction of realizing my own power, trusting my body, etc., made it so much more emotionally satisfying.

Medicated births are inherently more dangerous for mother and child. They interfere with the natural hormone cascade after birth which facilitates bonding, pain control, and milk production, among other things.There are significant risks as well. Obviously the medical community deems those risks small enough to offer the woman the choice, but they are very real.

Having said all that, it's a personal choice. I don't think anyone should go into labor with hard and fast "rules" about what they will or will not do. There are some instances where epidurals or pain meds are beneficial and necessary. I've seen women laboring naturally in early labor for days, then switch to active labor but they are so exhausted their labor stalls at like 4-5 cm. Give them an epidural and an hour of sleep and they wake up completely dilated - sometimes it's downright miraculous how wonderful it can be in the appropriate circumstance. So while a natural labor sounds great, after 3 days of laboring and no sleep you might find yourself in that same position and chose otherwise.

Good luck with your decision.  (+ info)

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