Reader Question:

A reader asks:  I am due on the 28th April so don’t have that long to go now. It’s our 2nd baby and 1st time round, the epidural didn’t work at all and so I gave birth naturally. I don’t think it was that bad but quite painful from what I remember. I am however worried that the same thing is going to happen again! has anyone else experienced this? thanks.

Responses:

  1. My epidural failed with my second and now thinking back I wish I hadn’t bothered having it as I wasn’t allowed to move into the position I wanted (on all fours) and because I’d had the epidural I was kept in overnight, had I not I would have been gone the same afternoon and comfy in my own bed, not having to listen to the woman opposite snoring while her baby cried!
    If you coped the first time I would seriously consider going with the flow and sticking with gas and air. Good luck xx

    2. I would 100% recommend a tens machine and gas and air! I’ve had 5 kids 3 of them I had pethidine, 1 was emergency C-section and last baby I had tens machine and gas and air! It was my best labour! I could do what I wanted was fully in control and my baby came out fully aware of his surroundings and screaming he was born at 34 weeks so I didn’t want anything that could have made him sleepy as needed Him awake and breathing! Wish I had done this with them all now… do what u feel is best at the time good luck and enjoy

    3. I had both of mine like I am sitting here now. I found it only really got properly painful when he was first coming, my contractions hurt but no worse than bad period pain which I could endure. I never even got the chance to be offered a tic tac with moth of my labours. Lol

    4. If you did it first time maybe consider gas and air. I had it with my 2 and it certainly helped with breathing throughout and made me feel a bit drunk.

    5. Just because it didn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it won’t the second. My first epidural didn’t work but it did for my other births so try not to worry.

    6. That must be awful!! Expecting a relief from the pain and then it not working. I’m so sorry that happened to you! However, you now know you absolutely can give birth without pain relief. And in my personal experience, a med-free birth is far easier than a medicated one. I found pain meds to slow down the labour, make me too tired to push efficiently and caused the baby to come out drowsy and unable to nurse successfully right away. Why not give it a go with gas and air? Then if you absolutely do need it, you can still ask. But you’re not let down by the expectation Vs reality.

    7. I had the same problem on my first and second baby so I just went for gas n air for the others , they actually came quicker as I could stand and let gravity help, I would just see how you feel at the time but if you did it before chances are you’ll be fine with bit of gas n air, I found a long bath and bouncing on birthing ball helped loads! Good luck.

    8. Work your way up. I got to 6cm with my youngest without even taking paracetamol and got her out at 9cm on gas and air. It wasn’t a walk in the park, but I was home just over 12 hours later rather than being kept in. It does make a difference how the baby is lying – my eldest was spine to spine and that… hurts. You can always go for the epidural later if you’re struggling.