To not understand why 'no pain relief' in childbirth is a source of pride?

(353 Posts)
bronya Fri 02-Aug-13 12:31:56

I accept that some people hurt more than others when giving birth, but surely, it's not clever to go without pain relief if you need it? If you want it and can't get it, I feel for you. If you choose one variety over another, that is your choice. Equally, if your body simply doesn't hurt enough to need it, then aren't you lucky!

How is the whole screaming in agony for hours on end, a GOOD thing? I just don't see it. Pain relief is available, why not have it?????

Wuxiapian Fri 02-Aug-13 12:46:02

With DS1, I took every drug offered. It was a horrendous experience and I only have horrific flashbacks about it.

With DS2, I was adamant to do it naturally, with no pain relief. And I did - faltering once or twice and asking for epidural, but I had a brilliant Midwife, who knew that wasn't what I wanted and, all in all, I had a very good birthing experience.

Individual choice, OP.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:46:26

I answered this at length on a similar thread yesterday.

To summarise (on phone so can't cut and paste) :

Some women don't view childbirth as a medical event like having a tooth out or some sort of surgery where you would have anaesthetic. You may not ^ understand^ that, but you don't need to. It's just about accepting it.

The closest analogy I could think of is that of a marathon runner, you push your body to its limits, it's painful but brings a feeling of empowerment. No one has to run a marathon- it's not compulsory- but some people do.

Other people may have strong views about not wanting invasive pain relief which will get into the baby's body and could also lead to further interventions

For some people it's a mixture of the two things above.

My post yesterday was in response to that old chestnut about 'you wouldn't have a tooth out without pain relief so why have a baby ?' That's actually implying that women who have natural births are either morons, or masochosts, or somehow miraculously have pain free births and is as offensive as anyone who says women shouldn't have an epidural or an elective csection

I had my children with minimal pain relief- it hurt like buggery but I am happy with the births I had and felt empowered. And that is not a criticism of any other woman's birth experience.

Does that answer your question OP?

ClaimedByMe Fri 02-Aug-13 12:46:31

I decided that I wouldn't have any meds when I was in labour, I screamed and begged for pain meds when I was in labour, I was refused it as it was way too late, I feel kinda robbed. When I had ds I thought I will ask early enough for pain meds but got to the hospital 6 mins before he was born, robbed again!!

CointreauVersial Fri 02-Aug-13 12:47:04

Coz it means you're well hard, innit? wink

mrslyman Fri 02-Aug-13 12:47:33

I have carried two children to full term and given birth twice. I am amazed and proud of what my body and my mind has coped with during both of these processes (one with drugs and one without for what its worth).

Anyone who wants to judge me for being proud of my individual experiences can fuck the fuck off and when they get there they can fuck off some more.

Wbdn28 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:48:11

YANBU. It's not something to be "proud" of any more than a person who has pain relief has anything to be "ashamed" of.

intheshed Fri 02-Aug-13 12:48:49

There were various reasons why I didn't want any pain relief other than gas and air, and I was very pleased that things went to plan.

But the only thing I was proud of was giving birth, as any woman should be, regardless of the level of drugs and/or interventions. No.matter how you do it, it's bloody hard and bloody amazing!

PoppyAmex Fri 02-Aug-13 12:49:25

The harsh reality is nobody (including your baby) gives a shit about how you choose to manage your birth.

Honest to god, they really don't.

I wish I could spam threads like this with these words.... over and over.

ClaimedByMe Fri 02-Aug-13 12:49:31

Also I was given an episiotomy with no pain relief, just 'i'll have to cut you with the next contraction' 10 years later the feel of cold metal on my skin makes me shudder!

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 02-Aug-13 12:51:01

I love the "running a marathon" analogy. It's the best explanation ever.

oscarwilde Fri 02-Aug-13 12:51:35

Two labours - one that last 2 days with every drug going and finished with a CS; the second lasted a tidy 12 hours with some G&A for about 2 hrs. Had more pain relief after the second labour than during it sad

You take what you need or what you want. The days when we all had to bite down on a stick and get on with it are thankfully over. It's got bugger all to do with your pain threshold and a lot more to do with the size and presentation of the baby.

People who think it is some sort of personal achievement to take all or none of the drugs going are bonkers imo. confused

bragmatic Fri 02-Aug-13 12:52:09

I was quite chuffed with myself. I didn't bang on about it though. In fact, I never even mention it unless asked. Loads of people ask though. It's one of those things when you have twins. It's the question in between "did you have them naturally?" and "did you breastfeed?"

maja00 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:52:29

Wbdn28 - that doesn't make sense. If I say I am proud to have run a marathon, does that mean people who didn't run a marathon should feel ashamed?
Some people might be proud that they breastfed their baby, does that mean people who bottle fed should be ashamed?

Why on earth shouldn't you be proud of doing something difficult? I'm pretty proud of myself for getting through labour full stop.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:53:04

PS I think to actually boast about your birth would be insensitive. But you can't stop people from feeling a sense of achievement - and why should you? I wouldn't tell anyone in real life about my births , unless they asked, and even then I would just give them the facts: that I had a few whiffs of g and a. If they specifically asked 'are you glad that you went without epidural ?' Then I'd answer honestly, yes- I ain't gonna lie! But there's a massive difference between boasting about something and feeling a personal sense of achievement .

PoppyAmex Fri 02-Aug-13 12:54:27

For the love of god; it's something ever single mammal does.

Now raising a human being, supporting them, being a good parent... now there's something to be proud of.

ShoeWhore Fri 02-Aug-13 12:55:34

All drugs come with side effects, don't they? So I suppose every woman has to weigh up the pros and cons of the different options open to them and decide what works for them. for some women some of the options may carry much higher risk which makes them not really a viable option. Everyone is different, that's why we have choices.

I wanted to feel in control and keep as mobile as possible, as I thought that would suit me, so I just went for G&A. I'm pleased I had straightforward deliveries and feel lucky to have had positive experiences as I know it's not always the case. I wouldn't say I'm proud though - there is an element of luck involved after all - can't say I did much different to my friend who had csections tbh!

maja00 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:55:59

Giving birth isn't something every single mammal does - it isn't even something every single woman does. It's hard and painful, why shouldn't you feel proud?

HarderToKidnap Fri 02-Aug-13 12:56:12

I'm not proud of having DS without pain relief cos I just didn't need any. It didn't hurt very much. It would be like being proud of doing the marathon when actually I'd ben helicoptered to the finish line.

However, I think being proud of not having pain relief when labour was hard, and sweaty, and a slog and you tried every technique in the book to avoid pharmaceutical pain relief, is totally valid. Its not everyone's cup of tea and lots of people will think you're bonkers, but that's your personal achievement and you have every right to be proud. Like some people are proud they spotted every plane in the BA fleet or whatever. If it took work and effort, you can be proud of it, whatever it is.

Wuxiapian Fri 02-Aug-13 12:56:37

Didn't make sense to me, either, maja.

Why shouldn't you be proud?! I am very proud that I had such a good, drug-free birthing experience. I certainly don't gloat about it, though.

stopgap Fri 02-Aug-13 12:57:14

I knew few friends who had given birth, and of the two who had epidurals, one lost the use of her left leg for two months afterwards, and the other was given too much medication, leaving her paralysed up to the jaw. Pethidine was a no-go, as I'd had an allergic reaction to that after a kidney operation, so I was terrified of doing the epidural and something going wrong, plus a lifetime of horrendously painful periods gave me the impression that birth would be much like my periods (and it felt exactly the same, and I knew what to do when the pain hit: just quietly zone out and lie on my side).

Personal decision, and I don't think I'm better than anyone else, and I will say that it was medication-free when prompted, but don't otherwise volunteer the information.

Velve Fri 02-Aug-13 12:58:01

Well all types of pain relief, other than paracetamol, available to labouring women makes me puke my guts out (exorcist style). So, if I were to give birth vaginally again, which I won't, I'd be damn proud I had survived without pain relief as I have quite a low pain threshold

maja00 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:58:53

I really think some women need to work on feeling ok about their own choices, then they wouldn't need to feel so defensive about other women's.

"think it's crazy to run 26 miles when you could get the bus, but even I understand why ..." grin

That made me smile (from page 1) - that's all.

Even I'm bored of this thread before it starts, but only because I was on the "Kate's natural labour" one the other day.

That one got quite interesting actually, so good luck with this one !!

ChunkyPickle Fri 02-Aug-13 13:00:00

I had the lot (except weirdly, gas and air), because I needed it I feel no lack of pride in it, but next time I'll skip the morphine (it did nothing for me) and I'll see how I go on everything else because I've recently had dental treatment with no anaesthetic and discovered how wonderful it is to walk out of the clinic feeling just as good as when you went in, rather than the slightly off/groggy feeling I have when I've had jabs.

Personally I don't see that there's anything wrong in being proud of what you've achieved, but don't crow about it as if those who did want pain relief are lesser (and ditto back the immediate epidural people - just because someone wants to try without, doesn't make them stupid for doing so)

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 02-Aug-13 13:01:12

Personally I hated the Pethidine I had first time round when having DD. I felt out of control of my own body, unable to string a sentence together at all. Was pretty horrendous. I didn't like gas and air either. made me feel sick. I did ask for an epidural but it was refused due to there being no one suitable to adminster it and again because I was too far gone that point to have one.

The second time round I had decided on no Pethidine or g&a for above the reasons. I wanted to be in control and not puking my guts up. I also decided no epidural too because I wanted to be out of hospital as soon as possible after the birth and that isn't usually possible if you have an epidural. When I say as soon as possible I mean I was out within 9 hours of Ds's birth.

I made the best decisons for me and my then unborn babies. What other people decide for their's is up to them and nothing to do with anyone else.

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