View Full Version : Overcoming concerns about pain
Just wondering, has anyone planned a homebirth and not been able to stand the pain of labour? or worried that you may not be able to? If so, what happened?
Im 23 weeks pregnant, freaking out about hospitals and intervention and seriously considering making that big leap from hospital to home but have a few concerns Im trying to overcome - though I dont want pain relief, the idea of having no safety net incase of a long labour is one of my concerns.
thanks in advance
Congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope it all goes fantastic for you.
Like you, I made the decision to start looking into homebirth options with my first. I had a pretty good idea of the standard hospital style of birth from the Obstetric rotation of my nursing training. It put me off, to be honest. I was more scared of unwanted inteference in the hospital than I was scared of the pain or of the slight risk of genuine complications - (actually I think the risk of getting in a car crash is more than that!)
I'm not sorry for the path I chose, I did heaps of research and the more I read and talked to homebirth midwives and people who'd had hb, the less fear & worry I had and the more my confidence grew.
I found out that when you have heaps of comfort measures going on that personally suit you, you're less tense, less scared and that helps the pain be less. And when you are treated with loving tender care, it improves the release of your hormones so you get the natural pain-killing endorphins flowing, which helps you cope.
Practising ways to move and keep active seems to help manage the pain. I think natural labour pain is designed to be manageable, like the pain of running, it's the hurt of healthy muscles working hard - and well. I think labour pain is only unbearable and excrutiating either when artificial drugs are used to speed it up, or when the mother is being so poorly treated and is so lacking in kind, nurturing support that her internal alarms are going off and it 's getting way too hard for her to relax.
In my experience, I fought hard to have a really safe environment with kind, gentle people around me, also I used a birth pool - oooh that helped so well!, so I wasn't in agony. It was really intense and it was hard work, but it wasn't like excrutiating pain, more like the pain you get when you run or cycle and you just have to be really determined to keep going (labour is easier tho because you get breaks between contractions!) During the strongest contractions, it felt like my whole head was buzzing, kind of like being high! because the hormones were flooding in so strong - so although it was an amazing intense experience, it wasn't agony.
It would be interesting to see if there's anyone out there who experienced what they found to be unbearable pain during a homebirth and what helped them, if anything.
Best wishes for all your research and preparation. [text removed by admin]
I haven't had a homebirth (yet!), but I have read alot of homebirth stories. Alot of women do say that because there is no option for medical pain relief during a homebirth, then they tend not to dwell on it and focus on methods of pain relief that ARE available to them, such as warm water, massage etc...
They often say that if they had been in hosptial, they think they would have been asking for medical pain relief, because the option is there!
Also, some homebirthing midwives have gas if you ask.
Don't forget there are many types of pain relief, and medical pain relief is only a small selection :thumbsup:
I posted this response on another thread recently...asking similiar questions about the pain
Pain management is such an important key to getting through labour and fear is a big factor in preventing you managing the pain.
From the first time I was pregnant, my midwife ran a pain management seminar and the biggest factors that came through this were:
positioning...being in the most comfortable position and having the freedom to move around and rock your pelvis as you needed. Being on your back is the least most open way for baby to enter the pelvis...its against gravity...if you are squatting, standing up or a leaning forward squat, etc...this aids gravity and so this helps in the gradual slow pushes needed to get baby gently past your vaginal tissues.
natural remedies...we use a WA wildflower cream called pain cream which is lathered on as each contraction comes on...rescue remedy as needed, if feeling anxious, unconfident.
water...this is my favourite...I usually labour mostly outside the tub and as I get closer to transition, I hop in and the relief is heavenly for me and I go on to birth in the tub
positive affirmation...prayer...whatever form works for you...I find in my labours (they vary a little) I usually ask Dh and my midwife if 'I'm ok" if I can do this" and then I start telling myself 'I can do this" some births I have used the meditative nature of prayer...a Hail Mary over and over again...sometimes its just repeating positive words over and over.
The push...I don't push a big heave and baby's out...to protect your vaginal tissues, its a very gradual letting go with a gentle, steady, push,,, following the feeling in your body...so its important to go more internal and focus on the baby gentle moving through...the need to push for me has been like an urge to do a huge poo and to trust that when you feel its time, to gentle push...your body will talk to you...but its in quietness that you will hear.
I find I have very dim lights...actual none at all only candle light and I usually end up birthing to any of Enya's albums...it really depends on my mood in the birth.
I find the place I am most able to achieve the best outcome for my births has been at home with minimal company...DH, midwife and back up midwife..I find that all the preparation, talking out so many of my feelings with my midwife and DH is so important before birth...once in labour its good to have the bigger fears addressed previously to labour.
hope all goes as you wish it to
this book was also recommended
Birthing from Within - Pam England
Can be ordered from this local online bookshop:
You have been given some really great advice here. I have had two birth centre births, after a managed medical one, and decided prior that I wouldn't be using any medical-based pain relief. I think a big part of of it is to believe in yourself and not think of main relief as an option. If you can make a firm decision now on what you won't accept, then it is much easier when the time comes. I never once considerd pain relief during my last two labours as I made it 'not an option' from the start. Put into plan now what you will use-I had a girlfriend who is a reiki practicioner with me throughout one labour and another friend who I consider very strong and 'can-do' throughout the next one who spent time in the shower with me hosing my belly and anything else I asked of her.
Believeing in yourself is a fantastic start. :thumbsup:
I think a lot of it is as the others have said believing you can. Also not having the option and not wanting to go to hospital can certainly get you through the 'bad' bits. I know with dd1 I would have accepted an epi at one point, but because it wasn't an option I just continued (a bit like hitting the wall when running a marathon I would have thought) and got through that little bit.
But some women do transfer for extra pain relief (at least in the UK, this is the major reason for transfer and in first timers there are quite a few). So guess some people do feel the need for more pain relief, but in a lot of those cases maybe they didn't want the homebirth that much (it's much easier to have a homebirth in the UK and is just through the normal hospital channels so less thought is often put into it).
the only thing I'd say if you are thinking about start contacting some m/w's as not sure how much availability there is for March - I know mine is fully booked through to June I think.
Thank you all for your fantastic advice!!
I started contacting midwives yesterday but so far no luck. Still a couple of options though so Im off to call them now.
I am 100% sold on the idea of a homebirth and have DH's support so :fingerscrossed: .
That is so excellent that you are deciding to go the homebirth :D
Even gas has it's side effects, as I found with my 3rd labour. With my 4th labour I found having no drugs to be less painful than the side effect of having drugs, iykwim :laughing:
Yep, my homebirth was my most straightforward and enjoyable :thumbsup: it is the only one of my births that I enjoy recalling every fine detail of....regularly, to the annoyance of most people around me!
Everyone has given you such excellent advice, that I will leave it at that!
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