Wednesday, 21 May 2014

What happens in Labour & pain management options workshop and home visit from my midwife

Last Tuesday we had our second antenatal session with Helen & Jo (this time we paid £10), I was looking forward to it as we were told that we will talk about labour and that's mainly why I wanted to attend classes on the first place.
As usual we have started our session with a small chit chat between us-couples (I know we need to get used each other and to socialise, but I would really prefer to get on with midwife talking about important things). 
So when this bit was done we were divided into 2 groups with 2 couples in each, one group had to write everything they know about 1 stage of labour, 2nd group had to write about 2 stage of labour. I didn't really like that bit as the new couple who joined us started asking all sorts of questions and it didn't really help me to remember what the stages are about.
From what I remember we were told that 1st stage in the longest and they would want us to stay at home as long as possible, but if we notice that we can't cope, have heavy "show" or waters breaking to call triage.
2nd stage of labour starts when a woman is fully dilated (10cm), we were told that at this stage we will be able to push and to have a small break, but we have to remember that not all midwives let mums-to-be to have that break.
Next, we spoke about pain control options available: gas & air, bath (relieves pressure, relaxes, women feel lighter, free movement), massage, movement, relaxation, distraction, cuddles, paracetamol, TENS machine.

Other pain control options:
- opiate
- sedative
- injection + antisickness injection
- crosses placenta
- affects baby's heart rate+ respiration
- nausea
- high
- wears off on 2-4 hours
- takes 24 hours for baby to get rid off it

- pain relief (total block or low dose) can be done by midwife
- injection (catheter into spine)
- 6 hours to wear off
- catheter to wee
- crosses placenta (baby can be sleepy)
- more likely to have forceps and ventouse
- lax pelvic floor
- can't use standing up position
- not mobile
- headache
- sometimes not effective
- can make a mum very itchy after
- can dicrease blood pressure
-  need fluids
- continual monitoring
- starts working in 15-20 minutes

We were very interested to know pethidine's and epidural's drawbacks and lots of us were questioning why on earth pethidine is still used as none of us from what I know will ever consider using it. 

As for epidural, my husband and I have decided that we would like to have a natural birth without epidural or pethidine, but as we don't know what lies ahead of us we are planning to be open-minded.

Home visit

Home visit was exactly what I didn't expect it to be, my midwife turned up with a student, who was looking around almost everywhere and was very eager to go to the kitchen, which I thought was firstly weird and secondly, rude.

Then we had a routine check- they checked my urine (and found keytones, meaning I had to see midwife again in couple of days), blood pressure, measured my bump and we listened to baby's heart beat. After that my midwife was totally confused with my health history, I had previously heart and thyroid issues but all was cleared at least throughout my pregnancy, so my midwife for some reason thought that I am taking medications and looked very puzzled -should she send me to do more tests or not and at this stage I had to tell her (like I do over and over again) all my medical history and all the history of my appointments with a consultant. I didn't know should I laugh or should I cry (and she is the best community midwife..NOT).

Next part was extremely fast, I wasn't told that we are discussing my birth plan she just quickly asked me questions about who is going to be my birthing partner, will I OK students to come and check on me (mentioned they will be supervised at all times), gave me a list of what to bring, list of pain relief options, asked for how long I'm planing to stay in hospital, what kind of birth I want, gave me the list with massage techniques, leaflet about Vitamin K,  leaflet about labour and off they went. 

I was so naive to think that she will spend all this time discussing properly all my options and talking through birth plan. But she doens't know yet that only made it worse for herself as now I have a huge list of questions for my next appointment.


  1. Have you thought about a water birth? I would highly recommend it, the pain was greatly reduced for my second birth.

  2. Waterbirths are being discouraged now I think?
    Good info here - it's such a shame antenatal support varies so hugely from region to region, there are no longer classes in Suffolk for example.

  3. I didn't know all that about pethidine - may not have been a help in my labour.

  4. Much has changed since I was pregnant and gave birth - it's a good idea to be prepared, so make sure you get your questions answered - and be prepared for things not always to go to plan - I ended up having to have an epidural.

  5. On both my births my plans went out the window as I was unwell and the babes needed to come. I would bear in mind that things need to be fluid and not to have your expectations and plans set in stone as it can be upsetting not to get what you want

  6. I never went to prenatal classes and firs time around was terrified that I wouldn't recognise labour pains as no-one could really explain them to me satisfactorily. I went drug-free just gas and air. First time it didn't have any effect - sure they hadn't plugged it in! 2nd time I was high as a kite and couldn't stop giggling. My midwife was useless and so I had to be prepared with loads of questions every time I saw her! x #MMWBH

  7. I remember having my ante-natal classes when I was pregnant with Ethan, and getting all the notes on what kind of pain relief etc was available. I ended up being induced as he was 2 week's late, so everything I'd planned for went out the window and there was no time for pain relief anyway. Regardless, it's best to be prepared and I'll have to refresh myself for #2, due in July!

  8. I would say ask as many questions as you can - but if possible, ask the same questions of several different people; you're likely to get different answers depending on their opinion!
    Also something I didn't know until it happened: the transition between stage 1 and stage 2 can often make you sick!
    Thanks for linking up with #WeekendBlogHop!

  9. Interesting post, we were told at antenatal classes that Epidural doesn't cross the placenta, that why I went for it. Strange that they give out differing info x

  10. The birthing plan is great in theory. Have a back up plan too in case there are any problems. Good luck with everything!

  11. I second the waterbirth suggestion - don't underestimate the pain-relieving qualities of warm water. I've had three children, all natural births.

  12. Ii had all water births with my three and swear by them , never wanted anything else bar the laughing gas hahaha still makes me giggle, although i did swell like a balloon taking it x

  13. I am all for the gas and air option. If you remember to breathe it in, it works a charm!

  14. Wow even after having two kids I didn't know alot of this. Glad you got the information and know what all your options are! Always a great thing to know and be prepared. Thank you so much for linking to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  15. Like Jenny said I didn't know a lot of this, but then I had a fast labour and missed a lot of details!

  16. I have pethedine with both of my girls and were told that he doesn't cross the placenta or effect the baby. I wouldn't have gone for it if it did x

  17. I don't think I ever discussed pain relief with my midwife. I had a rough birth plan but was quite relaxed about the process as sometimes things just don't happen the way you hope. Good Luck xx

  18. Birth plans are great to get you thinking about what you would like to happen...but I think the best thing you can be is as open minded as possible. You never know how your body is going to react and childbirth can be different every my opinion it's best to just go with the flow and do whatever you have to do in that moment!

  19. I went to NCT classes with my first and so I was pretty clear on what I wanted (and terrified of any drugs). After a four day labour I was given a shot of Pethadine with first eleven hours before birth and it caused him feeding problems with his breathing. Other than that I've had two natural births with no pain relief and I'm hoping for this one at the end of June to be the same. Pethadine is an evil drug known to cross the placenta and that horrifies me. My midwife actively discourages it as does my consultant. I hope you get the birth you want, our babies sometimes have other plans!

  20. I think you are a lot more prepared than you think you are. When I had my first I knew nothing about pain relief pros and cons, I wanted a water birth and that was it. I didn't get it but I didn't learn much more either and now I am on baby 4! My advice would be not to sweat it now but to also stand up for yourself- you have questions, then you ask them. I know that midwives are stretched for time but they should be able to answers your questions or point you towards info online at least
    x x

  21. My water broke a month early so all of my plans were thrownout of the window. I have to be induced and I gave birth painless. WHen I woke up the baby is gone. Sad things is that I am not the first one to see him but I am okay as long as he is safe and everything is okay #ShareWithMe

  22. My experiences with birth in an NHS hospital were horrendous so I won't scare you. I think all you can do is be aw prepared as you can, because there are things that just can't be done till D-Day. Good luck with it all - hope it is a beautiful experience for you and baby x
    Love Vicky
    Around and Upside Down

  23. Let's hope next time round all your questions will be answered

  24. I never got to make a birth plan with either of mine and I was fine. I think on the day you will know what you need. So go with the flow!

    Also I really don't agree with the stages of when to go into hospital. I went in as soon as the pain came and I was 5cm dilated. Before they did the internal examination they thought I was one of those nervous 1st time mothers who panicked as soon as the pain came so they were going to send me home

    Good luck lovely!

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

  25. It's really great you're making a note of everything, it must be so useful to look back on these posts. I seem to remember that Pethedine wasn't good from my NCT classes although they didn't like any form of pain relief! I had a long (47 hours) induced labour at the age of 40 - I did 30 hours with 2 paracetamol then had an epidural later! POD arrived on Christmas Day. Good luck, just go with an open mind :)

  26. I only ever went to anenatal classes during my first, all of the others I never bothered, haha. This looks like such a great list though and good for you for knowing everything available to you!

    Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH xx

  27. Have you looked into hypnobirthing? I did this with my second baby and apart from a little g&a during transition/crowning I didn't need anything else. Our birthplan sort of went out of the window as I arrived at hospital so relaxed and unafraid that I was 9cm dilated - baby was born less than an hour later! We also had delayed cord clamping until the cord went flaccid & white.

  28. Such a shame you didn't get out of it what you should have. #ShareWithMe

  29. Such a shame you didn't get out of it what you should have. #ShareWithMe

  30. We looked in to lots of alternative methods of pain relief and some worked some didn't my wife managed to have all our brood mainly on gas and air. #iPotLinky