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Pain Relief At A Homebirth
TENS Pain Relief Unit
Member Name: kathchurchill
TENS Pain Relief Unit
Date: 26/05/01, updated on 26/05/01 (1599 review reads)
Advantages: No effect on the baby
Disadvantages: It hurts still!
As I had both my children, George 2 years old and Angel 3 months, at home I was very limited as to what pain relief I could have.
The only pain relief that the midwife was allowed to bring was gas and air. Apparently the main reason for people being transferred to hospital during a homebirth is due to not being able to cope with the pain.
I hired a TENS machine (about £10 from my doctors clinic), which I found distracted my attention away from the pain rather than made it less. I found that in early labour it was quite nice. It felt as if someone was rubbing their hands in circular motions on the small of my back. But by late labour it just annoyed me and I wanted it off!
The TENS machine, by the way, is a device which has 4 pads which you place just above your bum and 2 a little higher. It then sends electrodes which is meant to help your endolphins (your natural pain relief) build up so the pains are not so intense. Attached to the device is a wire with a boost button on it. When you feel a contraction coming, you can press the boost button which sends more stronger electrodes out.
My mum also persuaded me to try acupunture, which I thought couldn't do any harm. I had a long labour with George (contractions started Monday morning and I gave birth to George Thursday morning!) Becky the acupunturist came out to me Monday evening to help me. I asked her to bring the labour on. I just wanted to meet my baby! She told me she'd try but the thing with acupuncture is that it helps the body do its own thing naturally. So instead of bringing the labour on, it stopped the contractions over night, so I had did get a good nights sleep. They started again in the morning.
The next evening she came again as the baby was in a posterior position (i.e. spine facing my spine) she used her needles to change his position. She also put a needle in my ear to help with the pain, which was to remain in. The contractions stopped over nigh
The next day (Wednesday) the midwife confirmed that George had changed position. By the evening the pains were very regular but still mild in strength. I took the needle out of my ear and the contractions quickly grew in pain! We called Becky out and she did some more in my legs, ankles and wrists and also put the one back in my ear.
I swear that acupuncture really helped me. With Angel's birth, Becky was away in South Africa so I couldn't have acupuncture and the pain was much worse and the labour no where near as nice as George's.
Acupuncture is where you have needles put into places on your body to help the body act as it should. The insertion of the needles does not hurt. They are very fine and you don't even feel a prick as you do when having blood taken for tests etc. In fact it is really very relaxing and makes you feel peaceful!
I would definately recommend it - although it can be expensive. Luckily as Becky is a friend she didn't expect payment. It may also be difficult to find one in the middle of the night!
I did also try gas and air which you breathe in either through a mask or a mouth piece. I found this also helped with the pain, but it made me feel really light headed and out of control. With George I didn't like it and stopped using it, but with Angel I couldn't get enough! in fact the cannister ran out right as the crucial moment! Ow - the pain!
I wouldn't recommend a drugs free natural labour, but as I wanted a homebirth it was the price I had to pay!
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