(Closed) Inductions and going med free?? YOUR EXPERIENCE??

posted 5 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

I wasn’t induced, but I did have Pitocin during labor and went without any pain meds. It is completely possible. What really helped me was having many different relaxation techniques ready to try. And if something didn’t work, I would keep trying until I found something that could get me through the contraction.

I thought being a a tub felt great- I tried a shower first and did not like that, but I know many others who say the opposite. I could not stand the brithing ball at all, but some people do. There are so many different things to trry and you never know what might feel goo din the moment.

Letting your team know that you want to go med free will help too. My MD is awesome and so have all of the nurses I have had. They know so many different things to try, use them as a resource:)


Post # 5
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’m really interested to hear comments on this! I’m also being induced (in a week and two days)  and also really want to avoid an epidural. You can always ask them to try all the less invasive methods of induction (membrane sweep, prostaglandin pessary/gel, membrane rupture) before going straight on Pitocin. That’s what my consultant has advised for me next week since I want as little pain medication as possible. 

I’ve also been told that, in the event of a pitocin-induced labour that gets uncontrollably painful, I can request a really low-dose ‘mobile’ epidural that will still allow me to move around and be upright for labour (on a labour ball at very least). The idea would be to cut the pain as opposed to completely numbing it out, which is lower-impact for everyone involved.

My mum was unable to dilate on her own and had Pitocin with each of us when her water broke but nothing happened. She never had pain meds and said that a Pitocin labour is worth it if you can stick out the pain because it will at least go really quickly. 

Post # 7
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’ll say both as a labor nurse and as a mom who has had pitocin, I think it depends on a lot of factors.

Does your hospital have wireless fetal monitoring? I work in a hospital that doesn’t which means our mom’s that are on pitocin have to be attached to the monitors continuously which limits how much they can move (i.e. no walking the halls).

What type of pain tolerance do you have and how soon do they plan on breaking your water? Pitocin can be a total game changer when it comes to contraction strength and pain.. but this varies so much woman to woman. Generally things become even more painful once your water is broken. Doctors will often AROM mom’s to help speed up the process, so if they AROM you at 5 cm it can make a huge difference in comfort vs waiting til 8 cm or having your water break on it’s  own (which can happen at 1 cm or 10).

How prepared do you plan on coming? I think women that are more educated on what is happening with their bodies and come armed with things to help them cope can/will do better than women who don’t really understand the process of labor. Read books, consider hiring a doula, take a childbirth class, look into non-medicated pain reliving techniques (heat packs, execise ball, different labor positions, massage.. etc).

A lot of women come in for inductions and their doctor hasn’t explained the process that well. We usually tell women that an induction can take 2-3 days.. most women don’t come in and have their baby that same night. Half of the work is actually getting you into active labor (4-5 cm and in a good pattern) and then you have to get from there to 10 cm. 

It’s totally possible and you CAN do it! 

Post # 8
7493 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I was induced for both my labors and had epidurals both times- at my request because the pain was not nice.  I think contractions do come hard and fast with the Pitocin, but I don’t have anything else to compare it to though. 

I delivered both of my girls vaginally without complication in a (relatively) short period of time- 9 hrs first labor, 6 1/2 hours for the 2nd labor.

Post # 10
433 posts
Helper bee


I think it’s different for everybody. As another poster wrote, much depends on your personal pain tolerance. I was induced, because my daughter was 10 days overdue and had no intentions of going anywhere. My medical team tried to start contractions with natural methods, i.e., lots of walking, baths, homeopathic treatments, cervix softening, etc. on a Thursday morning. I did get contractions, but they weren’t strong enough to induce labour. After 12 hours of contractions and a warm bath, my body and mind were so worn out that I slept like a rock that night in hospital. I had no pain medication at all. At 9 o’clock the next morning, I was given an IV line with pitocin. Within an hour, the contractions were very strong, and at 10:30 my water broke. I spent the next 4.5 hours writhing in pain, cursing my husband for doing this to me (I wasn’t exactly rational) yet determined to not have medication. At 3 o’clock I finally gave in, and told my anaesthesiologist that I was ready for an epidural — to be administered through my eyeballs if necessary. My daughter was born at 4:44 that afternoon. 

Basically, my whole labour lasted 6 hours and 44 minutes, which meant rather intense pain, and I thought I had a high threshhold for pain considering that I am a former ballerina who danced on bleeding, broken toes and with a torn ligament. Could I have done it without an epidural knowing that I only had 90 minutes to go? Yes, of course, but I don’t regret getting an epidural at all. My sister was also induced with number two, and had an epidural as well. It was a good thing, as her baby got stuck and she needed an emergency C-section. They just turned up the dial and started cutting. As far as visiting your baby is concerned, you can always be moved in a wheelchair should it become necessary. I had feeling in my legs at all times, and could have walked. The only problem was that I could not tell whether or not I had to pee — bladder pressure sensors were anaesthetised :-). 

As I said, it’s entirely up to you, but if you and your baby can tolerate the epidural, i.e., if it doesn’t pose an additional health risk, I don’t see why you should not get it. There is nothing wrong with seeking to alleviate pain.

Post # 11
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I just had my 4th baby August 29 and it was my 1st experience with pitocin.  I was at 2cm for hours and contractions were slowing down.  Even after a warm 30 minute shower.  I felt like i could just go home and labor there but due to the baby’s heartbeat being irregular, I had to stay hooked up to the monitors, which meant I wasn’t able to walk the halls like the other girls…boo.

I was given pitocin around 10 something pm… by 1am or so it was time for me to push. Yes, I went from 2cm to 10cm in like 3 hours and the pain was literally unbearable.  The contractions just never stopped…no inbetween to catch my breath.  Good thing I have a really high tolerance… i just found various ways to deal with the pain… first it was a buddhist chant, then it was a rythmic movement that got faster as the pain got more, well, painful.  I also told dh to squeeze my hand and i would squeeze his too.  

I was in disbelief when the dr told me to push, I was caught off guard and told him I couldnt because I didn’t feel the urge but after that first push, the urge got stronger and I couldn’t stop pusing after that… baby was born so quick, it caught the dr off guard.  And no epidural.  What a releif it was to push that baby out and be done with the pain.

Post # 12
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Hey, another nurse here to second what @jubyju22:  said – you totally can do, you just need to have a good education on how/what/why your body is doing what it’s doing and lots of pain management techniques to go on! I will add a few more things – as a NICU nurse, we see lots of moms coming to visit well before their epidural wears off via wheelchair. Generally speaking, moms don’t like to watch us during the admitting procedure on a NICU baby since we’re often taking blood and starting IV’s or other types of procedures that can cause baby pain; typically by the time the baby is stable and all the procedures are done mom’s epidural is worn off enough to come visit! If you do decide to get the epidural, please don’t feel guilty about it or that it will keep you from seeing your baby! Also (hopefully this won’t discourage you!) when it comes to inductions of premature babies, generally the inductions take a lot longer than an induction of a term baby. Unless you’ve been experiencing quite a bit of pre-term labor symptoms, your body won’t react the same way to the induction as a woman who’s closer to her due date would. At my hospital we often see moms induced anywhere between 32 and 36 weeks for pre-eclampsia or HELLP syndrome that require multi-day inductions since their bodies just don’t respond as strongly to the medications! If your kiddo does end up in the NICU feel free to PM me with any questions!

Post # 13
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

i was induced with both of my girls. i had an epidural with my first almost immediately because i needed to sleep (super high blood pressure plus unending morning sickness straight through made me one irritable, tired mommy). i don’t have the greatest back for them apparently and about 8 hours into my labor (everything progressed just fine), it shifted and i needed another one. i delivered her probably 4 hours after, all the while they were waking me up to push. i had no medication to make me sleep,  i was just that tired!!

with my youngest, i didn’t get my epidural until just before i delivered. i had a tubal and didn’t want a general anesthetic so i got my epidural around 9:15 am and had her at 9:59 am. needed the general anyway because my back isn’t cut out for epidurals aparently. 


all in all, my experience with being induced wasn’t horrible. i had cervidil (sp?) the night before, they gave me pitocin, and off i went. if i would have known that my epidural with my youngest wouldn’t have held up for my tubal, i wouldn’t have bothered. it wasn’t too painful and i am THE BIGGEST BABY! i have no pain tolerance whatsoever- i cried getting my ears pierced and i was 16! just listen to your body- it knows what will be best for you. god luck!

Post # 14
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@gpsp2B:  Look into birthing cds– for breathing and hypnotheraphy! That way you can pay $10 to have someone walk you through gentle and calming breathing/visionary experiences without have a doula there. Obviously not the same, but it could be helpful.

Post # 15
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I was induced after having contractions for 5 days with no progression. Thankfully her heartrate stayed strong. I ate and drank right after, no back labor, and the last thing I wanted to do was get up and shower. Of course before having her I would have thought I wanted but that all goes out the window after you have your child. I was however concerned on bathing her because she had some dried blood on her head, but not me lol. I have nothing to compare the induction to but I did get the epidural and delivered her vaginally without a problem. Try to have a game plan but remain open minded because if you are in a lot of pain and there is a solution for you that won’t harm you or the baby then you may want to take it.


Post # 16
1834 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@gpsp2B:  Hi. I have scoliosis and have had the surgery. I’m also a nurse anesthetist. I would mentally prepare yourself for not having an epidural. Some (not all) anesthesiologists will not even attempt an epidural in someone who has had a spinal fusion. If they do try, it will be more difficult to place and may not work. Everyone is different of course.

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