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Readers Respond: Did you use IV pain medication for labor?

Responses: 14


Updated May 30, 2011

IV pain medications aren't talked about as frequently as an epidural, but they can be used with or without an epidural. Did you use them in labor? Did they help? How did you feel? Would you do it again? Share Your Experience

Didn't even know IV drugs were an option

I went into labor knowing I wasn't going to get an epidural because I didn't want to be numb and I wanted control over my body. When I started transitioning (I went from 3cm to 6cm in 30 mins) the nurse gave me Stadol and from that point to delivery, my contractions just felt like period cramps. I only pushed for 45 minutes and this was my first child. I tell all my pregnant friends to ask their doctors about IV drugs rather than an epidural. My doctors never mentioned it to me beforehand and none of the books I read did either. I think many women are under the impression that an epidural is the only option available to them. Also, I did not feel drunk , tired or nauseous. My contractions were just way more bearable. I was even cracking jokes during labor!
—Guest Becky J

demerol during childbirth

I had demerol for all three of my deliveries and I think I was lucky to have it. This was back in the 80s and early 90s and from what I understand it was the norm back then. It really allowed me to focus on the contractions and it did reduce pain levels enough to be actively involved in the birth of my kids. Honestly I don't think I would be interested in getting an epi because I was told that your body knocks out receptors after the child passes a certain point in the birth canal and I found that the demerol really dulled the pain enough to allow me to be really involved in what was happening. I know however that I was really built for childbirth and maybe I was lucky that way.
—Guest bigbadma

IV Media made me sleepy

I went into deliver my first and only child I was asked if I wanted to try this new drug through an IV that I could control by a push of a button (whenever I felt pain I could push button to release pain medication through IV). Well all it did was make me sleepy l could still feel pain and I became very week since I was in labor for over 24 hours because I couldn't dilate past 4. So I ended up having a cesarean and getting an epidermal which the doctors didn't want to give me because I was too weak to hold gas mask on my own but luckily my was there to fight for me.
—Guest renee

used demerol

I used Demerol for my first delivery. It worked extremely well for me. I was stuck at 6 cm for 4 hrs. During those 4 hrs. The Demerol helped me sleep and get enough rest to better manage the pain of pushing on my own. I would definitely use it again.
—Guest tommi chavez


I lost plug around 6am but wasnt contracting and only 2 cm. Around 10am i was given pitocin to induce labor (i was already 12 days overdue). I was trying to abstain from meds but pitocin brings on contractions suddenly and often "feel stronger" supposedly. I held out until 6 pm, when i was dilated to only 4-5cm and agreed to IV Nubain. It didnt feel like it did much except i noticed in between contractions i felt more relaxed and could rest for little bit of time i had between contractions. It proved effective though and those moments of rest let me relax enough to allow my cervix to dilate fully in 45 minutes.
—Guest V


All of your stories have instantly affected my indecisiveness about getting an iv medication. I know I don't want the epi, but i don't know which iv med to go with... Any suggestions? Demerol sounds unpleasent.. might need to research more on all of them. I'm in the ending of my first trimester. So I know I have a lot of time before labor, to decide. Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanx!
—Guest mommanani

used epidural

I had an epi and it completely stopped my labor progress and my daughter came out almost black from not breathing and it took ten mins for the doctor to get her to breath so this time around I'm thinking about getting and iv to ease the pain.
—Guest jamie

Not sure what to do!

I'm 18 years old and I'm 32 weeks pregnant with my first. I'm getting very nervous and can't decide between an epidural or an IV med. I want to try it as natural as possible but I had some BH contractions and those were no fun at all. I'm torn between IV & epi!!!
—Guest Serena

I had Nubain

I was suppose to get an epidural but never received it because the doctor was preoccupied and my labor progressed very quickly. I am expecting again and plan on using Nubain again. I know I was probably lucky but because the nubain I was still able to feel everything so I was able to push my son out in 10 min tops. When he came out he was blue and took a second to breathe but received a score of 8 or 9 from reading this I wonder if it was the nubain that caused his heart rate to drop.
—Guest ashton

I used IV meds

I don't remember which one I was given, but I finally asked for relief through use of IV meds during my first labour when I was 7 centimeters dilated. it was amazing! It felt like I had gotten wine via IV lol. I still felt when I had contractions, but it took the edge away, and allowed me time to relax. If I need it again next time, I will definitely take the opportunity to get some sleep!
—Guest Annie Oakley


I was given Demerol and almost immediately felt super tired and loopy I couldn't keep my eyes open. I'm not sure it really helped with the pain and I felt more confused then anything. I wouldn't use it again.
—Guest LLee

Demerol while waiting for the epidural..

My anesthesiologist was tied up in surgery. So I didn't actually get and epidural until I was 8cm dilated. Around 6 the nurse realized my groaning and screaming weren't just for dramatic effect. I don't deal with pain well. So I was given Demerol through an IV. Instantly I felt very sleepy, almost drunk. Some of the edge was taken off but honestly I just felt like the drug made it to where I couldn't be as vocal. Anyway, right after my son was born I felt fine. But, soon after I felt very nauseous and tired. I'm not sure I would take this again. I wasn't able to enjoy my son until I felt better in a few hours. With my first son I only had the epidural and afterwards I was numb but felt fine. Guess it depends on the woman.
—Guest Faith


I really didn't like the Demerol, it made me sick to my stomach so they gave me something else which made it hard to concentrate. I hear that there are other medications that don't do that...
—Guest Mummy2Kate

I did Stadol

I had a bit of Stadol at the end of my first labor. It was like drinking a huge margarita after no alcohol for 9 months. It took the edge off and made all the other stuff I was using to cope a bit more effective. I used it to avoid the epidural, which I did! So I was pleased. I didn't use it with my second baby, only because I didn't need it. If I have another labor that I need it, I'll gladly use it.
—Guest LeahM

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