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Apr 7, 2005
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Has anyone ever had this?

I am unsure if I want to try it or not, I had an epidural last time. My friend swears by pethadine but I'm not sure if I would like to feel so drunk and out of control. Can you have a small dose of it?
just found some interesting info here:

What are the advantages of pethidine?

• Helps you relax

• Administered by a midwife — no need for a doctor

• Can be used for a home birth although not all midwives feel comfortable with this.

What are its disadvantages?

• It may make you very sleepy — some women don't even know they've given birth!

• It can make you feel sick or vomit even if you have an anti-emetic

• It may make you feel dizzy

• You may be drowsy while contractions are building up, but wake up suddenly when the contractions reach their peak

• It may slow labour down

• It crosses the placenta and may affect your baby's breathing

• Your baby may need to have an injection (narcan) as soon as she is born to reverse the effects of the pethidine in her system

• She may be very sleepy for a few days and not interested in feeding

• Breastfeeding is less likely to be successful if you have pethidine in labour

• Some recent evidence suggests that babies whose mothers have pethidine in labour are more likely to develop addictions in later life.
I had it while in labour with my son.

It didnt touch me, didnt makeing me go funny/dizzy/sick, and defo didnt take any bit of the pain away!

but 6 weeks later i was rushed in to hospital with bad tummy pains, whihc to me where worse than labour, they gave me it then and it worked instantly, took every bit of pain away.

so im stumped as to whether it works or whether to try it again this time or not, guess it just depends on the person
Hi Urchin,
Just to say, I saw my hospital anetheatist a few weeks ago to discuss pain relief options as I have some compications with my back when it comes to epidurals and spinal blocks. She want through really clearly with me how exactly all the pain relief options actually work. Now bearing in mind that this woman is the anetheatist for the maternity ward plus she had 4 children of her own, she said that she didnt recomend pethadine for anyone and dosent think it should even be offered. Now all the side affects you listed are true and you have covered just about all of them. The problem is so many women opt for pethadine because its a straight forward injection and they are scared of the idea of an epidural. The fact is that nearly all women/babies suffer at least one of those side effects that you listed, so its not even a case of 'theres a small chance of one of the following happening' Like yourself I have had epidurals in the past, but for spinal operations and know that they are nothing to be afraid of and any form of side effect is only a very slim chance.
I have decided to opt for gas and air and if things are a lot worse than expected they will try an epidural, that I have been warned may not work as I have to much scar tissue in my back. if that is they case they have said I can have an elective c-section. So it just goes to show the lengths they will go to in order to aviod pethadine! Even asking several other midwives I have seen, they are all in agreement that pethadine is not a good choice.

What ever you decide on is up to you, pethadine can be administered in smaller doses, but that will just shorten the effects, if it makes you sick/drowsy/confused, you will just have to sit it out which can take between 1-3 hours to wear off and you cant stop it from crossing the placenta, so think carefully.
Pethidine is from the heroin family so doesn't actually kill pain it just knocks you out. It also crosses the placenta so your baby will feel the influence too which could mean a sluggish sleepy baby who won't feed well for the first 24 hours.
Women have been known to feel totally 'out of it' on pehidine and not remember their labours, it can also cause halusinations (sorry cant spell!!) and eratic behaviour in some women.
It can also make people sick and they will normally give you an anti sickness jab at the same time.

However, some women like it and find it works ok for them, just be careful how much you have etc as it doesn't just effect you it effects baby as well!!
When I had pethadine, all it did was send me to sleep and make me vomit. So for about 5 hours, I was would wake up in the middle of a strong contraction, fall straight back sleep after, then wake up to throw up, then fall straight back sleep again. I ended up feeling that the only time I was ever awake I was either asleep or being sick!!! After screaming at the midwife that I had never ever felt so bad in my entire life, they gave me an epidural. And that was the best thing I had ever had!!!
I would never touch that awful stuff ever again.
Well just by reading this post, im totally put off pethidine :D I have had morphine before and i was sick all night :roll: So think im gonna opt for gas and air and just hope for the best :?

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