Positions for labour

(11 Posts)
BionicEmu Sun 24-Feb-13 11:08:29

DD is nearly 5 weeks old now, and I'm writing a letter to the hospital where I delivered her. Firstly, I want to sing the praises of my named delivery midwife - I was induced on the drip but couldn't have an epidural for medical reasons, and she was just amazing.

But I also want to complain about the midwife who I had intermittently when my lovely midwife went on a break. Firstly, she was so condescending - she even said "look, stop making such a fuss, I'm looking after a woman next door who's actually in labour" I was examined 5 mins later & found to be 8.5cm dilated & started pushing shortly after. I think she thought cos I'd only been on the drip an hour, which was started when I was 3cm, I couldn't possibly be that far along.

But the other thing is she was desperate to get me on the bed. She kept going on about how she needed a good trace of baby that didn't involve someone holding the ctg pad. Apparently I was risking the registration of the lovely midwife if they couldn't get the trace.

But then she kept saying that the best position for labour was lying on the bed on my left side. I was happy being upright & mobile, especially as my only pain relief was gas & air.

She just kept going on & on about it - "oh no, standing up is no good, lying on your left side is far better for labour, it opens your pelvis up."

So, is this true? I'd always heard everywhere that it was better to be upright & mobile.

ZuleikaD Sun 24-Feb-13 11:41:01

Better for her, maybe!

GingerJulep Sun 24-Feb-13 19:35:09

Some people really like the left side thing... and it can minimise the chances of you tearing. Doesn't mean it would necessarily have been right for you.

CailinDana Mon 25-Feb-13 10:44:26

She was talking total bollocks. The best position is the position that feels right to you at the time, which will depend on where the baby is and how far along things are. I had a similar problem with DS - first lovely midwife was happy to let me do my own thing, second arsehole midwife was determined to get me on a bed, and did in the end when I ran out of energy. She wanted me on the bed to make life easier for her, and because she was determined to give me an episiotomy and use a ventouse - both of which I absolutely refused and totally didn't need in the end. She was just a bully who couldn't give a shit what I wanted - as far as she was concerned my needs were just an annoyance.

Sounds like you ended up with someone similar.

ZuleikaD Mon 25-Feb-13 11:04:38

My first midwife got me into the left-side position because I was exhausted from pushing on all fours (which was the position I most felt like being in) and the baby was back to back so it was the best way of moving her round.

So I'm just disagreeing slightly with Cailin in that a midwife may actually know what to do in a given situation, even if it doesn't necessarily feel right to you. Much depends on how it's done - it sounds as though Cailin was unlucky.

Bionic I do agree, though, that for the first stage of labour moving around is supposed to be better. If they have to monitor you, though, then they will need you immobilised and unfortunately there's nothing to be done about that.

CailinDana Mon 25-Feb-13 11:08:52

Zuleika - you don't need to be immobilised for monitoring. They can hold a ctg to your belly or put a clip on the baby's head (clip is more effective). Immobilising the woman makes it easier for the MWs, but it certainly isn't essential. They wanted to immobilise me as there was meconium in my waters and the clip thingy was broken but I refused and lo and behold they were suddenly able to monitor me anyway. Strange that.

I think that you know which position is best. I hated standing up, being on all fours, anything that put pressure on my legs towards the end. I thought they were going to snap in half. I found lying on the bed, on my right side with my left knee up near my face the easiest.

MrBloomsCherry Mon 25-Feb-13 12:27:32

It sounds likes he had your baby's interest at her forefront of thinking though. getting you on the bed to moniter baby for a short while was maybe deemed more important than what position you wanted to be in.

I agree you should be allowed to do whatever feels right at the time of labour.

But just from another perspective, she was,maybe, doing what she thought was best?

PaulaPixie Mon 04-Mar-13 21:58:11

I agree with Cailin, you should do whatever feels best for you at any given time. My first 2 children were born in hospital with similar scenes of dominance by the midwives (not all, 2 of my good friends are midwives), but I had my 3rd at home whereby the atmosphere couldn't have been more different, the midwives were more relaxed (you have to have 2 midwives present for a home birth and they stay with you until baby is born, so no rushing around looking after multiple women). They let me do as I pleased and followed me around my living room throughout my position changes at the varying labour stages, whereby I ended up giving birth on all fours leaning on my settee taking in gas and air as if it were going out of fashion. It was a 50 minute labour as opposed to 9 and 7 hours on my first two and although I appreciate labour times theoretically shorten the more babies you have, I think the fact that the midwives and I were so much calmer was the key. If possible, I will have a home birth for No4. Sorry you had that awful experience, it puts a cloud over what should have been a wonderful albeit painful experience. (Sorry, went on a bit there!) blush

mummy2benji Fri 08-Mar-13 14:16:35

I would complain about her attitude. I'm a GP and used to work in Obstetrics and while I have had some patients be very rude to me in my time (usually drunk ones in A&E) I have never been anything other than polite in return, even if I've been telling them that security will be escorting them out if they don't improve their language! As to the position, generally being more mobile, bouncing on a ball, pottering round, is usually the best thing to do during labour as it helps get baby into the right position, but I can't say for sure in your situation as it is possible she had concerns about baby for some reason, or thought that getting a good trace was very important? I had dd2 4 months ago and apart from an initial trace on arrival at the labour ward I didn't have another, just a quick listen in with the doppler when I was wanting to start pushing. I got on the bed for pushing but prior to that just bounced on the birthing ball. But then my labour was only 3 hours, so it depends on your duration, risk factors, etc. But even giving her the benefit of the doubt, I think that midwife had a poor attitude and was unacceptably rude to you, at a time when you are in pain and need reassurance and encouragement. So if it were me I would be writing a few stiff words too!

MammaCici Fri 08-Mar-13 17:26:43

I was encouraged to stay mobile all the way through. I eventually gave birth on a birthing stool with DH holding me from behind. Birthing stool was great. I hope to do it again this time. Earlier on I requested being on the bed and was there for a while. It was the worst part - long story. Midwife kept encouraging me to get upright again.

That midwife who wanted you on the bed sounds like a right piece of work. The cheek of her speaking to you that way. What a horrible attitude. She sounds like something from 50 years ago.

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