Possibly a dumb question.. labour 'slowing down'

(7 Posts)
ohthegoats Wed 13-Aug-14 16:45:13

I hear this as an issue with epidurals and with using a birthing pool.

Why is it a problem? Surely it's going to start up again at some point? Is it all about the baby being in distress?

MiddleEarthBarbie Wed 13-Aug-14 17:15:20

Normally the baby is fine, but psychologically it can be absolutely draining, not as easy as 'oh, it'll start up again, cool!'

Epidurals can weaken contractions and slow you down because your muscles are more relaxed and also because you can't move as much. It can kick start the domino effect of interventions if you're not labouring 'to time'.

I didn't have a water birth so I don't know about the pool.

lizhow14 Wed 13-Aug-14 19:07:54

Having an epidural could potentially slow labour as you are laid down and not able to move around, let gravity assist with delivery etc. and you may need assistance to deliver if you can't feel the contractions to push.
Getting in the birth pool too early may slow labour, however when in established labour it can relax you and speed things up x

SASASI Wed 13-Aug-14 23:43:25

I think with water birth if you go into water before you are 4/5cm then it can delay labour - same as if you go for a bath before 4/5cm.

Epidurals for reasons as mentioned above - I'm really against / scared of instrumental delivery which is why I don't think I could have an epidural if I went into natural labour.

hmmmum Thu 14-Aug-14 08:50:35

My labour started slowing down because I started to run out of oxytocin, I'm not sure why, I suppose because I'd been labouring a long time. They had to give me synthetic oxytocin (there is a name for it but can't remember it).
I think it's a problem because the labour isn't progressing as it should. The baby could eventually end up in distress and they start considering c section.
In my case my baby was delivered by ventouse as I'd been pushing for over 2 hours but nothing.
I didn't have an epidural or a water birth though. It was just gas and air, Tens and morphine that I used. I wouldn't let the worry of labour slowing down necessarily put you off certain types of pain relief... You just can't predict how it'll all unfold, labour could slow down for various reasons.

NotCitrus Thu 14-Aug-14 09:24:14

It may or may not start up again, and trying to sleep with an epidural is hard - I had an epidural after I was made to get out of the pool after 8 hours, so round 7pm. By midday the next day, nothing more had happened. Finally got fully dilated round 2pm with shedloads of syntocin. Given my waters had broken 36 hours earlier, they were getting a bit concerned, especially when some meconium came out.

So got ready for a cs, though a ventouse sufficed. Did mean I was exhausted from two nights of almost no sleep before getting a newborn baby. So ideally would have avoided that, but my body wasn't cooperating so I would still have the epidural again.

SixImpossible Thu 14-Aug-14 09:39:39

It does not slways slow things down. After 36h of strong, regular, contractions, I had only reached 3cm. I was exhausted. By then I had been awake for nearly 48h, and walking for most of the labour. I had the epidural so that I could get some rest. The blessed relief from pain allowed me to relax, but I got no rest as I promptly dilated at double-quick speed, and was ready to push 2-3h after getting the epidural.

OTOH I've also had a labour that just totally ground to a halt for several hours. Strong regular contractions died away after about 5h (about 10h after first contractions) and nothing happened for most of the day. Then dh took me out for a waddle walk, and contractions began again before we could get back home. It all built up steadily from there, and dd was born about 8h later.

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