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Breathing the baby out Vs pushing

(107 Posts)
abigboydidit Sun 16-Dec-12 22:07:31

Hi -

Been having a conversation about breathing the baby out Vs pushing and wondered if anyone had any experiences of this they would be happy to share? Am hoping for a VBAC after a traumatic ECS last time and tentatively heading down the hypnobirthing route. However, all discussions with MW have talked about pushing so am wondering if the reality is that I will end up just doing as am told in the heat of the moment confused.

Thanks in advance!

With DS, I was told I was pushing 'the wrong way' and had a ventouse delivery. It wasn't a very good experience and I think it contributed to my PND.

With DD, I obviously had a much better idea of hat to expect, and all I did was listen to my body. I pushed her out very quickly, just by doing what my body was telling me to do.

Breathing the baby out sounds like what I did on my own - I found DD's birth much easier because I was ignoring everything around me and just focusing on what I felt I had to do. It was a much more positive experience.

gourd Mon 17-Dec-12 13:15:21

I didnt 'push'. I had read it was better to relax so that's what i did. I had a short and really nice labour though, at home. Got in birth pool about 20 mins before LO emerged, and found it lovely. It wasn't particularly painful, just like period pains that came and went the whole way through really, it was not painful the whole time, just more like waves breaking. Fairly intense but was only in labour 2.5 hours so hard to say what it would have felt like had it been a longer labour. Pushing stage was 20 minutes but I did not push, i just went with it. I mean you dont have any choice, baby just comes out anyway wihtout doing anything. I tried to relax so as not to tear (and didn't, thankfully). Head crowing stung but was over in seconds. Rest of body emerging just felt a bit weird, like a little rabbit scrabling about, but didn't hurt. It was great, a really amazing experience, really quite magical. I lifted her out of the water and she took her first breath in my arms and after opening first one eye then the other in a sleepy sort of way, she then fed straight away. Couldn't have asked for a better birth really. Nothing like you see on TV or films or anything, don't think there were any loud noises from either of us apart from head crowning where I said "Oh, baby!" I did feel so positive and almost deleriously happy the whole time too, which probably helped.

WantAnOrange Mon 17-Dec-12 13:21:54

My first labour, I had to push, I could not control it, my body knew exactly what it was doing.

My second, DD was back to back and I had to push continually or else she went back up!

R2PeePoo Mon 17-Dec-12 13:26:34

I breathed DS out. It was a wonderful peaceful, almost silent birth with hardly any pain.

Instead of fighting my body I just focused on relaxing and keeping everything relaxed. I got myself into a very odd state where I was aware of what was going on around me, but it was all very distant at the same time. I could feel DS descending and my body stretching to let him out, but all I was aware of was pressure with every contraction, no pain. The only time I pushed was when I had a cervical lip (he was back to back) but it was instinctive as every time I pushed it stopped the excruciating pain. Once he was through I stopped pushing and went back to relaxing.

I took the midwives by surprise, they were sitting at the table drinking tea and when I felt he was about to crown I called out "head almost here" and they had to scramble for their gloves. The rush when he was born was astonishing and lasted for weeks.

elliejjtiny Mon 17-Dec-12 13:36:58

I pushed with DS1 and DS2 but with DS3 it was mostly breathing with a bit of pushing as well. I thought a 3rd baby would shoot out and tear me so I was keen to avoid pushing. All 3 took around 25 mins from 10cm dilated to baby being born.

Psammead Mon 17-Dec-12 13:46:16

With DD1 my body just did it. I felt in control of the situation and quite calm. I did my breathing, and she was born quite easily, although there were tears.

With DD2 it was totally different. Complications, midwife pushing her out by applying pressure to my abdomen, shoulder dystocia. I could have no more breathed her out than the big bad wolf could huff and puff the stone house down.

thetigerwhocametoteax Mon 17-Dec-12 14:07:53

I had a traumatic birth with DS1 ( long, long back to back labour, epidural, failed forceps delivery, complicated EMCS - felt like I'd been hit by a train after) but had a dream (genuinely lovely experience) second time around. However DS2 was in a much better position and smaller. I had him in the birthing pool an hour after arriving at the hospital - I didn't feel like I needed to push he just slid out after a lot of "pressure" down below. I had a little gas and air at the end and no tears. I did yoga both times and knew the theory as it were about hypnobirthing. The hospital were amazing - I had a debrief about everything that went right / wrong last time and they were happy for me to have the water delivery I desperately wanted. I felt like a went into a weird little world of my own once I stepped in the pool and barely heard the midwife or DH. I just remember looking down at the end and DS2 bobbed up in the water. Most special moment of my life so far. I really hope things work out for you - it can be magical!

NoHank Mon 17-Dec-12 14:10:00

With DC1 I never felt the urge to push but was told to by the midwife as I was fully dilated - ended up a ventouse delivery after 40 minutes of pushing and not much progress.

DC2 was a homebirth - DD was born 40 mins after the midwives arrived. It felt like the most natural feeling in the world. Not actually pushing but more of a sort of bearing down with some of the contractions and just breathing through the others. The midwife actually asked me at one point if I didn't feel like pushing during the contractions and I just shook my head - DD was born with no pain relief or interventions although I'm sure it would have been a completely different story if there had been any complications or she had been lay in a different position.

LeonieDeSainteVire Mon 17-Dec-12 14:18:32

I'm with all the people who said they didn't push, their bodies did it. There was nothing I could have done to stop it or alter it or control it,g I just relaxed and let my body do it.

NoHank Mon 17-Dec-12 14:19:25

Also, I did try listening to the hypnobirth CD's but kept nodding off blush

I think what really helped was reading this book on active birth. I think it helped put me in the right mind set more than anything else.

Hobbitation Mon 17-Dec-12 14:30:00

I used this second time round

NCT Effective Birth Preparation

and also went to Yoga. I don't think learning to breathe through pain can hurt if you pardon the pun) even if you go on to need more intervention later.

Though probably a lot of my extra confidence came from having done it all before, and I'm not anti-epidural having had a good experience with one first time round. Notably I had fewer stitches and no bruising second time round, and the second stage of labour was 5 minutes or less compared with 40 minutes first time round. (Also DD2 was 9lbs 2 oz compared with 8lbs DD1) But the length of established labour was about the same each time, about 6 hours. With DD1 I had back labour and with DD2 she was born dry, both scenarios not known for exactly easing the pain situation.

I was lucky to have positive births with both DDs, but I resolved to at least try to learn effective breathing patterns after DD1 was born, as I slightly panicked at the pain of contractions and thought it would help.

bohemimum Mon 17-Dec-12 14:55:58

Hi OP - I too had an ECS first time and a VBAC for DD2. I did breath her out - totally possible. The human body is amazing! Don't put yourself under too much pressure, just go with whatever comes naturally to you at the time.

Afrodizzywonders Mon 17-Dec-12 16:09:47

I didn't use hypno birthing, I did read the book tried the cd and it did my head in, I read ina mays guide to childbirth and that gave me a good postative outlook. I had 2 home births, no intervention and not even gas and air. Like others I wasn't screaming, I was concentrating on the pain and managing it but there was pain, I'm not one of these people to say there isn't but you can manage it, just don't be afraid.

First baby was 10lbs and 99% percentile for size and huge head! My second I gave birth to a week ago was over in 30 mins from start to finish, second midwife didn't even make it.

It did hurt, it was hard work but its worth it and immediately after you forget. I do recommend the Ina May book.....I thought it was fantastic for giving me confidence that my body could do it.

I used the Birth Prep CD mentioned above for both births.

I focused on the "breathing the baby" out alot as well as other things like "putty like birth canal" etc.

Although both labours were very different I didn't push for either - I still don't really know what 'pushing' in birth means.

I felt the baby "surge" 2 -3 times and I breathed and relaxed and then the baby just came out. Both times smile

MummytoMog Mon 17-Dec-12 16:59:30

DD was a hypnobirthing baby who went horribily wrong and ended in forceps and a big whacking load of stitches (after six hours of pushing until I passed out). DS I didn't push at all, didn't feel the urge to push until suddenly my body (I had nothing to do with it) pushed and he crowned. Second push and he came out. Six minute second stage, get in there. Anyway, I didn't actively push, it just happened and it was a glorious hilarious experience that I would do again in a minute. But I did tear like a b'stard on my scar from the forceps delivery, just to warn you. But then again Fatboy weighed a pound and a half more than his sister.

showmethetoys Mon 17-Dec-12 17:02:22

The birth of my DS was very similar to MrsMcEnroe's (forceps in theatre, episiotomy etc) and afterwards I felt like a bit of a dickhead because I had listened to the natal hypnotherapy CDs and really had believed I could breathe my baby out (with the warmth, pressure and power or whatever it is that she says!). In reality I was pushing like a mad woman for 2.5 hours after an already exhaustingly long labour and he wasnt budging (my thighs were killing me for days afterwards from all the squats I was doing!).

So it is heartening to find out that maybe, just maybe I might have another birth where things are a bit calmer!

OP I have heard lots of things about people's bodies taking over and them just breathing out the baby, and I think staying calm is a big part of it, so I would definitely go for the hypnobrithing thing. But just bear in mind that it might not go that way, and definitely do not feel bad/silly if it doesnt!

Good luck!

OlivetheotherReindeer Mon 17-Dec-12 17:41:05

I can't agree more with the people who said that their body took over. Mine absolutely did. I did all the birth classes and remember being a bit of a cynical bitch in NCT, when the woman said that your inner monkey took over. It wasn't til active labour that I truly got what she meant. I think it is down to luck. If baby is exactly where it should be and lying optimally, your body does do a lot of it. My midwife was amazing and kept telling my husband to " shut up" every time he said push ( he could see the contractions on the monitor) and said that some contractions were pushing contractions and some weren't and that my body knew better than him. She was dead right. I had a great labour, and although I had a 2nd degree tear ( per birth, a tear was my worst nightmare) it wasn't nearly as painful as I expected and healed fine. Good luck, there is Jo right way in labour, just your way. Try not to over think it, it's really primal and amazing, I was on a high for days. Ps gas and air is amazing stuff.

Afrodizzywonders Mon 17-Dec-12 17:57:15

I like the term, let your inner monkey take over!!! I'm stealing that.

All our experiences are different, I just found I wanted to poo! Midwife said 'you aren't going to start pushing are you?' and next thing you know I'd crawled on all fours to the bathroom and lo and behold, the urge to push was overwhelming! I definitely wanted to push and I did and baby 2 popped out in 10 minutes and was quite literally caught by the midwife who had been in the other room for a minute.

My inner monkey deffo told me to be on all fours to do it.....my body was just doing what it wanted to but I did push.

AmberLeaf Mon 17-Dec-12 18:03:05

I couldn't not push, my body just did it.

Pushing stage was about 20 mins with the first and no more than 5 with 2nd and 3rd, I pushed hard once the head was out and it was very quick after that about 2 pushes.

girlynut Mon 17-Dec-12 18:21:40

It depends what you mean by "pushing".

With DS1, my body took over and the urge to push was very strong with each contraction. This was OK but the hospital were clearly on a tight time deadline because I ended up with my chin on my chest, straining for all I was worth,with the midwife cheerleading away "Good girl, now PUSH!" Tore very badly.

Second time round, I attended hypno classes and learnt that "purple pushing" (where you burst blood vessels in your eyes!) is probably best avoided. Instead, I actively tried not to push but to just let DS2 come down the birth canal in his own time. It did get a bit frustrating as he felt like he was going back when the contractions stopped but eventually he came out of his own accord. Much less traumatic, both physically and mentally.

Can't recommend hypnobirthing enough. smile

The only way to explain it to someone who's not been through labour is to liken it to a giant poo(!) You can either push really hard or just kinda sit back, relax and wait for it!! (sorry for grossness!)

SantasBigBaubles Mon 17-Dec-12 18:26:13

Hypnobirthing is great, but more importantly i think you should if possible avoid induction.. Inductions do make for a more painful labor, and a baby who wants out is easier to evict smile

cafecito Mon 17-Dec-12 18:41:34

I breathed out DC1 and had to push hard with DC2, but DC2 was enormous (no painrelief, what was I thinking)

cafecito Mon 17-Dec-12 18:42:58

but still, DC2 pushing was only a couple of minutes so I can't complain really. It is certainly possible, your body takes over and it's with each uterine contraction.

Gilberte Mon 17-Dec-12 18:45:52

I didn't do hypnobirthing but I did have a drug free water birth (2nd labour).

My Mw was telling I could push now but I wasn't quite sure what I was meant to do as I could just feel my body doing everything.
(Quite different from my first medicated birth when I couldn't feel anything but was gritting my teeth and pushing very hard myself)

When MW told me to give a gentle push so I didn't tear I just thought I'm not actually doing a thing anyway.

The pushing stage was very short (about 6 minutes I thgink). I can't remember it as being painful just uncomfortable as I felt this huge football in my "bowels" moving along and out.

Crowning was horrible though and the only time I said oww or similar (something I hadn't experienced first time due to epidural)

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 17-Dec-12 18:50:40

I had an overwhelming urge to push with DS1

DS2 was very different, no urge at all, I was in a panic, the midwife asked if I wanted to push and I had no idea so said 'no' repeatedly.

They then took the gas and air from me as they thought it was 'making me lose control' (refusing to push) but I really felt zero urge to push, in the end I give up arguing and pushed but it was not an urge, I was forced and I tore and it was sore, apparently he was 'ready to be born though'..(I was still asking for pain relief at this time)

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