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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!

sleepywombat Tue 18-Dec-12 06:49:26

I think its definitely possible, but only if baby in right position!

ds1 hours of awful pushing. Also had long labour, terrible back pain, had no idea what was a contraction, what was not due to pain etc. Turned out he was sideways.

ds2 breathed him out. Didn't push at all. Whole painful part of labour only lasted about 3 hours, with no back pain.

I have never done hypnobirthing, but did lots of pregnancy yoga - all of which went completely out of mind during labour.

sleepywombat Tue 18-Dec-12 06:50:03

Also had 3rd degree tear with ds1 & just grazes with ds2.

I couldn't not push, up until the mw said let's take a look cause it felt like he was about to fall out of me I was just focusing and managing my contracts well. A few pushes and he was out but I just couldn't stop when they told me too.

I certainly didn't 'breath' baby out - more like screamed him out. However, I couldn't not push, even though I had morphine I could still feel the crowning etc. Luckily the morphine worked only right where it was needed (in my tailbone and thighs).

It was an uncontrollable thing for me, and although I would've liked to have been calm and just breathed him out, screaming him out felt ace. It was so animalistic and primal. Ace. Pushing stage only took about 5/10 minutes, I think I only did 4-5 very very loud screams then there he was!!

Forgot to add - he was back to back, hence the awful pain in my tailbone, thighs and pelvic bone. I think he must have spun on his head at the last moment though, and came out the right way. Best thing I have ever done.

comixminx Tue 18-Dec-12 08:55:47

Sounds like there's a lot of variety in births: no surprise that that's the case but always worth bearing in mind... Both of my births were reasonably much 'breathed out' rather than pushed, and by that I mean that while my body did all the work (reverse vomiting as said above!). I didn't do any extra pushing if you see what I mean, and tried not to bear down until it was absolutely unavoidable. The first time, this was helped by a fantastic doula who coached me, otherwise I wouldn't have known to do that; second time, I had it in mind and was able to more or less remember to do that.

Fishandjam Tue 18-Dec-12 09:45:50

I wasn't able to breathe either DS or DD out, for various reasons - had to push like my life depended on it (which in DS's case it did, sort of... whole nother story, that). But while it was totally knackering I found it much less horrible than stage 1. Plus, with DD, DH couldn't be with me at the actual moment of birth, but there was something very uplifting about having four women (doula, midwife, trainee midwife and senior midwife what had been called in to advise on whether forceps were needed - they weren't, thank fuck) all yelling at me "Come ON! Give it some welly!!"

MrsOscarPistorius Tue 18-Dec-12 10:31:19

Hmm yes, "breathing the baby out" I had that in my birthplan for DC3 as wanted to avoid stitches.

When it came to it, it felt like my pelvis was breaking and was so bloody painful that I thought sod it, I'm just getting this over asap and pushed as hard as I could!!! managed to get away without stitches but did have a second degree tear.

(2nd stage with DC3 was strangely more painful than with DC2, who came out as though on a log flume - but still needed stitches)

1978andallthat Tue 18-Dec-12 10:39:07

I had so much epidural I couldn't feel to push. They told me when to and I pretended to do a poo but to be honest I don't think I did anything - it was all the baby doing it.

ksrwr Tue 18-Dec-12 13:26:30

i did hypnobirthing and so truly believed in the whole breathe baby out thing. when it came to the overwhelming urge to push, i tried exactly what i'd been taught and tried to breathe the baby out, it had absolutely no effect. in the end all it did was slow down the birth. the midwife tried to convince me to do it her way, i.e. hold my breath and push, which is the exact opposite to what i'd learned in hypnobirthing, i so so stupidly thought i knew better. so when my way wasn't working, i tried hers and POP dd arrived. in hindsight i actually think breathing the baby out is dangerous. it slowed everything down and put baby at risk. so i wouldn't recommend it based on my own experience.

ksrwr Tue 18-Dec-12 13:37:49

HOWEVER, i'd just like to add, everything else i learned in hypnobirthing was great! the CD's properly brainwashed me so i was totally relaxed and confident about labour and birth. and co-incidentally i had a really straightforward experience, with no intervention or repairs necessary. But i do believe your birth experience is almost pre-programmed, and any amount of hypnobirthing/panicking wont have any effect on whether you need a c-section, have a long/short birth, have tears etc.

Afrodizzywonders Tue 18-Dec-12 13:53:37

6 hours of pushing for my first who was huge......when I was giving birth to my second 10 days ago that's all I had in my mind, I wasn't fannying about, I pushed and like I said above, she shot out very quick, you have to do what your body tells you, and the urge to push was overwhelming.

ditzyd Tue 18-Dec-12 13:55:02

With my DD I was pushing and pushing and my body really struggled .i was panicking as I didn't know what I was doing, but with my DS I felt more in control of my body. I knew what I wanted. I just let my body tell me what to do. So I did breath my baby out. My advice is to stay as calm as possible, and listen to what your body is telling you smile

I did a hypnobirthing course with some other parents to be and "breathed" ds out. like many said, it wasn't a consious decision my body just did it (dc1, homebirth). I do remember asking the me if I should push it something but they said he was already more or less out shock .

I never managed to self hypnotise but the best thing I took away from hypnobirthing was the breathing, relaxing and DO NOT fight your body or contractions (sorry, surges!). tensing and fighting contractions stops your blood flowing properly, the muscles can't do their job properly and it just drags the whole thing out (labour, that is) grin
I also listened to the cd I was given every night and became conditioned to sleep to it so I managed to sleep for an hour during labour when I was contracting every 2 minutes grin. my hypno practitioner told me sleeping was the ultimate state of relaxation grin

BoffinMum Tue 18-Dec-12 15:37:36

With the last one I eased him out rather than breathed him out, after a hypnobirthing course. It really wasn't too bad at all.

A couple of the others were tricky though, mainly due to positioning (compound presentation, etc). Those times I really had to push or they would not have emereged without help.

BoffinMum Tue 18-Dec-12 15:38:22

A warning though - I got so relaxed doing hypnobirthing that labour stopped for 24 hours!! I'd advise against being too mellow.

DewDr0p Tue 18-Dec-12 19:24:48

I had 2 births in a mw-led unit and then a hb. They were all relatively fast labours (less than 6 hours, 2 hours and 4.5 hours resp) I had a very strong urge to push with ds1 and ds3. Neither were especially easy to get out - ds1 had the cord wrapped around his body and was kind of bungeeing with the contractions; ds3 was back to back and had his head up. Hard work.

Ds2's delivery was the most extraordinary experience of my life. We arrived at the birth centre with literally a couple of mins to spare, dh and the mw helped me out of my jeans and onto the bed so she could examine me. Waters went as I climbed on I think. When she looked she said "erm are you sure you don't need to push?" and I said "hmm not really but I can give it a try if you like" and in 3 or 4 very smooth pushes he was out, a matter of seconds. I felt so in control and very focussed and all powerful - I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar grin. (The 2nd mw was still watching the World Cup on TV and missed it grin )

Have to say that following that I expected ds3's delivery to be similar and it was a bit of a shock when it wasn't, so as pp's said, you just don't know how things will pan out and best to keep an open mind.

Btw I had minor stitches with ds1 and ds2, none with ds3. And ds3 was the most laidback baby imaginable whereas the other 2 were fairly high maintenance...

MrsMcEnroe your experience sounds really fascinating.

MrsWinklepicker Tue 18-Dec-12 21:20:37

I think that I did what you call "breathe" my two babies out .... I had some hypnotherapy sessions before the first birth and I had two very calm, quiet births and there was no pushing at all, the first was in the pool and the second would have been if she hadn't popped out before anyone could get anywhere near a tap ..... HOWEVER, I am fairly sure that a large part of it was luck - the fact that for reasons completely outside my control, my contractions were very efficient and not too painful.

There is definitely something to be said for being relaxed and being prepared, but imo it is important not to get too hung up with your expectations of having a "perfect" birth.

Snowydrift Tue 18-Dec-12 21:22:05

I suppose I did. I had the midwife shouting in my face "don't push, just breathe, don't push just breathe, else you'll tear." On repeat, quite loud. It all happened rather fast!

ratbagcatbag Tue 18-Dec-12 21:44:06

I'm reading this with interest as ive got 15 weeks to go and terrified of labour, for the ladies that did hypnotic thing, what cd and book do you recommend?

ratbagcatbag Tue 18-Dec-12 21:45:09

Sorry hypnotic thing is hypnobirthing, stupid auto correct made me look very rude sad

Notgrownupinmyhead Tue 18-Dec-12 22:24:06

I breathed boy3 out. Was scared of pushing as I knew how much it was going to hurt but closed my eyes and breathed in and out with each contraction then when I had to push the little peach out it was over pretty quick and I was home within a few hours.

The other boys are a different story!

peanutpie Tue 18-Dec-12 23:09:12

With both births I had an irrestible desire to push. It was sort of overwhelming & mechanical. It also felt good to finally be doing something!
My second birth was completely explosive and it felt like dd might have bounced off the floor of the birth pool if the midwife hadn't caught her.
I have seen the videos of people calmly giving birth but that wasn't my experience.
PS I should also add that I felt great at the end of my births and I went with my physical experience completely !

snoozed Wed 19-Dec-12 11:17:16

If the baby is back to back I think you have to push, ime...
I tried the breathing it out thing.. But nothing was happening, dd did not budge.

In the end it was 2 hours of hard pushing - she came out face up. I tore badly (in water).

TheElfOnThePanopticon Wed 19-Dec-12 12:30:03

I planned on breathing the baby out, but I had an absolutely irresistable urge to push - it felt amazing, utterly overwhelming and powerful.

I think that breathing the baby down works in a lot of births, but if I had done that, it would have been going against what my body was telling me to do, and I think that in labour, your body generally lets you know what needs to be done.

this article has some criticism of the Hypnobirthing promotion of breathing the baby down over other forms of pushing:
midwifethinking.com/2010/07/30/pushing-leave-it-to-the-experts/

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