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Does continuous monitoring mean being on your back for labour?

(21 Posts)
KatAndKit Tue 02-Apr-13 16:59:42

I had an induction and I was pretty much trapped on my back from when they started the syntocinon. Wished I'd had an epidural but left it too late.

LazyMonkeyButler Tue 02-Apr-13 10:15:56

Well, I've had continuous monitoring throughout all 3 labours. I also had a failed epidural with DS1. With DS1, 16 years ago, I was very much restricted to being on the bed on my back. With DS2, 12 years ago, I was given the option of getting up & walking round a bit but was so woozy on gas & air that I opted not to. With DD, 2 years ago, I spent most of my labour peacefully rocking away on a lovely rocking chair grin. With a drip in one arm & a monitor strapped on to you movement is unlikely to be completely free but the rocking chair helped me hugely with contractions, the rocking motion was very calming for some reason! I only got on to the bed for the final stage.

EggsEggSplat Tue 02-Apr-13 10:11:27

I had continuous monitoring with DS and was theoretically able to move around but in fact because of DS's position (back to back) they lost the heartbeat every time I moved so I was stuck on my back. Labour was very slow to progress, uneven dilation etc I think largely as a result of my position. So with DC2 (also back to back) I refused continuous monitoring and was able to stand up & move around, which meant everything was much quicker and less painful.

CitrusyOne Tue 02-Apr-13 10:05:10

I was on monitor whole way through and was 'allowed' to be on my side. Being on my back was FAR too painful.

When I was induced I started contracting on my own without the need of a drip but the two MWs I had put it in anyway and told me I had to stay on my back. They're shift finished about half an hour in and a new MW came in, took the drip off me and said I could be how I felt comfy even though both me and baby were being monitored. I'm so glad I had that MW for the whole labour instead; so in my experience it's down to the individual MW!

LikeCandy Sun 31-Mar-13 17:11:44

I was on continuous monitoring due to preeclamsia from 8pm when we arrived at hospital (contracting 3 in 10), until the decision was made to send me for EMCS at 6pm the next day.

I was upright, walking around (a little, the leads aren't long!), bouncing on a birthing ball or leaning over the bed which had been brought up to shoulder level for the first 12/13hrs.
No one suggested staying on bed, but being 'active' did mean the midwives had to keep readjusting the sensors when they slipped.
I ended up with an epidural as the syntocinon (started at 3am, so 7hours on) made the contractions unbearable - so did end up on my back.
I didn't get to the pushing stage as we only made it to 8cm, so can't comment on that!

Good luck, I hope you get the birth you want!

pompompom Sun 31-Mar-13 15:32:23

I had continuous monitoring and a drip, wires everywhere, but was kneeling down on the floor for the whole thing. Any other position was pure agony. One MW insisted I lay on my back for an examination and it was awful. Nothing short of full sedation would have persuaded me to give birth on my back.

Rockchick1984 Sun 31-Mar-13 14:54:13

My midwife was happy for me to find a position where I was comfortable (on my knees leaning over the back of the bed) but once I was comfortable I had to stay like that so not an active labour but still better than flat on my back! I wasn't induced though, so not sure if it would have been different with a drip.

I too was covered in wires, was mainly on my back, but midwife did encourage me to get on my sides, and I did actually give birth on my knees, crouching over the head of the bed

catlady1 Sun 31-Mar-13 14:41:53

I didn't have the drip or an epidural but I spent most of my labour on my back with the monitor on because DD's heartrate was raised. I was only 3cm when I went into hospital and I don't think the midwife believed I was in as much pain as I said I was, she kept coming back in to tell me to keep very still and tutting that she'd have to keep the monitor on longer if I couldn't... I had awful back labour, I'd been in slow labour and not slept for three days before I went in and every contraction was making me contort myself like I'd been hit with a taser! I wanted to tell her to have a go and see how still she could be! I'd planned to keep active and ultimately have a water birth, but towards the end I progressed very quickly and when the midwife finally came to take me off the monitor I was fully dilated and starting to push. Everything was fine and of course that's all that really matters, but I do feel a bit short-changed.

lightrain Sun 31-Mar-13 14:32:13

2 different things here:

1) continuous monitoring - don't nessecarily need to be on your back, if your hospital has mobile monitoring (wireless). If your hospital does - mine does 'cos I was super-worried about being on my back all labour so first thing I checked - then you can move around, even go in the water whilst being monitored. If no mobile monitoring, you are a lot more restricted.

2) epidural - unless your hospital offers mobile epidurals - mine doesn't - then you will be restricted to bed and labouring on your back because your legs won't work properly anymore!

Fakebook I was actually pretty much the same. Had the BP machine and the heartrate finger thing, the drip, the epidural and the monitor.

Too many wires!

Fakebook Sun 31-Mar-13 14:25:50

When I was induced with the drip, it meant my contractions, my baby's heart rate and my heart rate had to be continuously monitored. So along with the drip I was hooked up to about 3 machines and the belts around my belly to measure contractions and baby's heart rate kept moving out of place if I moved around. You can't really move very far without getting tangled too. This was the reason why I was bed bound. I also ended up having an epidural so chances of active labour went out the window when that happened.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Sun 31-Mar-13 14:21:54

The only reason I was stuck in one position was that ds hr kept dipping if I was in any other position than on my lhs. Otherwise the mws would have been happy for me to be in whatever position I was comfortable with. There are also wireless monitors you can use which give you much more freedom but the one we tried kept losing signal so not that reliable.

I think it does, my first MW was happy and even encouraging me to move and said it's fine as she can just re-adjust. The second was a monster and wouldn't let me move at all and kept shoving a stupid wedge under my back.

I think asking is a good idea and making it known that you want an active labour.

nocake Sun 31-Mar-13 14:16:50

If you're attached to a drip and a monitor you can't go very far but you should be able to get off the bed and stand up or sit on a ball.

aufaniae Sun 31-Mar-13 14:14:20

So does it vary from MW to MW then? Are some OK with movement with monitoring and some not? If so then back to plan A which is to ask the MW i get for labour upfront if she can support me being as active as possible and demand someone else if she can't! Is this realistic do you think?

I think it's mainly because they assume you can't move much from the epidural, I could though. It totally failed and they agreed because they kept doing some test with freeze spray on me to see if I could feel it.

I had the same as you, including the agonising failed epidural but forced on my back.

Eventually they put a clip on DS' head because I was complaining about being told to stay very still so they could get a trace, I still wasn't allowed to move though.

The first MW I had was lovely though and let me go on the ball and over the bed and move about freely with the monitor on.

wfrances Sun 31-Mar-13 14:03:38

i think its because you have a drip in and being monitored at the same time cant really give you a lot of room to move about.
i stayed upright ,just walking around the bed until the last 10 minutes(carefully)

aufaniae Sun 31-Mar-13 13:55:02

Last time I gave birth, I was induced with Syntocinon and had continuous monitoring. The MW made it clear she wanted me on my back, which I was really against as I wanted to practice active labour. Also the epidural didn't work and I wanted to do what I could to reduce the pain, and being on my back wasn't it!

The MW never explained why she wanted me on my back, and I've since been told that it's a sign of an inexperienced MW if they can't cope with monitoring with you in any position but on your back. I may well be induced again this time, and I had hoped to avoid the same experience. In fact I have a very short birth plan, which simply says I need a MW who will support me practicing active labour!

However another mumsnetter said she recently was told that she's been told that she'll need to be in bed if induced, and a quick google shows that having Syntocinon = an expectation of continuous monitoring = "restricted movement".

So wise mumsnetters, can anyone shed any light on what is meant by "restricted movement"? I remember from last time, although on a bed, I could have been in different positions, had the MW supported me to do so? Should an experienced MW be able to support active labour (or semi-active labour at least) even with continuous monitoring?

Or, when the hospital talk about being in bed, is it mostly because they're assuming you'll be immobile from the epidural?

I am seeing my MW on Tues, but I'm finding she's not great at giving me info unless I ask the right questions, so I want to arm myself with knowledge before then.

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