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Breathing the baby out Vs pushing(107 Posts)
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 .
Thanks in advance!
I found that my body just did it...I can't really explain it. I wasn't actively doing anything but could feel my body pushing DD out...
I did hypnobirthing and breathed DC2 out (I'd had a truamatic birth with DC1 resulting in forceps, episiotomy and a lot of subsequent issues that took a while to heal/fix).
It was a really beautiful experience and I honestly didn't push - I just focused on my breathing. Apparently I was completely calm and silent. The baby was born with absolutely no intervention; I only had gas & air, and no tearing. At the time I was doing it, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. I felt as though I would be doing the baby a disservice by forcing her out via pushing hard. I recovered amazingly quickly - was home within a couple of hours, felt fine and was on a high for weeks afterwards. It was completely different from my first labour, where I struggled to walk or sit down for weeks on end. I bled less the second time too.
BUT labour was progressing very well and she was coming down the birth canal all on her own anyway. I wouldn't have been able to breathe DC1 out because the baby was lying in a funny position, got stuck, the cord was round his neck, his heartbeat was all over the place, as was my blood pressure and I was seconds away from having the kind of c-section where the doctors have to push the baby back up the birth canal and remove it through the abdomen (can't remember what it's called and it sounds absolutely awful).
So what I'm saying is - I recommend hypnobirthing but I don't believe that it can work if there is a complication with your labour. So if your baby is breech, for example, or gets stuck, hypnobirthing can help you stay calm and deal with the pain but you're not going to be able to breathe out a baby that's got stuck....
I guess that what I'm saying is, give it a go, it can be wonderful, and I believe that it is far less traumatic for the baby BUT don't set unrealistic expectations for yourself; sometimes nature intervenes and we can't control every aspect of childbirth! If you end up having to push the baby out, or having some type of medical intervention, you won't have "failed."
That's my opinion anyway!
Ds1 my body just started pushing on its own I cudnt stop it just felt huge pressure, he was out in 2 pushes and 5 mins.
Ds2 no pushing would budge him never mind breathing, he was well and truly stuck, for over 2 hours I pushed my hardest, docs had to help get him out. I really thought it was going to be easy given the first time, but he was transverse and over 2.5ib bigger than ds1.
If you want to go with hypnobirthing try it hun, if you find at the time you feel you need to push etc then let your body take over. It's your birth and your choices so its totally up to you x
I did hypnobirthing, I only used gas and air, no stitches. But I didn't breath the baby out, I pushed like hell!! But it was all very calm and gentle and the midwives and my mum and DP were having a right good time given how relaxed it all was!!
I recovered very quickly.
That was my first, hope it goes as well for my second!!
I don't really get the pushing thing....my body just did it, I didn't actually have any control.
I did do lots of "pushing" with DS1 - I'd had an epidural and could feel nothing, but apparently my pushing was rubbish, so the ventouse were needed.
DS2 was just pushed out during contractions, I didn't know he was coming.
DD was just pushed out. I was using hypnobirthing, and it was brilliant. Pain free, but like being blown by a very strong wind.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
pushed first one out and tore really badly -induction, epidural and gas and air
breathed no2 out -fast spontaneous labour, midwife just stood back and let me get on with it, no pain relief, just did what my body told me to do, and that wasn't to push
it was very odd because every birth you see on tv, and my first, the womena are being told to push as hard as they can, so I felt like I should be doing something, but nature just took it's course
no stitches, wanted to go home straight away but they have a4 hour rule in my area and dd2 was born at 9pm so I had to wait until next morning -grr
I had done some hypnobirthing stuff - a short evening course and listened to CDs, and had a very positive, pretty calm birth at home with no pain relief except water. Tore but not too badly, recovered quickly.
No one was with me and DH for most of labour - MWs arrived about half hour before birth - but I did a LOT of pushing as I found it to help with pain of contractions for the last few hours. I actually felt bad about pushing, partly due to hypnobirthing, partly as I thought I wasn't dilated and was worried about pushing baby out of a closed cervix. But couldn't really stop myself.
Then when MWs came and DS was crowning/trying to get out they were telling me to 'push with the pain' and I found I couldn't really work out how to force myself to push, I could only do what my body would do iyswim.
This was first birth so I don't have much frame of reference but I do believe that HB helped me to stay calm and allow my body to do what it needed to do.
Oh, but as with PP I do think there will be some births where hypnobirthing and breathing won't be enough, however hopefully it would help make births as positive as possible and I was a firm believer that I wanted to have as many 'tools' as possible to help me through the birth without interventions as far as possible.
All 3 times for me it was a reflex- I couldn't have stopped the pushing even if I'd wanted to. But the pushing stage is a massive relief ime. I did try and control my breathing though, to give me something to concentrate on more than anything else, and didn't tear.
Those of you that did hypnobirthing, how did you learn how to do it? Did you read up/go to classes??
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I had a 4 day painful back to back labour with ds and was pushing for over 2 hrs. He was also 9 1/2 lbs. Before I started pushing the midwife told me that once the head was delivered she would give me back the gas and air and she wanted me to concentrate on not pushing, just breathing the gas and air very slowly and baby would come on its own.
Easier said than done though, once the head was delivered, she gave me back the gas and air and I was doing really well until the next contraction came and I had this overwhelming urge to push. All I can remember was her telling me not to and just breathe and I pushed anyway and tore really badly. Obviously this may have happened if I had of breathed him out, I will never be sure, but I think the idea of not pushing is to allow baby to slide out with as little trauma as possible.
I think if you can actually resist the urge to push, it's a good idea in theory
Really interesting reading here, I had to push DD out as my contractions pretty much stopped so she wasn't coming out without some incentive from me.
DS due in 2 weeks so hoping to focus on my breathing a bit more as did tear with DD. However given the speed she arrived I'm not sure I'm going to have much time to do anything this time around!!
Sorry I didn't say, I actually felt the tear as I pushed.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
My body pushed without me doing anything, was totally uncontrollable.
Not sure who asked (can't scroll up due to iPad playing up) but I googled hypnotherapists in my area, and saw one privately. I had a few sessions with her, and she gave me a CD to use at home too.
The sessions were fascinating. Part of the practise involved hypnotising myself so that I couldn't feel pain in, say, my arm or leg .... the hypnotherapist stuck a pin in me to prove that it had worked! (The pain relief part of hypnotherapy didn't work for me during labour - I was too scared during the first stage to let myself relax enough unfortunately).
Due to my first birth, I was terrified of pushing the baby out the second time round and that's why I wanted hypnotherapy to help me cope. It was more about relaxation, and my only goal was to breathe the baby out calmly rather than pushing and tearing. When I felt the baby begin to descend the birth canal it was as though a switch automatically flipped inside my head; I because incredibly calm and focused, and sort of went into myself .... Totally unlike my normal self I might add! The midwife was telling me to push but I just ignored her and breathed, and everything felt right. Of course, part of the reason for that was that i hadnt had an epidural and therefore i could actually feel what my body was trying to do, unlike the first time (although this time I could feel the pain too!). And the pain during that stage, although noticeable, was a positive sensation .... i can't explain that, but it was. Afterwards the midwife said I'd been competely calm and silent the entire time.
Whenever I feel in need of relaxation I still go back to those sessions in my head and practise some of the techniques and I saw the same hypnotherapist a few years later when I was suffering from extreme anxiety and she sorted me right out. I had been completely housebound for nine months, and within two weeks of seeing her I was out and about and had my life back. It was incredible. The tools she has given me are invaluable. If anyone wants her details please PM me!
DD1 was a full induction and I did a lot of tv style pushing and yelling. Luckily for me I had a wonderful midwife and I was able to do exactly as she said wrt when to push and as a result managed to avoid any tearing despite the speed of the induced labour (3hrs) and DD being quite a big 9lb 2oz. Recovery took a little while though and DD had a lot of pressure marks.
Because DD1's birth was so medicalised and painful I threw myself at hypnobirthing when expecting DD2. We did a course and listened to both the Mongan Method and the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs. Practised the 'J shaped breath' and did lots of visualisation. DD2's birth was fantastic, I just did what felt right and breathed all 9lb 8oz of her out. Again no tearing but even better was the speed my body recovered (water birth may have also contributed), I didn't feel anywhere near as beaten up afterwards and I also think DD2 is a calmer baby as a result of a much calmer and less pressured birth.
Good luck with your birth
So in general people had to push with their first but not second. That was my experience too. I think in general second stage is much faster 2nd time round. I pushed when I shouldnt have with my second and she flew out in 1. Luckily I got away with 2nd degree. My first I pushed for 2 hours.
My point is that I dont think you can always just breathe them out it depends how easily they come. You can blame it on medicalisation, not sitting on birthing ball etc but the biggest thing is luck with birthing imo.
Wow - thanks for all the replies. Interesting to hear about the differences and reassuring to know there is no right or wrong. As my 1st delivery was classed as a failed induction I am feeling a lot of pressure to get it right somehow and reading these posts has helped me realise there's no such thing!
The failure was theirs not yours. Please dont feel pressured because there is a limit to what you can do. These things just happen, I think sometimes thats the danger of 'natural is best' because it gives the impression you have more control than you do.
I think things like hypnobirthing are good if they relax you and stop you feeling anxious. However, you have to accept that it wont necessarily lead to everything going as you want it to.
On the positive side a friend of mine recently had a vbac :-)
Really interesting thread. No experience whatsoever of childbirth yet, but I'm halfway through a hypnobirthing course and Nipperette is due in Feb. Whilst I'm realistic enough to realise that it may not all go exactly as planned, it makes total sense to me to try and keep everything relaxed and breathe the baby out. Pushing just seems to me to be a reflex which tenses all the muscles - surely not what's needed?
I could no more have not pushed than I could not vomit if the urge was upon me. My body did it all for me. It was entirely unconcious on my part each time.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Also, I did try listening to the hypnobirth CD's but kept nodding off
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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
I breathed out DC1 and had to push hard with DC2, but DC2 was enormous (no painrelief, what was I thinking)
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.
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)
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)
I did Hypnobirthing sessions prior to having DD with DH. DD came a few weeks early so never got to do the last session which was about not feeling any pain. But saying that birth was very relaxed, I only had gas and air. The MW left me for over an hour when I fully dilated to see if I could breathe DD out but she wouldn't budge. So ended up pushing but was very calm, no pain relief needed but I also had no urge to push at any time.. I am due to have DC2 in feb and really hope to breathe baby put this time but I'll just see what happens...
I breathed out my fourth(and last!) baby without planning too or being told to, in fact I'd never heard of this being a 'technique' until now. It was a water birth and I was tired of the pain, on quite a lot of gas and air and remember zoning out and imagining I was on ski slope with the sun shining and thinking the midwife was in control and it was like a completely surrendered my body to the process without intending to, just cos I couldn't bare it any more and my daughter came out without any pushing she was just born smoothly with each long breath out that I took. So trust your body and let go.
It is a horrid term, failed induction. As Brett said, you didn't fail though!
With ds1 I had a lovely home birth and don't remember pushing. I breathed him out without any hypnobirthing training. Mother Nature took over!
With ds2 I was induced and all I wanted to do was push! And push, and push some more!
Both births were fine, no tearing or injury, both back to back, both just gas and air. Sometimes I think it is luck of the draw...and it may be helpful to adopt a what will be will be attitude?
HTH, and good luck OP!
Blimey! Went to work and came home expecting 1 or 2 replies so 3 pages is fantastic. Will have a read once DS is in bed
and I have a bag of kettle chips to hand
I did with my first baby, she was extremely premature, I didn't realise I was in labour (despite being in a delivery room, I thought they were going to stop whatever was happening) and there was no one in the room with me other than Mum and OH so no one telling me what to do.
I read that pushing isn't the natural way to get a baby out. Someone trying to argue that described it as trying to hold your breath, your body naturally forces you to breathe eventually and actually I think it proves that it's not natural because you're not supposed to hold your breath. I don't think many births are able to breathe baby out though.
I did. I had a really traumatic third birth which ended in a really rough forces delivery because the head hadn't come down. iDVD loads of reading for number 4 about labouring down once I got to 10 CMs.i got a hypnobirthing book and cd but did not do the course.
I arrived at hospital fully dilated and asked If i could be allowed to just labour down I.e breathe through the contractions and let them bring the baby down on their own.
They said they would give me an hour.
So I used the gas and air to breathe through the contractions and relaxed my muscles as much as i could and it worked. It was amazing, he was born 20 mins later. I actually felt him turn inside after his head came out.
In the hypnobirthing book, the Marie Mongan one, it talks about learning to relax you pelvic floor as well as tighten it IYSWIM, I think thatis the key. And there are some exercises to do on the toilet. But that theory really helped me out.
However, having had four, I can concur, all births are different! Make the best of it, nothing is wrong, you just deal with it in the best and most Informed way that you can. And go in prepared for all eventualities.
breathing baby out....scuse me while I have a hollow laugh and examine my Cs scar x 3!
All 3 of mine were delivered through not pushing. This was due to very quick births and labour even with the first.
Ds1 no problems afterwards. Ds2 severe after pain and manual placenta delivery. I was told because of quick labour not lack of pushing.
dd, no problem and the experience was almost exactly the same as posted by Mrs Mcenroe
With my first baby labour was long and tiring but straightforward and I was active etc. I got to 10 cms and the contractions stopped and I had an overwhelming urge to sleep( I had been having contractions fairly regularly for 40 hours or so and hadn't slept). The midwife decided I need synto-something to restart contractions. I was hooked up to a monitor, had to lie n my back with legs in stirrups and told to push with each contraction. I pushed soooooo hard my body ached for days afterwards. 2.5 hours later I had an episiotomy and a ventouse delivery and DD had pretty poor Apgar scores and a quick blast on the resuscitare to pink her up a bit. Once she was born I just wanted to sleep but obviously that's impossible in hospital with new baby!
Second baby I attended hypnobirth classes and read Ina May Gaskin and thought about what had 'gone wrong' (and I did feel that I had failed) first time around. Possibly I should have been allowed a rest when my body told me that's what I needed, instead of having drugs to restart contractions. So I planned a home water birth and practised all the Mongan hypno techniques. Once labour started, my waters broke after a couple of hours and the midwife came over and thought she detected meconium. So I went off to the hospital with contractions 5 mins apart. Despite this major change to my birthing 'plan' I felt completely in control in the way others have described above, kind of in my own world. DS arrived about an hour later, I don't even think I had to breathe him out, let alone push, my body really did take over and delivered him on all fours in 2 contractions! I instantly fell in love with him and was on a high for weeks, it really was the best day of my life...
Sorry for the enormous post, but I am a bit evangelical about hypnobirthing. My birth didn't go to 'plan' second time around but I was able to deliver him without intervention and he scored an Apgar of 10 and I felt amazing about myself for that! If nothing else, listening to the hypnobirthing whilst falling asleep every night during pregnancy really helped me sleep really well!
Totally doable. I have "breathed baby out" twice now.....2 children, not the same baby obviously ha ha! Both times hypnobirths, both amazing, both no pain relief and no tearing. Both times I felt fabulous straight after.
It takes a lot of practice and lots of concentration during labour, and, I know everyone is different, but I firmly believe that you have to be a certain type of person to take on board hypnobirthing.
Good luck x
Haven't read all the replies, so sorry if repeating but just wanted to share my story.
I had my DS at home 10 weeks ago now. Was a long labour (46 hours from contractions being 5 mins apart), I was basically stuck at 5cms for nearly a day. I had a pool at home which I got in at 7cms and I had gas and air for the pain.
I also did a hypnotherapy course and thought I would be breathing my baby out using J breaths etc. The whole experience was lovely and I really can not complain.
I did have a third degree tear and had to go in to hospital for stitching, possibly because I did have to push my baby out? But he was 9lb and born back to back, so could easily have torn due to that too?
J breaths just weren't working, I could feel him going up and down with the breaths but not out. My pushing stage was 40 mins long, 30 mins of that was J breathing and the other 10 was forcible pushing as coached by the midwives. The tear may have been due to the midwife and how she guided him out not accounting for his Brucey chin. No-one even knew I tore as there was so little blood loss, it was about 1 hour after we noticed!
My BP was the same throughout the whole 46 hours and the baby's heart rate was exactly the the same throughout. His apgar score was 10 when he was born. Pushing didn't bother him at all and didn't really worry me as I was so calm from the techniques they teach you.
My best advise would be try not to get too caught up in the finer details and just go with what feels right on the day. Good luck with it all.
PS. Physically you would never know I had a tear i was able to sit, walk etc as normal and my body didn't ache from the pushing. HTH. I delivered my baby on dry land, on my side.
My colleague at work breathed out her DC2 at nearly 11lb. She thinks it was down to a fab midwife.
I heaved mine out and had second degree tears both times. First time induced labour, epidural, 60 minutes pushing. Second time induced, gas and air, 70 minutes of pushing and a burst blood vessel in my eye. I had no urge to push what so ever. I think the syntocin interfered with my natural urges or something.
I had prepared myself pretty well for labour, read the books, planned a homebirth but I still failed.
Fell in love with both mine at first sight and was on a high for weeks despite not giving birth by the natural birthing book.
I had no urge to push with dd2 and would have preferred to breathe her out but the hugely experienced midwife realised dd2 wasn't happy with the contractions and gently and without alarming me told me to push as hard as I could because baby was better out than in at that point. I hated the disgusting popping sensation like cork from bottle bit. dd2 was born a few minutes later, furious, with the cord around her neck twice. Nature taking its own course could have ended rather differently.
DD (second baby) came out with no pushing and no breathing out. She was in a hurry . Oh and no midwife either (not planned that way I have to say!)
I hypnobirthed too (natal hypnotherapy)
I never pushed DD either (I just breathed) and she flew out onto the sofa at home
20 mins before i wasnt sure if i was in labour (I assumed earliest stages as wasnt in pain, could just feel the sensations) midwife popped by (her choice i said i was fine)
I was 7cm, and 20mins later DD was un caught on the sofa
(planned home birth, planned to be in the pool but didnt make it in)
yes its completely possible to do it.
i had no pain relief and only the tiniest tear, small enough to heal naturally but i chose to have 1 stitch
For me, honestly, giving birth didnt really hurt, i compared DD coming out to a stingy papercut. it was fine. all credit to my breathing / relaxing / natal hypnotherapy
windupbird reading you post made me wonder what would have happened if the midwife had let you sleep when your contractions stopped. Considering your baby's apgar scores were low when forced to come out you both could have gone to sleep...
I am all for natural childbirth etc but am glad I trusted the professionals when I had both of mine.
My body pushed. An amazing feeling. Bodies are fantastic! A HUGE feeling, my whole body working on this one thing. Pushing is too weak a word really.
She kept coming out and going back a bit. I could push down consciously and keep her out (which is probably why I tore).
Anyway, tho' I'm sure someone has said this up thread, is the thing the pushing is most like is shitting a melon - memorably said to me fifteen years before I had dd, and never forgotten! Thanks Ellie!
Oh and I think breathing your baby out, hypnobirthing, whatever is absolutely fine as long as your pelvis is the right shape.
Babygiraffes, I know, I would always bow to the judgement of the professionals and was incredibly relieved at DD's safe arrival. As the pushing stage had gone on, she had become distressed (i don't think she was during the first stage) and was born with the cord around her neck and hand up to her face, so I assume these things contributed to not being able to get her out!! I 'll never know if I could have had a 'better birth' (maybe if i'd rested i would have summoned some energy for the birth and subsequent care of DD and she could have maneouvered herself into a better position, maybe not) and am grateful for 2 healthy children and that's all that matters. But my body has taken a battering from all that pushing, which was one of the reasons I wanted to avoid it second time around if possible.
Have never heard the term 'breathed out' before but it makes sense. It's probably how I managed 5 births, including 2 back-back and twins, without any tears/stitches.
For me it was like this: the overpowering nightmare of transition subsides , then your body pushes naturally you don't need to add to it. Then you streeeetttccchhh, it stings and when the baby is crowning you pant like a dog to slow it down and bingo all sorted!
Really got my money's worth from an afternoon's seminar at the Active Birth Centre - wonder if they are still going?
Windupbird -glad you and your dc are okay (also got a fair battering when dd1 was born...)
I was on my feet all through labour and didn't want to be examined. I pushed for less than 10 minutes as a result, there was a point when I tried not to push but did. Stay on your feet and pace or rock
I had involuntary pushing with both DD2 and DS. DD2 was what I called a NCT approved birth, I was upright and on my knees when she was born and there was no medical intervention. it was like backwards vomitting TBH, the contractions felt so strong and powerful I had no control over them. Very interesting in comparison to DD1 where I never had any urge to push and oh so much better, although I had no control they weren't unbearably painful at all, seconds stage was 40 minutes. DS was a 10 minute second stage with no pain relief because his heart beat had dropped and I was being trolleyed through to theatre for an EMCS (I was 5cm in the delivery room before they decided on a EMCS). I was too quick for them, and he was born naturally. The contractions were more painful but felt less empowering than DD2 but that might have been because I was lying on my back being pushed through corridors.
For me the big difference from my first birth was that I had more energy for the second two (I was in hospital for 2 nights before I was induced for DD1, I was shattered before I even went into labour) and was confident that I could deal with the pain because even with DD1 it was exhaustion rather than unbearable pain that was the issue for me.
Marking place for proper reply tomorrow!
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.
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.
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.
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!!"
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 .
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)
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 . my hypno practitioner told me sleeping was the ultimate state of relaxation
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.
A warning though - I got so relaxed doing hypnobirthing that labour stopped for 24 hours!! I'd advise against being too mellow.
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 . (The 2nd mw was still watching the World Cup on TV and missed it )
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.
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.
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!
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?
Sorry hypnotic thing is hypnobirthing, stupid auto correct made me look very rude
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!
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 !
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).
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:
I did hypnobirthing with two babies. My advice is: make sure you don't need a wee when the baby is on its way out! I was desperate but I didn't realise because of all the other strange feelings in that area. After two hours of pushing and an episiotomy, he finally came out, cord around neck and with a head circumference on the top line of the graph. Not the easiest baby to get out. I can honestly say it wasn't painful though. The worst bit was the local anaesthetic injection.
With baby 2, I made sure I didn't need the toilet! The pushing stage was 7 minutes with no tears and I only did one push once her head was out. Her hand was up by her face and I think the midwives were scared of her shoulders getting stuck. Other than that, my body pushed her out by itself. Like reverse vomiting as someone's said before, it was completely uncontrollable.
I really recommend hypnobirthing. It can help you stay calm and comfortable. Even if your baby is in the wrong position or something is in the way, it will still help you. Just be aware that you might not always be able to breathe out the baby.
Had an epidural with DD so didnt feel the pushing, just did it with each contraction.
With DS I was expecting to get an urge to push and then "decide" to push mentally, and then push. I also thought that there would be a clear "pushing stage".
Actually it didn't work like that at all. I was getting towards full dilation and I noticed the contractions started to make my body convulse at the same time (I know now this was transition).
Gradually the contractions became less contraction-y and more convulsion-y until it felt like I was throwing up, though rather than it just being my tummy convulsing it was literally my whole body. There was no "pushing" as such and I absolutely had no control over it. DS shot out in 6 minutes (9lb 4)
"If the baby is back to back I think you have to push, ime... "
Not necessarily but I realise I was lucky. Both of mine were back to back. First one required considerable effort, epidural and synotocin.
My second was a stargazer and just came out by herself.
I asked my midwife about this. She said 'yes you can breathe your baby out but only in the same way that you would breathe a truck up a hill. You are going to have to push!'
I love this thread. Lovely to hear of other women also didn't push their babies out. I always thought no pushing was a bit strange perhaps - people give me strange looks and nods if I mention it. Yet after 2 DC's I still have no idea what all this pushing is about. Lots of powerful contractions, yes, but no pushing at all for both babies. Just a few "surges" - my body took care of it. The hypnobirthing helped me to be relaxed and fearless which was very useful.
DD1 simply flew out, eyes open and smiling, DD2 was a little more rumpled and shy.
I have no idea either, although I have to say that DS was not budging and got hauled out by ventouse. He was very big and in a difficult position. For 2 hours I had midwives and husband and then doctors urging me to "push" with all sorts of descriptions of what I was supposed to be doing. I couldn't feel where he was at all, complete waste of their energy. Then DD was complete opposite, just flew out like your first, and I certainly wasn't pushing there either..... so I have two ends of the spectrum!
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