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AIBU refusing constant monitoring during a vbac?

(67 Posts)
Weasleyismyking Mon 08-Apr-13 11:31:55

Just that really.
Had a horrendous birthing experience 2 years ago, where I had monitors on and in due to merconium in my waters and because of an awful midwife and very shouty doctor was strapped on my back to the bed the entire time (short 3 hour labour) before being whisked off for a CS under GA.
The thought of all the monitors this time round especially internally on the baby's head makes me cry. Midwives say I can refuse, doctors make me feel stupid for suggesting it.
Am I being stupid and unreasonable?

RevoltingPeasant Mon 08-Apr-13 11:34:53

OP still ttc myself so not sure I can be of help, but didn't want this to go unanswered. Did the dr give a good sound medical reason for wanting the monitoring this time? Is it a case of 'just in case' as you are a VBAC, or are you specially high risk for some reason?

BackforGood Mon 08-Apr-13 11:39:13

Personally, if you have access to medically trained staff and monitoring equipment that will let them know as soon as any issues arise, I can not understand why anyone would not want that. OK, it's not the most pleasant 3 hours of your life, but I'd have undergone anything to increase the chances of a safe birth for both me and my children.
I'm not going to say YABU, but I honestly can't understand why anyone would not accept the support that was there, to ensure safe arrival of their baby.

Weasleyismyking Mon 08-Apr-13 11:39:17

Sorry should have explained that; it's standard procedure after a CS because they are concerned there is a risk of the scar rupturing during labour which I understand would be very dangerous both for baby and me.
Seems a simple answer when spelt out like that but it isn't that simple on my head.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 08-Apr-13 11:40:22

I don't think YABU, but I'm sure other people will. It's a decision you have to make by reading all of the evidence out there, then coming to an informed decision.

Declining continuous monitoring does not mean you are declining monitoring completely. Speak to the HCP involved and come up with a plan. How about having your BP, hr, pulse, fetal Doppler taken manually every 30 minutes?

honeytea Mon 08-Apr-13 11:44:32

My ds was monitored continuously with a clip on the top of his head during his birth, I really didn't notice it and I had a lovely easy active birth, I was standing up/pushing on a birthing stool for nearly all of the birth.

I loved the fact that ds was monitored, it gave me the confidence to relax and concentrate on birthing ds.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 08-Apr-13 11:45:17

There is a research paper that concludes continuous monitoring is not particularly effective.

Manually checking (ie using man power rather than a machine) that the mother and baby are clinically well on a regular basis should be best practice.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 08-Apr-13 11:51:51

I don't think YABU, and I hope you have access to supportive midwives who will monitor you and assess the situation as it happens throughout your labour.

When my ds was being born after an induction, my midwife wanted me to stay on the monitor, but just the ones that go round your belly, not the one that clips to the baby. It was horrendous because ds was back to back at the start of my labour and I needed to be able to move around into all sorts of weird positions to enable him to turn. Thankfully, the first midwife that insisted I stayed lying down went off shift and I got another more sensible midwife who let me move around and just be put on the monitor every so often. If she hadn't come along, I don't think my labour would have been drug free or as successful as it was.

I think you need to talk to your midwives and be open to full monitoring, but I don't think you should be put on it automatically just to make the doctors job easier.

AMumInScotland Mon 08-Apr-13 11:52:04

Can you talk to them about what the monitoring options are, and to what extent they are likely to restrict your movements? With DS I had a sort of belt round my bump at first to monitor his heartbeat, which let me still move around. But later it had to be changed for a scalp clip, and I had a drip, and I was flat on my back on the bed which didn't help things along (though he would never have got out without forceps anyway so hard to say if that made things any worse).

It sounds like you need to really talk to someone about where things went wrong last time around, and why the prospect is a worrying one - your chances of managing without a CS this time around will only be improved by you feeling positive and in-control of the situation - they really ought to respect that fact and help you to reach a decision that balances up monitoring with keeping your stress levels as low as can be managed in the circumstances.

Weasleyismyking Mon 08-Apr-13 12:04:32

Thanks for all the useful advice.
honeytea that's really good to know that you barely noticed it.
The problem is we talk to one midwife or consultant and come away thinking one thing then the next appointment is with someone else with different views.
I think my DH and I need to be aware of the options (which we are) and this time round feel confident in having a say rather than being treated like we are in the way.
Seeing it written down and reading people's views and experiences is really helpful so thanks.
There's a little too much information out there and it's all conflicting!

SirBoobAlot Mon 08-Apr-13 12:11:55


Have you looked into getting a doula? Also might be worth reading a blog like Birth Without Fear, loads of wonderful VBAC stories on there.

Best of luck with your birth smile

Sugarice Mon 08-Apr-13 12:12:15

I had ds3 vbac.

I had him 2 years after my emcs, no monitoring at all was ever suggested and it was my quickest labour from 12 Midday back pain then him being born at 3.55 pm.

I remember being worried about a rupture but the Midwives were very reassuring saying it was unheard of it their experience. That was 13 years ago however!

Good luck with whatever you decide.

soverylucky Mon 08-Apr-13 12:16:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poledra Mon 08-Apr-13 12:18:54

Talk to the head of midwifery at your hospital, and get what you want documented in your notes by her/him.

FWIW, I have had 2 VBACs following a section under GA. Both times I had the monitors on that strap around your bump. I could move about, and the midwives just readjusted the monitors if they had shifted. Also, ask about telemetric (wireless) monitors, as you can move more freely with those.

insanityscratching Mon 08-Apr-13 12:22:14

I've had three VBACs and was continuously monitored throughout. Tbh I didn't really notice the monitoring (I asked that they turned down the sound) once the pain kicked in and it meant that I didn't have to have the midwife with me constantly which I prefer.
The constant monitoring though most likely saved the life of a friend and her child when her uterus did rupture during labour.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 08-Apr-13 12:22:27

I've not had a vbac - my births were all natural. But I did refuse constant monitoring for my dd - I was trying not have an epidural and she was back to back - so I was in too much pain to lie on my back for the monitoring.

The midwife got really uppity and kept writing in my notes sabrina was advised again that she should have constant monitoring but refuses.

We settled on intermittent monitoring - is this something you could do?

BuntyCollocks Mon 08-Apr-13 12:23:34

YANBU. I had to labour on my back due to DS having late decels, and his birth ended in an emcs, as he got stuck with his head sideways whilst crowning. I'm sure that had I been allowed to mobilise he'd have turned and come out.

With dd I had a vbac and refused continuos monitoring. They checked me regularly with a Doppler instead. Had a lovely, natural birth with only gas and air. I'd been given the go ahead for a wbac, too, but was pushing by the time the pool was filled!

ChunkyPickle Mon 08-Apr-13 12:23:36

I moved around with the external monitors (both the wired ones, and the wireless ones that I had until their batteries ran out! - wireless ones were excellent - I could even go in the bath with them).

I refused to have the head clip though - the thought horrified me both because of the rummaging they'd have to do, and because the thought of doing it to my baby didn't sit well with me - there were no arguments, no hassle, I was told the options, and chose what I wanted with support (in my case, I went for an EMCS rather than trying to continue a long and so far fruitless induction with the head clip)

holeinmytights Mon 08-Apr-13 12:24:58

Yabu I'm afraid. You need to do what is safest for your baby, even if it means a bit of discomfort for you. A babys heart rate can and will decelerate rapidly during labour if he becomes distressed, has happened to me. Surely you want to know immediately if that occurs? Aware its not a popular view on mumsnet but the point of labour is a healthy safely delivered baby though reading some of the posts on here you'd think it was all about the mothers experience! A good, comfortable, positive birth experience is wonderful but you should not be compromising your unbor child's safery and health.

oldraver Mon 08-Apr-13 12:33:34

I had continous monitoring due to a number of reasons and I DS had the clip on his head with the box strapped to my leg so I could move around if I wanted.

BurningBridges Mon 08-Apr-13 12:51:49

Oh dear. This happened to me - I tried for VBAC, even switching hospitals to make sure I got what I wanted.

Once in labour I went in and first of all they insisted on an antibiotic drip which meant a huge cannula in back of hand so was difficult to do much at all. I had a mild epidural so could still stand etc, but they made me lie on the bed for 10 hours in initial stages of labour; every time I tried to stand up or get on all fours the midwives said "oh you're making it difficult for us to read the monitor". Unsurprisingly, I ended up with another section. I'd laboured for nothing, and the massive doses of antibiotic via drip gave DD2 all sorts of problems after she was born.

I'd say do what you want, its very very hard to be insistent when doctors are treating you like an idiot - can you afford a doula? That's my biggest regret, I had one lined up but said no to it last minute.

Or if not, just go straight for another section, they are not so traumatic when planned properly second time around.

Weasleyismyking Mon 08-Apr-13 13:04:11

I asked about intermittent monitoring today and the consultant may as well have rolled his eyes at me. He then put a lot of fear into my DH about the consequences of me refusing to be monitored.

Sirboob I have thought fleetingly about a doula but maybe I should look into that more seriously later tonight. I'll also have a read of the blog.

sovery I like the philosophy behind 'you do what you want to do and ignore the monitor' I shall ask my DH to keep repeating that smile

HenriettaTwinkey Mon 08-Apr-13 13:12:18

I agree with BackforGood - I had DS2 VBAC. We almost lost DS1 (foetal distress, EMCS at 9cm) - quite frankly having the monitoring made me feel safer. I did have an epidural though (although managed so it had worn off enough so that pushing would not be an issue).

Weasleyismyking Mon 08-Apr-13 13:14:25

holeinmytights the stress isn't about my discomfort its more about going through labour in a stressful environment and distressing the baby which is more likely to lead to a emcs anyway.

burningbridges that's my fear! I think an elective CS will be calm and controlled and not end up with all the horrendous complications the emergency one did. But seeing my friends a couple of weeks after a vaginal birth being so mobile makes an attempt at a vbac seem best for everyone.

A doula may well be the answer...

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 08-Apr-13 13:14:29


3 hours ? <hollow laugh>

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