AIBU to refuse to lie down during labour?(86 Posts)
Not actually in labour right now but due DC2 very soon.
With DC1 birth I was coping all right with contractions by moving/standing. As soon as I got into hospital they wanted me to lie down in triage for monitoring. It was agony but I went along with it. Then they weren't too happy with trace so wanted me to lie down a bit longer, ended up there for ages.
Got admitted to labour suite where midwives said they'd let me get up, move about, get on the ball etc even with monitoring. But then the monitoring belt kept slipping every time a contraction came (I physically couldn't stay still and kept squirming on bed), so it was lie down a bit longer... just a little bit longer... right the way through labour.
This time I really DON'T want to lie down, at all, not even in triage, not even 'just for a little while'. I know I'll be on CFM this time round too but hospital has telemetry monitoring now so that should make it easier to stand/move? I don't mind internal exams in principle but don't know if they can even be done w/out lying on back, so I would rather avoid altogether if that's the only way to do it.
AIBU? I know they can't MAKE me lie down if I outright refuse but I don't want to be pegged as difficult and pressured and eyerolled at, and I know from last time that I will have no energy to argue once in established labour.
That's what your advocate/birth partner is for. The wanting you hooked to a monitor thing was one of my bugbears as well.
Do you have risk factors of some sort in this pregnancy? Is there a reason that you would need CFM?
I was told there were telemetry sets at my hospital and that I could even use the birth pool while being monitored by one (high risk induction). When I was actually in labour and asked for it, I got told "oh, well we only have one, and it's really only for C-sections. We could borrow it for ten minutes if you just want a walk." that said, while hooked up to the wired one I wasn't on my back - I knelt on the bed or the floor, was on all fours etc.
I don't think there's any way vaginal exams can be done other than lying down though.
If you don't have risk factors, I'd avoid going to labour ward at all for your second and aim for the midwife-led unit or even a homebirth.
YANBU to not want to lie down but if you are moving about it will be difficult for them to continuously monitor the baby.
It really depends on why they want you to have continuous monitoring i.e. are there any concerns about the baby? Normally they would just listen in every fifteen minutes with a doppler in which case you could move about as much as you wanted.
It's a VBAC this time round.
Birth partner is DH, who is very supportive in general but worries a lot around hospitals and medical stuff. If there's a midwife saying "we think it'd be safer if you agreed to lie down, just for a little while..." I fear he's not going to be tons of support for me not wanting to. He might do okay if I give him specific lines to stick to though.
Yanbu. I see it on one born every minute...most of them laying on a bed. NO! Just do what YOU feel is right.
Almost the exact same thing happened to me. So, with dd2 the midwife raised the head of the bed upright, I sat up on my knees with my arms over the bed. During contractions I could push back on all fours. The monitoring belts stayed where they were. I did mist of my pushing in the position until dds heart rate dropped and they flipped me onto my side to alleviate the pressure on dd2 as the cord was wrapped around her neck. She was out in 3 pushes after that and resuscitated. Not saying that to scare you - just to prove that even with complicated labours you dont have to lie down.
also, I know I don't have to agree to CFM even with a VBAC, but I would feel safer overall I think and felt happy to agree when consultant at VBAC clinic said "oh no we have telemetry monitoring now so you won't need to lie down". But now I'm thinking, well they said last time I wouldn't have to lie down even with the belt, and yet...
When the belt didn't work, and I didn't have to lie down for it at all, dd had to have a clip on her head.
My midwife moved everything around me so I could get into whatever position, wherever I wanted.
Can you discuss it with your MW? See what she says about monitoring options. I can tell you that I spent almost none of my labour with #2 on my back, despite being on a monitor continuously from the time I was started on the drip. For the first 8 hours I chose my position which was mostly kneeling braced or all fours. I had an epidural in the last few hours but I delivered on my side, at my own request. I couldn't exactly pace the room but I wasn't immobilised.
If your a VBAC it would be recommended to have CFM as there is a 2% risk of your scar rupturing during labour. That’s 1 in 50. The first sign this is happening is fetal distress. There’s no need for you to continually lie down as long as they have wireless monitoring. Although as someone has said vaginal examination is impossible standing up.
* I don't mind internal exams in principle but don't know if they can even be done w/out lying on back* An experienced midwife will be able to do without, or at least do as you stand. I've had two labours with none at all, another with only standing ones. These were homebirths where the midwife was there throughout and could see/hear the progress or lack of. The only "you must be on the bed and have many internals" labour was the one in hospital where the multiple midwives were popping in and out and "needed" to do an internal every time they came in because they could only use that as a measure of progress.
The problem is often (Not always) you get more loss of contact with the monitoring if you're up and about. Telemetry doesn't make a difference to this aspect.
Once your waters have gone you could ask for a clip on baby's head rather than the belt.
Was in the same position literally 37 years ago
Laid flat with a monitor on, all day in a boiling hot room
At 8 pm and nothing happened I was allowed up
The minute I sat up, I got a contraction but said nothing
I think they gave me something to help me sleep as I was exhausted.
I woke up in the night clinging to the bed as a massive contraction tore through me, but I hung on a little while longer
My son was born about an hour later
That was 37 years ago
If they’d let me go about my daily business I probably would have delivered later that day.
It would appear nothing has changed
Yanbu, BUT I wish I hadn't been so stubborn. I was moving around so they couldn't monitor properly and DS was in distress, no idea how long for and it caused some problems meaning he had to be monitored as soon as he came out and I was desperate to hold him but couldn't. I still feel huge guilt now even though he's absolutely fine.
Oh, and if you are talking to your midwife, I would ascertain honestly the situation wrt wireless telemetry (how many sets do they have? Are some reserved for CS? Are any broken at the moment? When was the last time, in her knowledge, a woman coming in for a VBAC was able to be monitored wirelessly?) so you don't end up getting an answer like I did.
Telemetry monitoring is sometimes amazing but notoriously unreliable and with a VBAC often the first sign of something being amiss with the scar is changes in the foetal heart rate pattern so if you can tolerate monitoring it's not a bad idea. Have you thought about asking for a foetal scalp electrode instead? It's a small word that clips into baby's scalp and means they can directly monitor baby without it having to be through you and although you're still within the confines of the length of attachment to the machine (usually about 1.5m) it doesn't matter at all what position you're in so can be upright, all 4s etc. Many people think of this as much more invasive monitoring but it does often give you the benefit of not having to be on your back and also getting good quality monitoring.
Talk to your midwife. Put it on your birthplan. Get your birth partner to be your advocate.
I couldn’t lie down (or sit down) in labour and they attached monitoring whilst standing for me, ask for same?
They can monitor you without lying down. It’s just a pain in the arse for them.
However you’re the one who’s in labour so insist on a comfy position.
I remember being in labour second time around and they tried to get me to move as I was about to push. There was no way I was moving and I damn well told them that (I was on my knees over the back of a chair)
Only thing to keep in mind as well is if you’re overweight it can be very difficult to get a good quality tracing of babies heart rate when mobile. The one way around that is the fetal scalp electrode on the babies head.
Even with a normal BMI telemetry monitoring can be difficult as it’s often not as good quality because of maternal movement.
That’s not to say it’s impossible. But often the midwife asks you to lie on your back because there is no other way to monitor your baby properly.
I hope it all works out fantastically for you and you get the birth you desire 😊
I went into labour very quick on DC2 not much laying around, I was able to walk around as I insisted. I gave birth on my knees not like all fours, upright while holding into the back of the bed, he came so easy that position.
As long as labour is running to plan, you should be able to opt for on the move monitoring every 15minutes.
I had telemetry this time and it kept slipping off so they put a clip on DS2's head. I was really upset about it, how would you like to have something stuck into your head FFS? But it was good really as I could move around which helped him come out quicker which was good as he got a bit distressed at the end. And he didn't appear to have a sore head.
Can you ask the consultant/midwife/labour ward what percentage of women get to use the telemetry, of those who request, how many of them have to take it off due to movement?
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