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Emergency C-Section - do your contractions stop when the spinal is put in, or can you just not feel them any more?

(14 Posts)
MadreInglese Tue 08-Nov-11 12:43:32

Random question of the morning

I had an EMCS with DS as he was footling (feet-first) breech. Was just chatting through the birth with DP last night and I wondered about the contractions thing - I didn't pay much attention to details at the time as the whole thing was quite rushed and frantic (8cm dilated within 2hrs) but was wondering if the spinal stops your contractions as you are paralysed from the waist/chest down, or do they continue but you just can't feel them? I'm guessing they stop otherwise it would make getting the baby out more difficult, but does anyone know?

MadreInglese Tue 08-Nov-11 12:43:47

or afternoon even! smile

Interesting one, I wondered this too as I had EMCS after 24 hours of contractions every 5 mins (only dilated 3cm in all that time hmm ) Tbh I don't recall any contractions while I was sitting on the bed having the spinal put in even, so I'm not sure. Be interesting to find out from someone who knows the science-y side to it grin

meglet Tue 08-Nov-11 12:53:07

I'm sure the carry on but you just can't feel them.

My EMCS was so painful to recover from, presumably because they're cutting through contracting muscle / flesh.

SlinkyB Tue 08-Nov-11 12:54:36

Don't know, but marking spot as interested to find out (also had emcs due to breech. Just remember the relief of the spinal block working).

DevonDumplin Tue 08-Nov-11 12:55:20

Congratulations of your lovely new baby smile

A spinal or epidural during labour whether it's for pain relief or an emcs can in some cases slow the contractions down but it shouldn't stop them, and wouldn't have a hope of stopping contractions that have got you to 8cm's in 2 hours shock The fact that your uterus is still contracting is what tends to make emcs more risky and difficult than elec's done before labour has started. This is what i remember from working in theatres a few years back anyway. smile

MadreInglese Tue 08-Nov-11 13:02:22

thanks DevonDumplin smile

that makes sense I guess

so do they give you something to stop the contractions when the baby is out, or will your body know to do it naturally?

lollystix Tue 08-Nov-11 13:20:21

My contractions didn't stop and do had pph after and lost 3 pints. Like previous poster said emcs is more risky than elcs as they're having to cut and pull round the contractions.

spidgel Tue 08-Nov-11 13:26:33

Hi
Yes you do carry on having contractions, but you just don't feel them after the spinal. I was prepped for an emerg c section and given the spinal. At the last minute they had to deliver naturally with ventouse/forceps as the dr said baby was too low down and I was at 10cm. Basically the midwife had to tell me when I was contracting so I could push as I was numb from the waist down. Allturned out well in the end.

DevonDumplin Tue 08-Nov-11 15:08:54

The contractions continue for a while after the baby's born the same way they would after a VB to shrink the uterus down and close off the large blood vessels that were supplying the placenta. After a VB an exhausted or static uterus can lead to a PPH as these vessels are left open to bleed (one cause of many). After a emcs or elcs the injection is given to encourage the uterus to contract to prevent this. Been a few years but hope this helps smile

MadreInglese Tue 08-Nov-11 15:12:57

blimey lollystix shock

thanks all for the info, with my memory of the event all blurry it helps to know the science behind it

Haggisfish Tue 08-Nov-11 20:40:15

Interesting - I could still feel mine all the way through. I could feel the sensation of them contracting and pressing against baby, but no pain at all. I think this was quite unusual though, as the midwives were surprised I could still feel them. I could definitely have pushed at the appropriate time, IYSWIM, as I could feel them intensify and fade away. This was with the epidural. Couldn't feel much with the spinal, but again, I regained feeling much more quickly than expected and had to have the table inclined to allow the spinal to get to all the nerves.

Lizzy3001 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:49:23

Glad someone else wanted to know... Ty

YoSaffBridge Fri 11-Jan-13 21:06:24

Devon, I didn't think about the contractions while they're actually trying to do the emcs, feel a bit stupid for not realising that not!

I think my contractions had majorly slowed down during the spinal/emcs. Like edwardcullen I had about 36 hours of early early my arse labour, 24 hours of contractions every 3-4 mins that took me from 2-4cm. When I got to 4cm I demanded an epidural and I remember being in a lot less pain in the CLU, and I think my contractions slowed down a lot because I wasn't anywhere comfortable. When they spent half an hour doing internals and that to see how poorly DD was I swear the contractions almost stopped.

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