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Pushing - chin to chest

(12 Posts)
SlightlySuperiorPeasant Sat 13-Oct-12 08:23:22

In my antenatal class we were taught not to actively push but to relax our lower jaw so and breathe out so that we weren't getting in the way of our body pushing the baby out by itself. Definitely no chin to chest trying to push a melon out of our bums!

Having far too much time on my hands during maternity leave, I've been watching One Born Every Minute, The Midwives etc. and every single birth on those programmes has shown the midwives telling the woman in labour to put her chin to her chest and push really hard. With DC1 I was told to do the same thing. He ended up getting pulled out by a ventouse but that's probably due to me point-blank refusing to let anyone stop topping up the epidural...

So, any ideas on the reasons behind the two techniques? Does chin to chest really tense all the muscles and work against the pushing contractions?

Rockchick1984 Sat 13-Oct-12 09:32:03

No idea on the technicalities of it all, but my NCT teacher said the same as yours. After 1.5 hours of trying to breathe DS out, he wasn't moving anywhere. I spent a further 1 hour 15 mins trying to push without straining too hard if that makes any sense, as a compromise. Still nothing. 15 mins of pushing so hard I thought my head would explode, and he was out smile

I think in an ideal birth, with 100% perfect positioning, and a baby who knows what to do etc it's possible to do it the NCT way, but it didn't work for me (no epidural, so was definitely nothing to do with that).

Badgerina Sat 13-Oct-12 10:06:48

Chin to chest can reduce the amount if oxygen going to the baby during pushing, sometimes causing distress.

I found it most useful to push downwards, on the out breath, towards my vagina (good pelvic tone and awareness helps) using my abdominal muscles from the diaphragm, to bear down.

I guess this could be described as "breathing" the baby out, but I prefer not to use that phrase as it sounds a bit... woo to me (especially given the powerful grunting sounds that accompany this stage grin )

AliceHurled Sat 13-Oct-12 11:01:20

My understanding is purple pushing is outdated practice but MWs learn it through osmosis so it persists. But that's an understanding based on various discussions I will have read, including input from MWs but they are likely to be ones who are more thoughtful and challenging of practice. I'm no expert. The thing with seeing it loads on OBEM, which I agree you do, is that they are often post epidural do they need to be told when to push. I wonder if that's why.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Sat 13-Oct-12 13:20:41

Thanks, so I'll give 'breathing' the baby out a go but be prepared to put some effort in grin

AdiVic Sat 13-Oct-12 19:05:45

I read a hypnobirthing book and breathed the baby out (honestly! it sounds hippy drippy but it seems to work) - I did not push once, and as a result had no stitches/damage etcsmile

RemindMeWhatSleepIs Sat 13-Oct-12 19:16:59

I got Natal Hypnotherapy CDs from eBay. I had pool birth with DD and "I breathed her almost out". Got to the very last bit and give one big push and she flew out. I hadn't really planned to do that but the midwives kept saying I wasn't ready to push yet until they noticed her head hanging out and were a bit shocked!

Second time round DS was "back to back" so needed to do a few good hard pushes as I don't think just breathing would have worked. It was far too speedy to think about hypnobirthing the second time round, only just made it to the hospital. blush

cbeebiesatemybrain Sat 13-Oct-12 19:34:13

I wanted to try breathing the baby out but couldn't stop myself pushing! The mw didn't direct me though, I was on all fours and she just let me get on with it.

WantAnOrange Sat 13-Oct-12 20:04:05

With my first baby I could not stop the pushing, my body took over and just did it!

Second baby was back to back and I had to push with all my might or there was no way she was coming out.

Loislane78 Sat 13-Oct-12 22:20:22

I think its fine to understand this breathing baby out as long as you realize with all things birth related, sometimes events take over.

Agree with orange that i was involuntarily pushing at one point as my body just did it. Anterior lip then discovered, labour slowed, drip in and eventually epidural meant I had to chin to chest push like a b****d for 2 harf hours to escape a c-section.

GL smile

Badgerina Sat 13-Oct-12 23:08:33

Totally agree with what others have said about going with what happens (sometimes what NEEDS to happen) I had involuntary pushing in both my labours - it's pretty hellish. Your body is a powerful thing (hence all the grunting! Or was that just me? blush confused )

NoCarbsBeforeBarbs Mon 15-Oct-12 13:29:16

Chin to chest, encourages baby to tuck their chin in, allowing for the smallest part of the head to present. 'Purple' pushing takes up so much energy from Mum, although i'd say there are instances where you'd need to do this to get baby out quick, but controlled breathing allows you to be in control and bear down effectively.

With a nice controlled breath going down to baby this helps to oxygenate the uterus also, the uterus being a muscle so this is a good thing.

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