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Pushing question, sorry if it seems a bit silly

(21 Posts)
Flufumpy Mon 22-Apr-13 13:12:42

I'm due to have my second baby in 8 weeks.

I had a normal delivery with my first and was pushing for about an hour. I would say that after about half an hour the midwife could see the head when I pushed, but for the half hour or so before seeing the head she kept telling me I was pushing well etc. I'm just wondering really if the midwife can't see the head how they know you are pushing well? Also I was wondering if pushing/seeing the head takes less time for second and subsequent babies? When you watch birth tv shows the woman says she wants to push, gives one push and the midwife says they can see the head immediately.

Sorry if this seems silly but I'm just interested.

Liveinthepresent Mon 22-Apr-13 17:35:19

No advice but will watch with interest as am due DC2 around the same time,and really didnt quite get the pushing thing last time - pushed for 2 hours ... Hoping it is as you say easier second time - as ended up with ventouse that I would be keen to avoid if all goes smoothly.

VisualiseAHorse Tue 23-Apr-13 10:00:23

When you bear down, your muscles will all move, so even if she can't see the head, she'll be able to see your muscles and pelvic floor moving in the right direction.

(And don't believe everything you see on TV!)

Shylepite Tue 23-Apr-13 13:37:33

What visualise said - also when if you poo thats a very good sign that the heads coming down grin

notjustamummythankyou Tue 23-Apr-13 13:45:00

It was certainly easier for me the second time round. With DS, I pushed for two hours with not even a glimpse of a head. He was too high for ventouse / forceps, and so I had an EMCS. DS was built like a rugby player though, and he got a little stuck.

Second time round with DD, I did have an ELCS planned, but she popped out within minutes of starting to push. Whole labour was just 90 minutes long.

Even though DS was big and did get stuck, I remember feeling very self conscious about the pushing thing, and didn't really get in to it either. I remember feeling very worried in case I pooed! Second time, round I just got on with it and I don't know if I pooed or not.

Pozzled Tue 23-Apr-13 13:50:43

Huh, don't always believe what the mw tells you. With DD1 I pushed for 4 hours, and my mw spent a large chunk of that time saying things like 'Well done, you're doing really well, just a couple more pushes, it won't be long.' It took a long, long time for anyone to tell me that actually DD wasn't moving anywhere. So do ask the mw to be honest with you, not just encouraging if that's what you want.

On a much more positive note, DD2 was born about 15 minutes after I got into the labour room after a very slow walk through the ward scaring all the ladies who'd come into be induced, with my screaming. It only seemed to take about three or four contractions, and I didn't feel like I had to put much effort in- my body did it all iyswim.

So yes, IME second time is much quicker and easier!

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Tue 23-Apr-13 14:01:16

IME their encouraging words have naff all to do with how you are actually pushing. Like Pozzled I had an hour of encouraging comments before an admission that nothing had happened with DD1. I'd far rather that they had been honest.

With DD2 it was only a few pushes, maybe 15 minutes max.

mummy2benji Tue 23-Apr-13 15:42:35

Hey there, with ds1 I pushed for 2 hours and felt like absolutely nothing was happening down there. With dd2 it took 4 pushes and she was out! With each push I could feel her coming down. Second time round is much easier, everything down there is stretched and has pushed a baby out before! Hope all goes well.

Liveinthepresent Tue 23-Apr-13 20:53:22

Oh that's encouraging that you seem to have found it easier second time.
Fingers crossed!

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Tue 23-Apr-13 21:04:31

Live - Miles easier, but it was also a totally different set up. DD1 had gone on so long I was on syntocinon, so had an epidural and couldn't feel a thing, flat on my back. Couldn't even let it wear off to push because lying on my back was agony. Swore I would never have another epidural (it was also unpleasant for me in other ways, problems getting it in, problems with it wearing off down one side, etc, etc).

DD2 I was upright in the pool and didn't even know it was time to push, my body just started to do it.

That said, second times are meant to be much faster. One of the reasons I was upright in a pool is that there had been no pressure for the drip because things seemed to be ticking along.

Liveinthepresent Thu 02-May-13 15:17:13

Delayed response but thanks for that Amanda
I will ask for midwife to be honest about progress and force myself to be more mobile if needs be.. But will also keep telling myself it may well just be easier second time.
Am actually getting excited now and not nearly so anxious about birth as last time.
Seem to have totally hijacked this thread from original OP oops.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Thu 02-May-13 16:08:40

I always think you are perfectly entitled to hijack if the OP never comes back. How else does the conversation keep moving along? smile

Good luck. My second was just miles easier all round. I felt like I had run a marathon afterwards - exhausted but totally elated and like I could take on the world. Thankfully I didn't try, as I went a bit dizzy when I tried to leg it upstairs about 90 minutes afterwards (now there's a hazard of a home birth they don't warn you of on the little sheet).

birdofthenorth Sat 04-May-13 17:25:17

DD- hours of pushing, no head until episiotomy.

DS- three pushes til head visible, whole baby on fourth push.

Second one definitely considerably easier in my case, hope that's true for you too

organiccarrotcake Sat 04-May-13 20:08:02

Working to a birth environment where you feel safe and can shut down your neocortex means that pushing is as effective as possible, and you can "go into yourself" and listen to your body without distractions. This is easiest if you are pain relief free, although this is a very personal choice of course.

Having the lights dimmed, voices of others around you quiet and respectful, trying to avoid people going in and out of your room, etc, all helps to trigger the oxytocin release that helps this to happen brilliantly. Baing able to move around to your body's messages really helps (one reason why pain relief can interfere) so getting rid of continuous foetal monitoring unless it really is necessary (it usually isn't), using the floor, a ball, the bed to lean over (stay off your back if possible as it closes the available space in the birth canal), etc etc.

Please avoid the midwives telling you how and when to push unless you have an epidural with insufficient feeling. "Purple pushing", where you put your chin on your chest and push for a count of 10 leads to reduced amounts of oxygen to your baby, while you hold your breath against your instinct, and is more likely than spontaneous pushing to lead to worrying foetal heart rate drops. Babies work really hard to be born (with a stepping movement and wriggles to release themselves), and they naturally work with their mother to move down with pushes. Interferring with that can be more likely to lead to baby getting a bit stuc so where possible go with your instincts and don't worry, they will come smile

Nagoo Sat 04-May-13 20:12:23

first one pushed for about an hour, second one held in for 2 mins while DH returned from the car grin

MissLurkalot Sat 04-May-13 20:17:22

If it's something you're worried about, maybe try a different birth position.
We all mostly lie down on the bed to push baby out, but when you're lying down, imagine baby bring pushed DOWN the birth canal.... But then, due to the pelvis, the baby then goes UP slightly.
I had a monitor wire on dc1's head during labour, and DH remembers seeing the wire, then it going back in.(Big baby, pushed for 2 hrs.)

I also lay on the bed, but just to push dc2 out... 10 mins of pushing.

I also lay on the bed, to push dc3 out, first push - head out, second push - body out!

I'm due with dc4 in a fortnight.. Yes, I'll probably end up on the bed again. I feel safe on there.

But, I would love to kneel or lean and have baby that way, and bring him up to me myself.. But, I'm scared if being unstable and wobbly.

But, we'll see..

But do take comfort from others in here saying 2nd time is easier pushing wise. X

organiccarrotcake Sat 04-May-13 20:31:56

Interesting comment about feeling safe on the bed, misslurkalot. It's a key point - where you feel safe and "right" is where is most likely to be right for you and your body. But, if you're on your back because that's what we see on telly, or because a midwife has asked you to go there, and it doesn't feel right, that's a different matter. But if your body is saying lie back, go with it.

MissLurkalot Sat 04-May-13 21:03:38

Organic. I used to weigh a lot more than I do now, and I'm still big. I wondered if I it was safer for me, as a heavy one to be on the bed.
I was more free with dc2 and 3 to move about, but I happily climbed on the bed to push.
But, for me, it is a safety element.. I'm worried I might sit on the baby! Or, kneel on it.. Not as limber as I used to be.
But, I do hear what you said earlier, and what others say about being in control and getting in the most optimum position for pushing..

organiccarrotcake Sat 04-May-13 21:47:16

Yes, there's two things going on, miss. 1) your internal instincts which are amazingly driven by the natural flow of labour, if uninterrupted, and 2) your own conscious concerns that you bring to labour which if you override them too much can sometimes inhibit things too. You went with your instinct from both perspectives which is always lovely to hear.

MissLurkalot Sat 04-May-13 22:40:20

I'm weirdly really looking forward to labour. Pain aside, it was the most wonderful experience and I remember every moment of dc3's labour. I can't wait to go through it again.
Feeling him come out, and holding him.. Just can't wait.
Of course, the pain was just as bad as the other labours... There's no real getting away from that, even with gas and air... But I felt so in control and in tune with my body and his.
I pray it'll be the same this last time... :-)

Msbluesky32 Wed 08-May-13 18:14:22

Firstly I never felt the urge to push at all, so baby was clearly not in the right place. After three hours of pushing til my face went blue she arrived (with some help from ventouse cups). For the first two hours the MW said she could tell when I was really really pushing and not - they can see muscles moving (and I pooed myself and gave myself piles - sorry if tmi- both of which are signs that you're really going for it. When we got to the last hour baby's head was visible but kept moving back up after the contractions but I couldn't really feel her head at all. I think they probably can tell when you are pushing well.

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