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Anxious about long term bladder problems/stretching due to labour - is it bad enough to want a section?

(8 Posts)
BigSpoon Tue 23-Apr-13 19:26:05

I'm 37 weeks pregnant and now getting really anxious about the birth of my baby. I'm sure this is all pretty normal, but it's not the actual birth bit that's making me anxious. I'm most concerned about any tearing and stretching that results in long term bladder (or worse bowel?) problems or all the stretching leaving me baggy and future sex being disappointing (for my DH or I. DH is being very supportive). I can't stop thinking I may prefer a c-section, which I know is no walk in the park, it's major surgery and makes the first 4-6 weeks recovery much harder - but at least your bladder is (most likely) to be properly in tact and there's no extreme stretching.

I have been doing my pelvic floor exercises and trying to do the perenial massage too.

I guess I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts & experiences about this, am I imagining the longer term damage to be worse than it's likely to be? or should I consider a c-section even if I have to have it done privately and scrape the money together.

And how do you find somewhere that does a private c-section I'm based in the North of England and the only places I've seen are in or around London.

MrsPatrickDempsey Tue 23-Apr-13 20:29:51

I can't give any research off the top of my head but in 15 yrs as a midwife I have only seen severe bladder trauma in CS deliveries including a good friend whose bladder was stitched to her uterus! Obviously perineal trauma in the form if cut or tear is fairly common in a first time mum but it is rare for it to cause long term damage. (I acknowledge that extreme trauma does happen in some instances).

It is obviously your choice and a decision that only you can make. Have a chat to your midwife/obstetrician.

Sorry - got to run now and do Guides pick up!!

Kiriwawa Tue 23-Apr-13 20:35:25

My pelvic floor and my bladder are shot through the sheer weight of the baby on them - I had an elective CS. So there's no guarantees

weebarra Tue 23-Apr-13 20:37:23

My pelvic floor isn't great and I've had 2 emcs. I think a lot of it is due to hefting around two large babies for 9 months.

Shybairns Tue 23-Apr-13 20:38:50

As your body is untried its impossible to tell what or if you'll have any long term consequences of a vaginal delivery.

My friends and I have had no serious long term problems even after two births. Prehaps a slight bladder weakness here and there but thats it. You can get lots of help from physiotherapists who will help you to tone up your pelvic floor afterwards. I would recommend getting yourself some cones to use after birth. You use them to aid pelvic floor exercises.

Try to relax about things. Your body has changed forever. You can't prevent it. Go with the flow and do what your body is designed to do.

BigSpoon Wed 24-Apr-13 08:11:14

Thanks everyone I really appreciate your comments. I guess there's no guarantees either way and I need to try and go with the flow as Shybairns says.

atrcts Wed 24-Apr-13 09:43:37

As far as I'm aware a natural birth with no complications is fine, but I would avoid forceps at all costs! Forceps caused me untold damage that took years to resolve (luckily the body often heals very well even if it takes time).
Of course there is no way of knowing whether you'd need intervention in labour, but by the time they offer forceps they usually consent you for an EMCS as well in case forceps fails - in that case, given my time again, I'd have insisted on going straight to an EMCS. The beauty of hindsight!

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Wed 24-Apr-13 10:14:57

Your body is designed to do this. You need to trust it! Yes, bladder weakness not uncommon, but you're doing pelvic floor exercises which is great. Severe perineal trauma is rare. It's amazing how it all goes back to normal (just don't look down there for at least 6 weeks, regardless of what the mw suggests!

Dc1 born after 5.5hr labour, second degree tear and small episiotomy. Would take that over ELCS any day. Currently having a few leaks when coughing but I am 40+12 with dc2, 4/5 engaged, so I think that's just cause!!
ELCS is right for some people, but there's no reason why you can't have a normal delivery unless that decision is affecting your mental health. Good luck!

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