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Can I use a hot water bottle during labour?

(19 Posts)
SweetBabyCheeses Sat 28-Sep-13 17:42:15

I was watching The Midwives on BBC the other week and there was a midwife who was using heated towels to warm and soften the skin during labour before the woman began pushing. She said it was soothing. Can I do this but use a hot water bottle wrapped in towels? Also, can I use a hot water bottle to ease contractions? I know they're not recommended in pregnancy, but it'd be so nice to use it.

I suffer from endo and usually use hot bottles to ease cramps as painkillers can make me sick. I know I'd find using them in labour comforting.

Fozziebearmum2be Sat 28-Sep-13 18:00:49

I've not used it yet (due any day now though) but a hot water bottle in early labour has been recommended by my mw.

Reckon it shouldn't be too hot, but warm, in the same way a bath should be.

SweetBabyCheeses Sat 28-Sep-13 18:24:54

Oh thanks a mill. I LOVE hot water bottles, I have a jumper with a huge pocket on the front of it that I wear backwards and shove the hot water bottle in the pocket so I can get on with my day when the cramps are really bad. I would like to stress I don't leave the house like that though.

Claire5517 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:26:07

I used a hot water bottle throughout labour until I got in birthing pool. I honestly believe that was the reason I didn't need pain relief!!

SweetBabyCheeses Sat 28-Sep-13 20:32:14

That's interesting, it makes sense because the heat relaxes the muscles. I'm going for a VBAC this time so I just want to stay at home as long as possible. So all pain relief options are being explored. My hospital has a policy of constant, bed bound monitoring during VBAC labour, it feels like they're setting me up to fail, I think it'll be so intense being stuck in a bed.

Claire5517 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:39:38

If I were you then I would definitely use hot water bottle, make sure you have two so when you feel one cooling down, you can swap for new one straight away without losing the heat feeling! I had a warm bath as well before I went into hospital, was worried in case it slowed labour down, but it didn't. Was 4cm when I went in.

AnotherStitchInTime Sat 28-Sep-13 20:50:20

You do know you can refuse the continous monitoring sweet? I was at home labouring for most of my VBAC attempt last year using just the TENS machine for relief. I was 10cm on arrival at the hospital and refused CFM as part of my birth plan. There is a recent study comparing electronic continous and intermittent monitoring that is worth a read, here.

beachesandbuckets Sat 28-Sep-13 20:58:53

My hot water bottle was a life saver, didn't let it out of my grip until baby came out. Got me to 9cm dilated without any pain relief (then I had an epidural so felt no pain thereafter, bonus), had a 10lb baby! Go for it!

PastaBeeandCheese Sat 28-Sep-13 21:06:44

I used one everyday for the week before I went into labour to ease back pain which in hindsight was latent labour.

I preferred my tens in labour because the pain was all at the front.

Chunderella Sat 28-Sep-13 21:44:22

This is the first I'd ever heard about hot water bottles not being advised in pregnancy! I used one in the very early stages of labour, just during the latent phase, but was still experiencing quite a lot of pain mainly in my back. Found it to be of some use. I'd say it's worth a try.

Chunderella Sat 28-Sep-13 21:45:28

Actually I had one on my back and one on my front. You may want to consider ensuring you have access to several.

fuckwittery Sat 28-Sep-13 21:51:07

My midwife recommends putting damp flannels in the slow cooker at the start of active labour. (Homebirth). Not sure if you could bring a slow cooker into hosp!

LouiseD29 Sun 29-Sep-13 00:09:38

I used a hot water bottle in the car and on the huge trek across the car park to the maternity wing (5 mins on a normal day, eternity when having to stop for contractions every minute or so) and it was really helpful.

TheSlug Sun 29-Sep-13 00:16:25

Oh no, I didn't realise you're not meant to use a hot water bottle during pregnancy! I use one most days (27 weeks)

Fozziebearmum2be Sun 29-Sep-13 17:51:18

Slug-I think you a can use a hot water bottle in pregnancy - sure my mw advised me to use one for pelvic pain....

Worth checking with mw though

Bue Sun 29-Sep-13 19:34:26

Hot water bottles are fine in pregnancy! And they are great in labour - we have single use ones at the hospital that are filled with hot water and then can be reheated in the microwave throughout labour.

SweetBabyCheeses Mon 30-Sep-13 09:32:10

Thanks for the advice. My midwife on my last pregnancy said I couldn't use a hot water bottle - I had terrible back pain and would have loved to use it. I'll get my hands on a few for labour.

Thanks ladies.

Cheeseandonioncrisps Sun 06-Oct-13 20:05:55

I used them continuously during labour my poor mum was filling it up every 20mins x

Pistillate Sun 06-Oct-13 21:37:06

What a good idea!

Let us know how it goes!

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