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Devastating water birth news! Please help

(87 Posts)
Tracey92 Wed 04-May-16 12:15:05

Hi Ladies,

This is my first post so I am v. nervous and hopeful that I have posted in the right place!

So I am currently 31wks + 3 and doing well. I was living in Falkirk and so all my antenatal care was through forth valley royal hospital. I have since moved doctors and hospital as I am living in Glasgow. I am now registered with the Princess Royal.

I had my first midwife appointment today at the Princess Royal just to go over my notes and to be introduced to the team. I had been planning a water birth at FVRH which I was very excited about and so I mentioned this to the midwife. She then called down to the birthing area to confirm and told me that this was not going to be an option at Princess royal due to my BMI. My BMI is 43 and the limit is 40 for water births there. I am not going to lie I am absolutely devastated! I cried and cried (hormones) and to my utter shock the midwife said to me " Don't worry we have baths available on the ward so you can have a nice bath after the birth." What? I have no idea why she thought that anecdote was relevant!!!

Anyway I am now in a position where I have no idea what to do. I know I have to be flexible when it comes to labour but do I have any other options? Could I have a home birth with a pool or would they take issue with this too? I can't go back to FVRH as I have moved to far away.

Any advice would be helpful!

Also, due to PCOS I struggled to conceive for 2 years +, during which time I was trying to get my weight down and I did manage to lose some weight and whilst being pregnant I have lost a further 22 pounds. So although I know my weight is the cause of this problem I am now just trying to find the best way forward.

Tiggeryoubastard Wed 04-May-16 12:17:38

I think maybe you just have to accept it and realise it's a decision made in yours and the babies interest. No point torturing yourself over it.

Tiggeryoubastard Wed 04-May-16 12:19:02

^ sorry, read back to myself that sounds harsh, a bit 'suck it up'. It wasn't meant in that way, more of a 'don't upset yourself so much over things you can't change'.

pollyblack Wed 04-May-16 12:20:16

That's a shame you've had a disappointment about this. Does your original hospital not have the same bmi guidelines? I think just wait and see how it goes. When you are in labour you might not want to travel far just to get a water birth. I wanted a water birth for both of my kids and it didnt work out either time... First time the baby got stuck and ended up a forceps birth, second time there wasn't time to fill a pool up! What I'm getting at is that even if you were allowed one you might not have delivered in the pool anyway, so its maybe better to get your head round your other options now?

YorkieDorkie Wed 04-May-16 12:20:21

I know it's devastating to not get the birth you want but you must realise that most women's birth plans go completely out of the window anyway. I was a water birth dreamer and ended up with a EMCS no bath in sight! It's for the safety of the midwives having to lift you out should you pass out or anything. Sorry it's not what you want to hear.

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Wed 04-May-16 12:21:28

You need to calm down. The rules are there for a reason, and its in the interest of safety. If you can't use the pool in a hospital then using one at home seems like a bad idea, if you could find a midwife to go against the guidelines anyway

Plus its probably best if you learn now that you can't control what kind of birth you have, any number of things can change and how you'd like to be doesn't matter all that much at the end of the day.

mouldycheesefan Wed 04-May-16 12:22:13

Births don't go to plan. At least you know in advance the water birth isn't an option. So you can now make other choices.
Good luck!

Fourormore Wed 04-May-16 12:23:09

If you have a home water birth, they can't stop you getting in the water. They can recommend against it but they can't stop it.

I've no idea what my BMI is but I imagine about 36 or 37. I had a home water birth at a similar weight two years ago and I'll be having another one in the summer.

It probably is worth getting your head around the fact that a water birth isn't guaranteed though.

Twitterqueen Wed 04-May-16 12:23:29

It's hardly devastating news is it? disappointing perhaps but devastating - no.
Be thankful you are getting great care from professionals. As ^, births very often don't go according to plan - at all. My 3 were all very, very different.

Pootles2010 Wed 04-May-16 12:24:45

Yep afraid I agree with the others - anything can happen on the day, there are a million and one reasons why you might not be able to use it anyway - our hosp only has two so it's often 'occupied '.

One option is some have wet room style showers, so you can sit on a little seat & use the hot water that way - worth asking maybe?

Branleuse Wed 04-May-16 12:25:03

Can you transfer back to the other hospital

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 04-May-16 12:25:08

If it helps at all I thought I wanted a water birth in advance but actually when I came to being in labour I didn't want to get into the water. I couldn't have had one anyway due to meconium with DD1 (needed monitors on) but with DD2 I chose to give birth upright on my knees on the bed.

Plenty of people have higher risk pregnancies for reasons other than weight, I wouldn't feel too bad about it. You can't really plan 100% for what will happen in childbirth anyway, at the end of the day you just don't know how it will turn out on the day.

alltouchedout Wed 04-May-16 12:28:28

I wouldn't just accept it. If one hospital/ trust will let you water birth, why not another? What's their clinical reasoning? Do some research on water birth with a high BMI and then talk to then about it. Your research might lead you to agree with them, or it might arm you for a discussion in which you argue your case. I'd emphasise that your previous hospital were happy with it and ask did they believe that the precious hospital was in that case an unsafe place to give birth? Can you possibly make contact with the team who were looking after you in your previous location and ask them what criteria they used to ask you for the birth you want?

MackerelOfFact Wed 04-May-16 12:28:34

With all due respect, with a BMI of 43 plus a full-term pregnant belly, the amount of water displaced in the pool is going to make temperature regulation really difficult, plus obviously it's going to be much harder for the midwives to see what's going on if you're in a pool with a lot of excess weight. It doesn't sound very safe, and since it's not necessary I can see why they wouldn't want to do it.

I really wouldn't push (excuse the pun) any further for a water birth when it's deemed so risky in your circumstances. Once the baby is born you won't care that it wasn't a water birth.

Micah Wed 04-May-16 12:28:45

Honestly? I opened this thread with condolences ready think the "devastating news" was that your water birth had gone wrong resulting in death or injury to the baby.

If the hospital say it's safer to not have a water birth, take their advice on board. You could try and convince them, do your research etc.

But also think even if you do plan a water birth and something happens and you end up with interventions meaning you never get in the pool- would you be similarly devastated? It might be worth getting some help or counselling to help you deal with that. I planned a home birth but ended up with an EMCS before getting into established labour. It can turn your world upside down if you haven't thought about it.

alltouchedout Wed 04-May-16 12:31:20

Argh typos. Previous hospital not precious, ok you not ask you.

Also this might be interesting:

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Wed 04-May-16 12:33:15

I wouldn't just accept it. If one hospital/ trust will let you water birth, why not another? What's their clinical reasoning? Do some research on water birth with a high BMI and then talk to then about it

Unless OP is a medical professional, why on earth would they discuss her "research" and change their own rules, which were not just decided on a whim?
The arrogance of people who think their desires should trump all and that they should be a special case!

Oogle Wed 04-May-16 12:38:37

I planned a water birth, even though I was under consultant led care (baby measured big throughout) and I got the hospital to agree that I could have a midwife led labour and I'd be allowed a water birth. Brilliant.

Except my waters went with meconium and I was hooked up to a monitor for the entire labour which nearly resulted in a ventouse delivery.

Looking back, I think I had a fantastic experience despite it not being what was planned. So I would say, don't plan too much as the unexpected can always happen x

albertcampionscat Wed 04-May-16 12:41:08

Oh sweetie. No-one's birth plans happen. Okay, there's probably an exception somewhere, but honestly in most cases it's all very different from the plan. If you can manage it the best thing is not to pin your hopes on any particular type of birth.

Groovee Wed 04-May-16 12:42:18

I was upset when they explained in labour ward that due to my pre eclampsia I wasn't allowed a waterbirth. I felt everything was out of my control at that point. Dh fortunately talked me into getting on the bed for the monitoring.

Rolypolybabies Wed 04-May-16 12:46:58

Go back to the midwife and ask to see the supervisor of midwives to see if a personal plan can be made safe for you. X

hooge Wed 04-May-16 12:49:46

I think your use of the word 'devastating' is ill considered. The rules are there for your and others' safety.

ReallyTired Wed 04-May-16 12:50:20

Is this the op first baby? With a first baby labour is a bit of an unknown quantity.

I don't think the previous posters understand how the op feels. It does seem pretty arbitrary and unfair. I would have thought that water would be great to help an obese person be active in the first stage of labour. In the op position I would be asking the consultant why she can't spend the first stage of her labour in the pool. Are they insisting on continuous monitoring? Maybe there is a compromise of water for the first stage and then land for the second? I see nothing wrong with asking the consultant why they do not allow water births if your BMI is over 40. BMI is not necessarily the best way of assessing how overweight someone is.

I didn't have a water birth. I used tens and a natal hypnotherapy CD for labour. If you can't get your water birth then I recommend tens.

I got loads of grief from health professionals as I was a really skinny English lass. I really feel for you as was almost considered too skinny for a home birth. I never got a water birth as dd was way too quick.

stargirl1701 Wed 04-May-16 12:56:13

You can still go ahead with a home birth and hire a pool.

alltouchedout Wed 04-May-16 12:57:12

Oh dear penguin, do you really think you have to have a medical qualification to read medical journals? Perhaps they will be less stuck up and snappy than you! Perhaps (we can but hope) they may see women wanting to be involved in the decisions made about their care, and taking the time to inform themselves as to the basis of those decisions, as a police thing rather than "arrogance". (You did read my post carefully and note that I said that maybe the research the op could do would lead her to agree with them, didn't you? You didn't just jump off half cocked and see someone suggesting actual research and understanding as support for them doing whatever they want, right?)

Tell me why one hospital will allow high BMI women to water birth and another wil not?

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