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Coached or spontaneous pushing during labour?

(19 Posts)
boodles101 Wed 06-Dec-17 14:39:33

Ds was born using forceps and episiotomy after I had spent 3+hours pushing with nothing happening. I had no urge to push but was taking guidance from the midwife to push on every contraction. I told her several times that I felt nothing was happening. I had no pain relief during this time and was just exhausting myself from all the pushing. I pleaded that I needed help and eventually got taken to theatre.
I was quite shocked and traumatised by it all and wonder how I can learn so that my next birth ( not yet pregnant) isn't as bad.
I have read about coached pushing, where you have no natural urge but the midwife guides you and this is more likely to lead to assisted delivery. Or you have spontaneous pushing, where your body naturally takes over and you simply push along with the natural instinct.
I'd like to hear stories if you were coached to push and how your birth went please.
I strongly believe I just wasn't ready to deliver yet and pushing early just knackered me out. Maybe if I had waited a bit longer and allowed by body's natural instinct to kick in, I could have pushed more effectively. I obviously realised these are What it's and nobody knows how a birth with plan out. But a second birth terrifies me if the same could happen again!

HopelesslyHopeful87 Wed 06-Dec-17 15:03:00

I completely understand how you feel. I have had three births and the first two were inductions. On both of these I had no natural urge to push and was coached through and spent 2 hours pushing resulting in one ventouse delivery and one forceps delivery.

I gave birth to my third baby three weeks ago. Spontaneous onset of labour, no induction and completely natural labour. I felt a very strong urge to push and it was an amazing experience. Baby was delivered naturally with a short pushing stage, probably not even half an hour. Labour itself was only 2h44m from SROM.

ApplesTheHare Wed 06-Dec-17 15:11:23

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience OP flowers I'm not sure you'll ever answer the question of whether your body would have taken over but it must be hard wondering. Have you thought about asking to speak to someone about the birth?

To give another view, I didn't experience any spontaneous pushing and wouldn't have been able to give birth to dd without assistance had it not been for the coaching. I wish I'd received it sooner as I spent 3 hours pushing randomly (dd just felt stuck the whole time) until a more experience midwife came along. She was able to tell me when to push and how long to push for at the right point, and it was only then that dd started to move.

boodles101 Wed 06-Dec-17 15:24:16

Thanks for your replies. Yes I did have a birth debrief but it didn't really help. I did eventually get the urge to push but this was as I was about to go into to theatre so I was advised to stop. I believe there was a little lip to my cervix that needed pushing out the way by the doctor, but I was quite out of it by that point and can't quite remember what the DR said. And obviously she had the worst hand writing so was unable to read what she wrote on my notes at the debrief.
Hopelessly, I'm glad you were able to have a completely natural birth in the end. It gives me some hope that things won't go the same way next time.

ApplesTheHare Wed 06-Dec-17 19:22:23

Since having DD and hearing loads of birth stories from friends I've come to believe that luck has a big part to play. NCT classes led me to believe that if I had a 'natural', drug-free birth I'd glide into motherhood on a high. The reality was that I had a massive PPH despite being incredibly low-rise and having a 'textbook' labour. I'm sure certain interventions make the chances of other interventions more or less likely but I think we just have to accept that it'll go the way it goes... I'm going to be terrified if we conceive dc2 next year as planned!

boodles101 Wed 06-Dec-17 19:27:22

I know there's no way of knowing what could have happened but knowing that things like having an epidural has a higher rate of leading to assisted delivery just makes me want to be as prepared as possible for the next one. I guess I can just not push until I get the spontaneous urges. Before the birth I had previously said that I really didn't want forceps, would rather an emergency c section so I think that plays a part in why I felt so shocked. I also felt like a bit of a failure for pushing and just getting nowhere with it.

ApplesTheHare Wed 06-Dec-17 19:37:12

The fact that you're worrying about this tells me you're most certainly not a failure boodles How old is your ds now?

HopelesslyHopeful87 Wed 06-Dec-17 20:07:44

My eldest kids are 9 and 6 and I still feel guilty that I failed by not being able to push them out. My body didn't do what it was meant to.

This time round there's no way I could have held off the pushing. My body just did it. I was petrified all through the pregnancy that I would fail again and that labour would be horrendous so I'm relieved it wasn't like that.

Polkadot1974 Wed 06-Dec-17 21:52:31

First baby- was bearing down for ages as a natural reaction to pain. Turns out this was pushing and he was born smoothly, easily 15 minutes later.
Second baby. Induced but still urge to push took over and I pushed at 9.5. Couldn’t not.
Can’t imagine being told to push if not ready...

boodles101 Thu 07-Dec-17 07:53:36

He's 10 months so I've recovered physically but obviously it's still on my mind. And starting to think about trying for another next year so I just want to get my head around things first so that I don't spend pregnancy panicking about it.
I think I need to do more reading and have it in my birth plan that I don't want any coaching with pushing until I'm ready. Then be more assertive during labour. I'm sure speaking to the midwife if/when I have another would also relieve alot of my fears.

ApplesTheHare Thu 07-Dec-17 10:31:05

boodles 10 months is still so young and so recent for you. I seem to remember my mumguilt - about going back to work, feeding, sleep, weaning, in fact basically everything - peaking at around 10 months. Give yourself a bit more time with your son and try not to think about ttc no.2 until you're ready.

boodles101 Thu 07-Dec-17 10:37:01

Thankyou apples you are right.

ApplesTheHare Thu 07-Dec-17 11:22:53

boodles haha I'm not sure anyone's ever right about any parenting issue grin Do be kind to yourself though, you still have a very young child and I promise you'll feel stronger and better as time goes on flowers

Harebellmeadow Wed 13-Dec-17 08:39:33

I was also forced into "coached pushing" after 30 hours of Labour (most of it quite comfortable until I was induced by pill). I wasn't happy and still feel a bit angry about it - I had no urge to push and would have preferred to let the contractions do their job. Only felt an urge to push towards the end. Was completely ignored by the midwives (busy with c-sections) and when they got to me they just wanted to get it over and done with. And they kept putting the birthing balls back into the cupboard, insisted I dry on the bed (rather than the clean floor mat provided) and lay on my back. Not at all what I was taught at a birthing class at the same hospital. Was not pleased, as they had no justification for it except "we can see you better".
Back to the forced pushing - ended up with second degree tears, and painful stitches for weeks afterwards, not so bad, but I feel this would have been avoided if I had been allowed to flow natural pushing urges. Adamant not to let this happen again, thinking of hiring a doula as vocal support for a possible second time round. Anyone have any experience of doulas as "pushing coaches"?

sinceyouask Wed 13-Dec-17 08:43:30

Do what your body says, not what someone else says. I've had three vaginal deliveries without intervention or stitches. I pushed when I needed to push and ignored attempts to make me push- or hold off- to someone else's schedule. I didn't need to be assertive, just focused on what my body was telling me. They cannot make you push or otherwise.

Harebellmeadow Wed 13-Dec-17 10:48:02

True. But they (midwives) did threaten with further interventions and I was awaiting the stage where they+consultants "strongly recommend" you into having a c-section just based on time since labour started, even if the baby is not in distress. I was also pushed into taking induction pills. Would resist it a second time. It is difficult for a first time mother to defend herself, especially at three in the morning and (everyone) exhausted. I wish everyone all the best and I know don't have so much to complain about, but hoping for improvements is acceptable I hope, whilst remaining pragmatic and kind. smile all the best

Thistledew Wed 13-Dec-17 11:22:15

I think I was fortunate with my midwife and the support I got during pregnancy as even though it wasn't a particularly straight forward labour it was a really positive experience for me.

It took me about 40 hours of pre-labour to get to 3cm dilated and admitted to the labour ward. They were concerned that there might be some meconium in my waters so DS had to be monitored, but the midwife was happy for me to sit upright on the side of the bed or on a birthing ball and to move into whatever position I found most comfortable- mostly a sort of squat- during each contraction.

My waters were broke by the midwife after about a further 4 hours on the advice of a consultant who noticed that my contractions were just tightenings rather than expulsive movements. About half an hour after that they changed and I felt much more that I was bearing down. The midwife examined me and said that I was only 8cm so should try to breath through the contractions a little more rather than bear down, which I did for a while until they intensified again. Suddenly, I felt DS begin to move down. I didn't really notice any different feeling or an "urge to push" but there was half an hour of intense contractions as he was delivered. His shoulders then got a bit stuck but turning from being on all fours to lie on my back caused him to slip out.

I was lucky I think that the midwife was happy just to monitor DS and to let the labour progress at its slow place. I didn't feel the need for any pain relief so was very aware of what my body was doing, which I think helped me a lot. Although my labour was 48 hours in total and 8 hours of that in "active" labour I wasn't exhausted by it, i think due to the fact I was able to just let my body get on with doing what it wanted to do rather than put in conscious effort.

Soon2bemum2017 Thu 14-Dec-17 05:52:04

I had spontaneous pushing although i didn't even realise it was a thing! (I also was still on the antenatal ward so not even in delivery)... i am not sure if this helps but from what i remember of my rediculously quick labour is that i was telling the midwide i felt i needed to push and she wouldn't believe me (although no spontaneous pushing at this point) then about 30 mins later i had no choice and it was very much like when you need a poo and you can't hold it anymore... the midwives were telling me not to push as they ran me to delivery in a wheel chair once they saw his head in the birth canal then once in delivery one contraction and he came whizzing out and its exactly like you would imagine you literally cannot stop it and to be honest OP the whole thing was terrifying and completely out of my control. SIL also had spontaneous pushing but DNephew was too big which i can imagine is an even worse situation and it caused her massive complications.

I don't think there is a way to increase your chances of spontaneous pushing but if there is OP i wouldn't try it as its not as fun as you would imagine (and when the baby can't come out you can't stop pushing like if you are in control)

boodles101 Thu 14-Dec-17 20:06:51

Thanks for your stories. I think sinceyouask is right in that just listening to your body is the best way. I think had I been allowed the time to progress, the natural urge would have come but as a first time mum and not knowing what to expect, I just followed the midwife's lead. I'll definitely not listen to anyone but my own body next time.

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