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Calling an ambulance in labour - your experiences?

(61 Posts)
JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Tue 26-Dec-17 12:48:14

I am 27w og with twins so it is considered a "high risk" pregnancy although perfectly healthy so far.

My last birth was about 75 mins start to finish. But I didn't feel any contractions so didn't realise I was in labour till I began to push. I was booked for a HB luckily and the MW arrived literally as she was crowning.

Because it is a twin birth they have recommended I give birth at hospital this time but there are concerns about me getting there in time. We are 25 mins away assuming no traffic but the hospital is off a busy ringroad and I've known it take 1h+ in rush hour. If DH is not around when I start off, there may be no one to drive me.

The MW has therefore said I should just call an ambulance. I am really scared of that, though. I have read that they strap you down on your back during the journey which sounds horrendous. Has anyone rung an ambulance in labour? What was it like?

OP’s posts: |
NapQueen Tue 26-Dec-17 12:50:38

Ambulances are for a genuine emergency. If you go into spontaneous labour alone that would constitiute an emergency.

However as you are having twins and had an incredibly short first labour, can you push to be induced?

FormerlyFrikadela01 Tue 26-Dec-17 12:51:46

No experience personally but considering I nearly fell off the stationary hospital bed mid contraction I wouldnt be remotely surprised if they strap you down on a stretcher in an ambulance. How else are they supposed to transport a woman in labour in a fast moving vehicle?

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Tue 26-Dec-17 12:55:52

Frika I don't know but I would have thought sitting would be okay.

Anyhow I just want to know others' experiences. Being trapped in an ambulance tied down on my back sounds awful and I'm just scared about it.

Nap they advise induction at term anyhow but many twins are born before 37w.

OP’s posts: |
VivaLeBeaver Tue 26-Dec-17 12:59:38

The stretchers can be propped up so,you’re not flat but you’d need to be strapped in.

MissBax Tue 26-Dec-17 12:59:42

They can't strap you down against your will. Simply state you'll sit.

PersianCatLady Tue 26-Dec-17 13:00:15

Are you scared of being strapped down in an ambulance completely or just in labour?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 26-Dec-17 13:00:51

They can refuse to move the ambulance if you refuse to be strapped. It’s illegal, same as seatbelts. Ambulance crew would lose their job if they transported an unrestrained passenger.

Natsku Tue 26-Dec-17 13:02:32

They can strap you down lying on your side rather than on your back (had to be transferred by ambulance while pregnant once and couldn't bear to lie on my back so they strapped me on my side)

PersianCatLady Tue 26-Dec-17 13:02:34

Rather than try and persuade the OP to insist on sitting up surely it is better to try and help her to understand what is safest?

Then again after the car seat thread, I am not surprised by your post.

Bombardier25966 Tue 26-Dec-17 13:04:20

If you're sat on a chair you'll still need to be strapped in. If you're on the stretcher you won't be flat on your back, the back will be raised so you'll be reclined.

Either way, they have no option but to strap you in. Imagine the trouble they'd be in if they didn't and you went flying.

Hawkmoth Tue 26-Dec-17 13:05:58

On advice from the hospital as MWs would not arrive in time, DH called an ambulance when I had DC4. It took 45 minutes for them to arrive and baby was here already. You may get higher priority due to twins.

I guess your other option would be hospital admission nearer the time.

TheTasteOfInk Tue 26-Dec-17 13:07:11

I was blue lighted with my dt's at 30 weeks. Its a bit of a blur but im sure i was only strapped down across my thighs, and while still on a stretcher they put it up to sitting position.

Ive been stuck lying down attached to machines for all 3 of my labours though so i wasnt overly bothered.

FeralBeryl Tue 26-Dec-17 13:07:25

You don't have to be flat on your back. You do have to be restrained - you wouldn't travel in a car with no seatbelt - it's literally the same thing! You get really quite thrown about in the back of them otherwise. You'll be fine. It's just a seatbelt thanks

Floralnomad Tue 26-Dec-17 13:08:19

I wouldn’t rely on an ambulance , they can take ages to arrive and if they are taking you somewhere on a blue light you will have to be strapped in somehow as they are bumpy , uncomfortable and you will be rolling around on the floor if they didn’t .

MissBax Tue 26-Dec-17 13:08:55


It's not the law that a person be restrained on their back against their will.
I've been in an ambulance twice - once as a patient and once in a professional capacity. Neither time was I strapped in. Both times I was sat in a seat with a seatbelt on.
The OP said she'd rather sit. So why shouldn't she?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 26-Dec-17 13:09:13

Also be aware that depending where you are in the country it could take over an hour for an ambulance to get to you. I know for a fact that where I live (large rural county) there sometimes isn’t an available ambulance within the county.

Cynara Tue 26-Dec-17 13:09:47

I am a paramedic. You can be conveyed either on the bed (which can be propped up) or on a chair. Either way, you'll need to wear a seatbelt. A member of the crew will travel in the back with you, and if you were unrestrained in a fast moving vehicle, you would become a missile in the event of an accident, putting the crew member at risk. I wouldn't allow any patient to travel unrestrained, and I'd be surprised to hear of any crew who would.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 26-Dec-17 13:11:18


I’ve been in an ambulance hundreds of times in a professional capacity. As I pointed out in my post the stretchers can be raised up so of course she can sit. You may have been allowed to travel unrestrained but that was bad practice and illegal. The only person who is legally allowed to travel unrestrained in an ambulance is an anaesthetist. Other doctors aren’t, paramedics aren’t, nurses aren’t, midwives aren’t and patients certainly aren’t.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 26-Dec-17 13:12:33

Sorry, I see you had a seatbelt on.....which is no different to being in the stretcher sat up with a belt/restraint on. Which is what I said could happen.

PersianCatLady Tue 26-Dec-17 13:12:39

If the paramedics prefer a patient to be on the stretcher as opposed to on the seat then why would you insist on the seat?

I swear some people just think that paramedics suggest something to be difficult.

MissBax Tue 26-Dec-17 13:13:02


At what point did I say I wasn't wearing a seatbelt?
The OP said she'd rather sit, so she can sit then, as the paramedic above has stated.
All I said is they cannot force her to lie on her back strapped down, against her will.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 26-Dec-17 13:14:02

And at what point did I say that they could or would retrain her flat on her back? In the first post I put in here I said she could be sat up!

PersianCatLady Tue 26-Dec-17 13:14:22

Please may I ask why an anaesthetic can travel unrestrained?

(You can never learn too much)

MissBax Tue 26-Dec-17 13:15:12

If the paramedics prefer a patient to be on the stretcher as opposed to on the seat then why would you insist on the seat?

Where does it say they'd rather the patient be on their back if they don't want to be??
The OP said she'd rather sit, which is why I'm saying she can sit. I'm not insisting anything other than free will (God forbid!)

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