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Lots of silly questions...(15 Posts)
I've got so many questions about childbirth, probably all silly, so asking on here.
With previous birth I was younger and just went along with everything, but also had fewer health issues, so this time I want to be prepared and write a birth plan...
I've been struggling with hip pain, particularly when lying down. I'm in agony if I lie flat. Obviously I can request to stay mobile and find other positions to prevent this, but what about examinations? Can they monitor me while I'm stood up? Or is there any way to check how dilated I am without lying down?
My previous birth was very quick. I went to the toilet, pushed, did a 'number 2', then after getting off the toilet DC's head came out on the next push. My DH has teased me about this a few times since. I know he doesn't mean to upset me, but it's making me panic (which I know is ridiculous). I really want a water birth this time, but what if the same thing happens? I'd be so embarrassed, but also thinking I'd have to jump out mid birth and not sure I'll be able to do that with my bad back lol. I don't know why, but the poo thing is making me really anxious... plus DH really doesn't like the idea of water births as he feels sick at the thought of blood/mucus floating in water, and there's a real possibility he may vomit or faint. Would it be unreasonable to put him through that? anyone got any experiences with water births?
Thanks, and sorry for rambling x
They absolutely can monitor you while you're upright, in terms of the standard monitoring (this is usually bp on occasion, they may only do it once or twice though, if that, plus baby's heart rate, this is every 15 minutes in the 1st stage and every 5 minutes in the 2nd stage). It's easily to do without you moving around. Even if you needed continuous monitoring for any reason, most places now have wireless monitoring or you can request it, so you can still be up and moving around and not attached to anything.
As for vaginal exams, you don't strictly need a vaginal exam. With my first, I only had one when I was fully dilated. I'm due my 2nd at literally any moment and I don't want to have any (it was the only truly painful part of labour for me last time). The midwives are absolutely fine with this and they said it isn't really especially helpful for them anyway. There are plenty of ways to get an idea of how you're progressing. And really as long as you and baby are doing well (no temp, bp is fine, heart rate is stable with no decelerations on contractions) then the whole progressing at a certain rate this is a bit of a myth. You can take as long as you need as long as you and baby cope just fine. If you aren't coping fine, they don't need to check your dilation to know that anyway. So you can opt not to have them if you wish. It is possible to check cervical dilation with you on hands and knees though, but it takes a bit more acrobatics and some midwives probably aren't keen. But ultimately it's your choice.
I think you have to get over the ickiness factor. It's totally normal to poo, there's blood, gunk, all sorts of stuff. If you want a water birth, actually it's probably the 'cleanest' way to do it. Usually lights are kept low. You/your dh won't see much anyway. Baby comes out of the water looking fairly fresh and clean. Midwives will discreetly fish out anything that needs to be finished out. You very likely won't care. If your dh has issues with blood, etc. then I'd encourage him to work on that. My friend's dh has a horrible hospital/blood phobia. Like it was so bad, he would pass out any time he came to an appt with her or any of his own appts. She was used to it and could keep him from hurting himself when he fell over and knew what to do, but obviously being in labour that was the last thing she wanted to be worrying about. He did several sessions of hypnotherapy to get him over his phobias. It worked and she had a lovely birth (a water birth actually) and it was wonderful and he didn't have any problems at all. It's worth looking into if it's a serious enough issue for him.
@mindutopia thank you so much, that's really reassuring. Like you say, the most uncomfortable part of labour for me was the midwife checking to see how dilated I was, so would like to avoid this if possible. Nice to know I can request it!
I think I might need to encourage DH to address his fainting issue. He faints just by being in a hospital room, so adding in any blood and goo and he's a goner. Usually he also fits, so I'd rather avoid it this time if possible. It wasn't much fun last time!
@Bubble04 you can write on your birthplan bit in your notes that you don't want to have internal examinations. I asked my midwife and she wrote that in for me but said I could add anything I wanted myself. It's near the back of your notes and not just for doctors/midwifes to use
Many of those examinations are no longer considered nessicary these days, shame for the likes of us who went through them, but they really don't need to examine you unless they think the babies in trouble
You need to accept now that a water birth in hospital is highly unlikely unless you are attending a unit that has lots of availability. My local maternity unit only has 2 and they are always occupied so no chance of a look in! You could however consider a home water birth.
@Potteryprincess30 thank you. Will definitely write this in.
@ArnoldBee thanks, I'm aware it's hard to get a water birth. It's been my preferred birth for both of my previous pregnancies and haven't managed one yet. There no harm in having a wish list though. Surely that's all a birth plan is anyway... homebirth isn't an option unfortunately
@Bubble04 if you have your baby in a midwife center each room has a birth pool and they are much less busy so chances are really high for you having access to the pool (they have them in every room)
You do have to be considered low risk though they still have pain relief there, just no epidural, but gas and air, pethadine ect
Where are you based? Midwife lead centers are amazing, like going private!
@Potteryprincess30 they sound amazing, but not sure if we have any nearby. Last labour was 1 hour so can't go too far afield! I'm low risk though, so if I can find a local one will jump at the chance. Thank you x
No midwife centres near me 😔
Only 1 room with a pool, so keeping fingers crossed I go into labour on a less popular day...
@Bubble04 that's such a shame, they definitely suit a lot of your criteria but I think the right environment can still easily be created at your hospital for you and your husband.
Also nothing you put him through would be 'unreasonable'. Woman, you are the one being truly 'put through' he is a bystander, hand holder, lipbalm finder! Tell him it's probably unwise to tease you about something that makes him feel queasy, hopefully he'll see the irony in this and stop
It's going to be fine, just write absolutely everything on your notes that you want/need. And check out the up-breathing and down-breathing on these links below, i'm sure they could be useful for him too
@Potteryprincess30 thank you so much! Will watch them now. I've taken your advise and written everything down. I've printed a copy for my DH too so he can come to terms with it in plenty of time lol x
It's important to remember that YOU do the allowing. You can decline vaginal examinations. I feel sad that a lot of women seem to think their everyday human rights suddenly don't apply in labour and childbirth. It's important to know this to feel as in control as possible.
I would have a think about making a birth plan and talking through options with your midwife. Birth plans get a lot of stick but they're not about a set 'plan' that will 'inevitably go out the window' but knowing your rights and your options, risks and the benefits of different things.
As for your DH, if he can't deal with a bit poo or blood then is he really an ideal birth partner? I think he needs to learn to get past that. Also that it's not his God-given right to be present there but a privilege, so it's not really on to 'tease' you over a time when you were in pain, vulnerable and giving birth to his child. You deserve respect and admiration!
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