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Does a waterbirth help alleviate the pain of pushing... especially when the head crowns?

(41 Posts)
Beatie Fri 11-Feb-05 20:53:37

My first labour was quite short and intense 5 hours inclusive of 40 minutes of pushing.

I only had gas and air but the bit I hated the most and the bit I remember is the pushing and when the baby's head crowned.

I am thinking of a waterbirth next time and hoping to hear that being in the water helps to take away some of that pain. Anyone have experience of a land delivery and a water birth who can tell me the truth?

lockets Fri 11-Feb-05 20:56:23

Message withdrawn

fredtbad Fri 11-Feb-05 20:56:38

Yes it did for me

pupuce Fri 11-Feb-05 21:14:20

That and perrineum massage make a big difference.

Miaou Fri 11-Feb-05 21:16:21

I'm watching this thread with interest as i had an epidural with my first two but will just be using a birthing pool this time around, just hope I can do it! Did you have gas and air as well? Did they keep refilling the pool as it went cold? How long were you in the pool for - is it better to wait until you are at a certain point? Did you have to get out for the midwives to check how dilated you were?

Sorry for hijacking the thread and all the questions, but was going to post the same thing ...

pupuce Fri 11-Feb-05 21:23:16

Miaou - if it is your 3rd you'll be in pool for less than 2 hours and so no need to make it warmer, it keeps its temp for a long time.
You need to get in when contractions are very regular, long and really getting on top of you !

pupuce Fri 11-Feb-05 21:24:26

Miaou - I should add.... you don't need VEs!!! You'll progress fast enough.... girl you need a doula to tell you more about how abour works

Miaou Fri 11-Feb-05 21:27:23

umm... .... <whisper> what's a VE?

pupuce Fri 11-Feb-05 21:28:23

vaginal examination

roisin Fri 11-Feb-05 21:30:16

I had landbirth with first one (with pethidine and gas and air), waterbirths with no 2 & 3. Waterbirths were FANTASTIC

Miaou - you'll know when you need to get in/when they need to start filling the pool. With birth no.3 (ds2) dh had to fight on my behalf to get m/w to let me in the pool, but we knew it was time, and he was born less than an hour later.

roisin Fri 11-Feb-05 21:32:46

One great thing is it's so "hands off" as far as m/w are concerned. With ds2 I actually delivered the head before she realised he was crowning - Ooops!

Miaou Fri 11-Feb-05 21:33:06

Oh right!! I had fairly "managed" births last two times, which was just what I wanted, but live in a very different place now - so either a two hour journey to the big hospital where I could have an epidural, or just over 30 mins to the cottage hospital for a more "natural" birth - although I am happy enough to go for the little hospital my decision is kind of forced by the fact that I doubt I would make it to the bigger hospital in time. So all this is kind of new to me. PLUS it is 6.5 years since I last had a baby so maybe I'm a bit behind the times now!!

roisin Fri 11-Feb-05 22:08:37

Have you moved already? How's it working out?

Miaou Sat 12-Feb-05 11:13:01

I have roisin - been in about 10 days now - it's lovely to be in a warm house with 24 hour electricity! Haven't quite got used to it yet!

roisin Sat 12-Feb-05 11:33:51

Hope you've got nice neighbours

Portly Sat 12-Feb-05 20:19:59

Hi - not wanting to put you off but I decided to have a water birth but I had to get out after a couple of hours as things weren't going quite as fast as they wanted(!) and then I only had gas and air as they said it was going to happen any minute and wouldn't give me any pain relief - ended up pushing for 1 1/2 hours!! So the birth wasn't in water after all and I wish someone had told me before that I may have to get out and not get any other pain relief as it was pretty awful! Sorry, didn't mean to sound doom and gloom, but just thought I'd let you know.

pupuce Sat 12-Feb-05 21:26:35

Portly, I had the same scenario, laboured in water, started pushing in water but was encouraged to get out (had been for several hours) as I wasn't progressing in 2nd stage (and I pushed for 6h30... as per my notes!) with no pain relief and no gas and air (I hate the stuff).... at the time I was pretty upset now I am really glad I did it without all the drugs to be honest !
And managed with an episio only (not a ventouse).... had MWs who felt I could do it... glad they thought so as I didn't !!
This was 5 years ago.

TwoLittleDumplings Sun 13-Feb-05 10:18:11

Had long horrible 1st birth with epidural, ventouse & mega stitches for dd1. 2nd one much faster & was advised to get in bath for pain relief soon after getting to hospital - it was just fantastic, so sort of supportive & warm, dd2 born with no intervention & only a small tear, no stitches. Crowning not fab but seemed a lot quicker than 1st time around. Go for it!!! (You do only get gas & air to go with it but I really think the water helps too)

karaj Sun 13-Feb-05 12:21:16

I was in labour for about 16 hours (that's what my notes say, but the first 8 hours were relatively pain-free and I spent it at home with a TENS machine attched to my back (I quite liked the TENS by the way which I had hired to use at home).

Once I got to the Edgware Birth Centre (North London - NHS - free of charge - 5 rooms 3 of them with a private pool - I loved the place !) I was around 4 cms dilated so they let me get into the pool straight away. I was hoping for a water birth, but things just went too slowly. Plus my first midwife was a bit too laid back. The 2nd midwife (thank goodness for her arrival as I think I would have ended up in hospital without her) made me get out of the water.

Baby was delivered within 50 minutes of the 2nd midewife arriving - on land on a Dutch birthing stool (it looks just like a toilet !). The water DOES help. You notice it the second you get out. I did use gas/air (the only pain relief available when you are in water), but it is purely psychological, and it didn't really help much.

You don't have to get out of the water to be checked. They only did one vaginal check and that was when I arrived. The other checks are with a long stick that has a mirror attached to it and a torch - as I was standing in the water the midwife could look for signs of crowing with the mirror.

As my DH was with me the whole time, he helped with adding water. I asked for warm water whenever I felt it was getting too cold. But as there is loads of water, this doesn't have to be done too often. The plastic lining of the pool kept the temp. warm most of the time.

I was extremely lucky (and studies indicate that water can prevent tearing)- I had no tearing and no stiches. The water keeps your skin elastic and if you start doing pelvic floor exercises and massaging the perineum a few weeks before you are due (I used olive oil to massage my perineum before I was due - or get your DH to help you if you can't reach down because of you bump !)

I don't think I could have done it without the water, as DS was my first and I was 37 - so no spring chicken . I highly recommend it.
Good luck.

stillsmiling Sun 13-Feb-05 14:07:24

i requested a waterbirth with my 1st child 4mths ago. it was great relaxing in the water really helped with the pain alot.
i had been in labour for a very long time before i went into hospital and hadnt had any sleep for 48hrs so unfortunatly the heat of the water was making me to sleepy. so i came out of the pool and was able to have pain releif.
i am pregnant again now and will definatly request another water birth. this time i want to stay in the water until hes born but i know the option is there to get out and have pain releif it i need it!

Redhotmamma Sun 13-Feb-05 22:39:58

I had a waterbirth with my first and I would highly recommend it. I had gas and air available too but the tube was so long by the time it got to the pool that it was not much good. The water probably reduced the pain by about 90%, speeded everything up and really helped me to relax. Having been in labour for 48 hours, I got into the water and was there for about an hour. I had a 5 minute stage 2 and I left hospital later the same day. Before I was about 7 months pregnant I thought the whole idea of waterbirth was barking. I am very sensible and the idea of giving birth underwater sounded a bit crazy and unsafe. However now I am totally sold on it as I had such a good experience. It is a gentle introduction to life for your baby as the water temperature is the same temperature as blood heat. My little one has been an unusually good sleeper and I do just wonder whether this may be connected to the non-traumatic water birth. Who knows but it worked for me, and hey anything that reduces the pain by that much is amazing.

PrettyCandles Sun 13-Feb-05 22:50:22

I haven't had a waterbirth (wanted to, but was too slow the first time, and too fast the second time), but with no2 used the bath at home for pain relief before going to hospital. Even just sitting in an ordinary bath and pouring water over myself during contractions was amazing. I used TENS before and after, and the water was even better. Loved it and didn't want to get out. Wish I'd made it to the water birth. Good luck .

csa Mon 14-Feb-05 13:02:31

silly question, but do you wear anything in the birthing pool?

lockets Mon 14-Feb-05 13:04:23

Message withdrawn

pupuce Mon 14-Feb-05 13:07:24

A tank top, a bra, I find t-shirts can make you cold.
You do NOT have to be naked.

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