Moving around during labour/birth... and what position did you give birth in?(28 Posts)
Just wondering as last time I had on my birth plan that I wanted to be able to move around, but when I got to the delivery room I was told I couldn't as they wouldn't be able to examine me. I really wanted to pace around the room but was told to get on the bed - and after the mw had examined me initially (and found I was 9cm dilated) said I could kneel up and lean over the back of the bed - she only agreed to that after I point blank refused to lie down, as it just felt impossible and wrong. When I started to push she told me to turn round and sit up.
It was quick for a 1st birth (contractions started at midnight, ds1 arrived at 5am) though pushing took over an hour as the cord was wrapped round his neck a few times - I had a small (1-stitch) episiotomy. So was she right to make me stop moving around? I am wondering if I can be firmer about what I want this time or if mws really do need to get a good view the whole time.
Definately do your own thing. When I was ready to push I just thought I needed a poo but couldn't go. Midwife calmly asked if I wanted to get on the bed and push, I was oblivious that the time was right. I asked to kneel, facing the wall and lean on the head of bed. Midwife said yes that's a good position and seemed very positive about it. That's how my daughter was born.
Couldn't and wouldn't have lay down, don't let them make you. For me it was definately the best position, felt comfortable and right.
Listen to your body....unless there is a true medical reason that you need to stay in one position, which is uncommon, movement can be beneficial for both your comfort and to help the labour progress.
It is not unusual for the cord to be wrapped around baby's neck and rarely presents a problem. Do you recall if anything was mentioned during monitoring about decelerations in baby's heartrate? Was there any concern with that during pushing/birth?
Certainly you can ask "why" if certain positions are suggested to you. Sometimes there may be a good reason...to help with a cervical lip, to help with baby's rotation, to help if there is a cord compression, etc.., but sometimes it is just a matter of convenience for the care provider during birth. They usually have far more experience with a woman in a semi-reclined position giving birth than one in an alternative position.
Standing up in the front of the car, holding onto the steering wheel - comfortable and effective !
I spent the majority of labour kneeling on the sofa leaning over the back, on the stairs, pacing about, but upright and leaning forwards.
I don't think many hospitals try and restrict that sort of movement now, do they?
Talk to them about it beforehand and stick to your guns - it's important.
Thanks for the replies.
doulalc - Nobody said anything about the heartrate being a problem, in fact I wasn't aware if she was even monitoring that. Her only slight concern seemed to be when pushing was taking ages (maybe just compared to the previous bit, I don't know?) and then when his head crowned and she suddenly said I should keep pushing whether having a contraction or not, but didn't say why - dh told me later about the cord.
I think I really wanted to be squatting/leaning against the bed but then presumably the mw would have to practically lie on the floor to have a look...
x-posted with some.
starlight - interested in what you say about mws not really needing to know about dilation. I got to 9.5cm apparently and was wanting to push then but she said to try not to quite yet... something about it causing problems?
Spent most of first labour on a ball. Then asked to get on bed for exam and hung off headboard for rest of it. Changed position for the last few minutes and gave birth sitting. Was quite CTF friendly labour.
Second one hung off side of bed for most of it. Again asked to get on bed for exam. Didn't have strength to get off. Then spent rest of time trying to find most comfy position on bed (back to back so worse than my other two labours). Gave birth on my side with leg held aloft by dh. Kept unplugging CTF due to fidgeting much to MW's annoyance but I ignored her. Cord was wrapped round ds2's neck but he was fine afterwards.
Third one walked round in circles most of time. Bit of time on ball and hanging off various parts of bed and bits of furniture in the room. Dd born as was changing position from hanging over headboard to climbing off bed so peculiar position and was a bit worried where she'd land if they didn't catch her (her head came out when my waters went). Didn't even try CTF and it was nice not to be restricted in that way.
Tbh MWs at first and third were quite happy to let me do my own thing.
My MW was the opposite - she told me not to lie down except for initial internal, she suggested I kneel on bed but I hated it, plus I needed to move up to the pushing stage. Gave birth standing leaning on bed and she was fine with it. She even had to do continuous monitoring because of meconium but she strapped it on me and left me to it.
I'S ALL OVER THE PLACE!! oops Ended up all fours clinging on to headboard bum in the air Hips kind of circling to the contractions that's how he popped out - mw did ask me to lie down so she could give me a bit of a snip - that was the one thing about labour I was absolutely terrified about (who wouldn't be!!)
With that I gave the most almighty push in protest and he was out - I always swear she did it on purpose! Tiny tear nothing major.
Blimey JimmyMc, was she from the 1960's?!!! my mum was telling me the other day that they made her lay on her back to give birth. I'd have gone crazy on my back, it just wasn't right!
With Ds, I didn't move around at all. I laboured in a pool and because he was stuck, I had to have keillands forceps rotation to get him out.
With Dd, I used a ball and a wooden stool but stood up for each contraction. Gave birth in a pool and I adopted the position where I had my chest against the pool wall, but MW told me to turn round, so I sat quite upright in the pool, with my elbows over the pool wall and kind of lounged.
As far as I'm concerned, laying on your back to give birth(assuming no epi of course)is sooooo unnatural...
I didn't have a choice - i had to lay on my back as the midwife decided that they couldn't get a good enough trace on the baby so she ended up breaking my waters and putting probe on her head, which meant i was literally stuck on the bed, and with dd being back to back i have never been in such excrutiating agony in my life - all i wanted to do was get up and walk around. I believe being so tense and stressed contributed to the third degree tear i ended up with.
This time i am determind to do it differently.
My MW kept saying she couldn't get a good trace on Dd too. Everytime I got a contraction, I had to sit up, so she gave up in the end, but it did delay me getting into the pool, which pee'd me off no end as I then only got 15 minutes or so in the water before Dd popped out.
She was mostly nice and encouraging, v calm, just bossy... and the thing is when a medical type is telling you what you NEED to do, for xyz reasons that you're not really 'with it' enough to assess for yourself, it's hard to say no (esp for first baby) unless you've done so much research you are totally confident. This was only 3 years ago (a MLU in Sidcup). They were also not very up to date with their breastfeeding help, but that's another story!
JimmyMc, that's where I had my Dc's too I had the same MW both times bizzarely!
i think it's totally unnatural to not move. i was told by two obstetricians that the reason i had such quick births was because i moved around.
i was on the bed on all fours with dd1
dd1 was born when i was standing up. didn't have time to get on the bed. fortunately they caught her as she shot out!
I think they are closing it down soon Solo aren't they? We have moved now and it will be the PRUH in Farnborough this time. Hoping that a shiny modern hospital might mean shiny modern midwifery .
After spending several fruitless hours pushing in every conceivable active position, I was quite glad to give birth lying down! Was completely knackered and had nothing left to give by that stage. I welcomed the ambulance transfer from MLU to hospital because it gave me the chance to have a rest
ds1 - quick labour (2 hrs), moving about a very little at first, then lying on my back on a bed. I didn't want to move, the contractions were almost non-stop so no time to move between them, and I couldn't have even consider moving while having one.
ds2 - v v quick labour (under 15 mins), was sitting in bed, got up and half stood/half squatted by the side of the bed while H got plastic sheeting, delivered baby myself before he had managed it.
I tried to push whilst leaning over the bed but think I was not pushing very well like that as was very self concious about them seeing my bum, even though I know they've seen everything before, so had to turn over.
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