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heartbeat dip at pushing stage, faint meconium in waters ....

(8 Posts)
scarlotti Thu 16-Jul-09 09:51:48

I've just been reading around on meconium in waters - DS was born 6 days late and there was faint staining of my waters with meconium. My waters were golden, which I've now discovered means it's old meconium and highly likely to be a result of a mature gut rather than distress.

When I got to the hospital they strapped monitors on me - DS was absolutley fine - then continued to monitor me throughout. This meant I was confined to the bed - much more awkward and painful than when I'd been wandering around the delivery room.

DS' heartrate dropped right at the last stage when I was getting ready to push - if I remember rightly, from say around 140 to about 90. The midwife then told me I just had to push him out, regardless of contractions etc. I did so, and tore quite badly.

I'm now wondering whether I actually needed all that monitoring and whether a dip whilst baby goes through the birth canal at the end is quite normal?

I'm 23 weeks pg with DS2 and I'd like to be able to wander around more this time and take the pushing bit slower. My labours are quick enough as it is without adding the frantic bit in at the end.

Anyone with any thoughts on this?

atalantis Thu 16-Jul-09 10:11:21

I don't know about meconium in waters, but I'm pretty sure that a dip in heartrate is absolutely normal when baby is in birth canal. When DS 1 was born two years ago, first stage of my labour was really quick. Midwife only realised how quick when she listened in to baby's heartrate and heard it dropping and rising again. She checked and I was 9cms dilated. Sure enough, five minutes later I wanted to push. DS was born half an hour after that. Neither of the midwives with me suggested that I should try to push regardless of contractions -- both were very keen on me responding to my body's signals. Maybe your midwife had good reasons for suggesting that you should do differently, but that was my experience.

e3chick Thu 16-Jul-09 20:01:21

I do not know the details, but I have a vague memory of them looking for different things in the heart rate. I think a change with a contraction is normal, but then they would look for good recovery and good variability in between contractions. I know no more details than that.. My dd's heartbeat was dipping to 80 during a contraction and was slow to recover. She, however, then went on to pass fresh meconium, so we then made our way to hospital but things happened naturally within approx an hour of the first heartbeat dip.

I think that you should really talk to a midwife about this, though. See if you can get a meeting set up to go through your notes to help you understand the decisions made.

nightshade Thu 16-Jul-09 20:11:39

i had meconium with dd and monitors, but was still able to walk around freely.

is there another type of monitoring can be used if necessary?

i know my current consultant told me that any sign of meconium results in people going overboard re safety and that in his opinion there should only be concern if there is great amounts of it.

theyoungvisiter Thu 16-Jul-09 20:30:23

I am not sure about meconium but I had a heart-rate dip with both my babies while they were in the birth canal. Both were fine and I think it is probably just normal (for me).

First labour they were very concerned - it all went to action stations and ended up in a ventouse.

Second labour - identical scenario during a home birth, I was just encouraged to walk a bit to strengthen the contractions and then breathed him out slowly.

I think they are less concerned with a second birth because the pushing stage is generally much shorter and you have "proved" you can deliver safely, so I should think you will be left to your own instincts more.

However afaik there are different types of dip, to do with exactly when during/after/between contractions which result in different levels of concern, so your scenario might have been different. Worth speaking to your MW and asking to see your notes maybe?

scarlotti Fri 17-Jul-09 12:06:41

Thanks for all your thoughts ladies, I will talk to my mw about it and see what she thinks.
DS was my 2nd although a big gap from my 1st. My gut feeling is it was over saftey to make sure all was ok. Am not annoyed by it but would like to learn from it so that this time I'm more informed.
I tore quite badly due to having to push him out quickly and I'd prefer to be able to take a little more time over it this time around!

Where I work hospital policy is that any meconium = advising the woman to be constantly monitored. That's whether it looks life fresh or old mec. But I'd always try and encourage the woman to mobilise evern while being monitored - where they struggling to pick up the heart rate if you were mobile?

A dip in heartrate when pushing is normal and I would not be concerend as long as the heartrate improved. If it stayed at 90bpm then I'd be more concerened.

scarlotti Fri 17-Jul-09 15:34:54

No, they just made me lie on the bed. I wouldn't have minded as much if I could have wandered around a little.
He dipped to 90 then went back up again, although as soon as it went to 90 I was told to start pushing and not stop!

To be fair, I didn't question anything so might have been allowed to be more mobile had I said I wanted. Down to confidence I guess, just automatically complied with instructions hmm

Interestingly, I had to remind them there had been meconium in my waters 1.5 hours after we'd got there as nobody had yet come to see me!! That was the easiest part of my labour as I was watching the view of the sea and the funfair at the end of the pier!!

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