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Crowning: To feel the head or not to feel the head..?

(68 Posts)
blinder Mon 31-Aug-09 17:58:10

My hypnobirthing teacher said I should use a mirror to watch my baby's head being born, and that I should reach down to feel it emerging.

The prospect of this really gives me the willies.

Did you feel / see the head? How did it affect you?

FlamingoBingo Mon 31-Aug-09 17:59:54

I did with my first, but not with any of my others. I was too deep into labour land to do so with the other three. I did catch DD4 myself though smile

When I felt DD1's head, it made no impact on my what-so-ever!

TigerFeet Mon 31-Aug-09 18:01:13

I hadn't really considered this when I went into labour last time. When dd was actually born the MW asked me if I'd like to feel the head, so I did, and tbh it completely freaked me out. I have no idea why, it just did. I won't be doing it this time round.

That's probably not very helpful at all is it? blushgrin

violethill Mon 31-Aug-09 19:29:58

I found this the most excruciating bit of labour by far. I felt like I was literally being torn in two. Oh that's right, I was - I tore. So to be honest, if my midwife had asked me if I fancied touching or looking I was too busy letting out a blood curdling scream to notice!

sorky Mon 31-Aug-09 19:33:06

I've had 4, (3hwb) was only asked with the 3, never wanted to, I only ever wanted to get the little feckers out.

Personally, I think it's an unwelcome distraction to be asked. You're kinda busy hmm

feedthegoat Mon 31-Aug-09 19:38:25

My midwife didn't even ask me, she just grabbed my hand and put it on the baby's head. shock. I've never moved so quick in my life, I nearly shot backwards off the bed. grin. I wasn't keen!

ChookKeeper Mon 31-Aug-09 19:39:42

I did with the first - it just felt warm and slimey (sp?)and tbh I was just concentrating on getting her to actually come out.

With the second - well she shot out like a bullet after 2 pushes so there was no chance.

So I'd say just take is at it comes and go with the flow grin

TheCrackFox Mon 31-Aug-09 19:39:53

The midwife asked if I wanted to feel DS2s head - I declined. There is no way on Earth that I would liked to have looked in a mirror. <shudder>

boyraiser Mon 31-Aug-09 19:41:41

I did - it felt soft and wet, and it was sort of miraculous (sorry if that sounds a bit pretentious). I still think about it now and then, as one of the defining moments in my life. But horses for courses.

Mamazon Mon 31-Aug-09 19:42:58

i think i quite olike the idea but tbh the actual crowning is, for me, the most painfull part and i just want baby either in or out but not just sitting there!

VinoEsmeralda Mon 31-Aug-09 19:49:11

I didnt want to see it as I think it would have traumatised me for life! I did feel though and it is rather strange as everytime you stop pushing the head slips back in a little bit so seems a bit unfair IYSWIM

Nolda Mon 31-Aug-09 19:49:16

I touched DS's head and so wish I hadn't. It felt all soft and squishy and freaked me out.

MrsGladpuss Mon 31-Aug-09 19:51:15

I was not keen to touch the head when crowning. And thinking about doing it now makes me feel a bit eeeugh... but I did touch it when I had DS and it was ok.

It was a practical thing rather than a bonding thing or whatever your teacher thinks you're supposed to get out of it. I'd just lept out of the birthing pool and the mw needed to examine me to see how far along I was. She asked if I could feel the head and I thought "no chance it's there". So I did. And it was.

It felt erm, purple (Hot, slimey and squishy). I know that's not very helpful but that's what I remember it as! Like a pear poached in red wine.

nappyaddict Mon 31-Aug-09 19:53:14

I totally agree with boyraiser. It was a very emotional and bonding experience for me and I'm glad I did it and would do it again.

nappyzoneisback Mon 31-Aug-09 19:57:56

I was asked with my first and i declined but afterwards thought it might have been nice. With the second i didnt as i had a water birth and saw his little head turn and look up at me anywya because of the position i was in. It was fab like that. 2nd was a water birth and completely changed my view on giving birth. It actually makes me want to do it again despite the 3rd degree tear etc... sadly i never will.

Tidey Mon 31-Aug-09 19:59:59

I didn't particularly want to, I was asked with DS and politely declined, well as polite as you can be in those circs. With DD, I had the same as happen as feedthegoat, my hand was seized and placed on her head and I was horrified, tbh.

I didn't want that baby-placed-straight-on-you-covered-in-blood thing either, but it was done both times anyway. This is the reason I don't see the point of birthplans, I had all this written down and no-one took any notice. I probably sound like a right cow now.

PinkTulips Mon 31-Aug-09 20:01:13

I had other things on my mind at that point than faffing about with mirrors, all my three had short 2nd stages grin

With dd i think i reached down and felt her head but i can't honestly remember, her birth was a bit traumatic so alot of the details are blurry

With ds1 i definitely didn't, he came out very quickly and with ds2 i think i had a poke as he was crowning but it was a very instinctive quick check all was alright as his birth was very intense and fast.

his head was damply furry which was oddly reassuring as my other two had fluffy heads too so i took it as a sign all was good... funnily enough though i was more concerned with running my finger around the lip of the birth canal to see how far streched out i was than with prodding his head.

Honestly, if i were you i'd be hoping you don't have time to go messing with mirrors grin

Rindercella Mon 31-Aug-09 20:01:56

Lord, I can't even remember if the MW asked me, or even if I actually did feel DD's head blush Tbh, the pain of the crowning was something that totally took me by surprise - far worse than any of my contractions (I got to 9cm without any pain relief), all I could do was beg DH to pour water on me. Think he & the MW were more concerned DD was going to drown!!

Birthing pool for the next one grin

WorzselMummage Mon 31-Aug-09 20:02:46

I used a mirror with dd. No idea what gave me the idea but I'm glad I did it, It was amazing. I had a good feel too !

blinder Mon 31-Aug-09 20:15:50

Such reassuring responses! The hypnobirthing teacher actually called me a coward when I said I didn't really want to focus on the head emerging. Silly cow.

But I am sure it can be a miraculous thing to do as boyraiser and nappyaddict say.

I just imagine that I might panic at something that size coming out of something that size.

Sod it - I'll see how the mood takes me. Hopefully tulips is right and I won't have time to think about it!

FlouryBap Mon 31-Aug-09 20:16:39

The midwife was very keen for me to have a rummage when I was in the pool with DD, but it really freaked me out. Things took AGES so they got me otu of the pool and put a mirror between my legs so i had something to concentrate on. The mirror was actually great as I could see her little dark head come closer with a push and then recede a little. Also I could see myself stretch horribly and then when the midwife stopped me could see my skin relaxing as it got use to the stretch. However, i could not watch the crowning. I didn't tear (because of fab midwife) and I feel good about giving birth in 5 weeks time because I have such clear memories of watching it last time.


wem Mon 31-Aug-09 20:37:13

I felt dd's head. The midwife asked if I wanted to and I didn't really think whether I wanted to or not, just did as I was told...

I'm a bit blush about it actually, as when my waters went during a particularly strong contraction I didn't realise what it was and thought I was peeing myself(!). The midwife didn't put me right, so when I felt dd's head, it was so much squishier than I was expecting for a moment I thought my waters were still intact, had to check with the midwife and she reassured me it was actually dd's head I was feeling .

Very odd sensation, can't say it added a great deal to the experience really.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 01-Sep-09 15:44:04

Gross. grin I was so freaked out when his head emerged that I pushed too early and gave myself a whacking great 3rd degree tear. No way would I have wanted to touch it. shudders

robino Tue 01-Sep-09 15:47:11

Midwife persuaded me to with DD2. Freaked me out, wish I hadn't bothered listening to her - didn't the rest of the time grin

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 01-Sep-09 15:49:35

oops that wasn't supposed to be a link!

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