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Breathing the baby out Vs pushing

(107 Posts)
abigboydidit Sun 16-Dec-12 22:07:31

Hi -

Been having a conversation about breathing the baby out Vs pushing and wondered if anyone had any experiences of this they would be happy to share? Am hoping for a VBAC after a traumatic ECS last time and tentatively heading down the hypnobirthing route. However, all discussions with MW have talked about pushing so am wondering if the reality is that I will end up just doing as am told in the heat of the moment confused.

Thanks in advance!

Chocaholics Mon 17-Dec-12 19:01:39

I did Hypnobirthing sessions prior to having DD with DH. DD came a few weeks early so never got to do the last session which was about not feeling any pain. But saying that birth was very relaxed, I only had gas and air. The MW left me for over an hour when I fully dilated to see if I could breathe DD out but she wouldn't budge. So ended up pushing but was very calm, no pain relief needed but I also had no urge to push at any time.. I am due to have DC2 in feb and really hope to breathe baby put this time but I'll just see what happens...

sunshinerainyday Mon 17-Dec-12 19:32:19

I breathed out my fourth(and last!) baby without planning too or being told to, in fact I'd never heard of this being a 'technique' until now. It was a water birth and I was tired of the pain, on quite a lot of gas and air and remember zoning out and imagining I was on ski slope with the sun shining and thinking the midwife was in control and it was like a completely surrendered my body to the process without intending to, just cos I couldn't bare it any more and my daughter came out without any pushing she was just born smoothly with each long breath out that I took. So trust your body and let go.

priscilla101 Mon 17-Dec-12 19:32:30

It is a horrid term, failed induction. As Brett said, you didn't fail though!

With ds1 I had a lovely home birth and don't remember pushing. I breathed him out without any hypnobirthing training. Mother Nature took over!

With ds2 I was induced and all I wanted to do was push! And push, and push some more!

Both births were fine, no tearing or injury, both back to back, both just gas and air. Sometimes I think it is luck of the draw...and it may be helpful to adopt a what will be will be attitude?
HTH, and good luck OP!

abigboydidit Mon 17-Dec-12 19:42:07

Blimey! Went to work and came home expecting 1 or 2 replies so 3 pages is fantastic. Will have a read once DS is in bed and I have a bag of kettle chips to hand

confuddledDOTcom Mon 17-Dec-12 19:54:02

I did with my first baby, she was extremely premature, I didn't realise I was in labour (despite being in a delivery room, I thought they were going to stop whatever was happening) and there was no one in the room with me other than Mum and OH so no one telling me what to do.

I read that pushing isn't the natural way to get a baby out. Someone trying to argue that described it as trying to hold your breath, your body naturally forces you to breathe eventually and actually I think it proves that it's not natural because you're not supposed to hold your breath. I don't think many births are able to breathe baby out though.

Sophiathesnowfairy Mon 17-Dec-12 20:01:53

I did. I had a really traumatic third birth which ended in a really rough forces delivery because the head hadn't come down. iDVD loads of reading for number 4 about labouring down once I got to 10 CMs.i got a hypnobirthing book and cd but did not do the course.

I arrived at hospital fully dilated and asked If i could be allowed to just labour down I.e breathe through the contractions and let them bring the baby down on their own.

They said they would give me an hour.

So I used the gas and air to breathe through the contractions and relaxed my muscles as much as i could and it worked. It was amazing, he was born 20 mins later. I actually felt him turn inside after his head came out.

In the hypnobirthing book, the Marie Mongan one, it talks about learning to relax you pelvic floor as well as tighten it IYSWIM, I think thatis the key. And there are some exercises to do on the toilet. But that theory really helped me out.

However, having had four, I can concur, all births are different! Make the best of it, nothing is wrong, you just deal with it in the best and most Informed way that you can. And go in prepared for all eventualities.

Good luck.


dementedma Mon 17-Dec-12 20:02:03

breathing baby out....scuse me while I have a hollow laugh and examine my Cs scar x 3!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 17-Dec-12 20:22:56

All 3 of mine were delivered through not pushing. This was due to very quick births and labour even with the first.
Ds1 no problems afterwards. Ds2 severe after pain and manual placenta delivery. I was told because of quick labour not lack of pushing.
dd, no problem and the experience was almost exactly the same as posted by Mrs Mcenroe

WindUpBird Mon 17-Dec-12 20:25:58

With my first baby labour was long and tiring but straightforward and I was active etc. I got to 10 cms and the contractions stopped and I had an overwhelming urge to sleep( I had been having contractions fairly regularly for 40 hours or so and hadn't slept). The midwife decided I need synto-something to restart contractions. I was hooked up to a monitor, had to lie n my back with legs in stirrups and told to push with each contraction. I pushed soooooo hard my body ached for days afterwards. 2.5 hours later I had an episiotomy and a ventouse delivery and DD had pretty poor Apgar scores and a quick blast on the resuscitare to pink her up a bit. Once she was born I just wanted to sleep but obviously that's impossible in hospital with new baby!

Second baby I attended hypnobirth classes and read Ina May Gaskin and thought about what had 'gone wrong' (and I did feel that I had failed) first time around. Possibly I should have been allowed a rest when my body told me that's what I needed, instead of having drugs to restart contractions. So I planned a home water birth and practised all the Mongan hypno techniques. Once labour started, my waters broke after a couple of hours and the midwife came over and thought she detected meconium. So I went off to the hospital with contractions 5 mins apart. Despite this major change to my birthing 'plan' I felt completely in control in the way others have described above, kind of in my own world. DS arrived about an hour later, I don't even think I had to breathe him out, let alone push, my body really did take over and delivered him on all fours in 2 contractions! I instantly fell in love with him and was on a high for weeks, it really was the best day of my life...

Sorry for the enormous post, but I am a bit evangelical about hypnobirthing. My birth didn't go to 'plan' second time around but I was able to deliver him without intervention and he scored an Apgar of 10 and I felt amazing about myself for that! If nothing else, listening to the hypnobirthing whilst falling asleep every night during pregnancy really helped me sleep really well!

snowchick1977 Mon 17-Dec-12 20:27:25

Totally doable. I have "breathed baby out" twice now.....2 children, not the same baby obviously ha ha! Both times hypnobirths, both amazing, both no pain relief and no tearing. Both times I felt fabulous straight after.

It takes a lot of practice and lots of concentration during labour, and, I know everyone is different, but I firmly believe that you have to be a certain type of person to take on board hypnobirthing.

Good luck x

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Mon 17-Dec-12 20:35:36

Haven't read all the replies, so sorry if repeating but just wanted to share my story.

I had my DS at home 10 weeks ago now. Was a long labour (46 hours from contractions being 5 mins apart), I was basically stuck at 5cms for nearly a day. I had a pool at home which I got in at 7cms and I had gas and air for the pain.

I also did a hypnotherapy course and thought I would be breathing my baby out using J breaths etc. The whole experience was lovely and I really can not complain.

I did have a third degree tear and had to go in to hospital for stitching, possibly because I did have to push my baby out? But he was 9lb and born back to back, so could easily have torn due to that too?

J breaths just weren't working, I could feel him going up and down with the breaths but not out. My pushing stage was 40 mins long, 30 mins of that was J breathing and the other 10 was forcible pushing as coached by the midwives. The tear may have been due to the midwife and how she guided him out not accounting for his Brucey chin. No-one even knew I tore as there was so little blood loss, it was about 1 hour after we noticed!

My BP was the same throughout the whole 46 hours and the baby's heart rate was exactly the the same throughout. His apgar score was 10 when he was born. Pushing didn't bother him at all and didn't really worry me as I was so calm from the techniques they teach you.

My best advise would be try not to get too caught up in the finer details and just go with what feels right on the day. Good luck with it all.

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Mon 17-Dec-12 20:38:52

PS. Physically you would never know I had a tear i was able to sit, walk etc as normal and my body didn't ache from the pushing. HTH. I delivered my baby on dry land, on my side.

Allegrogirl Mon 17-Dec-12 20:57:19

My colleague at work breathed out her DC2 at nearly 11lb. She thinks it was down to a fab midwife.

I heaved mine out and had second degree tears both times. First time induced labour, epidural, 60 minutes pushing. Second time induced, gas and air, 70 minutes of pushing and a burst blood vessel in my eye. I had no urge to push what so ever. I think the syntocin interfered with my natural urges or something.

I had prepared myself pretty well for labour, read the books, planned a homebirth but I still failed.

Fell in love with both mine at first sight and was on a high for weeks despite not giving birth by the natural birthing book.

BabyGiraffes Mon 17-Dec-12 21:11:13

I had no urge to push with dd2 and would have preferred to breathe her out but the hugely experienced midwife realised dd2 wasn't happy with the contractions and gently and without alarming me told me to push as hard as I could because baby was better out than in at that point. I hated the disgusting popping sensation like cork from bottle bit. dd2 was born a few minutes later, furious, with the cord around her neck twice. Nature taking its own course could have ended rather differently.

Tgger Mon 17-Dec-12 21:11:35

DD (second baby) came out with no pushing and no breathing out. She was in a hurry grin. Oh and no midwife either (not planned that way I have to say!)

nannyl Mon 17-Dec-12 21:15:59

I hypnobirthed too (natal hypnotherapy)

I never pushed DD either (I just breathed) and she flew out onto the sofa at home

20 mins before i wasnt sure if i was in labour (I assumed earliest stages as wasnt in pain, could just feel the sensations) midwife popped by (her choice i said i was fine)
I was 7cm, and 20mins later DD was un caught on the sofa
(planned home birth, planned to be in the pool but didnt make it in)

yes its completely possible to do it.

i had no pain relief and only the tiniest tear, small enough to heal naturally but i chose to have 1 stitch

For me, honestly, giving birth didnt really hurt, i compared DD coming out to a stingy papercut. it was fine. all credit to my breathing / relaxing / natal hypnotherapy

BabyGiraffes Mon 17-Dec-12 21:16:31

windupbird reading you post made me wonder what would have happened if the midwife had let you sleep when your contractions stopped. Considering your baby's apgar scores were low when forced to come out you both could have gone to sleep...

I am all for natural childbirth etc but am glad I trusted the professionals when I had both of mine.

DownyEmerald Mon 17-Dec-12 22:16:32

My body pushed. An amazing feeling. Bodies are fantastic! A HUGE feeling, my whole body working on this one thing. Pushing is too weak a word really.

She kept coming out and going back a bit. I could push down consciously and keep her out (which is probably why I tore).

Anyway, tho' I'm sure someone has said this up thread, is the thing the pushing is most like is shitting a melon - memorably said to me fifteen years before I had dd, and never forgotten! Thanks Ellie!

DownyEmerald Mon 17-Dec-12 22:19:51

Oh and I think breathing your baby out, hypnobirthing, whatever is absolutely fine as long as your pelvis is the right shape.

WindUpBird Mon 17-Dec-12 22:22:58

Babygiraffes, I know, I would always bow to the judgement of the professionals and was incredibly relieved at DD's safe arrival. As the pushing stage had gone on, she had become distressed (i don't think she was during the first stage) and was born with the cord around her neck and hand up to her face, so I assume these things contributed to not being able to get her out!! I 'll never know if I could have had a 'better birth' (maybe if i'd rested i would have summoned some energy for the birth and subsequent care of DD and she could have maneouvered herself into a better position, maybe not) and am grateful for 2 healthy children and that's all that matters. But my body has taken a battering from all that pushing, which was one of the reasons I wanted to avoid it second time around if possible.

LongStory Mon 17-Dec-12 22:38:10

Have never heard the term 'breathed out' before but it makes sense. It's probably how I managed 5 births, including 2 back-back and twins, without any tears/stitches.

For me it was like this: the overpowering nightmare of transition subsides , then your body pushes naturally you don't need to add to it. Then you streeeetttccchhh, it stings and when the baby is crowning you pant like a dog to slow it down and bingo all sorted!

Really got my money's worth from an afternoon's seminar at the Active Birth Centre - wonder if they are still going?

BabyGiraffes Mon 17-Dec-12 22:50:41

Windupbird -glad you and your dc are okay (also got a fair battering when dd1 was born...)

SarahWarahWoo Mon 17-Dec-12 23:15:44

I was on my feet all through labour and didn't want to be examined. I pushed for less than 10 minutes as a result, there was a point when I tried not to push but did. Stay on your feet and pace or rock

louisianablue2000 Mon 17-Dec-12 23:32:37

I had involuntary pushing with both DD2 and DS. DD2 was what I called a NCT approved birth, I was upright and on my knees when she was born and there was no medical intervention. it was like backwards vomitting TBH, the contractions felt so strong and powerful I had no control over them. Very interesting in comparison to DD1 where I never had any urge to push and oh so much better, although I had no control they weren't unbearably painful at all, seconds stage was 40 minutes. DS was a 10 minute second stage with no pain relief because his heart beat had dropped and I was being trolleyed through to theatre for an EMCS (I was 5cm in the delivery room before they decided on a EMCS). I was too quick for them, and he was born naturally. The contractions were more painful but felt less empowering than DD2 but that might have been because I was lying on my back being pushed through corridors.

For me the big difference from my first birth was that I had more energy for the second two (I was in hospital for 2 nights before I was induced for DD1, I was shattered before I even went into labour) and was confident that I could deal with the pain because even with DD1 it was exhaustion rather than unbearable pain that was the issue for me.

DitaVonCheese Tue 18-Dec-12 00:21:34

Marking place for proper reply tomorrow! smile

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