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How to avoid a c-section/intervention?

(35 Posts)
rainand Fri 08-Feb-13 10:04:22


I'm 25 weeks (so I'm still a bit early) but I really don't want to have a c-section or any intervention, and I'm really really keen on having a natural birth. I live away from my family so I'm even more keen on going it natural. It is my 1st baby.

I'm just wondering whether there is anything I can start doing from now to ensure that I have a natural birth? My pregnancy is thankfully normal, and I am hoping to work until possibly 34-36 weeks (haven't decided on final details yet). I wouldn't say I am awfully active - I don't take part in any yoga/pilates classes (a bit pricey) but could do if it came highly recommended.

Any tips folks? Was there anything you did that you thing helped you to give birth naturally and avoid a c-section?

Thanks! smile

amyboo Fri 08-Feb-13 12:41:50

I don't think there's anything you can do to "avoid" certain things. I've had two pregnancies - 1 was an ELCS as DS was firmly footling breech the whole way through. He couldn't be turned (we tried) and was essentially stuck, so I had no real option. Second one was an induction, as DS2 died in utero at 36 weeks, so again I had no real option.

Am currently on my 3rd pregnancy (30 weeks), and despite being healthy, not putting on much weight, with good core strength etc, I will be heading for another induction, as I had random bleeding at 16 weeks and have been on blood thinning medication since then which will need to be stopped before I can give birth. I may also be heading for another ELCS, as my placenta is quite low and at last check was partially blocking my cervix

So, I guess what I'm saying is, don't get too obsessed about having the "perfect" birth. The perfect birth, imo, is getting to the end with a sfae, healthy baby and a safe, healthy you. I was devastated when I found out DS1 would be a ELCS as I felt I'd failed somehow. But, in the grand scheme of things it really mattered not a jot.

MaMaPo Fri 08-Feb-13 12:44:37

I agree with a lot of these posts. I had an EMCS after doing pilates and yoga, keeping fit, putting on not too much weight, practicing breathing techniques etc - none of these things could stop my daughter from getting her head into an impossible position for birth, or could stop my (usually very low) blood pressure from skyrocketing at 38 weeks leading to a decision to induce.

However, I think my overall health helped a lot with my recovery - I was extremely active, out daily and for long stretches, from about 10 days post-birth, and have lost all (and more) of the baby weight.

So try what you'd like to stay fit and healthy, learn and practice some breathing/hypnobirthing techniques, then enter the process of childbirth with an open mind, because there is a hell of a lot going on over which you have no control at all. The best outcome is healthy mum and healthy baby - they don't give out medals for anything else!

Congratulations on your pregnancy and best of luck!

AmberLav Fri 08-Feb-13 13:17:15

Think positively, but be prepared for all outcomes! That is the best thing to do!

I had a succession of friends with back to back babies not long before I gave birth, so I did the online exercises to encourage best positioning.

I ate lots of iron-rich foods, as I'd noticed a link between low iron levels and blood loss (but I think I do have naturally high iron levels, so I appreciate other ladies have a lot of trouble keeping up iron levels despite great diets).

What I wish I'd done:
- tried perineal massage ( I had a 3rd degree tear). Probably wouldn't have done anything as DS was 9lbs 12ozs, but at least I'd have tried... (I'm trying that this time round)
- eaten and drunk more in early labour as there is a possibility that my contractions showed because I was running out of food energy (long labour!)
- stayed more upright in the pool (not that I'm planning on using the pool this time as that may also have slowed contractions...)

AmberLav Fri 08-Feb-13 13:23:39

Oh, and putting on less than a stone in weight?! I put on 20lbs, so a stone and a half, and that was lost immediately when I delivered (was back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time I got home from hospital 2 days later).

Putting on anything less than I did would have caused me to lose weight!

Off the original topic a bit, but I suppose it is covered by don't follow any advice rigorously, take everything with a pinch of salt!

Good luck

afterdinnerkiss Fri 08-Feb-13 13:44:41

eat lots, relax and squat.

i would say relax as much as possible, here in women are discouraged from working in the 6 weeks up to the birth, sent on statutory leave to rest (mentally and physically) and prepare for the birth, as it is believed that this rest period improves birth outcomes - women facing stress during and at the end of pregnancy may experience less easy birthing experiences.

i would say the number one skill is learning to squat - practice it every day for as long as possible - not squatting up and down which is tough on the knees but staying seated for longer periods in the squatting position. I read Ina May Gaskins guide to birth religiously as i am terrified of medical interventions that can be avoided. the book is great and will give you a hundred answers to your questions.

anyway, back to squatting : you are less likely to need a CS if you stay upright and keep moving your hips. squatting, in the later stages is even better. lying flat in bed the whole time a la mistresses of Louis XIV will dramatically increase the likelihood of a CS, as will an epidural (if it can be avoided). whilst people in other (poorer) cultures, e.g. rural south america and india can sit very comfortably on the floor, our muscles have been trained out of it and we can only sit comfortably on chairs. not good for childbirth!!

rainand Thu 14-Feb-13 11:17:26

Thank you ladies for all the advice, I'm taking it on board smile

Stixswhichtwizzle Thu 14-Feb-13 11:58:40

There's not much you can do. I felt same way as you whilst pregnant. My labour went well. Laboured in pool until 7 cm when MW noticed thick meconium in waters. She checked HB which had been fine and it was suddenly dropping. I was whisked off to consultant led delivery ward. Given an EPI whilst they took blood from DD head (whilst inside me) to check oxygen levels following results an EMCS was done so quickly the EPI didn't have time to work and it was done under a general. The CS saved my DD life. The cord was wrapped round her arm in such a way she couldn't descend any further.

You can't plan for these things. I tried lots of the thing you're suggesting to no avail. However, up until EMCS I laboured for 15 hrs (active) with water and gas and air do perhaps something did help prepare me...

Stixswhichtwizzle Thu 14-Feb-13 12:01:36

At no point did I labour on a bed either. Don't build up your 'ideal birth'. Think about what you'd like by all means but be prepared to go with the flow. That helped me come to terms with my birth experience.

GiveMeVegemite Thu 14-Feb-13 20:49:37

I know lots of mums, me included, that would have avoided interventions and a c section, but I ended up getting induced and had an emergency section anyway. There is nothing you can do to avoid it, if you have fetal distress then they will need to get the baby out as fast as possible and there is nothing you can do to avoid it. Sorry! I did Pilates but they obviously didn't help....

PseudoBadger Fri 15-Feb-13 09:34:37

Absolutely agree that even with the best will in the world, it may just have to happen. It probably won't, but please don't be upset if it does. I got induced for PE, coped so well with the drip, got fully dilated, pushed for over 2 hours and the little limpet didn't budge. So out he came through the sun roof!

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