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Do you have to get out the birthing pool to have your cervix checked?

(27 Posts)
NAR4 Wed 06-Feb-13 18:41:05

Would really like a water birth this time but have never had one before. Just a couple of questions.

Do you have to be dilated a certain amount before they let you get in? Historically I stay at 2cm for hours and hours and then do the rest all at once.

Do you have to get out to have your cervix checked for how dilated you are?

If baby gets stuck and they think I need an epistomy will I have to get out to deliver the baby?

Do I have to get out for the injection to deliver the placenta and do I stay out to deliver the placenta?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Feb-13 18:45:28

Yes, normally 4cm

Depends on the hospital but probably.

OneSliceOfSwissCheese Wed 06-Feb-13 18:48:06

I can only answer bits of this.

I was about 5cm dilated before getting in the pool. I think they like you to be fairly established otherwise the warmth and relaxation of the water can slow things down.

Once I was in, the only checks they did were using the machine to check the baby's heart rate but you don't have to get out for that. Think they use a mirror to have a peep at what's going on down below! But no, I didn't have to get out for internal examinations.

I had the injection to deliver the plancenta and got out after the cord had stopped pulsating and was cut. But I think you can stay in.

My birth experience was fab and next time, I'd definately chose a water birth if I was able. Good luck! smile

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 06-Feb-13 18:51:52

Dont know (after I delivered DD I sat in the pool until the cord stopped pulsating and was cut, sat some more then got out as they couldn't tell how much I was bleeding, delivered placenta, and then had jag to try and stop bleeding)

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 18:53:35

I got in the pool at 6cm+ (that's what I turned up at hospital as so no idea about before that).

Laboured (and was checked) for a few hours in the pool. After 1hr of pushing I had to get out for an episiotomy so yes to getting out if the baby's taking it's time. Was very nice at first though to be in the pool, despite the scary ending smile

Bakingtins Wed 06-Feb-13 18:57:18

Yes, at least 4cm, though if you explain how prev labours have been they may compromise on this. the warm water can slow things down if you are not in established labour.
If you need your cervix checked you'll have to get out pictures midwife with scuba gear but you can request they are hands off unless there's a concern.
I did. It's difficult for them to assess if/how much look you are losing in the water.

rubyjuice Wed 06-Feb-13 18:57:45

I went in the pool at 2-3cm and progressed really well (6cm two hours later). I think it probably depends on the midwife as I wasn't expecting to be able to go in at that point.

bettybyebye Wed 06-Feb-13 19:06:29

I asked to go in the pool at 5cm, the midwife said some people think you should wait till 7cm but that it was up to me. I decided I wanted to go in then - Glad I did as it took them so long to fill the thing I was probably 7 by the time I got in!

I laboured in the pool for an hour or so before I was ready to push, the only checks I had was on the baby's heartbeat using the doppler. I pushed for an hour and a quarter in the pool before they made me get out as they said you were only supposed to push for an hour in the pool (they also couldn't find a mirror so were struggling to see what was going on).

As soon as I got onto the bed they looked and said I needed an episiotomy which they did immediately, and DS was born with the next contraction smile

Like PP said, although no an ideal ending I loved being in the pool during labour. In fact I found it so relaxing I was falling asleep between contractions!

nickelbabe Wed 06-Feb-13 19:09:20

if you want to be checked thenyes you have to get out.

you don't have to be checked. it sounds like it wouldn't help you anyway.

jbakedbean Wed 06-Feb-13 21:14:07

No, no, no. I had a water birth with my second and at the pregnancy yoga class I attended (which was brilliant for sharing experiences) I was informed that they want you out of the water as it is easier for them but a good Mw should be able to do it in the water.

I refused to get out and she did it whilst I was in the water, I think she actually learned it was possible too. Water birth was magical. 1st DS was natural but had everything in the end inc epidural due to back pain, 2 Nd DS was in water and I didn't even have gas and air. Same labour length and pulled him out myself with no interference from mw. Truly magical. Would strongly suggest for anyone happy in water.

3rd on its way due start of October and would aiming for water at home this time. Lol good luck

jbakedbean Wed 06-Feb-13 21:15:54

Agree with above, I fell Asleep during contractions and my mum had the job of keeping my head out of water.

My push stage lasted 1 minute and was three pushes in total. Amazing experience. X x x

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 21:27:07

Yeah...forgot to mention I had a LOT of gas and air with mine so I did submerge a few times grin

(The pool really did help with the pain early on though, despite the intervention)

Flisspaps Wed 06-Feb-13 21:47:37

What nickel said - you don't have to be checked! If you don't want to get out of the pool, stay in there.

EggInABap Wed 06-Feb-13 21:55:27

I felt like I was ready to push and midwife asked if I wanted to get out for them to check or if I wanted to go ahead and push (my 2nd baby), for some stupid reason I wanted them to check then once I'd got out the pain trebled and I couldn't make it back into the pool, ended up giving birth on the bed.

Wish I'd listened to my body and stayed in the pool! So no you don't have to get out and I wouldn't recommend it! smile

Icantstopeatinglol Wed 06-Feb-13 21:55:58

I had a water birth with my ds and it was amazing! Didn't have to get out for any internals as the mw checked babies heart rate regularly and used a mirror to see how things were progressing. Such a fab experience! Wished my dd had been the same but she was more impatient....grade 1 emergency caesarean! Still a little monkey now but wouldn't have her any other way!
Good luck, hope you get one cos it's such a fantastic experience! smile

elliejjtiny Wed 06-Feb-13 22:09:45

I had a home waterbirth with DS1. I was in and out of the pool during the latent labour stage and when the midwife came I was in the pool. I got out to be checked and I was 4cm. I didn't have any further checks apart from the heartbeat and for that I just heaved my bump out of the water for a bit. I remember being slightly horrified when the midwife said what a good view she had of DS1 crowning, I hadn't thought about the walls of the pool being see through grin. Delivered DS1 and the placenta in the pool and then refused to get out! Midwives wanted to check me for tears and then go home so they said they were going to wash the meconium off DS in the pool and I practically leapt out!

With DS2 I was in and out of the pool in latent labour again but I was stuck at 2cm for ages so the midwife suggested I get out and try and get some sleep. Next morning I was 4cm but meconium in my waters so went into hospital.

NAR4 Thu 07-Feb-13 15:10:47

Thankyou for sharing everyone. Some lovely labour stories which I can hope for and no negative experiences of using the water for pain relief. Might need to argue a bit to be allowed in before 4cm though it seems (depending on midwife). Just hoping I don't need another induction now and miss out again on trying a water birth.

nickelbabe Thu 07-Feb-13 16:35:15

you don't have to be induced either, even it if looks like the quickest/easiest way of going into labour.

NAR4 Fri 08-Feb-13 14:35:36

I know I don't have to be induced, but once I went over 42 weeks I think I would just be constantly worried. Imagine checks would also have to be done at the hospital because my midwife is only in this area for 3 hours every fortnight. The hospital is about 40 min-1 hour away and would be a real pain, with four children already, to fit it round.

nickelbabe Sat 09-Feb-13 10:50:12

i had DD at 40+16.

NICE guidelines say that you are only officially overdue at 42 weeks, and even then you only have to opt for expectant management (their recommendation is minimum 2ce a week monitoring)

NAR4 Sat 09-Feb-13 11:17:45

Thanks nickel I think given my history of needing to be induced it will be good for me to look this up and arm myself with the knowledge to make a properly informed decision on induction, should I need one again.

nickelbabe Sat 09-Feb-13 11:41:13

i think if you've been induced because of longer term pregancies, then you've got a better ground for refusal this time, your term is just longer normally.

merrygiant Sat 09-Feb-13 13:26:23

I'm a midwife and I always try to do internals without getting the woman out of the pool, if needed at all. Most 2nd labours you can look for other signs of full dilatation. However, if your midwife is particularly short or has a back problem/is pregnant, then she may not be able to get into a position to check you while you're in the pool. I'm preggers now and would struggle to bend over the pool sufficiently to do a VE.

If baby isn't coming when you're pushing or gets stuck on the way out then you will need to get out at this point. If all is well and you deliver in the pool, you can have the injection whilst staying in, some midwives will give the jab in the arm to avoid you having to hitch your leg up out of the water. If you have had a quick and easy labour, I would recommend not having the injection at all, but waiting for the placenta to come out on its own. If you do have the injection, again some midwives are happy to deliver it in he pool, but it all really depends on the size of the pool and whether she can reach you properly. It is usually the case that women are happy to get out at this point anyway.

Most hospitals/birth centres wouldn't have you staying in until you are 4cm and in 'active labour'. However, given your history this might be viewed differently. The evidence on water slowing labours down is not very strong, and I would say the benefits of the water outweigh any slowing of progress. If you have to stay at home until you're 4cm, you can use your bath to get the same benefit.

Good luck, I love doing water births and am hoping for one myself later this year.

NAR4 Sat 09-Feb-13 15:01:26

Thankyou merry for all the info. it is very helpful. Hope you get the water birth you want.

Thankyou nickel I will be looking up the pros and cons of induction at 42 weeks tonight when all the children have gone to bed and I can concentrate on what I am reading.

5madthings Sat 09-Feb-13 15:13:25

No you dont have to get out.

You can deliver placenta in pool without the injection.

Also even if you are induced you can use the pool. Havw bedn induced for all five. I just get my waters broken as i am allwrgic to the prostin gel.

If you need the drip then no pool but if labour starts with just the gel or arm then the pool is fine but you may have to be prepared to argue for it. My mudwives were happy it was the consultant who wasnt.

Ds4 was 10lb 13oz and born in the pool, it was the best labour of my five smile

Ds2 and ds3 the pool wasnt available and i laboured in the bath. Midwife thought tgey were going to be born in the bath each time and said to dp that he was to pull the plug out when i started pushing. She didnt want to as she thought i would hit her blush i woukdnt but i did swear! as it was i had an urge to get out and tge delivered them.kneeling up. I think because the bath wasnt big enough.

There was no way i was getting our of the pool with ds4. I wasnt examined befors i got in. Had been in labour for twent mins but midwife coukd tell i was progressing qyickly. Forty mins in the pool and ds4 was born. Midwifw mentuoned a line a the top of my bum which meant she knew birth was imminent and i didnt have to push my body just did it on its own whilst i breathed the gas and air!

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