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Can the midwife force me out of the tub to give birth?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My free-standing birthcenter has a nice birthing tub, but I just found out that they won't let you birth in the tub (labor only). They said that I would have to atleast stand up, give birth, and then I can sit back down in the tub. I've really had my mind set on having a waterbirth and catching my own baby. Is there any way around their rule of not giving birth in the tub? If I simply refused to get out of the tub could they force me out or drain the water on me?

Carolyn
post #2 of 19
Well if they've told you up front then they will likely have you get out when you get close to pushing. If they aren't covered to do waterbirths then it is a liability issue and we all know how hospitals can react when their liability is at risk. You can try to go against their policy but you might be in for a fight during a bad time to be fighting. Can't you find a place that does offer waterbirth? Or maybe go with a HB?
post #3 of 19
When I looked into a water birth at a hospital I was told I could labor in the tub but not birth. I asked what would happen if things went quickly and was told the nurses would pick me up and put me on the floor. Doesn't that sound lovely?
post #4 of 19
I think it's important to respect the birth center's right to decide what they are willing to do and what they are not willing to do. You can disagree with them about what is safe or desirable - but they have their limits of practice and I don't think it's fair to them to try to circumvent them if they have been very upfront about them. I see this as different from refusing standard procedures in a hospital setting because instead of declining something they want to do, you're asking them to do something they don't want to do.

OTOH, there well may be other options for you to consider. Where I live there is one free-standing BC that will do waterbirth, one like you describe w/a tub but a "get out when pushing" rule, and homebirth midwives who are fine with waterbirths - and some who aren't. The hospitals mostly have 1 or 2 tubs, which you can get if you are lucky, but I don't think most of them permit birth in the tub.
post #5 of 19
Yes, they can and will escort you out. I'm speaking from experience here. I knew I had to get out at 10cm with DD1 and I was fully intending on doing so but when it came time, I had a hard time getting out.
post #6 of 19
I think they would probably pick you up, or drain the water. I was feeling a little pushy in the water and when I got out and they checked me, I was at 9 with a lip.
post #7 of 19
My last birth was under the same circumstances. My midwife said she would drain the water if I didn't get out....I got out and it was just fine. I was disappointed though.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamabeakley View Post
I think it's important to respect the birth center's right to decide what they are willing to do and what they are not willing to do. ... I see this as different from refusing standard procedures in a hospital setting because instead of declining something they want to do, you're asking them to do something they don't want to do.
I agree.

OTOH, if you don't want to switch to HB & don't have another birth center to consider (I have NO birth centers within an hour's drive of me!) then maybe it won't be so bad to only labor in the tub. I labored in the pool in my backyard before going to the hospital. It was awesome! I know I've read that scientific research shows immersion in water to be effective pain relief. But I didn't mind having to push on "dry land." & you could still catch your own baby without the water birth.
post #9 of 19
My MW now does waterbirths in the hospital, but up until a few months back, it was supposed to be "labor in the tub, get out to push." However, she has mentioned quite a few times that sometimes mamas didn't make it out of the tub, and it sounds like they didn't do all that much to "help" them. She said something like, "I so glad they allow waterbirths now, instead of us just doing them illegally if the mom can't get out of the tub in time."

From what others have posted, this is probably the exception rather than the rule - my MW is a little on the rebellious side.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
up until a few months back, it was supposed to be "labor in the tub, get out to push." However, she has mentioned quite a few times that sometimes mamas didn't make it out of the tub, and it sounds like they didn't do all that much to "help" them.
Hospital midwives and freestanding birth centers are being restricted by insurance requirements - its not their fault, and we're lucky any of them are still practicing with all the garbage they have to deal with.

So they have this rule. The question you have to ask is, how strictly do they enforce it. Maybe they enforce it 100% because they are scared of the consequences - maybe they have to *tell* you the rule but can look the other way and say "oops" with moms who really feel strongly in the moment. They may not be able to give you the answer you want straight out, but there are many situations where the midwives will "wink, wink" at you, even as they are informing you what the policy is.

Its not just waterbirth. I've heard of midwives saying something like, "well, you are not supposed to eat in labor at the hospital" by which they mean "just don't do it in front of the nurses"... And same thing for having your water break - my CNM said 12 hours was the limit for labor to start after AROM, but when I challenged that policy, it became clear (but not stated aloud) that she would be perfectly happy if I delayed the ticking clock by not calling her right away.

Its a really tough situation. As pp's have said, homebirth is the only way to *truly* get out from what the medical establishment dicates. Even then, state laws place restrictions on it (in NJ, attending an HBAC is illegal). But if homebirth is not an option, I hope things can still work out wonderfully for you at the birth center.

BTW, I totally thought I would use the tub for birth #2, and by the time I got to the hospital I was so far along I didn't want to do ANYTHING except lie on the bed and try not to die while pushing. And my birth was perfect, I wouldn't change a thing. So you never know!
post #11 of 19
so locally they are tricky- they don't say they won't do water births but what I have seen is that there are times the tub doesn't get turned on timely enough - other times when mom is in and you can hear that pushing and mw says I would like to check you- mom gets out and gets stuck on the bed after the check... stuff like that
post #12 of 19
I would be concerned with a caregiver and facility that was so afraid of waterbirth.
I would ask why and likely look for another provider.
Then again I LOVED my 3 waterbirths And could not imagine giving birth on land again.
post #13 of 19
The center I birthed at had the same stupid rule. I was forced to get out of the tub and deliver on my back :
post #14 of 19
The hospital where I had my 2nd baby offered water laboring but not births. The midwife said she'd just have to drain the water if you were ready to push the baby out in the tub if you couldn't get out.
post #15 of 19
Maybe this midwife hasn't attended many water births. I would want a skilled attendant, not an uneasy one.
post #16 of 19
The hospital where I'm going to give birth is starting what they call "water therapy" about a week after my due date. (no fair!) Anyway, I would love to be able to do that, but my CNM said the tubs will only be for laboring and not for birth due to hospital regulations. I heard from someone else that another nearby hospital used to allow laboring in the tub, but stopped when too many babies were "accidentally" born into the water.

It sounds crazy, but I wouldn't blame the facility so much as the insurance companies. : Malpractice insurance companies are the ones that put so much pressure on medical professionals to "play it safe" for every situation in the first place. It's about one thing and one thing only - $$$. If it were about the safety of the baby, they would do more research and see that many other labor & birth methods out there are far more dangerous than water birth.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
the nurses would pick me up and put me on the floor.
They better be burly male nurses. I'm a BIG mama, these 5' nothin MWs aren't picking my pregnant self up to go anywhere!!

That really sucks that they won't let you deliver in the tub. I had seen a few threads like this around and asked my MW. She said that hospitals don't allow it so I guess that means that some centers will allow it! She did say that if she sees or feels like something needs her attention she would ask me to get out, she said those cases are the minority.

I would keep looking around. I think you should be able to find something. I am delivering in "the hospital" but its kinda its own thing too. If you have time call around and see what you can find!
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by meganmarie View Post
Hospital midwives and freestanding birth centers are being restricted by insurance requirements - its not their fault, and we're lucky any of them are still practicing with all the garbage they have to deal with.

...They may not be able to give you the answer you want straight out, but there are many situations where the midwives will "wink, wink" at you, even as they are informing you what the policy is.
Yup! One of my 3 hospital-based CNMs was also a touch rebelious. I was fairly certain hospital-policy was that we could drink, but not eat in labor. I asked her anyway to confirm, she took a deep breath, paused and said, "I would say, just don't ask." So she actually said - go ahead, break the rule!

Hospital policy was also routine induction at 42 weeks. When I was 41W3D on a Thursday, she said, "So are you going to let us induce you on Monday?"

Before I could even answer, she said, "I went to 43W with one of mine & it was fine."
Love her! So she basically "said" she didn't agree with routine induction at 42W AND she confirmed that she knows the decision is mine (By saying "Are you gonna let us induce." Instead of saying, "You need to be induced on Monday.)

The only thing I would change about my birth is that I wanted video of the birth (hosptial policy is no video until baby is born & stable- which is an ACOG recommendation.) I suspect that if DH just filmed anyway, at least this MW wouldn't be too insistent in telling him to shut off the camera. Of course, I want an HB for #2, so no worries anyway!
post #19 of 19
if youre quiet and dont have monitors on ya....whos going to stop you if theyre not there bugging you?

of course some mamas cant be quiet and i understand that but i mean in general...
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