I've heard some people say their MW won't "let" them get into the water until they feel they really NEED it, or until they're a certain cm dilated - because it can slow down labor.
First of all, any MW who wouldn't "let" me labor wherever the
I FEEL LIKE laboring wouldn't be my MW. Secondly, a vaginal exam just
to assess cervical progress just
to "justify" the use of a fabulous labor comfort tool seems asinine to me. Seems like such views are totally at odds with what I consider to be truly woman-centered, holistic midwifery care.
Anywaysss..... um, yeah, if labor slows down, just get out. Or if it DOES slow down, so what?! The MW can go home if it slows significantly. Your labor progress not adhering to the asinine "Friedman curve" of dilating 1 cm per hour isn't necessarily a problem in and of itself.
I've even heard it recommended that it's great to take a bath in early labor. If labor slows, then it's not "active" labor & therefore you shouldn't go to the hospital or BC yet (for those not planning a HB.)
Personally, with my DS, first baby, I was fortunate enough to be in labor on a hot July afternoon & we had a big in-ground pool at the time.
I got into the pool after I'd been laboring only an hour. It still wasn't serious, I wasn't in pain, & I hadn't even called my DH to come home from work yet when I got into the pool! (So, in other words, still early labor, I wasn't even thinking of myself as "IN LABOR" yet.)
Well, about 2.5 hours later, I got back out of the pool & about 90 min after that - I felt the urge to push & was done first stage! Yup, 5 hours total first stage from the first, "Hm, that was a ctrx, huh, interesting," to "NEED TO LEAVE NOW FOR HOSPITAL, I WANT TO PUSHHHH!!" so it didn't slow things down for me at all.