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Anyone NOT able to catch your own baby while UCing?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I'm not UCing but am trying to have a very hands off, midwife assisted birth.


I've made it clear that I want to birth and catch my baby alone. I don't want extra hands and if I need help I'm capable of asking.


My midwife keeps insisting that of course she'll leave me alone unless it appears necessary that she help me. She says she needs to check for cord (is it really that hard to do myself) and keeps talking about how moms are often in positions that make it hard to catch or that they get caught up in pushing and need help catching (I'm planning a waterbirth, FYI). She said she's okay with me bringing baby up out of water as long as it hasn't taken too long for him to be born or unless she feels like I'm moving too slowly. irked.gif



I absolutely believe that if a mother knows she is responsible for catching baby and is planning on doing so she just will.  Instinctively she will do what she needs to do to maneuver or call on help to catch the baby.


Is that really that far out there? That hard to trust that a mom wont just push out a baby and forget to make sure it lands safely (whether herself or asking for help) or is brought out of the water in a timely manner? headscratch.gif


I'd love to hear if someone wasn't able to catch- what the circumstances were and how it all went down. I'd also like to hear about checking for cord. Was it pretty straight forward? Easy to feel if it was present or not? If you had a nuchal cord how did that go?


Thanks mamas! smile.gif

post #2 of 35

subbing because it's a fascinating question.  I hope you get the answers you are looking for.  I never caught, but that was because I didn't plan it that way.  I do believe, however, that what you say is true and that a woman just will.


I have, however, caught several other babies, and it was AWESOME!

post #3 of 35

Granted I wasn't UC'ing but when my dd#2 was being born after her head came reaching down to touch and catch her just seemed the thing to do.  But I just wasn't able to.  I was reaching towards her and just then my body was gripped in a monster contraction that caused me to give a HUGE push that actually threw my body back down to the bed.   DD was born very fast, after only 13 min's of pushing most of which just being grunty pushes and only 2 of which were real hard pushes.  I was also upright in bed.  Maybe it would have been different had she been born slower or if I was in a different position but I was not able to catch her.

post #4 of 35

My last home water birth was attended by an extremely hands off OB. His assistant listened to heart tones one time, put warm water in the pool but otherwise there was no interference until birth. It was gorgeous and gentle. Sometimes I have to go back and ask my SO how our baby got out of the water. What happened? Who touched her? I completely blanked out. I don't know what would have happened if no one else had been there. I was in a fine position for catching and felt comfortable doing so. I just....didn't. shrug.gif

post #5 of 35
Well, I wanted to catch my last two. But mentally (and physically with positioning) I just was not in a place to do so. It was good to have someone there to jump in both times-dh with #4 and the mw (very hands off!) with #5.
post #6 of 35

I didn't catch my son in my unplanned bath tub UC homebirth. I don't think I could have. I only had two contractions, with the first I pushed his head out, with the second I pushed the rest of him out. The second one was a huge contraction standing on my knees, during which I wasn't mentally or physically able to bend down and cach him. But it didn't matter at all, he plonked down into the bath tub, and I immediately picked him up. It was nice. :) I obviously didn't check for the cord or anything else, and there were no problems.

post #7 of 35

I had a waterbirth with just my husband present and it became necessary for him to catch.  I was in the tub, in a half kneel/ half squat, supporting her head for the first two pushes.  I asked him to turn on the light (there were just candles and I wanted to see her better when she was born) and while he was walking across the room/turning on the light/walking back, I instinctively got on hands and knees.  There wasn't a conscious thought to do so, I just did what I needed to do shrug.gif  About the time he got back to the tub, I pushed again and he caught her and passed her through my legs to me while I sat back.

post #8 of 35

This wasn't my birth, but a close friend's...

She was squatting while pushing her first baby.  With her last contraction, she just HAD to stand straight up, there was no way around it.  The baby kind of just fell out.  Thankfully, the dad was right next to her and caught the baby before it hit the ground.

With her second birth, the exact same thing happened (pushing squatting, then had the urge to stand up)  This time, they knew to expect it and the dad knew that mom standing up meant baby was coming out and it was time for him to catch!

I don't know how common this is, but there was no way my friend would have been able to catch her baby/check for the cord. 

If you're comfortable with the somersault manoeuvre, im not sure how critical it is to check for the cord though

post #9 of 35

I wasn't allowed to but when I birthed at the Romanian hospital with my second it turned out mainly unassisted cuz I didn't ask for any help until I started involuntarily pushing on my hands and knees. I wouldn't have asked them in the room at all but there were other women in labor in the room with me and I didn't want to get into some sort of trouble.They got mad at me that I was in that position and tried to convince me to move even though baby was already on it's way out. I told them I couldn't, but they figured I was lying. Oh well, I don't care, but the point was I pretty much ignored them even when they were commanding me to do things and was pushing baby out. By the time my hubby was in the room baby was crowning and I bent my behind down toward the bed more so baby would have a nice soft landing. Sadly before that could happen they convinced my hubby to help them flip me over which with 4 people, they were able to do, causing my son to slide back inside me some and then forcing me to finish birthing on my back which was horrid but thankfully I only had one push to go. 


My point of that snippet was to say that I wasn't going to catch my baby but I had prepared a nice soft landing for it and if they had left me alone baby would have been born onto the bed and I would have grabbed him from there. That's my plan for this time too since it felt so right last time but we'll see how it goes. smile.gif

post #10 of 35

I have had 3 freebirths and didn't catch any of my babies. I have a very short torso, but long arms, and birth on my knees. My belly is enormous while pg (all out in front: really all), and my freebirthed babies have been big as well (10,3; 10, 8; and 9lbs) My long arms were no help to catch because like others, my contractions were so strong and positioned me in such a way that I couldn't reach. My body did what was necessary. I prepared for this potential by having soft blankets piled at my birth-spot in my room (also nice for my knees). When my babes came flying out, they just slid onto the soft, blanket-covered floor. They didn't thump or plunk down at all, and I immediately picked them up. My dp has said that the force with which they emerge is such that there's little likelihood anyone could catch them, given that they are also very slippery.


I definitely reach immediately, but I always miss the mid-emergence catch. My babies didn't seem to mind. They were very peaceful and alert during the whole process. :)


ETA: I didn't give a great description of how it all unfolded because my babes were born in three contractions.

post #11 of 35

My last 8 were born at home, last 7 UC. I did not catch 4th and 9th, but all my others were caught myself, including my third, first HB, midwife attended. All 8 were waterbirths.


My first UC was not planned. I was surprised the birth was so fast and midwives had not arrived. I knew she was crowning, I was laying down in our garden tub which was barely filled. I tried to sit up, but could not. I was overwhelmed w/ discomfort. Dh caught her as she emerged. We did not check cord, but she had a nuchal cord which dh instinctively pressed her head to my thigh and she was born fully, then unwrapped from her cord. 


My ninth was over a pound larger than any of my others and had turned posterior in labor. I had intense pain, which I had never experienced before once the urge to push arrived. I held dh hands as I yelled and I had my eyes scrunched closed. Dh asked me to open my eyes, but I could not I said. I cannot recall, but at some point after her head was fully out, I/we let go of hands and dh caught the rest of her. He pulled her out of the water and I took her in my arms. Had neither of us "caught" her she would have just been born in water and no damage of course. After birth it is instinct to lift them irregardless. Typically I just labor and birth baby, catching myself w/ no effort and no direction. Sometimes I checked for a cord and sometimes not. You can easily check for a cord, you don't need anyone to "catch" in a waterbirth, and you can bring baby up yourself. Your midwife is way overthinking this.


post #12 of 35

Well first off it sounds like you have the wrong midwife for a 'hands-off' birth.  I would reconsider having her there at all.


She doesn't need to check for the cord but unfortunately it sounds like she has been trained to do so.  There is no need for the cord to be checked by anyone including you.  This is a myth and an intervention looking for a reason.  I'd be happy to go into it with you more but I'll just say for now that your instincts are right and this is not a necessity.  Nuchal cords are common and baby will summersault out all on its own if given a chance.  Anyone receiving the baby is certainly qualified to unwrap the cord.  Moms and dads just do it instinctually as far as I've seen :)


If you birth in water, no-one needs to catch the baby.  That's one of the great things about being in water.  Depending on your position, it might be good for someone to help direct the baby between your legs so you can pull him out, but no one needs to have their hands anywhere near your perineum when the baby is being born.


Also,  if you are on land, and your bottom is reasonably close to the floor and there is something soft beneath you, there is non need for anyone to catch the baby then either.


I'd say wether you can receive the baby into your hands directly is dependent on your size and the position you give birth in.

post #13 of 35

Waterbirths for me- I just reach down in tub after they are born and lift them to the surface. One birth I did stand up in my tub and had a midwife who unwrapped cord and caught the baby.

post #14 of 35

I was able to yell for my mom to come and catch DD2 with my UC (she came really fast!).  I don't know if I would have been able to catch her if was completely on my own.  I didn't even fully realise that I was in labour until I sat on the toilet and all of a sudden her head was right there.  I ended up sort of leaning backwards with my hands on the toilet cistern to push.  It was really a case of fetal ejection reflex, and I certainly didn't feel at the time that I could move - but if I were aware of being on my own and needing to make sure baby had somewhere safe to land (and I was totally compos mentis through the whole thing) then I might have been able to get to my hands and knees on the floor, or squat.  I wouldn't have had time for any more - she was out in about 3 pushes!


(I have to say I *am* glad she wasn't born into the toilet!! :lol)

post #15 of 35
Originally Posted by Funny Face View Post

I absolutely believe that if a mother knows she is responsible for catching baby and is planning on doing so she just will.  Instinctively she will do what she needs to do to maneuver or call on help to catch the baby.


I agree with you.  I also think that the baby doesn't necessarily need catching while it is halfway out... you can just push the baby out, and bring it up after you move your leg or whatever.  In the Birth in The Squatting Position video, nobody catches those babies, they just land on the blanket or towel and the mother picks them up.


I would set a firmer boundary with your midwife about being hands off, such as "I don't want you to put your hands in the water at all" or, "Do not touch my baby at any time without my permission."  I think your midwife may mean well, but have a different idea of what it means to be hands-off.  How does she plan to check for the cord?  Just by looking from the side with a flashlight, or does she want to put a mirror there or something?  You might want to ask about that if she didn't explain.

post #16 of 35
Checking for cord is not necessary!

Help maybe needed for a shoulder dystocia... Other than that This midwife needs to sit on her hands, she just does and if she can not then you need another attendant. She could learn something here but she has to chill out in order to do so.
post #17 of 35

I meant to catch but my eyes went blurry and blinded me and also I needed to move to hands and knees at the last moment so DH and MW caught. If they hadn't I guess the towels and pads under me would have been enough cushion for a landing.

post #18 of 35

not a uc'er but there is no way i could have caught either of my two. my dd was born in the shower and i feel really lucky to have had a quick thinking midwife that threw a pillow under me and grabbed my dd when she came out. i jut literally went from "it's time to push!" to down on my knees to push to omg! she's handing me the baby, what do i do?


and i felt her head crowning and had intentions of catching her myself, i really did, but i just was so deep in the experience that there really wasn't much conscious about me.


ds, i didn't intend to catch but with him i was very positional, and needed to be on all fours. i had to have my hands on the headboard of the bed... i'm not really sure i could have changed positions if i wanted to?


for me, i am so physically in the experience that i can't really direct my body to _do_ anything. it directs me to what i need to do!

post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 

She checks for a cord by feeling for it.


I spoke to her at last visit and said dh and I had discussed it and that if I needed help or was in a position that prevented me from catching (I'm planning a waterbirth so no one really needs to 'catch' most likely) that dh would help.


Last time ds had a tight nuchal cord and I  somersaulted him out with mw's help. I had assumed that required some sort of maneuver on her part.


If there is a tight cord will baby somersault on it's own? After years of working with mws and them always checking for cord I assumed it would just tighten if baby continued to emerge and might become too tight causing a strangulation effect or somehow damage the cord/pull the placenta. 


I don't have a problem with dh helping if I need it, though I'd like to do it myself. Just don't want mw help. :)

post #20 of 35

Not a UC'er, but another homebirth mama who couldn't catch. In fact, it is helping me process my DD's birth to read this thread bc I REALLY, REALLY wanted to catch. I'd envisioned catching my entire pg and my MW was fully supportive. Had a fast (~2hr) fierce labor, MW arrived ~3mins before babe was out. I was all positioned (on DH's lap, hanging off the side of a chair) to catch. I touched her head as she crowned, and MW and DH encouraged me to reach down and catch her as I pushed her body out, but I just couldn't. I don't know how better to explain it. My brain and heart wanted to, but my body just wouldn't go thru the motions to reach down. At the end, I asked MW to catch and hand her to me. I don't know, had I been alone, I would hope I would have been able to make my body do it. 

My DD did have a tight nuchal, and the MW slipped it off as she was born. I hope someone can answer you about that question, bc i don't know. 


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