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Wearing amber during labor, delivery, possible Hep-lock?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am 30 weeks pregnant, and am looking forward to a VBAC, although I am terrified of needles and even the hep-lock that they will be putting in my hand once we arrive at the hospital.

 

I've thought of relaxation techniques (looked into Hypnobabies) to help with the needle issue as well as with labor, but I was curious as to whether anyone had ever worn amber to help with pain?  I thought about amber teething necklaces, and then the idea came to mind that I could try a bracelet or belly strand of amber.

 

Anyone have thoughts?  

Thank you!

post #2 of 11

I'm doing meditation with essential oils so the scent will trigger my relaxation.  Worked really well with DD.

 

I've never heard of amber in labor but I'm a huge fan of the necklaces for babies.  My DD has had hers on since day one.  We have two for these babies already.  Maybe I'll wear them on my wrist during labor?  I figure at a minimum the are a good talisman.

post #3 of 11

I've never heard of amber being used during birth, but it's worth considering.  It certainly wouldn't hurt to use it.  I do recommend Hypnobabies, though.  It worked wonders for making my pregnancy more comfortable and enjoyable, building my confidence, giving me information on how to achieve an unmedicated birth and skills to do it.  It worked so well that I went from fearing birth to thoroughly enjoying it.  Let me know if you have an particular questions about it, I'll be happy to answer if I can.  Even if you don't do the full program, the "Fear of Needles" CD sounds like it would be a good choice for you.

 

 

post #4 of 11

Once the heplock is in it shouldn't bother you (as far as pain goes).  You can ask the nurse to put some anesthetic cream on the site before putting the needle in.  Or, you could ask for a shot of lidocaine before she puts in the heplock.  The needle used for the lidocaine is TINY TINY and you really can't even see it when it is going in.  And, maybe, if you labor long enough at home there is the very real possibility that you will be so involved in your labor that you won't even care about a little needle going in your arm!

 

Also, not sure if you realize this or not, but no part of the actual needle stays in your arm - it is just a very small, thin, plastic tube.  I realize that this may be a "duh, of course" thing to you, but as a nurse, I am often surprised by how many people do not know this and thought I would pass it along just in case!!

 

Happy birthing!

post #5 of 11

I am wearing an amber necklace for headache relief with this pregnancy.  Some of the midwives I interviewed did mention that they had seen a number of labors that were stalled/slow with mamas wearing amber.  Things picked up as soon as the amber was removed.  Just anecdotal but something to think about if you decide to wear amber during labor and have an issue with things being slow/stalling.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracymom1 View Post

Once the heplock is in it shouldn't bother you (as far as pain goes).  You can ask the nurse to put some anesthetic cream on the site before putting the needle in.  Or, you could ask for a shot of lidocaine before she puts in the heplock.  The needle used for the lidocaine is TINY TINY and you really can't even see it when it is going in.  And, maybe, if you labor long enough at home there is the very real possibility that you will be so involved in your labor that you won't even care about a little needle going in your arm!

 

Also, not sure if you realize this or not, but no part of the actual needle stays in your arm - it is just a very small, thin, plastic tube.  I realize that this may be a "duh, of course" thing to you, but as a nurse, I am often surprised by how many people do not know this and thought I would pass it along just in case!!

 

Happy birthing!



Thank you!  I don't know, it's definitely pathological.  Just seeing the hep lock, even with no needle) in my hand when I was laboring with DS would scare me.  I am just very sensitive in my hands, and I am a pianist.  I just can't stand seeing anything in my arms or hands!  I really appreciate the ideas regarding the anesthetic or lidocaine. Even if they think I'm nuts, it's something I can ask...Thank you!



Quote:
Originally Posted by thtr4me View Post

I am wearing an amber necklace for headache relief with this pregnancy.  Some of the midwives I interviewed did mention that they had seen a number of labors that were stalled/slow with mamas wearing amber.  Things picked up as soon as the amber was removed.  Just anecdotal but something to think about if you decide to wear amber during labor and have an issue with things being slow/stalling.


Thank you very much!  This is very helpful as I am going to be in the hospital and my labor stalled out for several hours with DS1 until they had me taken for C/S.  I may use amber for my headaches, as well, but then, as you said, be sure to remove during labor. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudonk View Post

I've never heard of amber being used during birth, but it's worth considering.  It certainly wouldn't hurt to use it.  I do recommend Hypnobabies, though.  It worked wonders for making my pregnancy more comfortable and enjoyable, building my confidence, giving me information on how to achieve an unmedicated birth and skills to do it.  It worked so well that I went from fearing birth to thoroughly enjoying it.  Let me know if you have an particular questions about it, I'll be happy to answer if I can.  Even if you don't do the full program, the "Fear of Needles" CD sounds like it would be a good choice for you.

 

 



I still haven't jumped on board, and I am just reading your post -- did not know about the fear of needles CD.  Thank you!  I will look into it more.

post #7 of 11

I hate hate needles and "things" stuck in my body too.

 

Can you ask them to wrap it in something opaque over it so you cannot see it unless it is needed?

 

They told me I could decline the hep lock upon admission, but that it might make for a more difficult stick later if I do need fluids or meds. They also told me that they put it in and then do the initial blood draw from it, so it would be just one stick.

 

I am sort of thinking I am going to accept it upon admission. I can remain calm while it is inserted, and I should be well hydrated so it should go quick, and they will wrap it up so I don't have to look at it unless it is needed.

 

I do think that if they have to insert it when I am exhausted and maybe dehydrated, that will be more traumatic for me. My biggest fear with needles is having someone dig around missing the vein, that has happened to me a few times and it really tweaks me out.

post #8 of 11

I know that heplocks shouldn't be annoying or painful, but I have to admit that the two times I had to have one, they were definitely painful.  They also led to months of hand and wrist discomfort and weakness.  That happened prior to my pregnancies, and was a contributing factor to my choice to have an unmedicated birth.  I mention that because several of the medical staff kept telling me that it "couldn't hurt", and treated me like it was all in my head.  It wasn't until I went to physical therapy and was describing my symptoms that the therapist said, "Have you ever had an IV in that arm?  That's what it sounds like to me."  I almost kissed him, I was so happy to hear someone acknowledge that IVs sometimes have repercussions! 

post #9 of 11

Just so you know, you really can decline the hep lock when you go in.  They might give you a hard time about it, but in the end, it is your decision to allow it or not.  The hospital where I am birthing this time does them as a routine thing, like most hospitals, but my MW says that her clients almost always refuse them.

 

I have every intention of refusing the hep lock unless/until there is some reason to think that I am going to need an IV.  This did happen at my last birth b/c of persistent vomiting -- I couldn't keep any liquid down -- and it helped, so I'm not going to speak against them universally!  And there's no doubt that if you do need an IV, the hep lock makes it much easier.  But the hospital staff were perfectly capable of puting an IV in at the point at which I was clearly dehydrated and needed it.  (Aren't medical personnel trained to insert IV's when people are dehydrated?  I mean, isn't that what an IV is for, anyway?)  I hated having it in my hand, though, especially because they took hours to remove it after DD was born, even after several requests.  I finally had to threaten to remove it myself before they took me seriously.  It was really uncomfortable for me.  I know some people say it's no big deal, but it was for me. 

 

Physiological birth does not require IV fluids, as a rule, so why should yours?  Just keep eating and drinking through your labor and you should have no need for the hep lock.  If this is against the policy of the hospital, bully your HCP into writing "food and drink to be allowed at all times during labor, no hep lock or IV" or something like that, on a prescription pad, signing it, and giving it to you.  That way you can give it to the hospital when you come in, and let them figure out how to get around it! 

 

post #10 of 11

I made a birthing necklace for each birth... my most recent birth necklace was mostly amber, and while I don't know that it had any actual/measurable/quantifiable impact it certainly had a big psychological affect!  :)

 

In terms of anecdotal info, my first two births were long (12hrs, and 32hrs).  This last one was just over 4 hours!  So at least for me, in this birth, amber didn't have much of a slowing affect.  lol

 

I second hypnobirthing for needle fear, as well as distraction techniques.  Heplock or not, needles can happen during a birth (or right after) and if you know it's a problem it's worth addressing.  Maybe add something like tapping or a specific affirmation to your daily routine?

post #11 of 11

These are great great ideas.  I too REALLY hate needles.  I refused a heplock and am glad I did.  If for some reason it became clear that I really needed one, I would have asked for it on my arm rather than my hand though...I used my hands to brace myself quite a bit and a needle in my hand would have really interfered with that.  Best wishes to you on your VBAC!  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post

Just so you know, you really can decline the hep lock when you go in.  They might give you a hard time about it, but in the end, it is your decision to allow it or not.  The hospital where I am birthing this time does them as a routine thing, like most hospitals, but my MW says that her clients almost always refuse them.

 

I have every intention of refusing the hep lock unless/until there is some reason to think that I am going to need an IV.  This did happen at my last birth b/c of persistent vomiting -- I couldn't keep any liquid down -- and it helped, so I'm not going to speak against them universally!  And there's no doubt that if you do need an IV, the hep lock makes it much easier.  But the hospital staff were perfectly capable of puting an IV in at the point at which I was clearly dehydrated and needed it.  (Aren't medical personnel trained to insert IV's when people are dehydrated?  I mean, isn't that what an IV is for, anyway?)  I hated having it in my hand, though, especially because they took hours to remove it after DD was born, even after several requests.  I finally had to threaten to remove it myself before they took me seriously.  It was really uncomfortable for me.  I know some people say it's no big deal, but it was for me. 

 

Physiological birth does not require IV fluids, as a rule, so why should yours?  Just keep eating and drinking through your labor and you should have no need for the hep lock.  If this is against the policy of the hospital, bully your HCP into writing "food and drink to be allowed at all times during labor, no hep lock or IV" or something like that, on a prescription pad, signing it, and giving it to you.  That way you can give it to the hospital when you come in, and let them figure out how to get around it! 

 

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