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How Important is walking around during labor? - Page 2

post #21 of 86

The small hospital that I had my DD at had an epidural rate of about 80%, and they totally didn't know how to handle someone who didn't have one. I was assured by both my OB and the OB on call that I would be able to move and change positions during labor, but because they "kept losing the heartbeat" on the continuous fetal monitoring (because I kept trying to change position) they never let me off the monitor (standard to get a baseline). I had the nurse chastise me multiple times, and one time she pushed me back into laying down. if I was going to be in a hospital ever again, I would get a doula. usually the staff will be a lot more hands-off and accommodating if you have a doula. 

post #22 of 86

I don't know if anyone's mentioned this but stay out of the hospital for as long as you possibly can while in labour!

 

FWIW at the hospital where I delivered DD I was permitted to walk around off the ward in early labour provided that I returned every 20 minutes to be monitored.  I was attached to an IV pole at the time as I was GBS+ and they still let me.  If you can't walk out of your room, walk in your room and take frequent bathroom breaks so you're not chained to the bed.

 

If they really want an IV push for a hep-lock if they must have something into you.  Have them discuss everything they want to do well in advance of doing it so that you have time to discuss it with your DP and doula.  Remind them that you're an active part of your healthcare team!

 

Get the doula!  I don't know what I would have done without mine.  Also see if you can request the most natural labour friendly nurse on the unit (they do exist!).  I ended up with one and I honestly believe that it made a big difference when I had DD.

 

If you hospital does a pre-registration appointment a lot of your questions should be answered then.

 

Good Luck!

post #23 of 86

You may also want to be prepared for the fact that you may not want to move (much) at all.  For the larger and tougher part of my labour, I could hardly bear to move during my contractions, never mind walk.  I had prepared for all sorts of positions, was aware of the benefits of walking etc., but just couldn't.  It would have helped me to know that moving is just not an option for some women. (Of course, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't follow up with the hospital on this.)

 

I second the point on the nurse: she is your ally! I was hooked up to the fetal monitoring and just couldn't stand the strap.  Because all was well with the baby, the nurse was willing to take if off and to pretend she was just putting it back on as soon as the doctor returned.

 

post #24 of 86

erm... isn't telling an adult they aren't allowed to leave from a certain location or even move.. a crime?  Like, if someone were to come to my house and I was like yeah you aren't allowed to move off my couch for the next 10 hours.  I'd be charged with a crime... why would it be different if we were instead at a hospital and I had MD after my name and said yeah you aren't allowed to move off my hospital bed til I say so?  No one can tell you you aren't allowed to move around unless there is some real and serious risk where getting up WILL cause a problem.  A normal labor doesn't have that risk.  They can certainly TRY I suppose, but unless they can prove in court that it was absolutely in your best interest to stay put I don't see why you couldn't report them for the crime (can't think of the phrase used for the crime)

 

at any rate, when I was in labor, I did NOT want to walk around.  It made things a lot worse.  I sat between contractions earlier in the day and stood up for them as they got more difficult because sitting starting to get too painful and eventually I climbed into the tub and leaned forward during contractions.  I was in the tub through transition and decided I couldn't stay in for a water birth (wanted to though) and got out to lay on my side on the bed.  No other position would work for me for pushing.. they were all too painful to manage.

 

You might not need to move around.. but no one can tell you you HAVE to stay in bed and can't get up to walk around your room unless there is a very real medical risk against it in which case I assume you'd want to stay put to take care of yourself and baby anyway.  You are pregnant and giving birth, not a criminal sentenced to jail time.  Your rights are still 100% there despite what some OBs and midwives may think.

post #25 of 86

You've heard it many times. I'll say it too. Hire a doula! Many will work on a sliding scale, in trade, and the ones in training (like myself) will sometimes take clients for free so they can finish certifying.

post #26 of 86

I will say that the reason most hospitals have epidural rates above 70% is because most women find labor extremely painful, and they decide, as the hours of contractions wear on, that they want to have pain relief and a rest. It's not a conspiracy. A few women do not find labor painful, and some number of other women find the pain relatively tolerable, but the vast majority of women experience labor as painful and exhausting. I find that many natural childbirth books tend to gloss over the pain of labor, and tend to over-feature birth stories told by women who had a less painful or not painful experience, It's not really honest.

 

Anyhow, I wouldn't worry too much about what your doctor told you. He won't be there for very much of your labor, mostly just the pushing at the end, so he may not be aware of how much flexibility women typically have before transition. If your hospital has birthing balls and grab bars, then they probably accommodate laboring women regularly.

 

And it's your first birth, so go easy on yourself. The vast majority of epidurals do not lead to c-sections, and neither c-sections nor epidurals prevent bonding with your baby, or a good nursing relationship. I had two vaginal births, (both painful, for what it's worth) and had a tricky time getting started nursing one child, but an easy time nursing the other. Good luck for an easy birth!

post #27 of 86

I know others have weighed in, but I think that is one of the TOP components of a good labor, especially for your first.  I have big red flags about that doc of yours!  By answering that way, he has shown that he doesn't really understand childbirth and views it as something to be managed and controlled in bed, with medicine. I can't see how you'd avoid an epidural, and then pitocin, by being stuck in bed. That is not how women give birth.

 

ETA: read the other posts. It's awesome you are thinking carefully about this and that you are asking the right questions here.

 

I highly recommend a doula as well since you anticipate having to push back on a number of things.  The doula can be your rock to help you think through and stick with what you desire. I think you have a great chance of finding one available for your due date. That can really wear a woman down, especially when in labor. I agree that "policies" are not set in stone and YOU are the consumer here. Another reason for a doula is that she will be experienced in supporting a woman through natural childbirth. From what you've said about the hospital, you will probably not be able to rely on the nurses for any support to cope with labor. Your DH can help of course but I'm thinking of fellow womanly support.

 

I have also heard of the recommendation to, upon admittance, ask for a nurse who is familiar with natural childbirth. Usually those nurses enjoy being pared up with a woman who wants to labor naturally!

post #28 of 86
please, please, please get a doula. someone who knows how birth *really* happens in your hospital and how your doc group *really* practices will be a huge asset for you in knowing how to prepare. she will also be a great resource for questions and be there to assist and remind you while you're in labor. she can also help you stay at home in early labor which is one of the very best things you can do for yourself to limit interventions. stay out of the hospital until very late in labor (as long as all is well). please, get a doula, it sounds like you have lots of questions and could find the reassurance helpful. please keep asking here as well!! it is just helpful to have someone in person to help you and none of us can go to the hospital with you.

about the hospital tour, call the labor floor and ask for a tour and ask your questions to the nurse giving you the tour. as was mentioned my others, your labor nurse is going to know more about what's really going on than your doc because they are there the whole time.
post #29 of 86

I had a 36 hour, posterior baby.  I did not walk around(even though i was allowed to) because I was in so much pain.  I feel like it is very important to walk around now, I believe it would have sped up my labor and it also helps baby get into position.  If you cant walk around I think sitting on a birthing ball and moving your hips around might make up for some of the lost movement.

post #30 of 86

ok...I see things from a different perspective because I've worked in emergency medicine for years

these are my personal preferences and why

 

Im totally ok with a hep-lock..I know what its like to try and find flat veins especially when things are going downhill fast but even simple dehydration will make them relatively flat

I am NOT ok with ringer solution for the heck of it..it swells me up like crazy

 

I sneak food but keep it lite...I've actually tubed a patient that was aspirating heavy food and it was nearly impossible

 

anyone touching you without your consent...and btw your consent can be very easily manipulated..is assault, in any state

BUT if a nurse comes in and says, "lets check your progress" and you either scoot to comply or say ok...you've given consent..in fact you've given expressed consent

I personally had to beg to be checked towards the end of my last labor and I'm glad the Dr actually did because i had a small lip of cervix left and felt pushy..I might of swelled up that lip and slowed things down if I had gone by instinct...or I mightve pushed it out of the way, who knows

and I dislike continuous monitoring because it inhibits movement but mainly because the belts are uncomfortable; I've never had interventions done on the basis of the monitoring for the record

 

GENERALLY most hospitals policy is to not let ANY patient walk by themselves out of their rooms anywhere...the key here is by themselves

I don't think is a terrible policy after having had to backboard and collar a patient I found hanging by his now ripped penis (foley bag) off the side of a bed because he tried to go for a walk by himelf(btw nurses and drs dont actually know how to deal with c-spine immobilization or backboarding)...sure labor is a normal part of living, but bp can drop for any number of reasons and having a least your partner present to make sure you don't go down is good

but I have had three hospital births...and never once wasn't I allowed to walk my room, the halls etc...that sounds incredibly suspect to me

post #31 of 86

 

Quote:
I will say that the reason most hospitals have epidural rates above 70% is because most women find labor extremely painful, and they decide, as the hours of contractions wear on, that they want to have pain relief and a rest. It's not a conspiracy. A few women do not find labor painful, and some number of other women find the pain relatively tolerable, but the vast majority of women experience labor as painful and exhausting. I find that many natural childbirth books tend to gloss over the pain of labor, and tend to over-feature birth stories told by women who had a less painful or not painful experience, It's not really honest.

I don't think it's as simple as that. For one thing, a lot of women find labour extremely painful because they're not allowed to move around freely due to fetal monitoring, and/or other hospital interventions and restrictions, not least just the sheer atmosphere of the place (which was a huge factor in my labour). For another, I've read WAY too many stories of women being pushed into getting an epi. WAY too many. Nurses asking every contraction, during the peak of the contraction, basically bugging the heck out of the mother instead of encouraging her to try different positions, using massage or hot wheatie bags (which were awesome during my very painful labour) or suggesting a birth pool or whatever. I'm sure most of the nurses mean well, and simply don't get why a mother would choose pain over pain relief; so I wouldn't call it a "conspiracy"; but it is still suspect.

 

Also, I haven't read that many natural childbirth books, but both of the Ina May books - despite being very positive about birth - featured very painful births. Or "heavy", in Spiritual Midwifery terminology. :p And the many NCB stories I've read online have been pretty darned honest about the pain. Heck, a lot of the stories on the Hypnobabies website admit to severe pain!

 

OP: I didn't want to walk during labour. I mostly wanted to go away and curl up in a hole and die, honestly. :p But my midwife actually made me walk up stairs to make my labour progress (I had pre-eclampsia, so they had to get the baby out pretty quickly), and it worked. If I hadn't been able to do that, I might well have ended up on Pitocin, and I really didn't want that. Like SGVaughn said, the midwife made sure DH was walking with me at all times, so I didn't pass out and fall down a flight of stairs.

 

And remember, if by "not moving around" the doctor actually means "stay on the bed or in a sitting position on the birth ball", that doesn't just prevent you from walking. You might just want to stand and sway, rock your hips while your fiance massages your back, etc. Do you think they'd count that as "moving around"? Might pay to check!

 

Might I ask if there's a particular reason you're opting for a hospital birth? It sounds like you might be a lot happier in a natural-minded birthing centre or even a homebirth.

post #32 of 86


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird Girl View Post

I will say that the reason most hospitals have epidural rates above 70% is because most women find labor extremely painful, and they decide, as the hours of contractions wear on, that they want to have pain relief and a rest. It's not a conspiracy. A few women do not find labor painful, and some number of other women find the pain relatively tolerable, but the vast majority of women experience labor as painful and exhausting. I find that many natural childbirth books tend to gloss over the pain of labor, and tend to over-feature birth stories told by women who had a less painful or not painful experience, It's not really honest.

 

Anyhow, I wouldn't worry too much about what your doctor told you. He won't be there for very much of your labor, mostly just the pushing at the end, so he may not be aware of how much flexibility women typically have before transition. If your hospital has birthing balls and grab bars, then they probably accommodate laboring women regularly.

 

And it's your first birth, so go easy on yourself. The vast majority of epidurals do not lead to c-sections, and neither c-sections nor epidurals prevent bonding with your baby, or a good nursing relationship. I had two vaginal births, (both painful, for what it's worth) and had a tricky time getting started nursing one child, but an easy time nursing the other. Good luck for an easy birth!

 

I'm sorry, i completely disagree with the bolded statement.  Why is labour at home, which every one manages without an epidural and many manage without any drugs, not painful and exhausting?  In the US less than 1% of women stay home but in other places in the Western world as many as 40% do.  Are 40% of women having easy painless labours in those places?  How could that be?

 

I have personally witnessed the sort of things that encourage epidurals in hospitals.  Nurses saying "no, don't move, lie still for the monitor" while women writhe trying to get comfortable on their backs and their whole body demands they get the weight OFF their sacrum.  Nurses saying "please be quiet" to women who are using vocalisation to manage the sensations (i was one - my labours are manageable IF i am able to moo/roar through the contractions, if i have to be quiet they are terrible agony) and offering an epidural every time a vocalisation comes out of their mouth.  Doctors saying "you're not doing very well at this (yes he ACTUALLY SAID THIS) mummy, let's numb you up and the baby can have a go on their own" - baby was malpositioned, but dr made sure mama knew it was really HER fault he wasn't descending well against the cervix, by being a silly girl and thinking she could help him by moving about during labour!  FWIW that mama agreed to the epidural, but during the wait for the anaesthetist she went into the shower with her DH and did alternate deep lunges and deep squats and the baby rotated and descended and was crowning when the nurse came to see why the shower was taking so long.

 

When you go to a place where the "normal" labouring woman is tucked up in bed on a monitor peacefully reading a magazine while her uterus and baby work alone to get the latter born then EVERYTHING you do to work through the normal sensations of labour is going to look really weird and freak the staff out.  And those staff are going to want to fix it for you, often out of kindness (i.e. they don't see epidurals as a potentially negative thing so they offer one when you seem to be in ANY level of pain) and offer the epidural over and over.  And however painful or non-painful your labour is, it's unlikely to be soooo painless that an epidural is going to sound totally unattractive at the peak of a contraction.  It's not about "a conspiracy" it's about the staff being completely unfamiliar with what a "normal" labour can look like.  I have never dilated 1cm/hour.  I dilated to 3 in the first 12 hours and then to 10 in the next 90mins.  I only had an hour of ctx every 5mins with DD2, despite being at 8 before that hour began.  In a hospital they do not observe normal labour, they encourage or sometimes enforce TEXTBOOK labour.  If your butt didn't read the textbook you might be in trouble.  How many women are augmented because "i was in labour too long" and later you find out the hospital gave them 6 hours to dilate 4-10 and then pushed for a csection?  I have heard SEVERAL stories, it's not incredibly rare.
 

NOT every epidural leads to a csection, but some do.  Not every csection interferes with bonding and nursing but some do, there are a lot of women in significant pain from their birth experiences and many more at peace with what happened but fighting the battle of their life to try for a VBAC, it is disingenuous to pretend that an unnecessary csection is no biggie.  

 

It IS your first birth OP - it's not about "going easy on YOU" it's about you NOT going easy on your careproviders!  You are not there to be a Good patient, or quiet, or keep still or not eat.  You are there to get your baby out and THEY are there to SERVE you.  I am not telling you this so you can "try harder" or "do better" on baby's birth day.  I'm telling you so that hopefully you can maximise your chances of making the hospital work FOR you in getting the birth you want.  For me, at my local hospital, it was going to be too hard, i had mine at home.  There was just no way around a lot of the routines i knew were going to make too much of a difference to me, so i had to choose home.  With #2 i know hospital would have been more manageable, having had a first baby fast and with very few interventions (gas and air and 3rd stage synticinon is what i ended up with) i knew i could call shots that a first-tier wouldn't be able to, but having had a homebirth i really didn't want to have to go into hospital that time, and i had DD2 completely without interventions.  I am not a magical being.  i don't have a better uterus than any other woman.  I certainly DON'T have painless labours!  I simply managed to create a situation which it was hard for anyone to disrupt in a way that would hinder my labour.  That was about knowing myself, knowing the routines and expectations of my careprovider, and figuring out, ahead of time, which things i felt would help and which i knew would NOT.  I actually BEGGED for an epidural when i was having DD1.  I wanted to push because she was OP, despite being 3cm dilated only.  I BEGGED and YELLED and HOLLERED for an epidural.  And no doubt in hospital i would have gotten one.  But i wasn't in hospital, i was in my own bath tub and only XP was there to hear it, and he said "it's ok, let's wait for the midwives to come back".  It was transition.  By the time they came back i was ready to push (they didn't let me, but that's another story!).  I could write as many words again as i have already how glad i am that i wasn't in a place where they might have actually given me that epidural.

post #33 of 86

In my personal exerience, I did not want to walk at all during my labor.  In fact, the mere thought of walking the 10 feet from my bathtub to my bed seemed absurd the two times I did it.  Despite that, I did spend about 6 hours in my bathtub flopping around like a fish.  On my back, on my side, on my hands and knees....over and over and over.  If I had been in a hospital bed hooked up to anything - I just can't even imagine.  From what I've seen of other births, most women in hospitals are free to stand and walk as they want up until they are administered medications. 

 

And I guess this is going a little OT, but applies to some of the earlier comments:  I gave birth at home, so naturally I was able to move as I wanted yet labor was extremely painful, moving provided minimal pain relief.  It was so painful in fact that in my baby journal a week after DS was born I described the pain as "insane" (back labor due to a nuchal arm).  If I had been in the hospital I would have absolutely chosen to receive the epidural, and I always wonder if that choice would have lead me to a c/s because of how hard it was to push him out.  I'm not sure I could have pushed well at all with an epidural.  Anyway, I'm on my way to having my second homebirth and am really excited to experience my labor... whatever that experience may be.

 

Oh, and I second (third or forth) getting a doula.  I'm also working towards my certification so I attend births at no charge, this is pretty standard.  Having a doula to support you can be invaluable.

 

post #34 of 86

My best labour tip: Stay home as long as possible. Then you get mobility, food, and comfort. Once you get to the hospital they get kind of control freaky.

post #35 of 86

yeah, if I had been stuck on my back having to hold still in a bed for a monitor, I would have needed an epi too.  as it was, the only reason I had just a moment of thinking 'wow I understand why people get them' is because actually wanting and getting one would have required going to the hopsital.  It wasn't worth it to me.  In a hospital with 'helpful' nurses offering at every contraction could have very well led to me getting one too.

 

Of course labor is painful and hard.  I sincerely really ENJOYED doing it but it was painful and HARD.  However the need for an epidural I think is exaggerated.  Some women will feel the need for one regardless of what is done but I think many more would be able to go without one comfortably if they received better support and more control.

post #36 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ell View Post

My best labour tip: Stay home as long as possible. Then you get mobility, food, and comfort. Once you get to the hospital they get kind of control freaky.


I'll stay home as long as possible. In a way, I'm kind of hoping the labor will be long, my parents are coming in from NY, and I'd really like for them to be there for the actual birth.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by tourist. View Post

In my personal exerience, I did not want to walk at all during my labor.  In fact, the mere thought of walking the 10 feet from my bathtub to my bed seemed absurd the two times I did it.  Despite that, I did spend about 6 hours in my bathtub flopping around like a fish.  On my back, on my side, on my hands and knees....over and over and over.  If I had been in a hospital bed hooked up to anything - I just can't even imagine.  From what I've seen of other births, most women in hospitals are free to stand and walk as they want up until they are administered medications. 

 

And I guess this is going a little OT, but applies to some of the earlier comments:  I gave birth at home, so naturally I was able to move as I wanted yet labor was extremely painful, moving provided minimal pain relief.  It was so painful in fact that in my baby journal a week after DS was born I described the pain as "insane" (back labor due to a nuchal arm).  If I had been in the hospital I would have absolutely chosen to receive the epidural, and I always wonder if that choice would have lead me to a c/s because of how hard it was to push him out.  I'm not sure I could have pushed well at all with an epidural.  Anyway, I'm on my way to having my second homebirth and am really excited to experience my labor... whatever that experience may be.

 

Oh, and I second (third or forth) getting a doula.  I'm also working towards my certification so I attend births at no charge, this is pretty standard.  Having a doula to support you can be invaluable.

 


I will make getting a doula my mission, :)

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird Girl View Post

I will say that the reason most hospitals have epidural rates above 70% is because most women find labor extremely painful, and they decide, as the hours of contractions wear on, that they want to have pain relief and a rest. It's not a conspiracy. A few women do not find labor painful, and some number of other women find the pain relatively tolerable, but the vast majority of women experience labor as painful and exhausting. I find that many natural childbirth books tend to gloss over the pain of labor, and tend to over-feature birth stories told by women who had a less painful or not painful experience, It's not really honest.

 

Anyhow, I wouldn't worry too much about what your doctor told you. He won't be there for very much of your labor, mostly just the pushing at the end, so he may not be aware of how much flexibility women typically have before transition. If your hospital has birthing balls and grab bars, then they probably accommodate laboring women regularly.

 

And it's your first birth, so go easy on yourself. The vast majority of epidurals do not lead to c-sections, and neither c-sections nor epidurals prevent bonding with your baby, or a good nursing relationship. I had two vaginal births, (both painful, for what it's worth) and had a tricky time getting started nursing one child, but an easy time nursing the other. Good luck for an easy birth!

 

I'm sorry, i completely disagree with the bolded statement.  Why is labour at home, which every one manages without an epidural and many manage without any drugs, not painful and exhausting?  In the US less than 1% of women stay home but in other places in the Western world as many as 40% do.  Are 40% of women having easy painless labours in those places?  How could that be?

 

I have personally witnessed the sort of things that encourage epidurals in hospitals.  Nurses saying "no, don't move, lie still for the monitor" while women writhe trying to get comfortable on their backs and their whole body demands they get the weight OFF their sacrum.  Nurses saying "please be quiet" to women who are using vocalisation to manage the sensations (i was one - my labours are manageable IF i am able to moo/roar through the contractions, if i have to be quiet they are terrible agony) and offering an epidural every time a vocalisation comes out of their mouth.  Doctors saying "you're not doing very well at this (yes he ACTUALLY SAID THIS) mummy, let's numb you up and the baby can have a go on their own" - baby was malpositioned, but dr made sure mama knew it was really HER fault he wasn't descending well against the cervix, by being a silly girl and thinking she could help him by moving about during labour!  FWIW that mama agreed to the epidural, but during the wait for the anaesthetist she went into the shower with her DH and did alternate deep lunges and deep squats and the baby rotated and descended and was crowning when the nurse came to see why the shower was taking so long.

 

When you go to a place where the "normal" labouring woman is tucked up in bed on a monitor peacefully reading a magazine while her uterus and baby work alone to get the latter born then EVERYTHING you do to work through the normal sensations of labour is going to look really weird and freak the staff out.  And those staff are going to want to fix it for you, often out of kindness (i.e. they don't see epidurals as a potentially negative thing so they offer one when you seem to be in ANY level of pain) and offer the epidural over and over.  And however painful or non-painful your labour is, it's unlikely to be soooo painless that an epidural is going to sound totally unattractive at the peak of a contraction.  It's not about "a conspiracy" it's about the staff being completely unfamiliar with what a "normal" labour can look like.  I have never dilated 1cm/hour.  I dilated to 3 in the first 12 hours and then to 10 in the next 90mins.  I only had an hour of ctx every 5mins with DD2, despite being at 8 before that hour began.  In a hospital they do not observe normal labour, they encourage or sometimes enforce TEXTBOOK labour.  If your butt didn't read the textbook you might be in trouble.  How many women are augmented because "i was in labour too long" and later you find out the hospital gave them 6 hours to dilate 4-10 and then pushed for a csection?  I have heard SEVERAL stories, it's not incredibly rare.
 

NOT every epidural leads to a csection, but some do.  Not every csection interferes with bonding and nursing but some do, there are a lot of women in significant pain from their birth experiences and many more at peace with what happened but fighting the battle of their life to try for a VBAC, it is disingenuous to pretend that an unnecessary csection is no biggie.  

 

It IS your first birth OP - it's not about "going easy on YOU" it's about you NOT going easy on your careproviders!  You are not there to be a Good patient, or quiet, or keep still or not eat.  You are there to get your baby out and THEY are there to SERVE you.  I am not telling you this so you can "try harder" or "do better" on baby's birth day.  I'm telling you so that hopefully you can maximise your chances of making the hospital work FOR you in getting the birth you want.  For me, at my local hospital, it was going to be too hard, i had mine at home.  There was just no way around a lot of the routines i knew were going to make too much of a difference to me, so i had to choose home.  With #2 i know hospital would have been more manageable, having had a first baby fast and with very few interventions (gas and air and 3rd stage synticinon is what i ended up with) i knew i could call shots that a first-tier wouldn't be able to, but having had a homebirth i really didn't want to have to go into hospital that time, and i had DD2 completely without interventions.  I am not a magical being.  i don't have a better uterus than any other woman.  I certainly DON'T have painless labours!  I simply managed to create a situation which it was hard for anyone to disrupt in a way that would hinder my labour.  That was about knowing myself, knowing the routines and expectations of my careprovider, and figuring out, ahead of time, which things i felt would help and which i knew would NOT.  I actually BEGGED for an epidural when i was having DD1.  I wanted to push because she was OP, despite being 3cm dilated only.  I BEGGED and YELLED and HOLLERED for an epidural.  And no doubt in hospital i would have gotten one.  But i wasn't in hospital, i was in my own bath tub and only XP was there to hear it, and he said "it's ok, let's wait for the midwives to come back".  It was transition.  By the time they came back i was ready to push (they didn't let me, but that's another story!).  I could write as many words again as i have already how glad i am that i wasn't in a place where they might have actually given me that epidural.

 

I try not to put too much blame on doctors or nurses..I know they typically do what they do because that's the way they've been taught, and sometimes it can be difficult to accept that there are other options. I'm trying to form my birth plan to be as strict as possible(I've replaced everything with "upon consent" and "at request", and due to what a previous poster said(don't remember who...), I even wrote for the epidural to be done only on consent and with my initials. I'm just having a hard time trying to figure out what should require my initials before anything should be done. I have 100% faith in my husband, but I'm not sure his mind will be really focused during any of this, so I can completely see where a doula would come in handy. While my husband is pacing around muttering about how surreal it all is and simultaneously trying to give me support, at least the doula would have a focused mind, :-D

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

Quote:
I will say that the reason most hospitals have epidural rates above 70% is because most women find labor extremely painful, and they decide, as the hours of contractions wear on, that they want to have pain relief and a rest. It's not a conspiracy. A few women do not find labor painful, and some number of other women find the pain relatively tolerable, but the vast majority of women experience labor as painful and exhausting. I find that many natural childbirth books tend to gloss over the pain of labor, and tend to over-feature birth stories told by women who had a less painful or not painful experience, It's not really honest.

I don't think it's as simple as that. For one thing, a lot of women find labour extremely painful because they're not allowed to move around freely due to fetal monitoring, and/or other hospital interventions and restrictions, not least just the sheer atmosphere of the place (which was a huge factor in my labour). For another, I've read WAY too many stories of women being pushed into getting an epi. WAY too many. Nurses asking every contraction, during the peak of the contraction, basically bugging the heck out of the mother instead of encouraging her to try different positions, using massage or hot wheatie bags (which were awesome during my very painful labour) or suggesting a birth pool or whatever. I'm sure most of the nurses mean well, and simply don't get why a mother would choose pain over pain relief; so I wouldn't call it a "conspiracy"; but it is still suspect.

 

Also, I haven't read that many natural childbirth books, but both of the Ina May books - despite being very positive about birth - featured very painful births. Or "heavy", in Spiritual Midwifery terminology. :p And the many NCB stories I've read online have been pretty darned honest about the pain. Heck, a lot of the stories on the Hypnobabies website admit to severe pain!

 

OP: I didn't want to walk during labour. I mostly wanted to go away and curl up in a hole and die, honestly. :p But my midwife actually made me walk up stairs to make my labour progress (I had pre-eclampsia, so they had to get the baby out pretty quickly), and it worked. If I hadn't been able to do that, I might well have ended up on Pitocin, and I really didn't want that. Like SGVaughn said, the midwife made sure DH was walking with me at all times, so I didn't pass out and fall down a flight of stairs.

 

And remember, if by "not moving around" the doctor actually means "stay on the bed or in a sitting position on the birth ball", that doesn't just prevent you from walking. You might just want to stand and sway, rock your hips while your fiance massages your back, etc. Do you think they'd count that as "moving around"? Might pay to check!

 

Might I ask if there's a particular reason you're opting for a hospital birth? It sounds like you might be a lot happier in a natural-minded birthing centre or even a homebirth.


I'll check. My next appointment is this coming Wednesday because apparently I had sugar in my urine yesterday(although I think it's from the fruit I kind of gorged on that morning), so I'll ask him then what "not moving around" actually means. Whether it means not venturing out into the hall, or pacing around the room.

 

We're opting for a hospital birth not out of desire, but out of necessity. I'm on Medicaid, and as far as I know, birthing centers aren't covered by Medicaid. Am I wrong in that? I thought I looked into all scenarios, but I could be wrong, it's been so chaotic these past several months! Again, I'd love to do a homebirth; my fiance's parents even joked that they don't care either way, if I wanted to I could lean up against one of the trees in the back yard and do it that way.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by SGVaughn View Post

ok...I see things from a different perspective because I've worked in emergency medicine for years

these are my personal preferences and why

 

Im totally ok with a hep-lock..I know what its like to try and find flat veins especially when things are going downhill fast but even simple dehydration will make them relatively flat

I am NOT ok with ringer solution for the heck of it..it swells me up like crazy

 

I sneak food but keep it lite...I've actually tubed a patient that was aspirating heavy food and it was nearly impossible

 

anyone touching you without your consent...and btw your consent can be very easily manipulated..is assault, in any state

BUT if a nurse comes in and says, "lets check your progress" and you either scoot to comply or say ok...you've given consent..in fact you've given expressed consent

I personally had to beg to be checked towards the end of my last labor and I'm glad the Dr actually did because i had a small lip of cervix left and felt pushy..I might of swelled up that lip and slowed things down if I had gone by instinct...or I mightve pushed it out of the way, who knows

and I dislike continuous monitoring because it inhibits movement but mainly because the belts are uncomfortable; I've never had interventions done on the basis of the monitoring for the record

 

GENERALLY most hospitals policy is to not let ANY patient walk by themselves out of their rooms anywhere...the key here is by themselves

I don't think is a terrible policy after having had to backboard and collar a patient I found hanging by his now ripped penis (foley bag) off the side of a bed because he tried to go for a walk by himelf(btw nurses and drs dont actually know how to deal with c-spine immobilization or backboarding)...sure labor is a normal part of living, but bp can drop for any number of reasons and having a least your partner present to make sure you don't go down is good

but I have had three hospital births...and never once wasn't I allowed to walk my room, the halls etc...that sounds incredibly suspect to me


You're not the first person to mention a hep-lock if it must be done. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

 

Thanks for the heads-up! I'm sure the doula will help prevent against things happening that I don't wish to happen, and *hopefully* in much the same respect putting my initials before something is started should help me realize if I really want to do it or not.

 

I wouldn't dream of walking by myself during labor anyway! The weather here has been so bad this winter my husband won't even let me walk outside without him because he doesn't want me to accidentally slip and take a fall. He'd NEVER let me walk around during labor by myself, :)

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Syriani369 View Post

I had a 36 hour, posterior baby.  I did not walk around(even though i was allowed to) because I was in so much pain.  I feel like it is very important to walk around now, I believe it would have sped up my labor and it also helps baby get into position.  If you cant walk around I think sitting on a birthing ball and moving your hips around might make up for some of the lost movement.

 

I've read that rotating your hips helps for a lot of things, :) Like back pain, too.
 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by sarahn4639 View Post

please, please, please get a doula. someone who knows how birth *really* happens in your hospital and how your doc group *really* practices will be a huge asset for you in knowing how to prepare. she will also be a great resource for questions and be there to assist and remind you while you're in labor. she can also help you stay at home in early labor which is one of the very best things you can do for yourself to limit interventions. stay out of the hospital until very late in labor (as long as all is well). please, get a doula, it sounds like you have lots of questions and could find the reassurance helpful. please keep asking here as well!! it is just helpful to have someone in person to help you and none of us can go to the hospital with you.

about the hospital tour, call the labor floor and ask for a tour and ask your questions to the nurse giving you the tour. as was mentioned my others, your labor nurse is going to know more about what's really going on than your doc because they are there the whole time.


I'll stay home as long as possible. As long as we have someone there that is knowledgable, my fiance will be more relenting. He just really doesn't want any complications to arise which staying at home could inhibit getting fixed ASAP. I'll have to ask here anyway; I tried finding the statistics for the hospital and I can't seem to find any. So I think the next step was trying it out here.

 

Maybe at my next appointment I'll see if I can kill two birds with one stone and get the labor floor then, if it's possible right then and there.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookAMH View Post

I know others have weighed in, but I think that is one of the TOP components of a good labor, especially for your first.  I have big red flags about that doc of yours!  By answering that way, he has shown that he doesn't really understand childbirth and views it as something to be managed and controlled in bed, with medicine. I can't see how you'd avoid an epidural, and then pitocin, by being stuck in bed. That is not how women give birth.

 

ETA: read the other posts. It's awesome you are thinking carefully about this and that you are asking the right questions here.

 

I highly recommend a doula as well since you anticipate having to push back on a number of things.  The doula can be your rock to help you think through and stick with what you desire. I think you have a great chance of finding one available for your due date. That can really wear a woman down, especially when in labor. I agree that "policies" are not set in stone and YOU are the consumer here. Another reason for a doula is that she will be experienced in supporting a woman through natural childbirth. From what you've said about the hospital, you will probably not be able to rely on the nurses for any support to cope with labor. Your DH can help of course but I'm thinking of fellow womanly support.

 

I have also heard of the recommendation to, upon admittance, ask for a nurse who is familiar with natural childbirth. Usually those nurses enjoy being pared up with a woman who wants to labor naturally!


For a doula, as I've said before, she'll serve as the stable mind while my husband paces around in disbelief, :-D

 

Gosh...I'll try and remember to ask for a nurse who's familliar with natural childbirth.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Bird Girl View Post

I will say that the reason most hospitals have epidural rates above 70% is because most women find labor extremely painful, and they decide, as the hours of contractions wear on, that they want to have pain relief and a rest. It's not a conspiracy. A few women do not find labor painful, and some number of other women find the pain relatively tolerable, but the vast majority of women experience labor as painful and exhausting. I find that many natural childbirth books tend to gloss over the pain of labor, and tend to over-feature birth stories told by women who had a less painful or not painful experience, It's not really honest.

 

Anyhow, I wouldn't worry too much about what your doctor told you. He won't be there for very much of your labor, mostly just the pushing at the end, so he may not be aware of how much flexibility women typically have before transition. If your hospital has birthing balls and grab bars, then they probably accommodate laboring women regularly.

 

And it's your first birth, so go easy on yourself. The vast majority of epidurals do not lead to c-sections, and neither c-sections nor epidurals prevent bonding with your baby, or a good nursing relationship. I had two vaginal births, (both painful, for what it's worth) and had a tricky time getting started nursing one child, but an easy time nursing the other. Good luck for an easy birth!


I'll try not to worry too much. I know it's about me and what I feel is best for myself and our baby, :)

 

    Quote:

Originally Posted by midnightmommy View Post

You've heard it many times. I'll say it too. Hire a doula! Many will work on a sliding scale, in trade, and the ones in training (like myself) will sometimes take clients for free so they can finish certifying.


Mass majority says I should hire a doula, so I think that's probably the way to go, lol! Ignoring that kind of majority would be an insane decision on my behalf. I'm just hoping there's one close-by, especially if one would be coming to the house when I go into labor, we do live out in the boondocks here.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

erm... isn't telling an adult they aren't allowed to leave from a certain location or even move.. a crime?  Like, if someone were to come to my house and I was like yeah you aren't allowed to move off my couch for the next 10 hours.  I'd be charged with a crime... why would it be different if we were instead at a hospital and I had MD after my name and said yeah you aren't allowed to move off my hospital bed til I say so?  No one can tell you you aren't allowed to move around unless there is some real and serious risk where getting up WILL cause a problem.  A normal labor doesn't have that risk.  They can certainly TRY I suppose, but unless they can prove in court that it was absolutely in your best interest to stay put I don't see why you couldn't report them for the crime (can't think of the phrase used for the crime)

 

at any rate, when I was in labor, I did NOT want to walk around.  It made things a lot worse.  I sat between contractions earlier in the day and stood up for them as they got more difficult because sitting starting to get too painful and eventually I climbed into the tub and leaned forward during contractions.  I was in the tub through transition and decided I couldn't stay in for a water birth (wanted to though) and got out to lay on my side on the bed.  No other position would work for me for pushing.. they were all too painful to manage.

 

You might not need to move around.. but no one can tell you you HAVE to stay in bed and can't get up to walk around your room unless there is a very real medical risk against it in which case I assume you'd want to stay put to take care of yourself and baby anyway.  You are pregnant and giving birth, not a criminal sentenced to jail time.  Your rights are still 100% there despite what some OBs and midwives may think.


One would think it'd be illegal, and that definitely puts it in a whole new light. I can see where knowing you have the ability to move around sets you in a totally different mindframe than wanting to walk around, but feeling that you can't. I would hate to be restricted.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by windymama View Post

I don't know if anyone's mentioned this but stay out of the hospital for as long as you possibly can while in labour!

 

FWIW at the hospital where I delivered DD I was permitted to walk around off the ward in early labour provided that I returned every 20 minutes to be monitored.  I was attached to an IV pole at the time as I was GBS+ and they still let me.  If you can't walk out of your room, walk in your room and take frequent bathroom breaks so you're not chained to the bed.

 

If they really want an IV push for a hep-lock if they must have something into you.  Have them discuss everything they want to do well in advance of doing it so that you have time to discuss it with your DP and doula.  Remind them that you're an active part of your healthcare team!

 

Get the doula!  I don't know what I would have done without mine.  Also see if you can request the most natural labour friendly nurse on the unit (they do exist!).  I ended up with one and I honestly believe that it made a big difference when I had DD.

 

If you hospital does a pre-registration appointment a lot of your questions should be answered then.

 

Good Luck!


I'll definitely make the best use of what I have available to me. I didn't realize the doula was so utterly important, I looked into doulas and lay midwives and CNMs months ago, but I got discouraged because I couldn't seem to find any close-by. I'll try again. Perhaps all it will take is a deeper kind of motivation.

 

And I'll try to remember to request the most natural labor-friendly or nurse familliar with natural childbirth.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post

The small hospital that I had my DD at had an epidural rate of about 80%, and they totally didn't know how to handle someone who didn't have one. I was assured by both my OB and the OB on call that I would be able to move and change positions during labor, but because they "kept losing the heartbeat" on the continuous fetal monitoring (because I kept trying to change position) they never let me off the monitor (standard to get a baseline). I had the nurse chastise me multiple times, and one time she pushed me back into laying down. if I was going to be in a hospital ever again, I would get a doula. usually the staff will be a lot more hands-off and accommodating if you have a doula. 


Point taken. Goodness knows if a nurse pushed me back down ....my husband would probably get thrown out of the room. blush.gif

post #37 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

yeah, if I had been stuck on my back having to hold still in a bed for a monitor, I would have needed an epi too.  as it was, the only reason I had just a moment of thinking 'wow I understand why people get them' is because actually wanting and getting one would have required going to the hopsital.  It wasn't worth it to me.  In a hospital with 'helpful' nurses offering at every contraction could have very well led to me getting one too.

 

Of course labor is painful and hard.  I sincerely really ENJOYED doing it but it was painful and HARD.  However the need for an epidural I think is exaggerated.  Some women will feel the need for one regardless of what is done but I think many more would be able to go without one comfortably if they received better support and more control.


Yeah.. I've heard that the "Transitional Phase" is when most nurses push for epidurals, because the women is at her most wired moment where she can be easily influenced. I've read that's the same no matter if you use Hypobirthing, and for any other calming/relaxation technique that you use.

post #38 of 86
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

EchoSoul,

 

First, welcome to our big community here!

 

If you haven't already read it, I would highly recommend Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.  It will explain in detail a lot of the things that mamas here are trying to gently stress.  And if you've read it, then disregard my suggestion!

 

Also, if natural childbirth in a hospital setting is your goal, I would really, really suggest looking into getting a doula.  27 weeks is absolutely not too late to hire one!!  My sister-in-law used a doula at both of her (completely med free) hospital births, and I believe in her first pregnancy she didn't hire one until 36 weeks!  Your tribal area of MDC would be a great place to look, or to get suggestions from mamas who have used doulas in your neck of the woods.  A birth plan is great, but in most hospitals it means pretty much nothing.  A doula can help you to create a birth plan, and then advocate for your wishes when birth time actually comes.  Also, Doulas can be a great resource in working with doctors in a way that doesn't leave them feeling walked on, and doesn't leave you in a position where your ultimate wishes are being disrespected.  And they can help your partner to support you in ways they may not have thought of, which is nice too :)

 

Statistics can be hard to come by.  You would first try calling the hospital, yes, although most hospitals aren't pleased about giving them out, or simply don't have them.  You can also try posting in your tribal area about info for the hospital you are intending to birth in.  Or you could try looking at The Birth Survey and seeing what info they have.

 

Good luck!!


No, I haven't read it! But I've heard a lot of good about it, and heard a lot ABOUT it recently, so I definitely plan to! I tried the Birth Survey, but the hospital isn't listed. Figures, :/

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Tumble Bumbles View Post

I know everyone is throwing a lot of information your way but I just wanted to expand a bit on the suggestion the doc had to induce or augment labor at a week over your due date. Please, please keep in mind that the average gestation for a first time mama is 41 weeks + 1 day (I am making the assumption you're a first-time mama). My own first babe came at 42 weeks + 5 days and was completely fine, and only weighed 8lbs on the nose. Please don't allow anyone to scare you with "big babies" or any of that nonsense if you do happen to go 'over' (as most women actually do).

 

As far as checking statistics you can call human resources for that information I would imagine. Some hospital statistics are available online as well.

 

I couldn't agree more with GoBecGo's comments.

 

Also, 27 weeks isn't too late to find a doula. I went from an OB to a home birth midwife around that time lol It's important to remember that doulas cannot advocate for you, but can help you advocate for yourself. A good doula would say things such as:

 

"The doctor's just asked to do an internal exam to check dilation. Do you want a minute to think about that before making a decision? You can decline that if you choose" or, "The nurse is suggesting epidural for your pain but your birth plan says you wanted to avoid that. Do you need a moment to think about it before deciding?"  She would say that to you, but of course you have to make your own decisions. She is there to support you and help you find your voice to help you achieve the birth you want in situations where you may feel pressured -- as well as helping your partner be an active role in supporting you the way you need, in addition to providing labor support. A very supportive and assertive (but respectful) friend or family member who respects your wishes 100% can also fill this role if needed. The bolded is very important.

 

You still have plenty of time. Don't stress mama. Knowledge truly is power.


Seriously? 41 weeks and 1 day? I had no idea! Do....doctors even count that far? I know the typical time frame is 38 - 41 weeks, so I have no idea what he'd consider to be "a week past your due date". It really helps to know that. I don't care how long this guy stays in here, he can stay in as long as he wants. I'm in no hurry for him to hurry, :) I can't seem to find the hospital statistics online, unless I'm not google-searching it correctly, so I'll try calling human resources, and try consulting the area here, too.

 

Thanks, it really is, :)

post #39 of 86
actually the true range of normal is 38-42 weeks (and yes, 41w1d for 1st timers). i'm so glad you are going to get a doula! check in your tribe here and i bet you can find some names. i think michigan is pretty good in their birthing laws so it would definitely be worth calling the birth centers and asking if they accept medicaid. good job doing everything you can to get the birthing experience you want!!
post #40 of 86
Thread Starter 

Ah, thanks for correcting me. And thanks for the vote of confidence, :) 

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