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birthing lying down on my back.....don't want to do that again ever!!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

each time i find a midwife and we agree on everything EXCEPT that I can birth and push while squatting or sitting on my knees or whatever position i choose, cause lying on my back while pushing just KILLED me every time. each time midwife assures me that if I don't lye on my back I will tear in a very wrong place so that I will then poo on myself...??? something like that...is it really true? and all are different midwives and no way they let me birth as I want. they make me scared the very last  moment when I start pushing so I believe them, get scared and die pushing on my back. please tell me if this is true. I did have tears even lying on my back with both kids.....how come some women do pushing while NOT on their back???? please this is really important to me, if this is not the right forum to post, please move this to another thread. thank you! 

post #2 of 12

This is NOT true.  Yes, you might poo, but really, you might on your back too.  I've had 2 homebirths and neither of my midwives required that I birth on my back.  I did end up on my back with my DS, but that was AFTER we tried about 15 other positions!  My current midwives would let me birth while standing on my head if I wanted to (ha ha)..  My DD was born in water, while I was on my hands and knees.  From what I understand, I thought that you're more likely to tear if you're on your back.


I think it's possible for you to find someone that will meet all of your requirements, keep looking!  Good luck.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

thank you for your reply! unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a midwife here ....and the midwives you find are mostly like doctors...:( that is sad, they are all very limited and not flexible, anyway i will keep looking, just wanted to be sure that this information about "safe" birthing on one's back is not true. i mean it's so unnatural how could it be true right?

post #4 of 12

My anecdotal contribution: birthed on my back with DS, and had a very minor tear. Birthed on hands and knees with DD, and had no tearing at all. DD was almost a pound bigger than DS.

post #5 of 12
Birthed twice on a birthing stool. Skid mark with my 8#6, first birth. 1st degree tear with the 7#4 second. No stitches with either. You have to tear through lots of layers to get a fistula to your rectum, if that's what you walere warned about.
post #6 of 12

Birthing on your back decreases your birth canal by 30%.  It can be more productive to birth in other positions if you are not comfortable on your back.  Your care provider should be pretty open to that.  

I hope you find what you are searching for.


post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

thank you everyone! i will try searching on google to see if I can find some information, maybe if I show this to my midwife she will allow me to change positions. and also will call a local university maybe they have more open-minded midwives. hope i can find what I want. 

post #8 of 12

It's incredibly surprising to me to hear that a midwife is recommending birthing on your back!  Ask her what the evidence says about that versus upright or squatting and ask her for some references so you can read the studies yourself.  I'm willing to bet that she can't site a single study that says on your back is the most ideal position.  More likely, it could be that she is not comfortable herself catching babies in different positions. 

post #9 of 12
That is very bizarre. I've had the opposite experience with midwives. Everything I've been told and read says the worst position for pushing (and labor as well) is flat on your back. Squatting is the optimal birthing position because it allows for complete openness of the pelvis and uses gravity to help baby move down and out.

Sounds like you need to stand strong and just insist on staying in whatever position you want to be in regardless of what the midwives say. Maybe you could find a birth support person, your partner or a doula, who can help you with that when the time comes. Would the midwife actually put hands on you and force you onto your back if you refused?
post #10 of 12

It sounds like you are dealing with *medical midwives* - I'm assumuming in a hospital? It could very well be that what they are telling you is a result of the birth culture they are working in. They may not have had any experience catching babies in positions other than lithotomy (lying on back).  The hospital midwives I used to work with said they'd catch in any position but they were def. more comfortable catching with mum lying on her back in the bed.  Have you considered a side lying postion? That might be something that works for you and is within their comfort zone if they are being really difficult about an upright or kneeling postion.

At the end of the day - be strong in labour about what you want. It's very hard for someone to argue with a mama bear in labour! ;-)  Best of luck!

post #11 of 12

My midwife is a certified RN midwife (highest certification standard here) and I'll be giving birth in a regular hospital (smaller community).  She told me I can basically push in any position I like, whether it's on my back or standing on my head! :) 

post #12 of 12

Yikes! I agree with a PP that it's likely the midwives are just concerned about catching a baby if you're in a position they're not used to seeing (squatting, hands and knees etc). To my knowledge there isn't a shred of evidence that birthing in the lithotomy position prevents tearing. I know side-lying pushing *can* slow the pushing stage down, thereby giving the tissues more time to stretch, which could prevent a tear - but unless you had a very fast pushing stage with your first baby, it's an odd first choice for a position. Upright pushing makes way more sense, physiologically.


FWIW I gave birth to an 8 pound 7 baby in a squatting position - skid marks but no tears - and five days ago, to a 9 pound 6 baby in a standing position with no tears. I think it was the combination of an upright position and "breathng the baby out" - just letting my body bear down, not deliberately trying to push, and certainly not coached "purple pushing" - that helped avoid tears in both cases. Of course, some women do both those things and still tear; but fourth-degree tears, which it sounds like you're being warned about, are pretty rare. And I highly doubt that the lithotomy position helps prevent them - the reverse, if anything, surely?!

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