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Nursing, contractions & blood???

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, my dd is nursing, but I've limited her to bedtime, waking up & very occasionally naptime. She really doesn't nap much anymore, sometimes if she's sick. If she nurses at naptime it is pretty much for the whole nap, kwim? I'm amenable to that b/c then I can rest too, doesn't happen otherwise.

Of course nursing brings on contractions & that hasn't concerned me too much. But now the contractions are really strong & feel like they last through the whole nursing session. Sometimes I have to make an effort to relax & blow through them, kwim? Mornings are worse b/c she will nurse for a long time. I stop her if she's biting me at all, sometimes she can relatch & not bite anymore, sometimes she can't. Of course if she has to stop altogether she has a tantrum, rolls away & won't look at or speak to me. *sigh*

Anyway, this morning there was blood streaked mucos on the tissue when I wiped.

So, should I be concerned? Is that pretty normal? I know when I was at the end of my pg w/ dd if I got a cervical check then there would be the blood on the tissue. So, I'm inclined not to worry too much.

However, I really want to make it through the holidays & dh's school break (he's a teacher) and then have the baby. Dh can take off 6 weeks through FMLA (using his acrued sick days) after the baby is born. I don't want part of that six weeks to be the holidays. He cannot take the 6 weeks plus the holidays. Also he has finals & grading to do, so he would have to go into school several days. That would leave me with a 5 year old, a 2 year old & a new (early) baby to manage.

So, opinions please???
post #2 of 11
Wow- It sounds like you have a tough situation. The first thing I would do is speak with your midwife. Nipple stimulation can bring on hard contractions and it sounds like you lost your mucous plug. The good news is that losing your plug doesn't mean labor is imminent, but it can signal that it is coming soon.... It would be great if your little one wanted to wait until January, but we can't always control these things.

As far as nursing your DD, that has to be a personal decision you weigh with your midwife. There are advantages and disadvantages (i.e. possible early labor) on both sides. Good luck and please keep us updated!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I really don't think it was plug. It was mucuos & blood. I wish I were seeing a midwife, not a reality where I live. I'm not going to say anything to my doc. at this visit. I've spoken to a few other nursing while pregnant Mom's that I know & I don't think I have anything to be overly concerned about at this point.

I'll of course be watching to see how things go & tailor our nursing sessions accordingly.

I *know* the when is out of my control. She'll come when she comes, but I'm just 34 weeks on Monday. Its not unreasonable for me to hope she'll stay put through the holidays. Ds was a week early, dd was four days past her official due date. I was not concerned in either case.
post #4 of 11
Blood can come from anywhere.... it doesn't have to be cervical. Did you have sex recently before this episode? Sometimes that can cause vaginal or cervical bleeding unrelated to labor and all that.

It's not a bad idea to speak to your doctor about this, but I think it's really unrelated to your DD nursing. There is no evidence that breastfeeding through pregnancy causes labor- none. In a not-at-risk mom, there should be no problem.

Good luck!
post #5 of 11

That sounds concerning to me.....

Hi, you said you wish you were seeing a midwife, I noticed you live in St. Louis. On this list, "Jessitron" is in St. Louis and havinga homebirth. Another post of hers had a link to Missouri Friends of Midwives. I have family in that area, and thought there was no homebirth there, but there is apparently! She had a few choices of midwves...contact her cause it's not too late to get the birth you want.

Anyway, I say that cause I understand why you wouldn't want to telll your doctor...with out thinking much about it he'll probably say just stop nursing. If you can't be honest now, how great a relationship is it really? Even thoug hyou expect him to say that, I'd still tell him so he can check your cervix and note if there is any dilation going on. It's still a smite early for that for you and baby. Lungs are not usually well developed until 36-37 weeks. 37 is widely conisdered the safe zone for birthing early, just three weeks. Before that expect baby to have to be in a special care nursery and be at risk for breathing and other problems. It is worth preventing a birth before 37 weeks if you can....

Anyhow, in healthy normal women, nursing isn't a problem. Nursing does get oxytocin going, and oxytocin does cause contractions, but in a normal scenario you don't develop oxytocin receptors on your uterus until close to birth, so it won't act to really change the cervix. But if you are having any bloody show, that usually comes from capillaries popping in the cervix, which means cervical change of some sort, usually dilation. I would want that run by your care giver...If you have some preterm labor stuff going on, you could develop those receptors early and then the nursing would be a problem. When people have preterm labor they usually go on a no nipple stim/no orgasm rest for a while so as to not push labor over the edge. You are so close, I hope you can wait it out. I hope this info helps you make a decsion in some way. If you feel crampy and have bloody show, that usually means cervix is changing. Usually anything londer than 45 seconds, in a regular pattern, of more than 5 in an hour is concerning. If that happens, call your doc, and I'd maybe even go up to the hospital to see if you are having contractions you can register on a monitor. In that case, I'd stop, think, and weigh the risks of backing off nursing a bit or a while against having this baby early.....Docs don't usually know diddly about herbs, but crampbark tincture is safe in pregnancy and can stop crampiness if it's going on. It works great for preterm labor. Take 1-2 droppers a day, or up to a teaspoon every 15 minutes if things are really heating up.

(Maybe it's just a wake up call to get you the info that there IS a midwfe in your area! Ha! )
Best of luck!
Heidi (a homebirth midwife)
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the information, but I am very well versed on birth in my area. I am a member of Friends of Mo. Midwives. There is homebirth here, but only lay midwives who have to "disappear" if you require a transfer. I'm fine with lay midwives, but not with the "disappearing" part. I'm willing to work to change the environment here, but I'm not willing to birth at home in the current climate. I'm not comfortable going that route. I have many friends who do & I am fine with that, but its not for me. I also think its good for the hospital docs & nurses to see what a positive birthing experience water can provide

I am fine with my relationship with my Doc. I don't believe you have to have some wonderful, open relationship to get the birth you want. I've birthed with him once before & everything was just great. Everyone has their own approach to birth & I am happy with mine, given the circumstances.

Thanks for your concern though.

Oh, and I've had no pattern of labor. Any contrax I've felt are like a tight band around my belly. Nothing that affects my back at all. And no more blood, so if I see more I will talk to my OB. Thanks again.
post #7 of 11
if it was bright red blood i would worry more but it does sound like the mucus plug to me which can come out weeks before.

i feel lots of contractions this time around (my sixth pregnancy, but two were ectopic). i figure if they are not regular and lasting for an hour or more i won't worry. i heard from a homebirth ob in chicago when i lived there that every contraction you have during pregnancy is one less you have to have during labor. maybe you'll have a short and sweet birthing with this babe.

about the FMLA, is it possible for your dh to take just a couple days when baby is born if the baby is early but not opt for the whole six week FMLA until the new year. i know the first moments can be difficult but it seems like there is a lot of support for a newborn mom from the outside support networks and maybe you'd enjoy the FMLA time together when baby is a few weeks old. that way he gets holiday time with you and then the six weeks? just a thought. when my third was born DH was living in arizona and i was still in chicago. we had only two days together, but by one month I was so happy to have moved here with him. the first month you're in a trance anyway.

but all of that is irrelevant if you can hang on to that kid for a little while longer, huh?

you'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
post #8 of 11

Do you come to the FoMM meetings often? I'm going to one tonight, a mailing meeting. We might be a source of that newborn-mom-support the pp mentioned!

Where in St. Louis are you getting a water birth? I didn't know any hospital here allowed that.

The midwife situation here is not ideal, but it could be worse. At least, being unlicensed, they don't have to follow anyone else's dumb rules. And if a transfer is necessary, they don't completely "disappear," but they do have to turn into a doula. I know of one case where the midwife did have to run away from some prosecutors in the hospital, but she called another midwife who came and stayed with the mother. Definitely room for change.

I hope your contractions ease. That must be a difficult choice, between weaning your toddler or increasing the risk of early delivery.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Jessica, nice to see a St. Louisan here. I used to go to meetings regularly, but haven't attended for over a year. Dh started an intensive Master's program, he finished the reno house we were living in & we bought another one all at the same time. All of that while teaching & coaching. I was basically a single parent for a year. The Master's program is finished, but the house has a long way to go, so I haven't started attending again. I think I'm still in recovery from that year. I've been pretty introverted this whole pregnancy. Not wanting to take on new experiences or relationships at this time. That is unusual for me b/c I'm usually pretty social. I figure it'll pass eventually. A season or phase of life, kwim?

I have heard a few different stories of midwives hiding in closets, so I know they do "disappear" in some instances. I hate that birth is that way here, but it is. I keep up with FoMM through the e-group and its nice to read about what is going on.

I may have chosen a lay midwife & homebirth even here, but we also have issues with extended family here.

In many ways, though I hate to admit it, my water birth at BJC was better than my homebirth. Mostly I attribute that to the water which we could have had at home. But all in all going to the hospital wasn't as dreadful as I had imagined. I had my doula, my husband, my son & his support person. This time around we'll do much the same thing.

BJC will allow water birth & I believe St. Luke's as well. The Mom's line at BJC actually stores a birth tub (aqua doula) that used to be available to all for rent, but now is owned by an OB who reserves it for her patients.

As far as contactions go things have eased off. I'm nursing her to bed
at night, but not during the night and far less in the mornings. That seems to be helping. After reading & talking with experienced friends I think it may have been the cervix starting to thin. I haven't had another similar experience. I think she'll wait.
post #10 of 11
Wow, I'm happy to hear that you had such a good natural birth experience at a hospital here. That's great!
It seems like a lot of people get introverted during pregnancy. I haven't; suddenly all women with children are fascinating to talk to.

It's your doctor, then, who owns the birth tub? What is her name? She sounds like a good one to recommend.

I hope your birth is great!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Nope, not my doctor, wish it was. I'll be renting mine through the Healing Arts Centre. Doctor Turner is the one who ones the tub. Currently my Doc. only has a few water births a year, not enough to justify the purchase of an aqua doula.

I think you can get the birth you want at a hospital, but you have to be willing to advocate for yourself. The birth itself was great. I got a lot of flack from pediatrics though. This time we'll be going home immediatly after, barring any unseen complications of course. After Claire's birth I felt great & I swear I could've walked home
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