Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
Not to derail the thread, but what exactly does "butt-holding" entail? And why did you need it done?
If it just made it feel better, well shoot, I know Pam's not saying that you shouldn't do what makes you feel better. She's just making the case that perineal massage/support does not prevent tears and that it can actually create conditions for them to be more likely and/or hinder the birth if it inhibits the mother or causes her to tense up.
But if it feels better to have the midwife have her hands on your vulva or butt or bellybutton or whatever
Very good question.
I've doula'd at my friend's two births, and both times, she liked counterpressure on her back during some of her laboring contractions (before 10 cm.) Technically, I gave this pressure on an area some would concider her butt. Pants off, buttcrack involved, but you know--it's low and on the coccyx area/what have you.
"Butt holding" is the next level....a bit lower than the above scenario (which I mention b/c I think we can all imagine counterpressure during labor more easily than this butt hold phenomenon) and during active decent.
The uterus is pushing, pushing, pushing that head out--powerful fundal force moving DOWN AND OUT.....to help counter that, my mws hands (3 of their hands) were supporting my bottom. My hand was in front, and their hands were literally on my butt, more butthole/butt/coccyx...not so much vulvar-area.
I wanted my butt held because it felt right at the time. In my homebirth video I demand "do what you're doing!
" in a slur, when one of my mws was trying to adjust her position (crunched on my wood floor w/ her hands on my butt, which was elegantly draped over the couch back
) because it felt good to have the counterforce and solid-feeling support to balance the powerfully contracting uterus. (I always laugh at that part--it's such a classic LaborLand Demand!)
Maybe it's like a cough---when you have a violent, coughing cough you can't "control" it is less tolerable than a regular cough you can "work with", if that makes sense.
Totally different from the vulvar-sweep that these OBs and CNMs are constantly doing--blech. YET buttholding *is* hands-on.
I brought it up not to derail Pam's thread, but to add this aspect, because I thought it was a tangent that might be applicable to a lot of women who are in the "hands off!" boat but did appriciate butt holding during birth.
Also, I wanted Pam's esteemed opinion on this matter in particular--could such butt-holding actually prevent a tear? or is it an activity that simply supports a birthing mama (which in itself could prevent a tear, one could argue.) Does Pam hold butts? Does Pam have a comment on butt-holding?
HTH, 4 lil' birdies