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Can Stirrups Ever Be A Good Thing? - Page 2

post #21 of 62
Are there any hospital beds which don't give you enough space to get up and squat in the bed or something? I'm envisioning (in case of a hospital transfer, and barring no other major complications) myself screaming to the docs, "screw the stirrups, I'm just gonna squat in this bed!"
post #22 of 62
I ended up giving birth on my back with my legs held up and out of the way by two people. I hated it. I requested that they not hold my legs and got *overruled* by the nurse. I tried to get my legs out of their arms but they were a lot stronger than me. I did feel raped kind of. I wanted to squat...I wanted to be upright...but b/cuz i had the epidural (b/cuz of amniotomy) I was not allowed.

the stirrups had a use...my legs were in them afterward when my dr sewed up the tear my son made trying to get out and the cut he made helping him.
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by poetesss
Are there any hospital beds which don't give you enough space to get up and squat in the bed or something? I'm envisioning (in case of a hospital transfer, and barring no other major complications) myself screaming to the docs, "screw the stirrups, I'm just gonna squat in this bed!"
the bed i was in when i had my son was very narrow. there's no way i could have properly squatted on it. not to mention that beds in the maternity ward typically break down in the middle so that you can scoot forward and the doctor can catch the baby.

SC - yeah i was wondering about that. then i saw your sigline and i was like, " " ??

my daughter was born while i was half sitting / half squatting.
post #24 of 62
When I had my first baby, I pushed mostly on my left side. A nurse would help me hold my right leg as I pushed. I had the shakes (from late labor, I guess) and it was hard to hold my leg up, so after a while, the nurse got the idea to attach an old style stirrup, with the leg rest backwards, so I could lean my leg against the padded part. It was really comfy, actually, and I didn't shake any more because of the nice support. Not exactly standard use of a stirrup, but it seemed okay to me!

That standard hospital, semi-sitting with legs pulled back position is really not physiological. It requires pushing the baby around a corner going uphill, and stretches the perineum unnaturally. You can certainly squat on a standard delivery room bed, or be hands and knees, or side-lying. Or squat on the floor, or kneel over the bed, or whatever works. It helps for your attendant to be hands off and physically flexible enough to get on the floor, too, though!
post #25 of 62
I had mine at home so stirrups were not an option, but I birthed flat on my back. During pushing I totally didn't want to be touched much, but needed some pressure on my back to help with the pain of a long back labor. The best soultion was flat on my back. I definitely didn't want my legs held up/back (see the part about no touching wanted) so ended up propping them up on pillows and midwives and apprentices knees as they sat next to me. I definitely liked the physical support of people, but just from a POV of the positon that was comfortable for me to birth in, yeah stirrups or some similar thing might've been nice. But they would've had to have adjusted perfectly to my preference, which I gues is not generally an option.

I think that part of what prevented tearing for me despite the flat on my back position was that I insisted on having my legs propped up a bit so they weren't totally spread, stretching out the perineum.

Just my theory from my own experiences. I guess it's stretching the "ever" part of the hypo a bit far though...
post #26 of 62
Sitting is not ideal, but it's okay. It's the semi-reclining that makes trouble. Someone said that lying down is better than semi-reclining, and that's true. I think hospitals started switching to semi-reclining because it is more empowering for the woman to be on the doctor's level, she can get better leverage, and it just seems like a more active position. But it's really harder for pushing the baby out, as you're having to push around a bend and upwards. That's not to say that lying down is all that great. In a McRoberts position (knees to chest) you can get the pelvis opened wider, but you still have to deal with working without gravity to assist, you are in an extremely vulnerable and exposed position which may have psychological/inhibiting ramifications and makes it easier for the doctor to use surgical interventions, and finally the pelvis certainly isn't free floating like it is in a vertical position. Side-lying is comfortable for some women and has the added benefit of not reducing blood flow to the uterus (same reason it's better to lie on your side while sleeping while pregnant.) Vertical positions avoid all these problems.
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by klothos
this scares me! stuff like this actually happens in hospitals nowadays?? :
LOL, I doubt it! It does point up the absurdity, though, of the feeling the hospital encourages of being restricted to the bed. I mean, no one is going to say, "hey, I feel like standing up to give birth. But I'd really prefer to do it four feet off the ground while teetering precariously on two small supports."
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by poetesss
Are there any hospital beds which don't give you enough space to get up and squat in the bed or something? I'm envisioning (in case of a hospital transfer, and barring no other major complications) myself screaming to the docs, "screw the stirrups, I'm just gonna squat in this bed!"
My plan in that case would be to strip the linens from the bed and squat on the floor. Those hospital beds are absurdly high, I can't imagine being able to easily get on them while 9 months pregnant (although, who knows, maybe I'll be one of those althetic sorts of pregnant women?) let alone while in the middle of labor.
post #29 of 62
I think what makes the stirrups so stupid is that they can easily be postioned in a way that lifts the pelvis as well as the legs. When people lift the legs, they will have more trouble lifting up the body as well as the legs and pillows and things are lower. So you get the benefits of the spreading (not nearly as good as a vertical position, but if laying is what your instincts are saying, go with it) without the disadvantage of fighting gravity--gravity isn't helping either, mind you.

I'm basing this off of a couple of pictures I've seen of a laboring mother in stirrups where there was clearly air between her buttocks and the bed. It could be her pelvis was simply elevated because of her own movement. (Hmmm, wish I remember where I saw the pictures, then you could analyse them yourselves.)
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan

I'm basing this off of a couple of pictures I've seen of a laboring mother in stirrups where there was clearly air between her buttocks and the bed. It could be her pelvis was simply elevated because of her own movement.
I remember my mom telling me: what helps during contractions is to lift your lower body up off the bed. I was like uhhh, okay mom ... but I don't think I'll be laboring lying with my butt down on the bed like that!
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by poetesss
I remember my mom telling me: what helps during contractions is to lift your lower body up off the bed. I was like uhhh, okay mom ... but I don't think I'll be laboring lying with my butt down on the bed like that!
Ouch! I had to labor in bed, including using a bed pan for pee (I was allowed to use the toilet for a bowel movement, which thankfully I needed to do when I went into transition and my body was SCREAMING to get upright). I remember it being VERY difficult to get my pelvis up in the air to get over that stupid bed pan while in labor. It just really really sucked. I can't imagine lifting my lower body off the bed during a contraction. That would totally tense up EVERY muscle and make it hurt much worse! Instead, I laid on my left side and breathed deeply and tried my best to RELAX every muscle in my body. That helped a ton. Glad I had had a crash course in Bradley method earlier that afternoon.
post #32 of 62
I used the stirrups as others have mentioned - kind of a place to rest my legs between pushes. While pushing, two things worked really well:
1. There were these kind of posts on each side of the bed, at the end. I could grip those and pull myself up into a squat. It was awesome. It really opened me up and I loved having something so firm to hold onto.
2. My dear friend (OnlyBoys) and husband took turns with this one - They tied a knot in each end of a sheet. I held one end and the other person grabbed the other end - and we played tug-of-war! When I pulled on that, I was upright and could really bear down. It was great!
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan
My plan in that case would be to strip the linens from the bed and squat on the floor. Those hospital beds are absurdly high, I can't imagine being able to easily get on them while 9 months pregnant (although, who knows, maybe I'll be one of those althetic sorts of pregnant women?) let alone while in the middle of labor.
Yeah, I labored in a squatting position on the side of the bed - kind of holding onto the bed and resting my head there between contractions. But that was not something I wanted to do the entire time, so I tried different things.

(I labored for 54 hours at home, then we decided to transfer - labored 9 more hours before he was born at the hospital. It was not at all what we planned/wanted, but it worked.)

Oh, as far as getting on the bed - they lowered the bed way down when I got it in, then raised it up again - easy.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBrink
Oh, as far as getting on the bed - they lowered the bed way down when I got it in, then raised it up again - easy.
Powered-beds, right, they have those in hospitals. at myself
post #35 of 62
Laboring, especially pushing, while lying down is excrutiating. You would be better off on your hands and knees or squatting instead of stirrups.
I'm pretty sure I'm going UC next time. Threads like these are driving me crazy.
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital
Laboring, especially pushing, while lying down is excrutiating. You would be better off on your hands and knees or squatting instead of stirrups.
I'm pretty sure I'm going UC next time. Threads like these are driving me crazy.




UC is the way to go.
post #37 of 62
I don't get why they call them 'stirrups' anyways. With #1, I was on my back with a pillow under me and my legs in those molded plastic thingys. Nothing for my feet, to push on. That's why my arms were so sore the next day from pulling on the bars of the bed! (They didn't wait for me to have the urge to push, and I didn't know enough to tell them to leave me alone). I hated having my legs in those dumb things, and it was sooooo hard pushing that way.
With #2, without warning the dr ... I demanded to push him out sitting up or squatting. We had this conversation while I was hanging over the back of the bed pushing already. I waited because I didn't want to get talked out of it earlier, and I knew she'd listen at that point. She just dropped the end of the bed down which gave me a spot to sit, support for my feet, and the sides of the bed to hold. It was perfect, and so much easier. You should have seen the looks on the nurses' faces, though. They think I'm kooky. (It didn't help their impression of me when I asked to see the placenta - dr didn't mind, though).
This is one of the reasons I want to homebirth the next one. I am one of the lucky people who has a great doctor, but the hospital just can't provide the freedom I need and the kind of environment I want for the births I and my babies deserve!
post #38 of 62
If there were no beds in birthing (sorry, delivery) rooms then there could be no stirrups.

I have never used them in labour but was asked to put my legs in stirrups to be sewn up after a bad tear. I refused as I get awful cramps in my thighs if I stay like that for long - the missionary position is not regularly visited in our bed either! The midwife didn't believe that I would be able to resist the urge to shut my legs as she stitched. I did resist and she did a lovely repair.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithotomy

Removing ***stones*** not birthing babies. Darned docs.

http://www.birthingnaturally.net/barp/lithotomy.html takes a while to load but has interesting thoughts on the messages sent to women by this position.

Don't get on the bed is the best advice I can think of.
post #39 of 62
I read somewhere, have no idea about the validity of the source, that the lithotomy position was first used for childbirth when one of the French kings wanted to get off on watching his mistresses give birth.

"The origin of the position, and hence the name, was in the earliest method of lithotomy, the surgical removal of a bladder stone, in which an incision was made in the perineum. The patient was placed in this posture to afford the surgeon access." From the Wikipedia article on the position itself. So the lithotomy position is *DESIGNED* to encourage episiotomies. Hmmm......
post #40 of 62
i had my firstin stirrups. Natural birth. I was semi-sitting and that's actuallythe position I chose. I pushed with no stirrups for a while. The Doc who caught (who was not my doc!!!) I was told would "only deliver in stirrups". Harumph. I actually kinda liked them. I could rest my legs and it wasn't terribnly uncomfortable. they weren't the foot pedal type though, they were long leg-shaped troughs (someone else mentioned these). It was nice to just let my legs be and when I needed to push again, I idn't have to move them anywhere new I'mnot saying stirrups rock for everybody or anything either. My second and third were stirrupless births (birth centre and home respectively). I attended one birth where the doctor was telling the mom how stirrups and a flatter position can mimica squat. I'd never thought about that before. While being flat isn't usually good, he had a good point. (this doc has been practifcing a long time and was reallylaid back and cool. He actually stayed with the laboring mom for about 6 hours total! only crummy thing was he does routine episiotomies..bummer)

Namaste, Tara
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