who has/plans on birthing standing up - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 09-15-2010, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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any tips? I'd like to do it outside if it's nice out. How did you birth the placenta after babe was born?

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#2 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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My second child was born standing up. I labored in the tub for awhile and suddenly wanted to stand up RIGHT NOW. My hubby helped me sit on the toilet (my legs were shakey and he didn't want me to fall down), the midwife came running, I stood up and pushed twice. TaaDaa, baby earthside. Hubby stood behind me, arms around my chest to support me. The MW did have me breath through two urges to push, she wanted to give everything time to stretch.

After a few minutes, I felt shakey and wanted to lay down. I passed the baby back to MW and hubby helped me to the bed--I'm sure it was really silly looking at the time. We snuggled on the bed for 20 minutes until placenta slipped out.

Standing was really great for a super fast birth. I don't think standing would have worked for my first birth--four hours of pushing, sunny side up presentation. I would have been too exhausted to stand, much less focus on pushing.

HTH, I can't wait to hear what other people have to say.
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#3 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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I've seen a good handful of standing births...usually, mom sits or lies down pretty soon after baby is out. With the adrenaline pumping along with the endorphins, most moms want to be able to relax their bodies and focus on baby (not on their own balance, etc)--they are not weak, but may well feel kind of 'buzzed' or trembling. This is up to them--no one told them what to do, just stood by prepared to assist if needed. One mom squatted down to her heels from a standing birth, and met her baby for several minutes squatting--but then wanted to sit so we helped her with baby into a chair. Placentas have followed after mom is sitting or lying down, as pp said.

Curious--Is giving birth standing up somehow connected to birthing outside, or are the 2 just coincidental? You could give birth outside in any number of positions I'd think...anyway, more info would be sweet
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#4 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No they are not connected. I think I want to give birth standing up, whether that's inside or outside. This will be my first homebirth, I've given birth twice naturally lying down in a hospital bed, so I guess the thought of giving birth outside appeals to me because it reminds me even less of a hospital room, which is what I'm trying to get away from. My second labor was longer than it had to be because I was in the hospital. If you see the other thread on this board "birthing sling", it would be neat to have one of those, but I think DH holding me like PP said would work too.

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#5 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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Ok, got it.

I've seen women give birth standing while leaning on a sturdy table, or on partners/supporters. All needed to lean forward while pushing (self-directed), one put one of her legs up onto a knee-high surface and also leaned forward--seems like having physical support available is a good idea. Haven't seen a sling IRL yet, but from the art I've seen it seems like a great idea (except for figuring out where/how to hang it most sturdily).

Have fun!
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#6 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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Actually I have in mind to avoid standing up. Aren't standing up & squatting both positions more likely to lead to tears, since baby comes out faster? I'm certainly open to trying them, but since 2nd stage with my DS (1st baby) was 45 min, I'm not expecting a long 2nd stage with baby #2, so I'd rather make an effort to slow it down. (I did have a 1st degree tear with DS.)

As for the sling, we have an unfinished basement & actually use the big steel beam that supports the house for workouts! DH, creative genius that he is, figured out a way to loop these giant rubber bands we have around, so you put your foot in the band & you can do a supported pull-up! Fantastic. So we have a handy spot to hang a sling. But I'd rather set up a birth pool upstairs in the bedroom.

Friend of mine mounted a pull-up bar above the doorway from her bedroom into the bathroom. Her birth went so fast (90 min total from waking up to baby, with a 1st baby!) that even her DH wasn't in the room! Thankfully she was on hands & knees in bed, so baby didn't drop far. But she was joking, "Thank goodness I didn't dangle from that bar or I woulda dropped his ass on the floor."
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#7 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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what positions are you thinking of that wouldn't make you tear? I tore both times lying down, so not doing that again. I push em out pretty fast, 13 min's with my first, 4 pushes with my second. And that was on my back, so I imagine with gravity helping it will be faster. I'm open to hands and knees, but I'd rather do standing or squatting because I really like seeing the baby be born.

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#8 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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IMO - any body led stance will not lead to an increase risk in position related tearing. Body led stances would be standing, squatting, kneeling, and hands/knees. Hands and knees, mom will usually rise up a bit at a certain point and standing, kneeling - mom typically leans forward a bit at this point as an natural reaction as it allows the uterus and the baby/body to become fully aligned.

I can't help answer the question really since I haven't stood for 2nd stage. I kneel which I guess is pretty much the same thing but closer to the ground, lol. I have long labors and not the strength to stand for 2nd stage. I kneel and lean over something for support. I remember seeing a standing birth in BOBB and thought it looked neat! I will say that I tried a supported squat with my second and I absolutely hated having to rely on someone else to hold me up, plus I ended up with massive bruises in my arm pits.

I think the whole fast birth = tears thing is a myth. I've researched it and haven't found any solid evidence to support that. In fact, most of the studies I found showed that a longer 2nd stage increases the risk of tearing and a shorter 2nd stage decreases the risk of tears. My fastest 2nd stage (a couple minutes - and baby had a 15 inch head with a nuchal arm/9.5 lbs) led to the least trauma (zero recovery) and no tears at all.
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#9 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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I've birthed standing up twice.

First time was in a shower with no tub, but with a seat. I had my right leg up on the seat, my left leg on the ground. I had my back to the MW and DH and was leaning into the wall of the shower. 10 minutes of pushing, and I had a small tear that I had 1 stitch in, although the stitch wasn't necessary. When DS was born, I turned around, grabbed him, and sat down on the seat in the shower. About 10 minutes later I walked over to the bed (with help). I delivered the placenta in bed about 30 minutes later.

Second time was in a shower with a tub (at home). I was standing with both feet on the ground. I was leaning over with my hands on the side of the bathtub, facing DH. No tears that time, about 10 minutes or so of pushing again. After DD was born, I stood in the shower while DH made a little spot for me in the bedroom. Then, he helped me in there to lay down and nurse DD. After snuggling and nursing for about an hour, I was getting really uncomfortable with the cord and placenta, so we cut the cord, and I went back to the shower to birth the placenta. Took about 5 minutes. Then, I washed up and went back to snuggling DD :-)

The idea about standing / tearing is that standing makes the birth happen faster. The faster the birth, the less time your tissues have to stretch, so the more likely you are to tear. While this is logical in theory, I don't know if it is true or if there is an scientific evidence that says it's one way or the other. I've had two births with no tearing at all - one on my back, one standing. The laying one was faster - one push and she was out - and still no tearing. Of course that's just anecdotal. If you are worried about tearing, I would do some research on the subject to see if there are any scientific studies or information beyond anecdotal.

I think standing births rock, but so do water births, and I haven't yet figured out how to be submerged in water but still standing, at least in my home :-)

Oh, and like PP said, there was no reason I couldn't keep standing after those births, but I was on the birth high and tingly, and I wanted to lay down to nurse and focus on my sweet babes.

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#10 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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I'm not really planning any particular position, but to just do what feels right at the time. seems to me that ever baby/labor and birth have different positional needs. I do know that with my first I wouldn't have been able to stand unassisted at that point, so if you think that it would be a good position for you, you may want to practice with your birthing partner beforehand.

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#11 of 25 Old 09-16-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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and in terms of fast birth=tearing, it really depends, because a long pushing stage can lead to swelling and an increased chance of tearing. and some kids (like mine) just have big heads that are hard to get out. we had a long pushing stage just because her head had to squish so much (I'm small, and once her head popped back out it was 75th percentile, that's one reason I hate the big baby=hard birth thing, because small babies can still have big heads)

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#12 of 25 Old 09-17-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by erin_brycesmom View Post
I think the whole fast birth = tears thing is a myth. I've researched it and haven't found any solid evidence to support that. In fact, most of the studies I found showed that a longer 2nd stage increases the risk of tearing and a shorter 2nd stage decreases the risk of tears.
That's interesting. I can see if you just compare total length of 2nd stage, that the above would be true - the significantly longer second stages (like, comparing 2-3 hours + with a 15-30 min 2nd stage) might lead to more swelling, which increases the risk of tears.

However, I've very often heard that NOT pushing while baby crowns helps reduce tears- give it time to stretch - "breath the baby out" so I would imagine that squatting or standing might make it more difficult to slow down that time.

I guess what I'm saying is that slowing down the pushing process at the time of crowning can help reduce tears - as opposed to having a longer 2nd stage overall. Is there research to support that? I actually don't know if there is or not! Just something I've heard so repeatedly from MWs & such, and something that makes sense logically as well, IMO.
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#13 of 25 Old 09-17-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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I was standing/squatting through most of my pushing for DD2 -- I think I moved to a one-knee kneel for actually pushing her out. I knew that I wanted to be more upright because for DD1, I felt stuck and ineffective... my mw suggested standing/squatting but I felt to tired and unable to move by that point (not really sure why!) After DD2 was born (quite fast, no tears, big baby!) I sat back, supported against... probably the side of the bed... not planned, just wanted to be able to hold my babe. Placenta came out after awhile while I was just hanging there, mw had me give a big cough to push it out.

I pushed while standing for DD3, but moved to hands and knees as she was crowning... again no tears and a really big baby! I didn't do anything directed to not tear, just really let my body lead my pushes.

Both times, I was in a supported stand/squat -- I used Dh as a brace for DD2, and the side of our wooden chest for DD3 (I preferred the chest -- it felt more solid... poor Dh...)

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#14 of 25 Old 09-17-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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I pushed standing up. I was in the bathroom, knees slightly bent, bending forward, one hand on the radiator, the other on the sink.

DD came out VERY quickly, and I did have two very minor labial tears. I think this was my "fault" though. DH and I were alone (midwives were on their way, but dd decided she wasn't going to wait) and when dd crowned, I freaked out about the "ring of fire." It was a freak-out in *anticipation* that the crowning would hurt. I pushed REALLY hard, beyond the contraction even, in an effort to get her out quickly. It turns out the ring of fire wasn't that bad, and if I had just relaxed, I don't think I would have torn at all.

One thing I would say is to be flexible about the positions you take when actually in labor. I tried not to become too wedded to very specific details about labor, because you just can't predict it, and I didn't want to set myself up for unnecessary disappointment. Even so, I kept having this image that I would labor and birth on my hands and knees. So I kept trying to force it. During contractions, I would get on all fours, but it was *SO PAINFUL* that way. Standing up, knees slightly bent, leaning forward was where I needed to be.

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#15 of 25 Old 09-17-2010, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all this info and stories ladies!

Christian SAHM & birth doula.
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#16 of 25 Old 09-24-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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I birthed standing up. I pushed while sitting on the toilet and when I felt the "ring of fire", I stood up and let my baby ease out into my mw's hands. Then, I sat down on the toilet and held my baby. As soon as I felt the urge to push out the placenta, I stood back up again. I personally can't imagine laying down...standing just seems natural for me.
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#17 of 25 Old 09-24-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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I birthed standing.
Started on hands and knees, then to squatting and finally standing.
hands and knees felt most natural and MW directed me to squatting and standing once we knew DD's shoulder was stuck.
The standing really did the trick.

After birth, I layed on the bed and after about 15 minutes, I stood to deliver the placenta. It came right out.

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#18 of 25 Old 09-24-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post
I'm not really planning any particular position, but to just do what feels right at the time. seems to me that ever baby/labor and birth have different positional needs.

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#19 of 25 Old 10-12-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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Over 26 years, I've had 4 women choose to birth while standing, none of whom had planned it that way, It is what felt right to them at the moment!
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#20 of 25 Old 10-12-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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Over 26 years, I've had some women choose to birth while standing, none of whom had planned it that way, It is what felt right to them at the moment!
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#21 of 25 Old 10-13-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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and in terms of fast birth=tearing, it really depends, because a long pushing stage can lead to swelling and an increased chance of tearing. and some kids (like mine) just have big heads that are hard to get out. we had a long pushing stage just because her head had to squish so much (I'm small, and once her head popped back out it was 75th percentile, that's one reason I hate the big baby=hard birth thing, because small babies can still have big heads)
The only time I've seen 'long pushing stages' lead to swelling and tearing is when the pushing is directed and forceful. I've seen moms (even a FTM with a 9lb baby) push for 2 hrs without a tear--but it was completely instinct-driven pushing, no holding of breath but for a couple seconds sometimes.

But 'hospital style purple pushing'--with mother being directed to push with all she's got, hold her breath and count to 10--yeah, that often leads to swelling and tearing both, especially if she pushes for more than an hour or so.

Also, while it's certainly true that squatting or standing or other highly upright positions CAN make for faster descent, less ease of controlling birth--and so, tearing--it doesn't have to. As one pp said, mother-chosen positions and mother-driven pushing seldom leads to tears...at least, not to significant tears needing repair.
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#22 of 25 Old 10-26-2010, 06:39 AM
 
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I just gave birth to DD2 on Sunday standing up. I was sitting on the toilet and my midwife asked if I could move so I stood up and baby was out 3 minutes later. I think DS2 would have been born standing up if the nurse at the hospital didn't ask me to lay back down.

I sat back down on the toilet less than 10 minutes after she was born and then sat in bed with her until my placenta came out
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#23 of 25 Old 10-26-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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I gave birth standing up. It's what my body felt like doing and needed to to get my son out. I had my Midwife, her assistant and my mom in front of me with my husband behind me. Once baby came out I sat on the birth stool that was under me (didn't sit directly on it, more like leaning on it) and I held my son while we waited for the placenta. Once placenta came out I went to the bedroom to nurse and bond. I really enjoyed birthing standing up. I could tell that gravity was helping. I didn't tear, eventhough I had a bad tear with my first. Not much blood loss either.

This study says there is more research that is needed, but with the research they did do women who were not laying on their backs for birth had less tearing, less assistance, and baby's heartrates were better.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/coc...006/frame.html

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#24 of 25 Old 10-30-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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i labored in the tub, then had help to the bathroom to finish. i stood and leaned against the wall for the final bit. ds had his hand up by his shoulder and grabbed the cord on the way out, so laboring the last bit on the toilet then standing finally allowed me to get him out. he needed cpr thanks to him trying to hold onto the lifeline and i wanted to make sure the cord had enough slack in it so he could still get oxygen flow. so i didn't sit down after birthing. i kept standing even though my sis and mw kept telling me to sit. big mistake. i lot A LOT of blood when i birthed the placenta standing up. sis had never seen so much at a birth before (nurse/mw student), mw was a little shocked.

so birth the baby and placenta however feels comfy, but please sit or lay in between. that's my advice.
oh, and no tearing. though i think something was off internally for a while, but that was due to baby position, not the laboring.

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#25 of 25 Old 10-30-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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I birthed standing up too - had a precipitous birth and didn't actually fully realise I was in labour until I was sitting on the toilet and felt DD2's head right there. My first instinct was to stand, but leaning backwards, resting my hands behind me on the cistern - it's possible she was OP as the first one was, and that was my body telling me how to best get her out. When my mom came in and was kneeling on the floor in front of me to catch her I switched to standing up, leaning slightly forwards, resting a bit on my mom's shoulders.

She came out in 3-4 pushes, maybe 5-10 minutes? I did tear, but I really couldn't slow things down, despite trying - it was a total fetal ejection reflex! Even so, I doubt I would've torn (or at least not so badly) if I hadn't had a large episiotomy with DD1 - I tore right along that scar

I sat down once she was out, and my mom handed her to me while she went downstairs to phone the midwives. As I was holding her I felt the placenta detach, and quickly stood up again to birth it, as I had plans of eating it, and didn't want it going in the loo!! It came out maybe 3-5 minutes after the baby.

I liked it as a whole, but I was just thrilled to actually be feeling the pushing sensation, which I never got to first time around, and also just to finally be in labour (at 43+6 weeks!) It felt like a productive position, even though I had originally planned a water birth, and to birth in either hands and knees or a supported squat. I think it's definitely just a case of doing whatever feels right at that particular time for you.

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