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#1 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to hear opinons on this for people who did this or wish they would have. For me, it makes sooo much sense to squat while pushing- but I have never gave birth before!

FYI, i am having a hospital birth, so I hope they are still flexible with me wanting to squat vs lying on the bed.

Just curious if you think that squatting helps a lot, is less painful, experiences with it in a hospital birth...
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#2 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 08:34 PM
 
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I'm curious too-- I practiced squats EVERY DAY when I was pregnant with my son. I ended up getting sort of surprised in a hands-and-knees position- my second stage was so fast and furious that it seemed like I just had to stick it out how I was already- not my plan- oh well. There just wasn't any time to discuss positions and try things out and move around and get the birth stool and all- he was on his way out!

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#3 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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I did for quite a while during the birth but honestly my legs got so weak i couldn't keep it up.

I was lucky they had a birth stool which took some pressure off my legs but still had me in a squatting position.

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#4 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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I tryed squatting with both my hospital and homebirth. First of all my hospital birth I had an ob that had had homebirths, so maybe that is why she allowed me to squat. With both of my sons it was not a comfortable positon. I ended up laying on the bed with both of them. I want to try squatting or something like it this time since I am going to try for a home waterbirth. I hear though that a lot of women try squatting.
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#5 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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I thought I would want to labor in the water and stand or squat to deliver. In the moment I wanted to do neither :

All I could do was lie on the bed and moan- and I pushed him out while nearly flat on my back. I NEVER imagined that scenario, but it's what my body wanted to do at the time.
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#6 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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i picture myself squatting, but i wonder if my legs will be able to hold me up, lol. i remember getting so tired trying to push dd out, i wouldnt be surprised if i start out squatting and end up laying on the bed or floor.

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#7 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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I can't imagine being able to hold myself in a squat position for very long.

If I'm on dry land I imagine myself on my hands and knees. If I'm in water (which was how i was last birth, I'm just going to follow my instincts with the position I want to be in.

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#8 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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I've tried squatting several times in labors and I simply can't do it. WAY too much pressure. But I have very fast pushing stage (my longest was 30 min) so I think its probably better if I actually slowed things down and not helped it out lol. I have given birth on my hands and knees and loved that. Reclining not so much, I wish someone would have rolled me over on my side. Honestly its best to try as many things as you can cause you never know what you will like. So far I have liked sitting and on hands and knees the most. But I wouldn't have known that unless I tried lots of different things.

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#9 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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It makes sense. I think that why the birthing stool is a popular option, it takes some of the pressure off your leg muscles. In my prenatal yoga tapes we do that very low squat too (my husband calls it @ss to the grass squats), just putting a bolster or a couple throw pillows under my tailbone for support really helps a lot, so I'm going to bring one to the hospital. At my hospital they also have squatting bars that attach to the bed, so that will help too, kind of leaning forward on the squat bar and also having my tailbone supported with a pillow. It seems like it would feel weird to be way up on a bed in the middle of the room squatting though (versus on the ground where I should be). My OB nurse friend labored that way for quite some time and said it was fine. I am also concerned about having the strength to maintain the position. In this position the birth canal is 20% shorter, which for me is a great motivation. In theory at the very end, once the head is crowning, having someone help move you to a side-lying or all-fours position can help protect the perineum. I don't think I'd be able to "think" of anything at that time, so someone would probably have to forcibly move me and direct me at that time. Honestly when it gets that far I feel like I want to write instructions and arrows on my thighs with eye liner or something as a reminder- no episiotomy- massage and compress here- exit only urethra- no fingers on distended perineum... Sorry, going OT as usual....

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#10 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 09:56 PM
 
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I squatted for 2 of my births.... Both times I held onto something: 1st time onto the side of the birthing bath; the second time onto the counter in the bathroom. Holding on and getting some support from the birthing bath and the counter both helped so that I didnt get too tired.

It was a great way to deliver baby.

This time I would like to have a birthing stool available....
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#11 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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I did with my last birth. Dh stood in front of me and helped hold me up. I just wrapped my arms around him. The baby came out all in one push and the mw had to lunge to catch him! He literally just flew out and it happened so fast that I didn't even know I delivered him because there was this intense rush of pain and I about jumped out of my husband's arms. I thought my mw stuck her hand up me or something. I turned around and yelled at her and said, "What did you do??!!!" She said, "Nothing honey, you just delivered your baby!!" Oh wow!!

I want to do it that way again. It was so much better!
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#12 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 10:10 PM
 
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I squatted with my #2 (homebirth). Hoenstly, I couldn't do anything else- my body was in complete control of me at that point.

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#13 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ilovebabies View Post
I did with my last birth. Dh stood in front of me and helped hold me up. I just wrapped my arms around him. The baby came out all in one push and the mw had to lunge to catch him! He literally just flew out and it happened so fast that I didn't even know I delivered him because there was this intense rush of pain and I about jumped out of my husband's arms. I thought my mw stuck her hand up me or something. I turned around and yelled at her and said, "What did you do??!!!" She said, "Nothing honey, you just delivered your baby!!" Oh wow!!

I want to do it that way again. It was so much better!
Wow
Curious...did you tear at all?

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#14 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dearmama22 View Post
I would like to hear opinons on this for people who did this or wish they would have. For me, it makes sooo much sense to squat while pushing- but I have never gave birth before!

FYI, i am having a hospital birth, so I hope they are still flexible with me wanting to squat vs lying on the bed.

Just curious if you think that squatting helps a lot, is less painful, experiences with it in a hospital birth...
This is how I have birth. It wasn't plan, I just ended up in the bathroom, I sat on a birth stool for a little while until I just didn't feel like it anymore. I just felt like standing and then squatting when I was in the pushing stage. My labor was only 2 hours though. So it was like I stood up for the breaks and squat when I felt a pushing contractions, the lighter contractions I think I just kept standing for those.


ETA: In my bathrom I had sometime I put my hands on to help bring me up, it was like a towel rack and a part of the tub area that was the height of the sink, it just happened to be how the bathroom was designed, so I wasn't just standing up and squatting with my hands free to my side.
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#15 of 57 Old 02-14-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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I wanted to use the squatting bar for my last hospital birth (with my first I had an epidural, no epidural for my last birth), BUT the nurses claimed they didn't know where the squatting bar was and even if they knew where it was, they didn't know how to attach it to the bed. I saw it tucked away in one of the bathrooms (ick!). I have no idea if I would have been able to do it or not, b/c now that ppl mention it on this thread, it does take a lot of energy to hold yourself up when you are using so much energy during labor. I think some kind of squatting chair would actually be most idea, vs having to squat freestyle holding up your own wt.
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#16 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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Where does someone get a squatting chair?

Do only hospitals have them? Would a MW bring one to your home or would you have to buy one?

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#17 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dawncayden View Post
Wow
Curious...did you tear at all?
Just a little tiny bit. She went ahead and put in one stitch.
It was baby #4.
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#18 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dawncayden View Post
Where does someone get a squatting chair?

Do only hospitals have them? Would a MW bring one to your home or would you have to buy one?
My MW has one at the birthing center. I've looked around online. Prepare yourself for shock. They ain't cheap!

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#19 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 12:52 AM
 
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I had plans to squat with my first birth, but we all know how "plans" and "birth" don't necessarily belong in the same sentence! I ended up delivering on my back in a semi-reclined posiiton with my legs up around my ears - okay not literally around my ears, but with a person on either side holding my legs up & back as far as possible - I believe it's called the McRobert's position.'

I'm envisioning squatting again this time, thinking being in water will make that much more likely...but who knows what will happen!

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#20 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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Your body's gonna tell you what to do. It may or may not be squatting for you. I had to labor standing up, just had to, and then during transition it was like someone literally pulled me to my knees, it was so not in my hands. Your body will tell you what to do. Just set up a birth situation where that will be respected. I gave birth on my hands and knees, curling my tailbone under for each push/contraction.

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#21 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 02:49 AM
 
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I have wanted to squat every time to prevent tearing, but I always end up in the C-curl position as the only way I can make any progress.

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#22 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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I wanted to squat with my first but the nurses said they didn't know how to break down the bed that way when I was told during our tour and from another nurse that they would do that for me. With my second my mw told me to get on the bed in a hands and knees position. I tried to turn to squatting but at that point felt like I was sitting on his head so turned back. My other 2 were born in hands and knees. It is much easier for me to push that way.

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#23 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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I totally would not have the stamina to stay squatting that long. I went through different positions while laboring but ultimately my favorite birth position was kneeling in front of the bed while supporting my upper body by leaning on the bed.
I also have really long thigh bones - not a lot of clearance for the baby ... LOL
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#24 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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I squatted with both. My biggest baby was 9 lbs 12 oz, and I didn't tear with either.
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#25 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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I squatted with my last 2, one of them in the hospital with the squatting bar. My pushing experience with them was *worlds* apart from my first 2 babies that I pushed out flat on my back.

When I delivered flat on my back I pushed for a torturously long time (2.5 hours with #2), & tore both times. When I squatted, I didn't push even 20 mins & I didn't tear at all. Plus, those were the 2 births where I felt in control- I chose what positions to be in by what naturally felt the best. And wow, I had no idea how much more comfortable squatting could be!

The babies I delivered in a squat with no tearing in the slightest were 8lbs 13oz, and 10lbs 6oz.

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#26 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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squatting does make sense--Even if minimally, it does open you up a little more than you would in other positions. I did not squat once during my labor, but when I was ready to push, I slid off the side of the bed, leaned a bit back against the bed and squatted until my baby was born--in about 20 minutes. My legs were killing me, but I wanted that little bit of extra opening (I think it's like 1-2 cm).

My first birth was in a hospital and to be honest, there is very little possibility of me having squatted there. When squatting you really need a firm floor and good support around/behind you. The hospital bed would not have worked--too unstable. If they let you squat on the floor, that would be ideal--possibly with your dh/doula behind you sitting in a chair and you can straddle your arms over their legs for support. I would even consider bringing some type of a thick mat, maybe a yoga mat or a foam egg crate mat for both support and comfort--those tile floors are hard/slippery/and just nasty.

I am having a home birth again this time and am making my own birthing stool. I was pretty comfy sitting on the toilet, but my bathroom is really small and I just can't sit in the bathroom that long...bathrooms are yucky. My midwife's birthing stool is hard-wood-small-and not comfy at all. I'm building a small replica of the toilet, but with a cushy seat and a little lower than a toilet for extra squat.

Sarah

editting to add: with number 1 I was in a semi-upright position, but essentially on my back and I tore a little, baby #2 that I squatted I didn't tear/rip or anything. both were 20 minutes pushing though (good birthing hips? lol) also, I didn't practice squatting at all during my pregnancy--and I'm not naturally strong and am also overweight--also after 7 hours of labor--sometimes your body allows you to do amazing things!

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#27 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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All this talk of squatting bars and beds and chairs made me think of this article, a little food for thought: The Clock, The Bed, and The Chair.

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#28 of 57 Old 02-15-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I have very fast pushing stage (my longest was 30 min) so I think its probably better if I actually slowed things down and not helped it out lol.
This was my experience last birth-- I was on my knees leaning on the bed during the pushing stage and kind of tipping my belly the "wrong" way-- against gravity-- but it felt SOOO good. Midwife really insisted I get in a squatting position as she felt that I couldn't give birth efficiently going against gravity. So I did get into a squatting position, and what do you know, baby came shooting out with too much pressure and I tore pretty badly. I think if I had stuck with my inuition he would have come more slowly and peacefully and gently. I wish I hadn't tore so much because it gave me sexual issues for months.

So I think that squatting can be great, but the important thing is just to listen to your intuition in the moment!

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#29 of 57 Old 02-16-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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I was on my knees leaning on the bed during the pushing stage and kind of tipping my belly the "wrong" way-- against gravity-- but it felt SOOO good.
Mmmm, this is sort of like me too -- I was on my hands and knees, leaning tipped down on the back of the bed in between pushing contractions. Then, during a contraction, I'd do sort of a back curl up to more traditional hands-and knees position, tucking my tailbone. Pushing stage went very fast.

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#30 of 57 Old 02-16-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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I tried squatting (they had a bar over the bed at my hospital) but I was just too weak to do it. I did like laboring on the toilet, and that seemed to help me make progress. Pushing-wise, I wound up on my back. I only pushed for 15 min, though. If it had been longer, I might have wound up trying more things.

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