Pain of natural birth vs. manual removal of placenta - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-04-2009, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a question for anyone who has experienced both- which was worse for you?

I had an epidural with my first ds. I was given it before I went into labor (but after being induced because my water broke) because his heart rate went WAY down. It wore off right *AFTER* the pushing but pretty much before the doctor reached into my uterus over and over and over to check for/remove retained placenta.
So no pain drugs or anything. I remember being REALLY happy when he stopped doing that to stitch up my episiotomy (without pain drugs, mind you), because the stitching felt THAT much better. Him reaching into my uterus was the worst pain I've ever dealt with. Dp finally yelled at them to give me whatever pain drugs they had in the room. lol.

I've been told by a few people that manual removal of placenta hurts worse than birth. Basically, that if I could get through that, then having a baby should be a breeze (not really a breeze, but ykwim)! (My EDD is this month month, btw )

So...anyone here able to confirm or deny that claim?

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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Old 06-04-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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I had a UC, followed by a manual removal of my placenta in the hospital. The birth hurt a lot, but I only remember it hazily as a vague recollection of knowing that the pain was purposeful and would end soon in something wonderful. The placenta removal was absolutely horrific. I had an IV drip of morphine and it was excruciating despite the pain relief. I don't want to even imagine how badly it would have hurt without any drugs.

If I ever have another child, I plan to give birth at home again without pain medication, but if I have to transfer again for placenta removal I'm demanding an epidural!

Mama to two crazy boys (8/05 & 9/07) and happy wife to one wonderful hubby.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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If I ever have another child, I plan to give birth at home again without pain medication, but if I have to transfer again for placenta removal I'm demanding an epidural!
I don't think an epidural would help much. I had an epidural that was working (it starting working right after DD was born). It still hurt. One of the nurses was pushing on my stomach from the outside. DH said it looked like her feet weren't even touching the ground she was applying that much presure to move the placenta down. Where she was pushing hurt for about 2 months.
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a UC, followed by a manual removal of my placenta in the hospital. The birth hurt a lot, but I only remember it hazily as a vague recollection of knowing that the pain was purposeful and would end soon in something wonderful. The placenta removal was absolutely horrific. I had an IV drip of morphine and it was excruciating despite the pain relief. I don't want to even imagine how badly it would have hurt without any drugs.

If I ever have another child, I plan to give birth at home again without pain medication, but if I have to transfer again for placenta removal I'm demanding an epidural!
Thanks for sharing that! It's really reassuring Hopefully, this time, I have the natural birth and get to skip the manual placenta removal. It could well have been the most traumatic part of my overall traumatic birth!!

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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Old 06-05-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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OMG the placenta removal was so much more horribly painful than the actual birth!!!! The damn doctor decided, less than a minute after my daughter was born, that he needed to yank my placenta out - it was awful!!!! I always thought the placenta would come out on its own, and didn't need to be yanked on. If there's any way to avoid that, you should definitely try. I'm sorry this happened to you (and everyone else).

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Old 06-05-2009, 03:20 PM
 
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I'm sorry, but why would you have to have the placenta removed manually? I have had 3 children, all natual, no pain meds at all. Not pleasant but not horrific either. I do remember getting the placenta out wasn't fun either and the doctor had to really press on my belly but no one when 'in' to get it. Actually, if I remember correctly, with my last, it took longer and the doctor really had to press hard but it came out. I think it might hurt more because you're not in the moment of giving birth, contracting, pushing, breathing, etc. The baby is born, you're relaxed and then they say, ok, push some more to get this out. Your body isn't working with you (no more contractions) and the thought of one more push... are they crazy?? That's just my theory. Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry, but why would you have to have the placenta removed manually?
I was hemorrhaging quite a bit, so they were in panic mode doing everything they could to figure out why. (ended up getting transfusions of 5 pints of blood).
I should have been more clear- most of it came out. They were just checking to see if a piece had been left, and was causing the bleeding. So he was feeling around inside my uterus for small pieces that still needed to come out.

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Old 06-05-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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My m/w didn't actually manually remove my placenta but with both dd2 and ds they did do a "sweep" inside to see if it was still attached somewhere and with ds my m/w did a very vigorous massage on my abdomen to help push out the rest of my placenta (after ds was born the placenta kind of came out in pieces)......I wouldn't say it was more painful but it was worse in the fact that the pain associated with the birth was pain with a purpose and I had something to look forward to. IYKWIM
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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I gave birth with a partially failed epidural, and parts of the placenta were manually removed after (another hemorrhage case).

Birthing hurt. Tearing hurt. Uterine massage and manual removal of the placenta hurt *way* more.
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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The doctor just pushed on my belly, the placenta came out, he saw it was complete and left it at that. It didn't hurt at all.

The stitching without pain medication, OTOH (they gave me some bu didn't wait for it to start working!) was WORSE that birth, so I think you're already covered
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The stitching without pain medication, OTOH (they gave me some bu didn't wait for it to start working!) was WORSE that birth, so I think you're already covered
That is REALLY reassuring! Yeah, he started stitching, and it felt like a nice relaxing vacation compared to his hand in my uterus!

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Old 06-06-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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I think it's commonly accepted that manual removal is WAY more painful than a natural birth. I have seen women who were totally stoic and calm during their labor and birth shrieking and crawling up the wall when they have a manual removal. I wonder why they wouldn't have topped up your epidural for it! Some docs insist on a spinal/epidural or even a general for it.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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I don't think an epidural would help much. I had an epidural that was working (it starting working right after DD was born). It still hurt. One of the nurses was pushing on my stomach from the outside. DH said it looked like her feet weren't even touching the ground she was applying that much presure to move the placenta down. Where she was pushing hurt for about 2 months.
FWIW I had epidurals and manual removal of placenta twice and didnt feel a darn thing of it. Nothing. MAYBE ateeny teeny bit of pressure- but def no pain.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:50 PM
 
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My placenta was removed manually without pain relief after the midwife pulled the cord off my placenta and it shattered, he was up to his elbow and went in 5 times at least because he kept loosing his grip of the pieces. I was screaming. My partner said it was the worst thing ever. the doctor didnt even tell me what he was going to do. i was screaming stop and he wouldnt. I am still beside myself about it and my baby is 2 months old.

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Old 11-23-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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I was hemorrhaging quite a bit, so they were in panic mode doing everything they could to figure out why. (ended up getting transfusions of 5 pints of blood).
I should have been more clear- most of it came out. They were just checking to see if a piece had been left, and was causing the bleeding. So he was feeling around inside my uterus for small pieces that still needed to come out.

This happened to me too, at my first birth more than 20 years ago, and it was absolute torture. It was a nightmare that haunted me for many years.

 

chloeaitkenbaby, I am very sorry you had to go through this kind of pain. hug2.gif At my third and last birth 7 years ago they gave me general anasthaesia before they checked for and removed placenta pieces.

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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My first birth, they manually removed the placenta.  Man, that HURT.  A lot.

 

My second, I was alone and the placenta just kinda whooshed out after a while, after I nursed DD.  I didn't feel a thing.

 

Both med-less births.  I would say that the most painful part of my first birth was the placenta yanking.  Yeah, definitely.  And DS had a nuchal hand too, and he was posterior.  So that's saying a lot, I guess.

 

 

ETA: I've heard that placentas CAN take up to 4 hours to detach on their own before there's a big concern (as long as the mother is feeling well, not hemmorhaging interally etc.).  I don't see why doctors/midwives try to get it out in like, two minutes (without other concerning symptoms).  I think my painless placenta expulsion happened... well, time's blurry, but it wasn't immediate.  Half an hour, maybe?  It slid out when I stood up to go take a shower.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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Most hospitals won't allow a woman to wait 4 hours, especially if the doctors have other patients around. I wait about 8 minutes to cut the cord, and nurse as soon as the baby comes out, so it helps with the placenta. That usually follows a few minutes later. 2/4 times, the dr. put a little pressure on the stomach. This thread is helping me be aware of what they might try to do in the future.
 

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Old 11-28-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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Ouch, that sounds like it hurt a lot. Yeah, I can't imagine childbirth without pain meds would be even close to that experience, though I can't directly compare personally! And remember, there is such a balance of hormones and everything working with you during childbirth too that is also helping you. The only part of labor that was painful for me was riding in the car to the hospital and having to sit still for the IV (I wanted to decline, but just gave in because I wanted to pick my battles), when I could move freely to get in a good position to relax through the contractions (position was not always the same through labor) I found the contractions intense, but not painful. Relaxing and getting out of the way of my body worked very well for my uterus to do its thing and for all the hormones and whatnot to help me out.

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Old 11-29-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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Quinalla: A piece of advice: On the way to the hospital, sit in the back seat on all four, or another position that works. Don't sit in the front seat. There is no way to relieve pressure from contractions that way. It made all the difference to me, being able to really focus and breathe, without being in an annoying position.
 

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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Giving birth hurt; bimanual compression and vigorous fundal massage to stop my hemorrhage was blacking-out painful. I would hope and pray that if manual removal of placenta had been necessary, there would be time to give me some Fentanyl, because I truly can't imagine how badly that would hurt. I agree with a PP that with labor, it's easier to cope with because 1) I was doing something, so felt more in control 2)I knew I was about to have a baby! 3)after the baby was born, I wasn't really expecting any more work or pain. I was ready to be DONE! 

 

I think I had some pretty vigorous cord traction going on to remove the placenta very shortly after the birth, although the cord didn't avulse thank goodness, and next time around I'm going to ask for a more hands-off approach, but with prophylactic Pitocin after the birth of the baby. And that's what I like to do with ladies I deliver, too!  It seems pretty clear that likelihood of hemorrhage goes up with a protracted 3rd stage, but come on, let's give our uteri half an hour or so to get themselves together and get that placenta out.


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