is there a way to influence length of labor? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-02-2004, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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meaning from the first contraction to holding a baby in your arms?

I mean naturally, through positions or something. Non-drug or herbal supplemented, non-intervention.

Looking forward to opinions,

Carrie
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:35 PM
 
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Listening to your body and following its signals. Seriously. Also, having providers that create a safe, sacred space for you to do so and do not intervene unless it's asked or accepted by you.

Most women will find that their bodies naturally lean towards doing things that will help facilitate labor, help with positioning of baby, etc., if left alone.

If you feel tired, lay down and rest between. If you want to stand during contractions, do so.

I'm a big proponent of active birth, which basically trusts the mothers body to lead the birth progress.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:56 PM
 
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My first thought is that every labor is so different, every woman's body and every baby are so different -- and the factors that will affect ever labor vary so much...

BUT given all that, lol I would echo what Pam said (esp about active/upright!) and add that I believe fear will almost always slow or stall labor. A situation in which a woman feels both physically and emotionally safe and supported will create the optimal environment for labor to progress most smoothly.

Oh, and one other thing -- I've heard many a second-time mom whose labor went "much faster" who didn't necessarily prefer the speedy & intense experience to the gradual building of the first time around!

One great book on positions, etc is Janet Balaskas' "Active Birth."

mamabutterfly

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Old 03-03-2004, 04:26 AM
 
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I keep saying this over and over, so ladies forgive me for being a broken record.......

BUT! Read "Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth". I think that the best thing you can do is MENTALLY prepare yourself and be safe and supported during your labor. It's just as important as physically being ready. As long as you are READY and really open to it, I think labor can go as fast as you want it to go, safely. I keep reading about women who just ask their cervix to open and just ask the baby to come.......and it happens! Sure, there is physical stuff that needs to happen, but the mental preparation, IMO, is equally important.
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:13 PM
 
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Mamabutterfly - I am one of those women. My first labor was 8 hours. My second labor lasted just under 1 hour from start to finish, but it was incredibly INTENSE: contractions started at 2 minutes apart I didn't have time to mentally wrap my mind around what was going on. There was no buildup at all. It all happened just a little too fast.

And I had joked beforehand how nice it would be to have a 1 hour labor. It was JOKE!!!!, but I guess I got what I wished for.

Cheers,

cmd
DS 11/98, natural, hospital birthl
DD 10/03, waterbirth at home
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm kind of dissapointed. I posted this on several groups here and everyhone says the same thing.

but, I *am* comfortable and supported. I am happy and not fearful. I am upright, I have never done anything but that in any labor. And EACH has been longer than the last. this is my 6th pg. Even my miscarriage was 6-7hrs long (after several weeks of prodomol) my last was upwards of 40hrs. Even as I was pushing I was thinking that maybe I wasn't even really in labor, since it had been going on so long.... I like labor and am looking forward to the time alone with dh (as is he) but man it's exhausting. after the last 3 births I could hardly look at the baby before falling asleep for 3-4hrs. (with the babe, but still) I am very fit and active and was hoping I'd catch a break this time. You know, wake up from a restful night's sleep and sneeze and !! woops! here's the baby!!

ah well. I guess I'm the oddball in this as well as everything else Thanks for taking the time.

Carrie
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:15 PM
 
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If it's any consolation, you're not alone on long subsequent births. My first lasted from Wednesday night to Sunday morning. My 2nd lasted more than 24 hours and had to be augmented with Pit. (I waited as long as I could before this happened, but since my midwives work in a hospital, they, too are under a time clock.) My 3rd lasted longer than I thought a 3rd birth would, not an unbearable amount of time, but still.

I have really long early labors. The contractions are not necessarily awful, I can totally deal with them, and very short transition and pushing phases. (Thankfully.)

Mine aren't getting longer, but they're not getting much shorter either. :-)

Amanda
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Old 03-04-2004, 06:53 PM
 
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Carrie, many times there is nothing we can do but let it be what it is. I know that it's hard, that there must be some secret key that you're not being given, but I doubt it. It just is what it is.

I send you lots of warm wishes for the birth you want this time!
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Old 03-06-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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Cmd, when i fantasize about a short labour, it is an eight-hour one!
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Old 03-09-2004, 08:06 PM
 
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I'd suggest you consider really focusing on accepting the process for whatever it is- how ever long. Your labor's intensity and duration will be prefect for your body and your baby.
Best Wishes!
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Old 03-10-2004, 01:46 AM
 
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i totally understand the OP's feelings!
i felt almost dissapointed in myself after a FIVE DAY LABOR with FIVE HOURS OF PUSHING!
i read ina may's guide
i studied spiritual midwifery under an awesome homebirth midwife for yrs
i did prenatal yoga
my mom had my via a short painless highly spiritual birth]
my grandma was a midwife
my granny borthed 12 kids at home

and me!
a five day labor!
i hadto let it go.
but after reading your post i now can worry that it nmight get worse with my next one LOL!
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