Contact Lenses & Giving Birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey everyone:

I'm giving birth for the first time in November, and I am curious to hear from contact lens wearers about what they did--mainly if you have extremely poor vision and hate wearing your glasses.

I am just about legally blind and my glasses give me motion sickness if I do too much walking with them. The thought of having to take out my contacts during such an intense time is really overwhelming--I want to be able to SEE my baby clearly, not through glasses. However, I keep noticing among friends of mine that they're wearing their glasses in their "look at my new baby" photos, and a lot of times it seems like they never put their contacts back in.

I figure one of the main reasons they have their contacts out is because they're in a hospital & you probably have to, just in case, right? I'm having a home birth so if I do go to the hospital it will be to have a c-section & in that case I'll take them out.

But otherwise, do you see any issues with leaving contacts in?

And, as a slightly OT follow up, how hard is it do deal with contacts when you have a newborn? I mean, I hear people saying "I haven't brushed my teeth in 3 days" but is that for real? You can find 30 seconds to put contacts in, right?

(FWIW, I haven't had any of the troubles they say some people have with their eyes during pregnancy--my contacts haven't been an issue thus far.)

dd #1 11/15/07 and dd #2 unplanned and so glad the midwife was on her way!
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#2 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 10:42 AM
 
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I also have poor vision and hate my glasses. I didn't have any problem with leaving mine in particularly for my homebirth. I just popped them in when I woke up in labor and that was the end of the discussion. Even with my hospital birth I talked to them and they allowed me to leave my contacts in as long as I promised to take them out if it became necessary. Also, I haven't found dealing with contacts w/ a newborn to be an issue. It's not a problem to run and pop them in quick.

Amanda, wife to A , mama to D ('05), O ('07), and W ('10)
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#3 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 10:45 AM
 
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I have glasses on in both my kids' photos because I went into labor at night, when they were already out, and I just didn't think to put them in. I have thought about writing that down for dh next time... "Sam, make sure I put in my contacts between contractions. Kthx!"

But, no, I don't think there would be a problem with having them in, wherever you are. Most hospitals wouldn't think to ask, I would think...?

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#4 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 10:53 AM
 
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I didn't have to take mine out because I gave birth at a FSBC. I think I would have killed anyone who came near my eyes during labor! I'm one of those "bad" people who wear contacts 24/7. I know I should take them out at night but I don't like to.

I think the reason they want them out is because they "expect" to do surgery on you.

DS - 5! - adopted at birth after infertility, IUI, and IVF; DD - 4! - surprise pregnancy discovered when DS was 8 months old ; Hoping for another soon (actively TTC ~ 2 years)
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#5 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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I didn't wear my contacts for either labor. But both girls were born at night. It wasn't really something much on my mind. I can't see at all w/o glasses or contacts either.

As for around the house after the baby is born, I always found time to put in my contacts, and brush my teeth, and even shower. Yeah, there were times I'd be up and trying to do my morning routine (bathroom, brush teeth, contacts in, splash water on face), and there'd be a baby start to cry before I was done. But I'm pretty sure I was able to finish up everything.

I do wear my glasses from time to time, though. Esp when the weather is cooler and overcast. I don't like to wear them in the summer because they make me even hotter! After I have my glasses on for awhile my eyes seem to adjust and I stop having that weird motion-sickness thing you talk about.

You'll figure it all out. New babies sleep a lot! You'll have time to get your contacts in, I'm sure.
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#6 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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I didn't have any problem with my contacts during my two labors.

And yes, there is some truth to, "I haven't brushed my teeth in three days" but like you, I have really bad vision and I just can't see as well with my glasses. I always managed to get my contacts in, but didn't always manage to brush my teeth... but I used to keep my contacts by my bedside and not in the bathroom.
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#7 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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I had a homebirth and wore my contacts for the full 34 hour labor and then some! You should be fine.

And yes, you'll be able to find a few minutes here and there for luxuries such as hygiene... but it is amazingly challenging.
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#8 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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I wear my contacts 24/7 too and it didn't even come up (obviously!) this last time. With my first ds, the mw who we had at the hospital asked about contacts/glasses and when I told her I leave them in to sleep, she said it was fine to leave them in the whole time we were there, even if surgery became necessary. If they're anywhere near your eyes for a c-sec I'd definitely go to a different hospital! Seriously, though, just don't tell them you have contacts in, it really doesn't matter.

Jfly-by-nursing1.gif, partner-in-crime to Dfamilybed2.gif, mama to run.gif4, including our brand new rainbow1284.gifbaby.gifmissing my 7-wk-er

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#9 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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I wore my contacts for most of my 31 hours of labor (started at 1:30, I tried to sleep for a bit...) I never had problems getting them in. But I also got my teeth brushed and got a bath every night I have a super dh

-Angela
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#10 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:35 AM
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i wore contacts at the hospital. i think it's mostly "just in case" of a c-section kind of thing. there's no real problem keeping them in during labor and i know many women who've done it.

i plan to put mine in if labor starts at night for the same reasons you listed. VERY bad vision and i want to be able to SEE without having to deal with glasses and things slipping off my face.
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#11 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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I have horrible vision too and I rarely wear my glasses except right before going to bed because they bother me. I wore my contacts for almost two straight days and honestly, it didn't even occur to me to take them out while in labor.
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#12 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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I was just saying last night that I want to remember to put in my contacts in labor this time around. While I can see up close without them, I can't see across the room, and I'd like to be able to!

I'm having another homebirth, but I can't imagine how anyone would even know you had contacts if you just wore them to the hospital. I haven't read about the risks of contacts and c-section...but if risks are low, you could just sneak them!

Busy mama to dd 6/04 and ds 9/07. Living the dream aboard s/v Convivia.
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#13 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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I wore my contacts during labor (FSBC). I actually stopped wearing mine all the time after he was born though. I have never been able to sleep with mine (my eyes get irritated easily), so in the newborn stage of randomly going to sleep whenever the baby did, it was easier to deal with glasses so I could just pass out.
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#14 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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Oh, I can so relate. I can't wear glasses so if it weren't for contacts I'd have been legally blind long ago.

I wore contacts during all of my labors but they were short. My only recommendation is to have a spare clean pair so you can take a nap and put in a fresh pair without having to clean the old ones (especially if you use a hydrogen peroxide based cleaning system) or if you cry and they get crudded up and itchy from the protein build up.

FWIW my correction is -8.00 diopters and I'd feel very comfortable birthing solo in the middle of the night without my contacts in than I ever would at an attended birth without correction. I think us low vision folks have developed much better interpretive skills with very little input than average sighted folks. Of course it's much easier interpreting things around you in your own home than in a foreign place with foreign objects.

~BV
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#15 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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I had a 60 hr labor with contacts in and I had 2 C sections with them in & nobody even asked. I don't wear them at night, I definitely like my eyes to breathe part of the time, but having a baby? I haven't ever taken them out for that.

Married Catholic mami : to 5 boys, : 9 6 3 : 5 mo. 5/6/02-6/22/02 (HIE)
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#16 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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i've had two c/s and wore contacts during both -- no one ever asked about my vision

Obstruct livery vehicles!

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#17 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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I wear contacts. I can't remember what I did. I think I wore them during labor and birth and then took them out afterwards to let my eyes rest. DS was born during the night and I tend to get dry eyes if I wear them for too long. Nobody ever asked whether I had contacts in or not and I didn't tell. They're disposables so I figured, worse came to worse, the nurses could just pluck them out and throw them away. I brought extras just in case, which I always do when I go anywhere in case I lose one or tear one or whatever.

Wearing glasses irritates me so much that I always made time to put in my contacts.
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#18 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 04:03 PM
 
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I wore my contacts for both of my hospital births. Nobody even asked me about them, if I recall correctly.

I plan to next time as well. Actually what I'd REALLY like is LASIK before I have another baby, but well yeah, that's not gonna happen . I hate wearing glasses anyway, but especially when I'm hot and sweaty and such.

Jen

Wife to a great DH, SAHM to 3 great kids
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#19 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everybody!!! That makes me feel SO much better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryonyvaughn View Post
FWIW my correction is -8.00 diopters and I'd feel very comfortable birthing solo in the middle of the night without my contacts in than I ever would at an attended birth without correction. I think us low vision folks have developed much better interpretive skills with very little input than average sighted folks. Of course it's much easier interpreting things around you in your own home than in a foreign place with foreign objects.
I totally know what you mean--I can do all kinds of things in the middle of the night w/o my glasses on. I'm -10 and -10.5, so I'm in really bad shape but except for reading in bed I'd rather be blind than wear my glasses

dd #1 11/15/07 and dd #2 unplanned and so glad the midwife was on her way!
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#20 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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Homebirth here, and I wore mine, too. I really only wear my glasses anymore but I didn't want to deal with them for a waterbirth. Plus, I was feeling kind of hinky during labor and didn't want anything touching me, if that makes sense.

My labor was only 4 hours, but I figured I'd take them out if I needed to. Didn't need to.
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#21 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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I can't remember whether I had my contacts in or not. I'm thinking not, because I can only wear them for about 14 hours at a time and my labors were at night. I'm a -6 diopter and I just don't remember vision being an issue at all, I guess I was just too focused inwardly to notice. But then I'm quite sure I could see my baby find, although maybe it was more of an "inner" seeing -- but then again, like you say, it only takes 30 seconds to put them in, so maybe I'd done that. LOL, that's so funny that I can't remember! I remember my labors in so much detail, too.
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#22 of 42 Old 09-17-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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Here, they won't allow you to wear them. I HATE glasses and can't see without correction. They said that in case I needed surgery, I have to have them out. I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I have been packing my hospital bag.
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#23 of 42 Old 09-18-2007, 05:13 PM
 
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Are they going to stare into everyone's eyes to make sure they aren't wearing contacts? LOL I'd flatout refuse, I loathe wearing glasses so much. If you need surgery they can't take 10 seconds to remove contacts? Puh-lease. Does anyone there already know that you wear contacts? I'd just wear the contacts. Nobody will probably even notice.
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#24 of 42 Old 09-18-2007, 06:37 PM
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wow, I thought I was bad at -3.75. I can't see a darn thing

I left my contacts in during my hosp birth with both of my kids. Where I work we have scheduled c-section moms take theirs out but laboring moms leave them in. Kind of counterintuitive- I think the concern is that under long general anesthesia your eyes do not lubricate properly and wearing contacts could cause damage to your eyes. Scheduled c-section moms are probably less likely to need general than a laboring patient who goes to true emergency c-section. So yet another thing that doesn't make sense.

Good luck with your upcoming birth.
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#25 of 42 Old 09-19-2007, 12:23 AM
 
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I was hooked up to an IV when I was in labor with my first and between the IV fluid and the fluid I retained due to pre-e caused my eyeballs to change shape. My contacts floated around in my eyes and drove me crazy. I had to take them out, but I would have been able to keep them in. I ended up having to have an emergency c/s.

I had to have an emergency c/s with my second as well and had my contacts in. I asked about it and they said it wasn't a problem. I didn't have any problems this time.

Mom to two boys, 5 and 3, and pregnant with number 3! EDD 10/8/10
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#26 of 42 Old 09-19-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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my contacts lense prescriptions are 8 and 10... I always have my glasses w/in reach, if I am not wearing my contacts, it is a necessity.

I didn't have trouble during labor... just brought saline and a case with me, just in case. In most cases you'll have plenty of time in labor before you push and while you push, so if you notice your eyes getting dried out you could take them out for a while and still have time to put them back in. Hospitals are really drying, so I did notice that.... but since you are at home for birth, you won't notice that... (hey yet another home birth plus!!)

I just think you will want to take them out for a bit-- at least to clean them, rewet them, especially if you end up up during the night, etc. That helped me- so perhaps have someone remind you to do that at some point. My labor with #2 was (wonderfully) intense and quick, but I would have had plenty of opportunities to take care of my contacts had I needed to-- just would have needed a prompt to DO it, as it was NOT on my mind at all.

As for post baby--- I was a little crazy with ds #1-- but he was also intense. The BIGGEST visual help to me was having a nightlight and flashlight... so I could get around w/o having to turn on the big lights. I still rely on a nightlight for my nightime parenting needs- especially w/ dd now 8 weeks.... back to why I was crazy...

With my son, I basically put my contacts on every time he woke up in the night for the first month, at least. This is a because I was #1 not used to my glasses and #2 the prescription was slightly off.... and #3 some first time mom insecurities. I really don't remember why but the few times I tried to do things with just glasses were very uncomfortable to me, so that was my solution.


This time, I have not needed to do that at all- I do just rely on my glasses, but they are FAR better than other glasses-- ( I have very little side of the side distortion/movement that drove me crazyy).

And if stairs are involved (especially holding baby) I am triple careful... and would prefer my contacts-- so I do know where you are coming from.

Oh, yeah.. this time I remembered to bring a new pair of contacts with me. So after the birth and my post-birth shower, I put on a fresh new pair of contacts (-; It just felt nice and right!

Hope that helps....

Jessica

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#27 of 42 Old 09-19-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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I have extremely poor vision and hate glasses so much that I don't own a pair. I wear contacts that are okay to sleep in and they've been a lifesaver with a baby. I wore them all through labor without any problem.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#28 of 42 Old 09-19-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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I left mine in though I do suggest bringing your glasses just in case as well as some solution. I got pain killer and ended up sleeping with them in. They were so dry they fell out when I blinked. I had to go without anything for a few hours before DH was able to bring my glasses.

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#29 of 42 Old 09-19-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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I left mine in for all my births: 1 induced vag delivery, 1 natural vag delivery, and 3 c/s's (not planned).

Tamara: hs'ing Christian mom of five here and five in Heaven. Joyfully awaiting Punkin, coming mid-Sept!
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#30 of 42 Old 09-19-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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I switched back and forth between my contacts and glasses with both of my births. With DS I was in labor for 24 hours, starting at 9PM one night and going to 9PM the next. I took them out when I wanted to rest or when they irritated me. With DD, I again labored through the night, from around 10PM to 8:30AM and took them out when I wanted to rest. I've since had LASIK (the best thing in the world!!!!), but my eyes used to get very dry if I tried to even nap with my contacts in for a brief time. I would try to labor with your contacts, but keep glasses nearby just in case. You never know what you're going to need to be comfy.
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