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I watched an episode of "Birth Day" on Discovery Health Channel yesterday and the woman gave birth at the Bryn Mawr Birth Center. I realize it's edited for tv, so I don't really know the sequence of events or the mood of the birth or anything else. However, although I loved seeing an unmedicated birth on tv, I found that watching the midwife made me very tense and irritated.

I got very tense when I heard the midwife telling the mom to lie down.
I got very tense when I heard the midwife telling the mom to pull her knees up to her chest and push.
I got very tense when I heard the midwife telling the mom to tuck her head down and push.
I got very tense when I heard the midwife telling the mom to "listen to your body and start to push now".

Regarding the last, "listen to your body and start to push now", those sound like conflicting commands to me. How does one do both "listen to your body" and "start to push now"? What if your body isn't telling you to push? Do they say it because they feel the need to say something? Do they say it because they're trying to let the mom know that her cervix is fully dilated so it's "okay" to push? Is it ever honestly not okay to push if your body is saying push? Are they just trying to be encouraging and positive?

I'm wondering if all midwives say stuff like that. I have a feeling the medwife at dd's delivery said something like that. I remember being upset about it at the time. I remember thinking, but I don't feel like pushing, so why should I be pushing? I also remember a feeling of "well, if the medical professional thinks I should push then I guess she's right and I should push". In the end, I pushed even though I didn't feel like it. She told me that I should push with each contraction. I remember saying something like "I can't feel the contractions, so let me know when to push". It's making me tense just thinking about it. I'm looking for some insight so that next time around I can find a midwife who is better suited for me.
 

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Hmmm...interesting. Yeah, that does sound quite paradoxal. I remember pushing hit me so strongly I couldn't have stopped it had I wnated to. Fortunately, my midwife never tried to tell me it was time. In fact, she later told me that when I first told her I had to push she wasn't sure if I really did. But she knew enough to keep her mouth shut, and two pushes later Dylan was born with no tearing or anything (I was squatting, though.)

I have heard that many midwives and OBs do say when to push, or that it isn't time to push. I am pretty sure homebirth midwives would generally do it less than ones employed in hospitals. In my own experience, though, the feeling of having to push is so strong and overpowering, it would be impossible for any woman not to realize when it is time. Other women may have different stories, I can only speak for myself, but it is kind of like telling somone when she has to poop. There is no reason for that, you just know when you gotta go.

*disclaimer- not that a baby is anything like a turd...
 

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You don't have to push!!! Your body will do it all by itself when it needs to. You can help, if you feel like it. Either you'll get an uncontrollable urge to help your body push, or your body will do it on it's own.
 

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I think the only problem is, sometimes your bod says push ( I know mine did) and there is still a lip of cervix to get out of the way...if you push too early, you can swell your cervix and then it's a potential issue.

but not feeling like pushing? sounds weird to me
 

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I had MD's deliver my first two. Count to ten, push, knees up, "curl around your baby".

Then I had a midwife with my last babe, and I was 10cm when she got to the hospital. She asked me what i was feeling and told me to "do what your body wants"...and i did, and my baby slithered out. I remember being comfortable, half on my back half on my side, one knee up, but no one told me to do anything....except do what my body wanted.
 

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My recent delivery was attended by a family practice doctor, and she never *told* me to do anything. She said things like, "What about if you..." "Do you want to try...." "How would if feel if..."
 

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Unfortunately this is a style that has been taught- if comes under the heading of rare use in my mind, but many midwives have been taught this.
All of the statements that you outlined make me worried too.
I think that you should talk about it with your midwife, and let her know you don't want to be doing this. Then the next thing is even if you allow yourself to be checked near or at 10cms you may not and are probably not going to be ready to push. When women are laboring when pushing contractions start there is often a pause where mom can and does often fall asleep between contractions, just go with what your body is doing, the urge to push which many women have will not be missed by you it will feel as automatic as vomiting is (not the same feeling but something that just happens to you) often it starts with some catching in your breath or a definate feeling that the baby has dropped and is spinning. Women who I have seen that have not pushed their babies out labor their babies out. For all the intensity and falderal- the hold your breath chin to chest pushing really doesn't get a baby born sooner- and can often have the effect of wearing a mom out.
I also recommend not watching the show anymore because they have the worst births and I think it normalizes the kinds of bad birth practices that are offered and done to 90% of the population-- it can be really tempting but I swear I have never watched the show without it raising my normally low BP, it makes me sick to watch.
 

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Oh, good point, mwherbs!

With both of my last two labors, I had a lapse in contrx for 5-10 mins before feeling like pushing. In the first case, the lapse was right before my midwife showed up, and when she got there, I said I wanted to push and asked her to check me. I was at 10 cm. In the last one, m/w wasn't there and I was puzzled about the pause, because I couldn't believe I'd made it through transition (labor hadn't gotten unbearable at all!) but I felt mildly like I had to have a bm, went into the bathroom, realized that was the wrong feeling, reached in to check and the bag of waters was about 2" up... couldn't tell where baby was or dilation, but I gave a big push to break the waters and suddenly the show was on! LOL!

That time is your body resting before the big job, and your uterus shrinking around the baby to work more effectively.
 

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I know this is off the subject a bit, but my first child was born by c-section after a long, induced labor.

I had a very strong urge to push and couldn't seem to control it, and I was only dilated to 3-4 cm. The nurses kept scolding me.

Was this because of the Pitocin, or is my body just abnormal?
 

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There is a biological reason why many times contractions stop or slow down as the mom reaches 10 cm dilation and full effacement. The baby tends to drop lower from the uterus into the vagina, after full dilation. The top of the uterus has to shrink down over the baby; this usually takes about 20-30 minutes. This is the time that contractions may stop. Also, some women may not feel the need to push until the baby hits a certain station in the pelvis. If a labor is not rushed and the care provider is patient, then they will wait for the urge to push. If labor is on a timeline (two hours from full effacement and dilation to delivery), then waiting 30 minutes for resuming contractions can make some care providers antsy.
 

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I can't watch those shows anymore either, they make me so angry I feel physically ill.

Re. pushing: for someone to tell you when and how to push is a good way to guarantee a prolonged second stage and tissue trauma.

Re. the break: my labor stopped for a whole hour, and then once contractions resumed it was another hour until the baby was born. I have to wonder how that would have been received had I been in a hospital!
 

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I had an epidural (gasp!) and when it came time to push, I wasted A LOT of energy pushing when the doc told me to just b/c I was 10 cm. The epidural had not worn off yet, so I literally could not feel anything that I was doing. Finally the epidural wore off after about 45 min of hard pushing and not getting anywhere. Then it was 2 hours of pushing w/o the epidural and I could tell I was making progress. I wish I had not pushed while I still had the epidural b/c it wasted so much of my energy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 2tadpoles
I know this is off the subject a bit, but my first child was born by c-section after a long, induced labor.

I had a very strong urge to push and couldn't seem to control it, and I was only dilated to 3-4 cm. The nurses kept scolding me.

Was this because of the Pitocin, or is my body just abnormal?
I wonder if it's possible that you were dilated more than that, and then undilated (is that a word?) when you were checked. That maybe your body was ready briefly, but then interference regressed your labor.
 

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Just wanted to let you know I had the same experience. Like, exactly. This time I have a different midwife, with a different personality, who does not routinely do internals and says she does not interfere with pushing, and plan to do it at home rather than in the hospital. But there is still a lot of anxiety in my mind about what will happen at that time, and after.
 

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This is an interesting thread. I generally start getting really pushy around 6 centimeters, and have always been told NOT to push - even by homebirth midwives. (Like you can really control it) So one of my greatest worries going into this labor, was about getting pushy "too early" and being told to try and control it. Especially since I was having the baby at a hospital/community birth center.

I did get pushy around six or 7 centimters this time, but all my doctor said was "do whatever your body needs to do". I was like "I can push?!" And she was like, "if thats what you feel like doing" She did suggest trying to get on my hands and knees (if I wanted too) since baby was posterior, kind of looking up towards the side, which I tried for one contraction. What do you know- baby was out in four pushes! I was so happy. Nobody ever counted to 10, or said push, push,push, push. Or grabbed my legs back, or anything. (All of which I was really worried about, going into a non homebirth) I realize not every medical birth is that lucky. I'm glad mine was, though.

It really confuses and irks me about this whole idea that pushing needs to be controlled. It seems like such a strong, primal instictual urge. I really wish birth attendants would let mamas do what their bodies needed to do. I really wish they had "let" me push whenever during my previous labors. It would have saved me a lot of wasted energy, pain and probably time.

As for the show. Don't watch it. Its creepy and will only cause you uneccessary anxiety. (Sorry, I still have birth brain and can't spell
)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by paquerette
I wonder if it's possible that you were dilated more than that, and then undilated (is that a word?) when you were checked. That maybe your body was ready briefly, but then interference regressed your labor.

Also, sometimes babies that are posterior can cause a premature urge to push. Only, it's not really a strong urge to push, just an urge to bear down (open up) with every contraction.

In some parts of Asia, the women push with every contraction all through labor. I think the whole "swelling the cervix" fear is a bit overblown. It can happen, sure, but I don't think it typically happens if the woman is following her body's cues.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jraohc
I'm wondering if all midwives say stuff like that.
mine didn't


She didn't say much of anything at all, but that was mostly because I kept yelling "shut up" whenever anyone tried to talk, especially DH.
My midwives were very much in tune with what I needed from them, and for the most part, that was just to sit there quietly and watch me do whatever my body told me to do.

I only pushed when I just couldn't not push anymore. My body took over. It wouldn't have mattered what anyone said anyway, I was totally out of control and just going with the primal urges and instincts. I changed positions when I felt I needed to, I pushed when and how my body wanted me to do it.

I had the urge to push long before transition, and I also had a swollen cervical lip. Actually, I started feeling a need to poop before labor really kicked in, even though I didn't need to poop, I just wanted to bear down. I was fighting the urge to push until I just couldn't fight it anymore and my body took over. I remember yelling at my midwives, "can I push now" and about the same time they said "if that's what you need to do" I was already going with it.
 

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My midwives told me to listen to my body and not to push unless I felt like it. My mom had comanaged care with my baby sister. The OB told her not to push and left the room, and the mw told her to push if she had to, and my sister was born before the OB got back.
 
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