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Opinions/Experiences on Pushing

526 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jenrogs
Crossposted to UC board

Hi all- my most recent poderings regarding birth are about pushing. What I am looking for are people's opinions about pushing, and for those of you to share your stories/experiences if you didn't add any extra "effort" to pushing urges? How did this differ from your pushing births? If you are a mw, what do you encourage your clients to do?

I am curious about laboring down the baby and "rest and be thankful" stage as well as molding. Did any of you take a break for a while before your body began pushing? If you didn't push with the contractions, did you have the urge and have to work through it, or did any of you somehow get a baby in your arms with little urge to push?

I don't know why I am fixated on this- I have done quite a bit of research on pushing during birth, its effects, whether it is necessary or not, when it started, etc. I guess I am feeling like I want to let my body do the work rather than me doing the effort, but I really have nio idea how realistic that is. If I am having an irresistable urge, do I push with it, or just breathe through it?

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I'm not sure if this has anything to do with your questions, but as a young and scared first time mom in labor with my twins (and in a hospital operating room full of a zillion docs/nurses) I did not push out my second baby. I had an incredible unstoppable urge, and he was a feet-first breech, and one of his legs came out and everyone was screaming at me to PUSH! PUSH! PUSH! I remember thinking, "f that. I am not pushing. Stop yelling." I consciously did NOT push and yet my body pushed for me and he came out.

My twins were born 10 minutes apart and in retrospect had I pushed it probably would have been about 2 min. But I was scared (for a zillion reasons: I was about to become a single mom of twins; they had TTTS and I was concerned about their health; the urge to push was unbelievably strong and I hadn't expected it to be that strong, etc) so that's why I didn't want to push.
Erika, that's incredible that you had a footling breech vaginal birth. Was it a surprise? Wow!

I have always disliked the pushing phase, which seems to be excriciating compared to the laboring phase for me, so with my last birth, I decided to just listen to my body. I never got the rest and be thankful phase and as soon as I felt his head slip past my cervix, the feelings were very intense But, his head was on my perineum when I felt that urge to help my body out a little. Pushing seemed to be a lot less painful with this birth than with my others, and I think the difference is that I waited until I had to push.
With my first, I birthed with a midwife who believed in directed pushing (even though I didn't), and ended up "pushing" for ten minutes with no effect before the unbeliveably strong, completely unstoppable urge to PUSH came over me...she was out 38 minutes later. With the second, I birthed with another midwife, who didn't pay attention to dilation, but to emotional signs...I never got the urge to push with him...he just...came out. I felt him moving down the birth canal, I encouraged my muscles to do their job, but I never actually pushed. It was really cool...and really fast, too.
I actually told my MW that I did not want anyone yelling at me to "PUSH! PUSH!" I followed what my body told me to do. At first I just gave a few grunting pushes. Then I began pushing some I was holding back at times when it became too intense. Then my body just took over and pushed. I couldn't have held it back if I crossed my legs and hung upside down. No one ever told me to push or asked me if I wanted to. My 9lb 6oz chunky monkey was born with 20 minutes of pushes. Yes I did have a break between transition and when I began pushing. I think about a 10 minute break. I labored all alone standing over my bathroom counter. Because that was where I was most comfortable. My mw did not come until I had already been pushing for a couple of times on the toilet by myself. My dh was still downstairs trying to set up the birthing tub. Luckily my MW showed up before I had given birth by myself on the toilet. Not that I couldn't have done that I just really wanted her support at that time.
Erika, that's incredible that you had a footling breech vaginal birth. Was it a surprise? Wow!
Yeah, at the time I had no idea that it was a big deal to birth a footling breech, but I remember my doula (who is an ICAN regional representative) was like freaking out she was so excited for me.

With twins they usually "allow" a mom to labor if the first presenting baby is anterior, and he was, and then they hope the second baby turns anterior once the first baby is out. What happened was after #1 was born, my water broke with #2 (one placenta, 2 sacs) and as my water broke his leg came out. I believe there was possibly discussion of c-s or version or something just before my water broke but when his leg came out everyone just started shrieking about pushing. I felt so out of control in the entire situation, not pushing was my way of having some control (yes, I had/have issues. heee.)

However, I look back on that whole birth experience as amazing. I was high risk because my twins had TTTS and yet the doctor was very liberal about my labor: he didn't break my water, didn't give me any pitocin (at the time I probably would have said okay to anything, being sort of young and not knowing better), didn't do any real intervention at all.

Sorry for the novel!
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My very first thread here was "Help me push out babies better"

The upshot of most of the advice I got was "don't push"....only push when you "can't not"

It made a HUGE difference in my fourth labor. My first three labors I pushed. I didn't wait till the urge to push the first two times. (I started when I was told I was at 10 cm) Labor no. 1 I burst a blood vessel in my eye and tons of capillaries in my face. Labor no.2 I got myself a nice little rectal hematoma that caused pain way way worse than labor. 3rd labor I waited for the urge to push but still pushed intentionally and still had minor tearing and lots of vaginal trauma.

Labor no.4 I didn't do any pushing beyond what I "couldn't not" What a difference! I had NO tearing and very little vaginal trauma at all. I couldn't believe it. Even though all my previous tearing had been minor, my vagina always felt like ground meat and totally swollen and alien for weeks after birth. After this last birth my vagina felt almost completely normal THE NEXT DAY! I have to think the main difference was "not pushing"

Baby 1.. 4lb 14oz
Baby 2.. 7lb 14oz.
Baby 3.. 8lb 15oz.
Baby 4.. 8lb 8oz.
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I got the urge to push.. it was intense. I was told not to.. and then told to push.. think back to it now.. It was such an intense feeling I don't have words to describe it. I loved it.. I pushed her out in 4 mins.. I did tear 5 stitches. My urge to push was VERY powerful beyond my control. I did want to sleep between contractions. hope this helps ..

Pushing to me in intense.. not intense pain just intense
I told the doula and the nurse that it was time to push. I was sitting on the birthing ball at the time. I was glad that I listened to my body, but once I made that decision, the nurse had me in the bed, tilted up and hand me holding on to a tied knot in a sheet to play tug of war with her during the pushes. We were kind of forcing the baby out I guess. When I think about that now, it seems a little harsh. I wanted to sit out some of the contractions during this phase but was encouraged to push with every one. The doula and lack of medication or epidural was helpful because she pointed out the difference between a productive push, and a not so productive push. With the productive ones, I could feel myself opening up to the baby. I didn't push for long, but I hope it happens more naturally next time.
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