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1873 Views 63 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  truejoy
I have been reading alot about the Fetus ejection refex, and I truly believe that women's bodies can push the baby out without any effort from the mother. I have also researched about why the FER stops. The drugs in hospitals like epidurals and other drugs can stop it. The fight-flight response and observers will stop it. So I was wondering how many of you ladies had your body push the baby out or had to push it out with your effort, and if it was at home or in a hospital. It seems in the hospital it can not happen. The interventions screw up your body so much it can't happen in hospitals.

I thought I would add this
The dangers of coached pushing
  • More likley to tear
  • More stress on baby
  • Holding your breath while pushing does not allow oxygen to go to mom and baby
  • Cervical swelling due to pushing
  • Pushing in between contractions does nothing, but tire the mother
  • baby's head and umbilical cord are compressed through the mothers effort leading to a decrease in oxygen and heart rates
  • Since you are not letting body do the work, your body begins to shut down
  • Pushing does not help the baby get out faster
  • Can raise blood pressure
  • Epidurals will dull a mothers ability to get the baby out which leads to longer pushing phase, and forceps, vacum, and c-section deliveries
  • Being in the Lithomic position will casue fetal heart rates to drop(baby putting pressure on major blood vessels), working against gravity, more likley to tear, the sacral tip presses up into the pelvic outlet causing severe pain an the baby comes out
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I have done coached pushing and natural pushing. All three times, I *needed* to push, but with natural pushing I did it less and I never held my breath for more than a second or two. I was never able to "breathe" my baby out though. It hits me like a freight train, that desire to bare down with what my body is doing. I hated it when people would say "now stop pushing" or "don't push yet". Uh, yeah. How was I supposed to do that? It was beyond my control completely!

Originally Posted by Chantelhayes
I have done coached pushing and natural pushing. All three times, I *needed* to push, but with natural pushing I did it less and I never held my breath for more than a second or two. I was never able to "breathe" my baby out though. It hits me like a freight train, that desire to bare down with what my body is doing. I hated it when people would say "now stop pushing" or "don't push yet". Uh, yeah. How was I supposed to do that? It was beyond my control completely!
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I have been thinking about pushing today too. At home I have had trouble with premature pushing urges - I know some say push when you feel like it. But I realize I have a psychological stimulous to push around 7/8 cm - I hit transition and am so overwhelmed, I just want to be done, so I start wanting to push.

With my first baby, I went with this urge and pushed during transition (12 hours) and I think it adversely affected my labor (although I did have a malposition prob too). When I finally was complete, I did have to push my baby out, because my contractions were rather weak. I did not find that pushing difficult though, and I considered that a rather wonderful pushing stage for a first time mom. 45 min, painless, gentle, easy - no tears, high APGARs.

With my second baby at home, similar thing around 7/8 I start really wanting to push. This time I used my hypnosis and was able to settle down that urge. However, I started pushing when near complete because I wanted to be done and go to bed, I did not have much of an urge but pushing felt good. I think I screwed up doing that - baby did not come out, contractions got weak and finally stopped altogether. I slept and rested for 24 hours and then transported to the hospital for an induction. This time the nurse told me when I wanted to push to just wait a few more contractions just to be sure I was complete. Well, at transition I took 1/2 a dose of Stadol this time and that gave me a rest period, and I did not push prematurely. Then when I started wanting to push, I made myself wait a few more contractions. When I did give a little push, baby moved *really* fast. Baby was *definately* coming out on it's own (in the hospital). I did push, because I wanted it out NOW. I pushed it out in 10 min (sitting up right in bed, pushing my feet against the stirrups to raise my butt off the bed and to make my body straight, not curling up like you see on TV) - no tears, high APGRAS.

In summary, I think part of pushing is psychological for me - I want the baby out so I want to push. But in order for a baby to come out on it's own, I think the contractions need to be powerful and the cervix needs to be open. Location has little to do with it for me. Alot of hypnosis programs teach to stall calm and relaxed and breath out your baby, let your body do the work - honestly, I don't care to do it that way - I like to push, it feels good and powerful and awesome. But I have a nice wide pelvis, and stretchy tissues and I don't tear, so maybe it's not such an issue for me. This time I wasn't even sore at all the next day. I never even touched my peri bottle. I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong", just whatever works for you. Prematurely pushing cause I have an "urge" does not work for me - pushing when complete does. HTH
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This article is aimed at telling midwives what to do when it's time for a mother to push (answer:nothing), but I think it also has some interesting information on the molding and pushing process in general.
My dh and I were talking about coached pushing last night.
me: If anyone tries to coach my pushing they're getting kicked out of the room.
dh: I'll only coach you if I think you need it
me: unless I ask you to remind me, which I won't, you will get kicked out of the room.
dh: you forgot how to push last time
me: for the placenta, not the baby and I was exhausted. don't coach.

I think he got it...
Reading around on the subject to and found this:

There is a little discussion of pushing urges. There's a difference between having an "urge" (that you may or may not feel like controlling) and having an "uncontrolable urge".
I think there is a whole lotta sense in what freebirth2 is saying, I felt the body shut down thing birthing first dd in hosp after being dragged to hosp from my hb cos I hadn't given birth to their time schedule, emotions played havoc as did insensitivity. Pushing was coached, forced and of course stitches.2nd dd uc 2month prem, hasty birth, unexpected 5am, had to hold her in,no pushing required with 2nd but I pushed last minute anyway due to my 'training', she would have come out anyway and I reckon the pushing is actually traumatic,too fast, 3rd ds uc, had begun to feel more confident at birthing and only pushed at last bit cos partner hassled me to and I'm a walkover, ds had descended very nicely with no pushing and would I'm sure have birthed himself. Think birth has just become so managed that our natural reflexes have taken a backward step or 2.
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#1 birth center, #2 home- both times my body did it by itself without any concious effort. I couldn't have stopped it if I tried. Both times I was in supportive environments where I knew I could do whatever I needed to so I think that had a lot to do with it.
If a non-UCer can barge...

I delivered baby #2 at a small, crunchy-for-a-hospital hospital with a hands-off-for-a-hospital-based-CNM midwife (hows that for disclaimers?)

I got in the tub at about 5cm dilated, feeling regular waves of back pain but not much else. It was 2am; the midwife and nurses left me and DH alone there ("call if you need anything"). I had labored in the same tub with #1, though got out at one point to pee and somehow just didn't want to get back in... so the tub was familiar, comfortalbe, welcoming - and I knew with #1 it sped my labor up while keeping it manageable. With #1 I pushed for about an hour, non-coached, and I remembered the wild waves of OMG I must HEAVE downwards, and with #2 I was waiting for that...

Anyway. it felt grand to sit on my knees , legs spread so that my belly could go between them. And the backache got worse, and it started to feel good to kind of grunt with the waves of it, and I had to sit perfecly upright during the worst of it to "balance" the feeling... And then WOOSH. Water broke and baby crowned instantly. Ring of fire! I stood up faster than I would have thought possible and shouted AIEE!

Now, it being a hospital birth, this got all the nurses into the room. Because I was standing and had a wave of "I can NOT sit back down again" feeling, I wound up birthing on the bed rather than in the tub, but baby came on the next contraction with almost no effort on my part. 10 pound, no pushing, no tearing.

I'd never heard of the FER, but I read about it afterwards and I know folks think it can't happen in the hospital, but I think I had some version of it. Very hard to explain. But I was left on my own with my partner in a place that I felt was a safe place. If I'd known anything about FER beforehand I'd not have been so surprised by the sudden crowning, probably, and would have delivered in the tub. But it wasn't a very rational moment, all in all
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With my first two...I had horrid hospital experiences. Nothing about them was the way birth should be........induced, waters broke, pit, epi.....
Almost died both times as a result of HOSPITAL INTERVENTIONS.

Fast forward to birth with midwife. I felt the urge to push. I HAD to push. There was no stopping it. They never told me when to. I told them when I was going to push. No tears or anything. Easy pushing too. I was joking around and stuff

With #1, my body expelled him on it's own. I had been pushing when told, but could not stop the force even when I was not pushing.

I do think not pushing it totally possible though. In vidoes I had watched where tribal women were birhting, I do not recall them really pushing. They simple squatted down and continued to breath.

Very interestig topic
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I plan on pushing instinctually if I push, and to keep an open throat, not holding my breath (prevents tearing). I'm also planning on waiting until the urge to push becomes a need to push. But if it never happens, I'm sure the baby will find her own way out.
My first birth was a midwife attended homebirth. The first time I was checked, I was completely dialated, I got in the tub, and the mw told me I could push when I felt the urge. I think I started pushing before I got the urge to have something to do during the contractions, and the mw would remind to let my body do the pushing. I'm still not really sure what I think of her "interfering" in that way. I do remember working really hard to push dd out.

My second birth was an accidental uc. I spent all of my labor alone, except for the 15 minutes in between contractions I spent trying to wake up dh so he could start filling up the birth tub. Once he started filling it, all of a sudden I felt like I had to puke so I ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet while puking. Then my water broke, and the baby's head was coming out. I definitely never pushed. I had my hands over her head trying to keep it from coming out too fast, while calling my dh to come help me catch her. I was on the toilet still, and freaked out she was going to fall in. He did manage to help me catch her, but the placenta did fall in a few minutes later. So yeah, I do believe in the fetal-ejection reflex.
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I haven't pushed a baby out yet

My mother, however, experienced the reflex in a hospital of all places. Of course my brother was already starting to crown when she got there so I think that had a lot to do with it. Apparently she didn't even push--her body did it for her--and he just sort of came out on his own.
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My cousin had FER in the hospital with an epidural while on her back. Of course, I think it's because the nurses and things didn't think anything would be happening yet and so they weren't even in the room.

My cousin says that if she can't afford a midwife the next time she went to the hospital because it was covered by insurance, she'll just do it alone because it was so easy.
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Pushing feels good... it feels like all the women from all of history are telling you to push. Most of the time while the head is crowning I can't stop pushing.

While in transition it feels good to "kinda push" I saw horses do it while waiting to give birth. They grunt/clear their throat, which gives them just a little push. I liked the feeling! Deep moaning does the same thing.

I had coached pushing and epidural with #1, semi coached pushing and no drugs with #2, and total UP/UC with #3... From transition to baby was 50 mins with #3 and no tearing! I will take a UC with (What ever I feel like) pushing any day!
I did natural+coahced pushing for my 1st birth
2nd birth -- natural pushing, and I really did have to push. He was posterior and not budging. Once he flipped (when my water broke) he crowned instantly and I didn't have to actively push anymore
3rd birth -- I kne wthe whole pregnancy I wouldn't have to push myself. And I didn't. I would stop talking, making noise, everything, and my body pushed.

N amaste, Tara
I had "non-urge" pushing with my first (hey, I was young and stupid)
then I learned to pant as long as I can to pass by the "little urge" to push and go straight into the "I don't have a choice urge". I have never pushed long (excluding the first coached pushing birth), usually between 5-20 minutes.
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Originally Posted by itsybitsy25

#1 birth center, #2 home- both times my body did it by itself without any concious effort. I couldn't have stopped it if I tried. Both times I was in supportive environments where I knew I could do whatever I needed to so I think that had a lot to do with it.
I only have one experience, but this is me to a T. There is no way I could NOT have pushed - it was just that strong and it felt so good. I had said right before pushing, "boy, I'm tired and need a break" and so there were probably 5 minutes without any kind of contractions, where before they had been coming merely seconds apart. After that breather, all of a sudden, I said, "I need to push" and everyone said, "well, if that's what you need, do it." Even had they said, "NO! Don't do that!" I'd have pushed anyway - I logically, emotionally, physically had really no control over my own body at that point - I had given myself over and was so trusting of it that it did what it needed to do.

This is something I need to read more on b/c I don't understand when a lot of people (esp. Shanley) says that there is no reason to push and you shouldn't. IMhumbleE, not pushing would have been impossible and to deny my body that would have been a terrible trespass against the trust it has earned.

I'm fascinated reading everyone else's experiences tho and learning a lot at the same time.
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I did forced pushing with dd because after I got into the pool everyone was just watching me like I was a fricking television, expecting *something* so I wanted to *do* something, if nothing else than to keep my mind off being so heavily watched. Come to think of it.. I did a lot of forced and coached pushing.
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