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I plan on refusing internal vaginal exams while in labor and before. I plan on having a hospital birth. How will they check my progress? And if I go into premature labor (did with ds) is this going to be a problem? What if they want to see how much I am dilated? Do they just check another way? I am GBS + and want nothing going up my vagina. Thanks.
 

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VEs are the only way to check dilation. I also refused them in my last birth - a home birth - until the MW and I decided it was good to have some info on how things were progressing (and that they WERE progressing!).

I have no idea how a hospital will handle this, but I totally support your wanting to avoid them! It was one of the worst parts of my hospital birth the first time, and one of the reasons I said NO to any of them before or during labor the 2nd time. There are a LOT of other factors other than just dilation, such as position, descent, etc. Having a host of VEs in labor is generally more counterproductive than helpful. You really don't NEED to know if you're dilating, with the possible exception of when you feel an urge to push. But lots of mamas around here birth without ever knowing how "fast" they went!


You may also wish to search for some treatment options for the GBS, though if you're in a hospital, they'll probably want to do abx no matter what. (Some may accede on that one if you get a negative test; others say you're always + if once test +.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sweetmomma0107 View Post
I plan on refusing internal vaginal exams while in labor and before. I plan on having a hospital birth. How will they check my progress? And if I go into premature labor (did with ds) is this going to be a problem? What if they want to see how much I am dilated? Do they just check another way? I am GBS + and want nothing going up my vagina. Thanks.
They may not agree to it. Sometimes they can sign you out as temporarily unable to make medical decisions for yourself, and do what they want to you. If you want anything like that in the hospital I'd get an agreement in writing from your Doctor. If you agree you won't have them unless there is a medical need, I think you can bet they will come up with a medical need.

Kiley
 

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I hate to break it to you, but if you're having a hospital birth, you probably won't be able to get out of vaginal exams. I doubt any OB would agree to it ahead of time either, but you could ask. Mine won't even agree to let me have clear liquids while in labor.
: I plan on going against policy and eating/drinking what I want, but it's likely to cause a scene. And that is nothing compared with refusing vaginal exams.
 

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I had a hospital birth with dd. I didn't have any vaginal exams that I didn't request, except 2. The entrance exam(to see if I was in active labor) and later on when her HR dropped they wanted to touch her head to see if her HR would go up(it seemed like the least invasive option for me at that point.) They didn't give me a hard time about it.

They can't make you do anything you don't want to do. They're not going to kick you out of the hospital. I would actually bet that forcing you to have a vaginal exam could be considered abuse in court. Declaring you incompetent just so they can see how dilated you are seems like a legal stretch that I doubt any hospital lawyer would want to take. If someone threatened me with that, I think I would ask to speak with someone from their legal department, and I also think I would tell whomever was threatening me with it that I was going to call my lawyer. I seriously doubt that would happen just for a vag exam, though.

A hospital can dictate policy, like no food during labor, but you can either sneak it, or go to the cafeteria or hall way and eat. Again, they can't keep you locked in your room. I was all over the hospital during labor. You can insist on a heplock, so you're not tethered to the IV when you get your not getting the ABX, if you're getting them. I was not GBS+, I didn't have an IV, or a heplock. I also refused to wear a hospital gown and only allowed them 10 min on the FHM an hour(they either came in and took it off or I did.)

I would bet that if you stay home long enough, you might be able to skip the entrance exam when you get to L&D. You can tell( I would especially hope a nurse could!) when a woman is IN labor. Talk to your doctor about it and he can put a note in your chart. She may be more hesitant about no exam when you want to start pushing, because sometimes you can still have a lip of cervix, or feel the urge too early, but you should certainly be able to discuss the option with her. If you want to refuse them all, like I said, they really can't make you do it.

That being said, hospital birth still kind of sucks,IMO. I would go for an HB or birth center if you can and are willing.
 

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Hospital birth (MW) with ds; no exams til I told them I needed to push, and even then it was a quick, yup, the heads right here...no issues at all. No monitors, except a brief check here and there while pushing. Eating and drinking the entire time. And I was 43 weeks. Def an exception to the normal "rules".

It really depends on your care provider and their comfort level with your plans. Def discuss it sooner than later so you know what grounds you have to stand on and whether you need to make changes. Get a doula or have a strong support person who will not be afraid to stand up for you when you cannot.
 

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I had a hospital birth with a MW the first time. I was in the hospital for 8 hours before the MW asked to check me. A few hours later I got in the tub and then I felt the urge to push. The MW checked me a second time before I started pushing to confirm I was at 10. It felt just right to me--enough to have some reassurance that things were happening, and then just the go-ahead to push. My water broke before contractions began, so they were prudent to limit internal exams.

I think it all depends on your care provider. Most hospital policies are really up to the care provider.
 

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The least amount of vaginal exams I can imagine with a hospital birth is 3. One for triage, one for the provider, and one when you're ready to push. That's the minimum. I've actually never seen that few. As a doula, I've never seen less than five -- a lot of hospitals have a "policy" about checking you every 2h or something silly like that.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sweetmomma0107 View Post
I plan on refusing internal vaginal exams while in labor and before. I plan on having a hospital birth. How will they check my progress? And if I go into premature labor (did with ds) is this going to be a problem? What if they want to see how much I am dilated? Do they just check another way? I am GBS + and want nothing going up my vagina. Thanks.
My doula said that there is no reason to have one at all, and she has labor assisted at our local hospital many many times. She said they may ask for one when we check in to make sure I'm in labor, which I can easily refuse. Then the other time they may want to do one is when i reach the urge to push, which hopefully I will be crowning and they can just look, not have to feel to see.
 

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I only had one or two. They didn't check me until I started to get discouraged (7cm)-it was really more for my mental state than anything else. She probably would have left me alone otherwise. I don't remember her checking again but she may have? But keep in mind that my water broke before labor so they may have kept down the checks because of risk of infection??
 
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