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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter was born by c-section. She was born 5/29/05. I'm expecting baby girl #2 around 8/14/06. I plan on having a VBAC, and my doctor is supportive of that choice.

I don't want an episiotomy and have been told certain herbs I can take will help thin the perineum and soften the cervix and that I should be taking them up to at least a month before delivery. I was told one is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and the other is Evening Primrose Oil.

I've also been told to use massage oil to rub the perineum during labor to prevent tearing. What kind of oil would I get?

I never dilated past 4 cm after 48 hours labor with Abigail, so I want to do all that I can to help my cervix dilate this time if there is anything I can do. Does anyone have any helpful hints or suggestions?
 

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A little perineal massage with some olive oil would suffice but honestly, your vagina was DESIGNED to stretch during birth. I wouldn't worry so much about massage and "thinning the perineum" which sounds creepy to me, as much as I would worry about giving birth anywhere but flat on your back. Try for a hands and knees or squatting or at least laying on your side to prevent tearing. Do not lay flat on your back or you will be a lot more likely to tear.
Also, you did not fail to dialate during your labor with your first. The doctors were merely impatient. The less intervention you encounter, the more likely you will have a successful VBAC. Good luck.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital
A little perineal massage with some olive oil would suffice but honestly, your vagina was DESIGNED to stretch during birth. I wouldn't worry so much about massage and "thinning the perineum" which sounds creepy to me, as much as I would worry about giving birth anywhere but flat on your back. Try for a hands and knees or squatting or at least laying on your side to prevent tearing. Do not lay flat on your back or you will be a lot more likely to tear.
Also, you did not fail to dialate during your labor with your first. The doctors were merely impatient. The less intervention you encounter, the more likely you will have a successful VBAC. Good luck.
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Studies show that this (massaging or stretching the perenium during pregnancy) is just an outdated idea that can actually cause more harm than good. It can't hurt to just rub olive oil on your perenium, but it's not necsessary. Your very stretchy there, it will do it's job just fine! Good luck!
 

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Some woman do the perineal message, I never have. If I did I would use olive oil.

Red Rasberry leaf tea is a uterine toner and is great to drink all during pregnancy.

EPO helps soften the cervix, you can take the orally and insert them next to your cervix.

There is also this http://www.birthjunkie.com/5week_formula.html I am considering using it this time around
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the helpful tips. I always like to check up on "rumors" I hear because I've found a lot end up being untrue.

Re: my c-section. I had planned on having a natural water birth. I was seeing midwives. It was the midwife who was so impatient and talked my husband (by scaring him and using unfamiliar medical terms) into convincing me to let her break my water. I was only 3 days past the edd. I think that after having me at the birthing center in labor for 6 hours (it was midnight saturday when she broke my water) she was impatient and wanted to go home. I also had a lot of pain in my bladder and she thought it meant it was full and that Abigail's head was preventing me from urinating, so she catheterized me, twice, thinking she did it wrong, and my bladder was already empty. I was transferred to the hospital and given stadol, pitocin, epidural, internal fetal monitor, all of which I hadn't wanted but they convinced me to agree to (after I said no like a hundred times). They just wore me down, as did the midwife. Then they said I had to deliver within a certain time period from when my water had been broken because there was meconium in the fluid and my baby would get sick. It was 4:30 pm sunday when they got me to agree to a c-section, had me sign papers and then they had to sedate me because the epidural wasn't as effective as they say it should have been. Abigail was delivered while I was unconscious at 6:13pm. I woke up an hour later, and after an hour in recovery was taken to my room. Within a few minutes they wheeled her into my room in a hospital bassinet. The first thing I said was, "Is that my baby? I want to hold her". They brought her to me and I was so in love with her I cried. I was able to begin attempting to breastfeed and almost never let her out of my arms the three days I was in the hospital. Breastfeeding was difficult for us to learn, but I persevered until we figured it out.
This time I am giving birth at EAFB hospital, but I have a doula and a birth plan and the support of my doctor. My mom, my husband, my doula and my daughter will be there. I have a lot of worries, but I am really hopeful that this birth will be a better experience.
 

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thanks for sharing your story with us! Oh, what you've been through

Good luck with this birth, I'm sure it will be a beautiful one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wen to Carr's/Safeway store this morning. I found what I needed in the Natural Pantry section.

I bought a bottle (100 capsules) of "Nature's Way" Red Raspberry Leaves (certified 480 mg/tablet) for $9.49. Dosage is 2 capsules a day with food or water. The only other ingredients are gelatin(capsule) and Magnesium stearate.

I also bought a bottle (100 softgels) of "Nature's Way" AFA Gold Evening Primrose Cold Pressed Oil, Hand Harvested, Zero Trans Fat, Non-GMO Seeds (500 MG with 10% GLA/softgel) for $22.99. Dosage is 1 softgel 3-6 times daily. Each sofgel contains Evening Primsore Oil (seed) 500 mg: Omega-6 Fatty Acids 419 mg, Linoleic Acid 369 mg, Gamma-Linolenic Acid 50 mg and Omega-9 Fatty Acids as Oleic Acid 36 mg. Other ingredients are Gelatin, Glycerin, Purified Water.

Yesterday the baby only moved once earlier in the day, and once when I went to bed around 11 pm, so I was a little worried since this baby has been very active. I took 2 capsules of the red raspberry leaf and 2 of the EPO around 9 am, and by 11am this baby has been kicking up a storm, for over an hour now and still going. Is it a coincidence or did it have something to do with taking these supplements?

Also, the dosages recommended on the bottle don't specify if the dosage is different for pregnant women, or overweight women (I know some supplements like vitamins you have to take more of depending on your weight). Does anyone here know, or should I just stick to what the bottle says?
 

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If you don't want an episiotomy, don't consent to it. Supplements may help with the condition of your tissues but that is a long-term nutritional kind of thing. Taking supplements at this late date is unlikely to significantly increase the stretchiness of your tissues. I think you may be setting yourself up if you go with the mentality that you need to "improve" your body in order not to get cut.

When I had my baby, it was a HB transfer, and they brought me the consent form and when I asked about epi (it was a blanket consent form) the nurse authoritatively said "she (OB) will do an epi if she has to" and I was intimidated by that, forgetting that I have a right to refuse any procedure. So I signed. I ended up having a c-section but I am really horrified at myself for signing consent to episiotomy! I could have, and should have, customized the form. Too bad I didn't have a doula to remind me of my rights and preferences. But I am speaking out of my own perspective, which is that episiotomy is one of my worst nightmares. You might not feel the same. But if you do...just make up your mind that you will not consent and are prepared to accept and be responsible for the extremely unlikely possibility that you will tear worse without one than with one. Most severe tears are extensions of episiotomies. They will try to tell you different because that is their belief. You cannot take their word for it in the moment, that "oops your perineum isn't stretchy enough, looks like you need an episiotomy." It needs to be a decision you make for yourself ahead of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have created and submitted a birth plan. I included in there my desire to not have an episiotomy, as well as my desire to choose the position in which I deliver. At my 38 week appointment today, the practitioner who saw me went over the entire birth plan with me, kept a copy in my file, and told me that everything I requested will be honored. I was so pleased. I also gave a copy to my doula, my mother and will be bringing one in with me when I am admitted. I am feeling very good about my plans and good that I have done what I can to ensure my wishes will be followed.
 

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Another possible suggestion - give a copy of your birth plan to the OB dept at your hospital before you come in to labor. In my experience, most hospitals have you "pre-register" when you are pregnant. This is when they give you a bunch of forms to sign/fill-out beforehand rather than have to deal with this when you are laboring. If your hospital does this, its a good time to give them a copy of your birth plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I filled out the pre-admission paperwork yesterday right after my appointment. I suppose I can try to get a copy of my birth plan in there too, at my next appointment.
 

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There is a AK chapter of ICAN, International Cesarean Awareness Network. Check out the link here: http://www.icanofalaska.org/ the main ICAN site at www.ican-online.org has a ton of great info about VBACs.

Take a copy of your birth plan with you to the hosp as well. They have been know to get "lost". That way you can give a copy to your nurses and have a signed copy from your care provider to bring with you as well.

Allison
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AllisonK
There is a AK chapter of ICAN, International Cesarean Awareness Network. Check out the link here: http://www.icanofalaska.org/ the main ICAN site at www.ican-online.org has a ton of great info about VBACs.

Take a copy of your birth plan with you to the hosp as well. They have been know to get "lost". That way you can give a copy to your nurses and have a signed copy from your care provider to bring with you as well.

Allison
Just know that a "signed copy" of a birth plan means absolutely nothing, except that your provider has seen it. What matters is what orders are written by your provider. You should see those. See if your provider will prewrite the orders for you at a prenatal.
 

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Take a copy of your birth plan with you to the hosp as well. They have been know to get "lost". That way you can give a copy to your nurses
Good advice...it sounds a bit silly but I actually brought in a big basket of cookies to leave at the nurses station along with copies of my birth plan, and I had flowers (and more cookies!) delivered to the station after my dd was born as a "thank you". I have to say I got amazing nursing care and I overheard one nurse tell another that "she's the one who sent the cookies"...not that I think they would have been any less supportive of me during labor and my eventual c/s recovery, but I know it helped them see me as an individual (even if it was just the "cookie providing" individual).

It can't hurt to have the nursing staff firmly on your side!

Good luck with your upcoming VBAC and let us know how it goes!
 

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Originally Posted by wombatclay
Good advice...it sounds a bit silly but I actually brought in a big basket of cookies to leave at the nurses station along with copies of my birth plan, and I had flowers (and more cookies!) delivered to the station after my dd was born as a "thank you". I have to say I got amazing nursing care and I overheard one nurse tell another that "she's the one who sent the cookies"...not that I think they would have been any less supportive of me during labor and my eventual c/s recovery, but I know it helped them see me as an individual (even if it was just the "cookie providing" individual).

It can't hurt to have the nursing staff firmly on your side!

Good luck with your upcoming VBAC and let us know how it goes!
This will probably get me kicked out of my union, but I'm actually pretty offended when patients bring "bribes" for the nurses. I wouldn't bring cookies to my lawyer in hopes of getting better advice. We're professionals, and I bust my ass with every single patient. I find it very disrespectful of that professionalism to try to influence care by feeding the nurses. Afterwards, a nice thank-you letter is always great, but I'm not a fan of telling women to bring things for the nursing staff to essentially make them do their jobs.
 

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We're professionals, and I bust my ass with every single patient. I find it very disrespectful of that professionalism to try to influence care by feeding the nurses.
No offense meant!


I don't really see it as a "bribe" though...more as a "thank you". I work in a service industry as well and I've never been offended when a patron brings cookies or other "goodies" to the service desk (and from behind the scenes chatter I know that a bunch of flowers for the desk or a plate of cookies has a real impact on how people feel about the patron in question...not about the quality of service we provide, but on how we FEEL about that service). We don't feel like we're being bribed, we feel like the patron is appreciating the hard work we do on their behalf...(and oddly enough I have sent cookies to my lawyer!
)

And asking that a staff person read and follow your personal preferences (birth plan) IS asking that person to go at least a little beyond their regular duties.

Anyway, every person and every situation is different. Perhaps ask the staff when you visit the maternity ward what the policy is on gifts? That way if the staff feel strongly about it (one way or the other) they can let you know without anyone feeling bruised?

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wombatclay
And asking that a staff person read and follow your personal preferences (birth plan) IS asking that person to go at least a little beyond their regular duties.
It's not beyond the duties of medical personnel to know what each patient does or does not consent to.

But then that would get us into the whole lie of birth plans anyway - how women have been tricked into substituting "desires" and "preferences" for informed consent and the right to refuse.

In any case, I would not want to give birth in a place where being treated as an individual is a special favor.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Abi's Mom
I have created and submitted a birth plan. I included in there my desire to not have an episiotomy, as well as my desire to choose the position in which I deliver. At my 38 week appointment today, the practitioner who saw me went over the entire birth plan with me, kept a copy in my file, and told me that everything I requested will be honored. I was so pleased. I also gave a copy to my doula, my mother and will be bringing one in with me when I am admitted. I am feeling very good about my plans and good that I have done what I can to ensure my wishes will be followed.
Please, please let your partner know that you do not want an episiotomy at all. I've had a episiotomy after my birth plan said no and the OB did not even consult me. AT ALL. He just cut.

Your partner can place his hand on your perineum if your OB is cut happy. If you have a doula, she can be watching for those scissors. I've seen too many birth plans thrown out the window during the pushing phase!

Mention it to everyone you see, too. Then it's voiced and not a secret, you know?

Hope your birth is wonderful!
 
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