Mothering Forum banner

Too late for Bradley? What is active labor like in the car?

569 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  gonnabeamom
Hi.. I'm new but have been lurking here during insomnia bouts for the past month.I'm preparing for an unmedicated hospital birth the end of November. It will be birth#3-after my 3yo dd and still born ds (unfortunately both with epidurals and narcotics due to mental and physical exhaustion). Anyway, I believe I can do it without all that and have been doing lots of reading
& have a doula.
I'm sure it's too late for a Bradley class, but does anyone recommend reading the book? Or any other books? So far I have read Dick-Read Childbirth without Fear and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I did hypnobirthing training with my daughter, so I'm practicing that relaxation routine which did help me get to 6cm during her birth.

Also, does anyone have thoughts on laboring in the car? This time our ride to the hospital will be about 45 minutes, maybe longer if I add taking dd to grandma's. I want to keep myself out of the hospital environment for as long as possible, but am a little nervous about traffic,etc and what active labor might feel like in the car!
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
My friend who had a 2 hour total labor and a 25-30 minute ride to the birthing center said she couldn't really remember much about the ride except that she kept grabbing onto the "oh-shit" handle (the one's above the door that people hang their dry cleaning on) and pulling up. She does remember being really frustrated not being able to move in positions to coordinate with her contractions.
HTH, I'm glad you decide to unlurk
See less See more
Depending on the car, it could be rough. Last time, we had a suburban and I piled pillows in the middle of the middle floor board. i used it like a birth ball and it worked very well.

The first time I was in the suburban, I was kneeling in the middle seat with my arms over the back of the seat. That was kinda rough, but E was postrior and I was having back labor. We have a new car (suv) and we will try the same pillow piling again . . .

I would read as many books as possible to make you feel comfortable and prepared. I keep rereadig things to make me think about labor. I had two very different unmedicated hospital births. Both were succesfull, but very different in the relaxation methods. I didn't relax as well with #2 and had a longer labor.

I think the doula wil help tremdously. I have had one with my other births and am having one with this birth. I have a doula that works a lot with the homebirth doc here in St. Louis so I have a feeling she will be a HUGE help with relaxation . . .

Hugs to you and yours!!!
See less See more
With my second baby we had a "homebirth" but it was at my mom's house which was about a 45 min drive from where we lived (due to the Dr attending not being able to drive out that far, he was much closer to where my mom lived).

I had planned on spending most of my labor at her house, but labor moved rather quickly for me (4 hrs total, compared to my first birth of 19 hrs)...and by the time we got to her house I was already 8 cm dilated.

So I was just entering transition in the car (although I didn't know it at the time) and believe it or not it wasn't TOO bad. I just sat in the front passenger seat with my pillow on my lap for comfort (sort of like a blankie or stuffy to a small child). When a contraction would come I'd tap my index finger on my thigh and repeat over and over, "It's going to be ok, it's going to be ok, it's going to be ok" until the contraction was over. I didn't know about birth rituals such as this at the time but apparently they're pretty common and useful. It's not really something that you plan, you may just find yourself doing it. I think the reason I was saying that it was going to be ok, was that I was starting to feel TONS of pressure and was worried about having to push in the car (Dd age 2 was in the backseat half asleep at the time). Traffic was not a problem for us (thank God) since it was 2 in the morning.

So, there's my experience. Hope it helps.
See less See more
if you have time read, birthing from within...wonderful, wonderful book! i labored in the car and it was hard. i noticed that ds had passed meconium when my water broke so i went to a hospital before heading to the maternity center. i was laboring hard all the way to the hospital (25 minutes) and i was 5cm when i got there. the ride to the maternity center was extremely hard and extremely painful. i was 7cm by the time we got there...another 15-20 minutes. i had back labor though since ds was facing the wrong way and i had intense contractions spaced very closely. i hope you have less pain than me!
I was in transition while en route to the hospital. My entire labor was 2 1/2 hours, and it was a 15 minute ride to the hospital. I honestly could not have done it without my husband - he was incredible. Everytime I felt a contraction starting, he'd talk me through it and helped me to relax. I'm not going to say it was the best part of labor, but it was definitely livable, and I'd do it the same again. (Ie, laboring at home and driving during transition.)

The turns were absolutely hellatious, and I felt EVERY single bump on the road! :LOL

Would it be possible to drop your DD off at grandma's at the very beginning of labor, so that when it's intense, you don't have to make the extra trip? MIL picked up DS while I was still having superficial contractions, just 15 seconds long. I honestly didn't think that the baby would be born that day. But just 3 hours after MIL picked up DS, labor started. DD was born 30 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

Could your doula ride with you in the car? I think it would be really important to have a support person there for you.

Or, since you live so far from the hospital, could you rent a hotel room closer to the hospital to labor in? Make the drive when the contractions first begin, and then labor in the hotel room, so then it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to the hospital when you're in transition.
See less See more
Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions and perspectives!

Originally Posted by mahogny
Would it be possible to drop your DD off at grandma's at the very beginning of labor, so that when it's intense, you don't have to make the extra trip? Could your doula ride with you in the car? I think it would be really important to have a support person there for you.
Yeah, I totally agree with these two things. I would not want to make any pit stops on my way to the hospital if I was going there to have a baby. Can a neighbor or friend who lives close by drop your child off with grandma?

Also, having a doula with you from the beginning sounds like the best idea to me. I would not want to walk through the hospital doors without a doula, either. I would want her there from the VERY beginning personally.
Just a bit of info on the "Is it too late for Bradley?" it's very common at least in this area for people to offer one day refresher classes, or even private sessions for couples having second or third babies. It might be worth checkin out.

On laboring in the car, I can only relay stories since I am a first time mama here (and hopefully not going anywhere near the car since I am homebirthing) but one of the mom's in our homebirth class did a birth center birth, and said that the labor in the car was oddly comforting, she found herself looking up at the sky and taking in the structure of the bridge. So just like labor everywhere else different women will have different experiences.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.