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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the exact purpose of having your wrists tied down to the bedposts during a cesarean? I want a serious answer. There MUST be some medical reason - will you endanger yourself or the baby, will you try to leave in the middle of surgery...? What? I can see if you have just been arrested for homicide or some other awful offense. Then you are a criminal and law enforcement should be certain you are not able to flee the scene, cesarean or not.

But normal, healthy, non-criminal women? What is the reason? Because, frankly, the only rationale I can find is to make sure the event is sado-masochistic. The woman must be tied like a common criminal, not even trusted or allowed the freedom to move the only part of her body that is not paralysed.

I find this so disturbing, because I can't find a rational reason for doing it. My wrists were not tied, but my arms were put into these weird, hard metal bars. Why? When are you allowed to be untied? When they put your baby on your chest, if you are even that "lucky"?
 

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Are arms normally restrained during abdominal surgery? If yes, then I suspect it's because while under anethesia (spelling?) the arms my flail about and hit the surgeon--not a good thing while the knives are down there.

If no, then they're just being horrible for no reason.
 

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This frustrates me as well but I think the answer is that they tie you down for any medical procedure. I have had a few surgeries/procedures and each time they tied my arms down
The last time they just tied down the one arm that had the IV because I asked them to keep my other one free. I think it's just standard operating procedure.

A gal from another board I frequent recently delivered in Greece - it was a vaginal birth but they tied her legs to the stirrups! I can't imagine. Of course this was after the obligatory enima and shaving
and we thought the US was bad


Keri
 

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Is my hospital just weird? My arms were totally unstrapped during my c/s. I never thought of them as particularly warm-and-fuzzy given how many other interventions and routines are done "just 'cause" (including keeping dh out in the hall while the spinal anesthesia was administered, I will NEVER figure out the reasoning behind that???).
 

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My arms were left loose on the condition that I didn't put them above the field (i requested not to have the drape between me and my belly)
For other surgeries I think it's to keep them from flopping--those tables aren't exactly wide. FWIW, the strap down a man's arms during surgery too.
 

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my doula mentioned that one reason behind it is that your instinct is to reach down for your baby...tying the hands keeps that area clear of bacteria. I guess they'd not tie them if they were sure you'd keep your hands away from your belly.
 

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Natural instinct to pain stimulus would be to reach towards whatever body part is hurting. If you should feel something during surgery, they can give you additional medication, however, that initial burst of feeling/discomfort/pressure/pain could easily result in mom reaching toward her cut open gut.

Infection is already a very real risk of ANY c-section delivery. Having mom's hands in the middle of the surgical field would only increase that risk.

Also, IME and from watching many c-section deliveries on the various birth shows out there, the hands are secured LOOSELY to the sides. It's not like they've got mom handcuffed to the table. I could move my arms, I just couldn't reach far enough down to touch anything that was supposed to remain sterile.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by grumpyshoegirl
Is my hospital just weird? My arms were totally unstrapped during my c/s. I never thought of them as particularly warm-and-fuzzy given how many other interventions and routines are done "just 'cause" (including keeping dh out in the hall while the spinal anesthesia was administered, I will NEVER figure out the reasoning behind that???).
They keep the spouses out of the room during things like an epidural/spinal in case they faint from watching it. Not every hospital has that policy but many do. About 2 years ago a woman was receiving her epidural...her dh was in the room and he fainted. On his way down he hit his head on a piece of equipment and died instantly. My dh and I were talking about my epidural the other day and he said it made him very queasy and light headed and he's not usually the squeemish type!
 

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tradition?

since it varies from medical care facility to medical care facility, i find it very hard to believe it is based in any evidence-based research...

~claudia
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all so much for your replies. Having a reasonable reason, even if I do not like it, makes the issue easier to deal with.

May I sk why the womans hands would be unsterile to her own body? I would think my hands, if they had a quick wash, would be even more sterile than the "sterile field" of 4 or 5 strangers (doctor, assistant, mw...) hands (even with gloves), their hair...
 

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There are germs on the outside of your body that don't belong inside your body. Plus, your hands are exposed to whatever germs are in the hospital- say on a doorknob you touched or something like that.
 

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Keep in mind, some women panic a bit too. I know my sister started to - she lost feeling all the way up to her neck and felt as though she were suffocating. An attentive anesthesiologist talked her down and distracted her a bit. I'm guessing it would be important that someone begining to panic a little that way not try to sit up, say, to try to breathe better, lol. Staff can mostly head that sort of thing off and keep it from happening I think, but sometimes staff gets distracted? On another occasion, my aunt had very poor anesthesia for her emergency c-section, and it was horrifically painful. I imagine I'd have a helluva time keeping my arms down for that. So I'd say that maybe some restraint becomes important in a rare number of cases, just not most.
 

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I had a c/s and that was my one condition of surgery"not to strap my arms down" the nurses and my MW got a little chuckle out of that one as they told me they hadn't planned on strapping me down.
 

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I was strapped down during my c-section. I think it was because I had a reaction to the drugs.

I was induced with pitocin, and given an epidural. When it was decided that I would have a c-section, I was given a 3rd drug to stop the contractions. The anesthesiologist gave me a local anesthetic when she finally believed me about the epidural not working.

With 4 different drugs going through my body, plus the adrenaline of being scared/tired/in pain, I started uncontrollable shivering/shaking. It was pretty bad.

Anyway, I think that's why I had to be strapped down. I have no idea about anyone else.
 

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Neither of my arms were strapped for my c/s. My IV-arm had a velcro thing on it to keep it from bothering the IV. My other arm just had a blanket over it...it's freezing in OR theatres. I would have pitched a major fit if they'd tried to tie me down...major issues from childhood...
 

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During my emergency c/s for DD both arms were straped down - one had BP cuff on it (I had PreE/HELLP) the other had the IV.
When I talked to my OB about keeping at least one arm free this time around he assured me that for more "scheduled" c/s that they like to make us as comfortable as possible and could definately have at least one arm free if not both.
 

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My friend had to have a c/s recently (one of her twins had half a heart and they had to have a team of neo-natal heart surgeons there to put him into immediate surgery). During the process the epidural wore off. She did not say anything or cry out because, being the natural mama that she is, did not want the baby to get any extra meds on his way out. The attending nurses noticed her shaking hands after both were delivered and asked and at that point she told them the meds had worn off.

I would imagine for many people if the meds wore off, in that kind of pain, you might react violently (reflexes) in ways that could endanger you and others around you.
 
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