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In Depth or in Distraction => Rainbow Families => Topic started by: ratbag on Apr 07, 2010, 12:26:31 PM

Title: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 07, 2010, 12:26:31 PM
All of the advice contained in this thread is meant as a general guide only.  If you have a specific question or worry - especially if you are bleeding or your baby is not moving - then you should contact your healthcare provider

So - you've got pregnant through whichever method suited and worked for you. You've grown a baby and you've waited patiently for labour to start...

Here is my advice to you about what you can do to make it go smoothly... sadly I can't make it painless.

This advice is for all mums, some is more relevant to first timers, some to experienced mums.  Not all women are the same - you may be one of the lucky ones who has a 6hr straightforward first labour, but it will do you no harm to prepare for the long 48hr one instead  :)

Basics....

Don't be too rigid in your planning - have an idea what you'd like but be flexible.  You cannot predict what is going to happen, or how you are going to feel, and neither can the midwife.  So go with the flow.....

I often talk to women about labour being like a storm at sea, with waves of tightenings surging up and down.  If you try to fight it you'll drown - stay calm, allow the wave to take you, let it  wash in and let it wash out again.... The storm may be long but it will pass....


Stay as normal as possible for as long as possible - when the tightenings begin, maybe every ten minutes apart, maybe every five, remember (especially if this is your first) that you are at the start of what may very well be a long journey.  You have to pace yourself. 

If it is daytime be normal - eat as normal, drink as normal, move as normal (or, if you are a bit of a couch potato usually, move a bit more than normal).  Walk the dog, do some housework, dance and sway..., stay well nourished and well hydrated.  If it is nightime go to bed - try to sleep.  Whenever it happens take paracetamol, use a hot water bottle or a wheat bag, try a warm bath.  But essentially - ignore it for as long as you can...  After all, if you stay up all night not eating the first night you won't have the energy to get through the second night....and sadly there is almost always (for first timers) a second night....


Get good support around you - this might be your partner, but it might be your mother or your sister, or your friend or a doula or a combination of all of them. 

For hetrosexual couples it is often assumed that the "dad" will be the significant birth partner - but he is not always the best person - and neither is a lesbian partner.  This is because any birth partner who is scared, or afraid for their loved one, will transmit their fear subliminally to the birthing woman.  I will talk about fear in labour later.

Mums come in two sorts as well - those who trust birth, had reasonable birth experiences themselves, who see their daughter as an equal.  And mums who still treat their daughters as babies, or who have unresolved anxiety regarding their own birth experience.  Obviously the former is preferable....if your mum is the latter suggest she makes your home ready for you and answers the phone to all your friends who are waiting for news.

Instead choose partners who are accepting of labour pain and who are not frightened.  Choose partners who will support you at your most vulnerable, who won't want to talk to the midwife about their own experience (after all its your day not theirs!), and who are thick skinned enough to take the abuse you might throw at them later!

Make sure your partners have enough rest during your early labour - that means if you are in hospital that you let them go home during the night if you are still early.  You call them back at any time but they will get better rest at home than in an upright hospital chair.  If they are not rested and fed they will be no good to you.  Another reason to have more than one if possible...

The midwife - she is doing her job - she may have other women to look after.  This is a sad fact of the modern NHS - it is a national health service not a personal one.  If you want to be guaranteed a personal midwife you will have to pay for one - sad but true.  Make sure you communicate your needs with her, and make sure you understand her plan of care for you.  Remember that the plan is made in collaboration - if there is something you want then tell her.  If you don't understand her rationale for something then ask. 

Remember that your midwife is a person too - she has trained for three years or more specifically for this job.  She is recognised amongst all health professionals as the expert in normal childbirth.  But she is a person - and she doesn't need to be made to feel like a skivvy or threat, she is there to help you and advise you.  If communication between you and your midwife is not working ask for another midwife.  She should not be offended - we cannot get on with everybody we meet in life.



Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 07, 2010, 12:41:33 PM
Fear in labour

From a physiological perspective (here comes the sciencey bit...) labour is a cauldron of chemicals.  We have oxytocin in our blood stream, when labour starts our uterus begins to make oxytocin receptors, as more oxytocin receptors appear so more oxytocin is made....this causes us to have contractions, which cause the baby to press on the cervix, which causes more oxytocin to be made and so on. So you could think of oxytocin as the accelerator driving the labour car..

However the labour car may need to be stopped or slowed so our bodies have an evolutionary protective mechanism that can act as a brake in case of danger (ie a sabre toothed tiger or a strange midwife in the vicinity).  This mechanism is adrenaline (and similar chemicals), which is designed to fit into the oxytocin receptor  to stall the labour if it is not safe for the baby to be born.  Evolution would not allow labour to go unchecked if the baby was at risk.  In practical terms this means that if you are scared your labour is going to be longer and harder.  Most women experience a degree of this when they arrive at the hospital and the tightenings become less frequent - this is the adrenaline putting the brake on - strange sights, strange smells, strange noises etc etc.  Most women find that once they acclimatise to the environment they begin to labour again.

It is a sad fact of our society today that women are very unprepared for labour and birth.  They don't have the advantage of living closely with their mother, sisters, and aunties, and seeing them deal with labour, learning how to cope from a very young age, and they have the disadvantage of a media society that portrays birth as dangerous and exciting and quick!  ie waters go, into ambulance, screaming woman, doctor delivers baby with cord around neck blah blah blah... birth is almost never like that but as little girls this is what was instilled in us....

How to reduce fear - accept that despite your education and your ability to knit or mend cars you are essentially an animal.  Your body knew how to make and grow the baby, it knows how to get it out.  Trust that what is happening to you is normal.  Remember that each pain goes away - every single one of them goes away and doesn't come back, think of them as stepping stones to your baby if you like.

Be aware that a small amount of bleeding in labour is normal - especially towards the end.  Be aware that at the very end of labour it becomes hard to hear the baby's heartbeat as it is so deep in your pelvis.  Be aware that labour takes time.

Coping with tightenings/contractions/surges/rushes - pick a spot on the wall and concentrate on that while it is there.  Or count backwards from 100, or pick a nursery rhyme to recite - The Grand Old Duke of York is a good one because he can march his men to the top of the pain and he can march them down again.  Sway your hips from side to side, bend over from the ribs onto a mantelpiece or hospital locker.  Sing.  And when it is gone, breathe out in a big sigh.  Try not to hold your breath.

Remember - every single pain goes away

Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: M&M on Apr 07, 2010, 12:51:55 PM
This is such a useful thread and a BRILLIANT idea.
TY
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 07, 2010, 01:04:14 PM
The Cervix

Is the entrance to the womb and it has to undergo many changes before the baby can get out. 

During pregnancy it is like a tube and is filled with the operculum - a sticky substance designed to keep germs out.  When cervical changes begin the operculum (or show) can escape.  A good sign that your cervix is changing but not a good sign of imminent labour

It is firm in texture - like the end of your nose, and it has to soften, becoming first like your earlobe, and then like your lips. 

It is long - 2-3cm sometimes, and has to become paperthin - this is called effacement. 

When you are standing up it points backwards, prior to labour it has to move forwards to a more downwards pointing position

It is tightly shut and has to open to 10cm.

In first time mothers these changes tend to happen one at a time - certainly the cervix won't be able to dilate beyond 3-4 cm until all the other changes have happened.

Some women find that they notice these changes happening - they have tightenings that cause the changes - this is called the latent phase of labour.  Other women do not notice the changes at all.  We are all different.  If you are told when someone does an internal that your cervix is 1cm dilated and fully effaced that is good news - effacement and softening is the hardest part of the changes that need to happen, but you are not yet in established labour because the process from firm, long and tightly closed, to soft, thin, stretchy and open can stop and start over many days... once your cervix is about 3-4 cm open your labour will probably continue (as long as your body is not filled wth fear hormones).

As a general rule of thumb - once your cervix is 4cm open it will continue to open (according to the text books) at about 1cm an hour.  However, some women go significantly faster than this (especially if they have laboured before, but even some first time mums), and other women go slower - 1/2 cm an hour is considered acceptable progress, especially if you have an epidural in place.

The cervix is part of a feedback loop that creates contractions - once it is fully dilated there is nothing for the baby's head to press on any more so that feedback loop is interrupted and a lull in tightenings often ensues... once the baby moves into the vagina a new feedback loop is initiated and pains begin again.  Midwives often call this the "rest and be thankful" period as it often follows a difficult and intense period of labour pains that are often called transition - the bit where the last bits of the cerrvix are being dilated.



Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: my sparkle instinct on Apr 07, 2010, 01:17:41 PM
Of course, it is possible to know all this like the back of your hand and still have a difficult birth for other reasons! Just saying. I knew all this stuff very well (didn't know they aren't supposed to check you though - that was something I learned from Ratbag - thank you) but still had an awful experience. The bit that was up to me though, I did very well. It is good to know all this stuff.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Evelet on Apr 07, 2010, 02:15:01 PM
This is a good thread. Maybe it could be made a sticky?

Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 07, 2010, 03:10:35 PM
This is a good thread. Maybe it could be made a sticky?

a mucal plug? ;D
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ali on Apr 07, 2010, 03:15:52 PM
[

a mucal plug? ;D
[/quote]
meconium 8)
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: DancingRaindeer on Apr 07, 2010, 03:57:10 PM
Thanks for the Thread RB  :)
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 07, 2010, 06:27:14 PM
Pushing the baby out

Once the baby is in the birth canal you may start to get an urge to push.  Just like the latent stage of labour though, many midwives think that the second stage of labour has a latent phase too.... Your cervix is fully dilated and the second stage countdown starts... but actually the baby needs to descend onto the muscles of the pelvic floor - when a reflex, known as Ferguson's reflex, or the fetal ejection reflex begins and you begin to push spontaneously.

Pushing a baby out is exactly like having the biggest poo of your life - there is no getting away from it, unless you relax in the same way you do to open your bowels your baby will take a long time to come out.  Many women don't want to push because they feel they are going to have a poo.  Maybe they are and maybe they aren't - more of that later.

When you push you should push down into your bottom, not in your throat.  You should push wiith your bottom relaxed, not with it tense - this stops the baby moving down.  You can make a noise by all means, but screaming is unproductive. 

If you can't push - or if you feel you can't push, try putting your hands into a big fist shape and blow hard into them.  Feel how your intra-abdominal pressure changes the forces upon your pelvic floor - that is the movement that you need.

Try not to push too early - your cervix might not be fully dilated, or the baby may still need to rotate, or it may still be too high.  You might have a vague urge - but really its best to resist that urge as long as you can.  If you can resist it its probably too soon....

When the head is actually crowning it burns - try pulling your mouth open as wide as it will go to get an idea of what that stinging burning feels like.  As a midwife, sitting outside a labour room, I can tell when a baby is about to be born as the noise women make at this stage is universal...

Poo

When your baby is in your vagina it acts like a snow plough. 

Your rectum is next to your vagina, if it has a poo in it the baby's head will push the poo out ahead of it...

No getting away from it.

Lots of women are embarrassed by it - there is no need.  It is a good sign of progress...  We'll pick it up and put it in a bin, or cover it with an inco sheet, or sieve it out of the pool, whatever is most appropriate at the time.  Sometimes it is smelly - can't be helped...

In the old days women were given enemas to prevent pooing in labour - but actually its harder to clean up the product of an enema than a formed poo. 

There is some evidence to suggest that babies are born facing the rectum to allow them to pick up faecal matter from their mother in order that their gut can be colonised with friendly bacteria and vitamin k.

So, poo is good... try not to fret about it.

Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 07, 2010, 06:53:20 PM
this thread is excellent, although it does kind of remind me of that time I read an excellent book on how to conceive....whilst 7 and a half months pregnant ;D
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Hayjay on Apr 07, 2010, 06:57:59 PM
Thanks Ratbag

< fan of sensible stuff  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: my sparkle instinct on Apr 07, 2010, 08:07:27 PM
It is important to note that until you are in labour ward you will not just have one midwife - I had around five who looked after me at different times. They also don't always tell each other everything so you will probably find you have to repeat things over and over again, even when they are written down.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: rosypie on Apr 07, 2010, 09:11:27 PM
^and i never saw the same midwife twice when i was pregnant first time.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ali on Apr 07, 2010, 09:36:20 PM
I saw the same midwife while I was pregnant. Throughout labour 1st baby I had one midwife and 2nd baby I had 2 as it went on a bit 8)
We had to repeat ourselves but at least it gave DP something to do :P
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: my sparkle instinct on Apr 07, 2010, 09:41:44 PM
Ratbag - can you explain a bit about how things might be different if the baby is early (before 37 weeks)? The shortage of information in pregancy/childbirth books on that subject is possibly why I felt unable to ask for particular things during my labour - I knew the rules were different (probably) and I knew I wasn't going to be able to have my home water birth, but I didn't have any idea what the rules were re. monitoring etc. That sort of information would have really helped me. Thanks.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: missmarple on Apr 07, 2010, 09:55:11 PM
i know every birth is different
and my lovely one did hurt
but we had it/him at home and it really was the best thing ever did so empowering and i know its not for everyone..opportunity, medical, emotion other expectations etc
but if you have the opportunity in your area look it up
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: DancingRaindeer on Apr 08, 2010, 01:38:11 PM
I would say use your appointments with your midwife and consultant to ask questions for all eventualities so you are prepared. My hospital shows you round the labour ward, birthing pool and premature baby unit so ask. The more you know what to expect the easier it will be.

Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Sherpa on Apr 09, 2010, 02:05:30 PM
Ratbag, this is fantastic, thank you.

One thing which strikes me, the more I talk to people and watch One Born Every Minute etc, is that people's experience of pain in labour is quite varied - it seems to be talked about as if everyone has the same feelings, but some "tough it out" and others have an epidural, but I don't think that's right (correct me if I'm wrong!).

I have had some friends (including yesterday one who had two home births) telling me how really the pain was quite bearable, and you have to think of it as being natural and not something wrong, and be positive etc, and it made me quite annoyed because the implication is that women who don't find the pain bearable are "doing it wrong". I'm not intending to have an epidural if I can avoid it so it's not that I felt personally judged, it just seems a bit smug .... I have another (midwife) friend who had home births but said that (for the first one at least) she really found the pain during the first stage hardly bearable, and didn't think she was going to manage without more pain relief (though she found second stage better) - her mother had to leave the room as she couldn't bear to see it.

/rant!
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Zooey on Apr 09, 2010, 02:44:56 PM
Ratbag, this thread is so good!

I don't have children yet - planning to do so in a couple of years once career and house are sorted out, but I am pretty obsessed with child birth.

I train a lot in martial arts and the one thing that strikes me from watching One Born Every Minute is how similar the feat of endurance is. Always in sparring and grading kumites, I am yelled at to breathe, breathe, breathe - I hold my breath when I spar and it's a nightmare. A couple of women who train with us who've had children often talk about how their training in martial arts - particularly to do with endurance and training their breathing - really prepared them for child birth! That concentrating on breathing is such a simple thing to do but when you are in pain, you hold your breath - which just makes it worse! Breathing calms you down, makes you focus and I've gone through six rounds before with a split lips, cracked ribs and a fractured hand before just by focussing on my breathing - I just to sing quietly to get myself to breathe.

Total naivety speaking here but the one thing I am focussing worry on is the burning when the baby comes out. I'm guessing that's the tearing? My mother has assured me that it's the last bit and doesn't last long and that the contractions are far worse...but I can't find much information about the last bit and it feels a bit intrusive to ask women - "oh how much did it actually hurt - and what did it feel like when you tore?"
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Zooey on Apr 09, 2010, 02:52:51 PM


I have had some friends (including yesterday one who had two home births) telling me how really the pain was quite bearable, and you have to think of it as being natural and not something wrong, and be positive etc, and it made me quite annoyed because the implication is that women who don't find the pain bearable are "doing it wrong". I'm not intending to have an epidural if I can avoid it so it's not that I felt personally judged, it just seems a bit smug .... I have another (midwife) friend who had home births but said that (for the first one at least) she really found the pain during the first stage hardly bearable, and didn't think she was going to manage without more pain relief (though she found second stage better) - her mother had to leave the room as she couldn't bear to see it.

/rant!

Completely agree about that awful competitiveness and how it can make other women who experience a lot pain like they did something wrong!

But...I do think there's something in not being afraid of the pain, that each bit of the pain is another step down the path to giving birth, that the pain is there to get your baby out, in changing your view of the presence of pain - basically, what I'm trying to say is to think of the pain as needed and not something to be afraid of or resent or not deal with at all. So it can hurt an insane amount and at times you need help with it - but the two aren't mutually exclusive - you can view the pain as needed and still need something to take the edge off!

On One Born Every Minute, there was a girl who was crying and screaming and just not dealing with the pain in any way, shape or form and eventually her mum had to step in and tell her she needed to deal with it and focus on getting the baby out. And it really brought it home to me that the mental aspect needs to be on top form as well - that the child is coming out one way or another and not dealing with it - in the way this girl was - can just make something that is so very hard, much harder!
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Zygote on Apr 09, 2010, 05:00:31 PM
Labour's one thing, I've got this whole fear that no one's really mentioned on here to my knowledege. I'm absolutely petrified of not being in control... being preganant you lose all control and you're just a slave to your body and at the mercy of the medical profession. Not to mention the whole thing about having a parasite inside you, stealing your nutrients, causing you untold discomfort for 9 months culminating in a 2 day long pain-athon.

I get into all kinds of distress about going to the bl00dy dentist. I had an awful down-there infection for over a year causing all kinds of physical pain as well as emotional trauma. The constant trips to various doctors was just awful. My mental state rapidly worsened and it's taken me a long time to recover. I don't like or trust doctors, some are fine, some are w@nkpots with a god complex at best and misogynistic at worst.

Nope. My fear of being pregnant/childbirth is so strong I don't think I'm ever going to be able to do it.  :( I'm not cut out for it.

Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Jet on Apr 09, 2010, 05:43:03 PM
^ Your first paragraph is something I struggle with a LOT. Especially when I literally spent three months in utter misery, trapped in my flat by the incessant morning (all day) sickness and exhaustion. I am not enjoying being pregnant physically at all and feel quite down sometimes at how restricted and ruled by my body I am now. But, honestly, biology is clever and everytime it starts getting too much to bear something amazing happens- a kick, or a wiggle, or a rush of endorphins, or a great sleep when you really really needed it and it all seems worth it and bearable again.

I'm even considering having another!  :-X
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Skyler on Apr 09, 2010, 06:56:11 PM
i really like your idea ratbag of looking upon contractions as stepping stones and noting that the pain does not come back. That was really how it looked watching E labouring and I think thats a helpful way of looking at it. Thank you, I shall try to remember that for if I get pregnant.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Skyler on Apr 09, 2010, 07:06:37 PM
@ zooey I dont think everyone tears but maybe ratbag can correct me on that? you can 'prepare' your perineum pre birth by massaging it daily (basically putting a finger in your vagina and stretching it if i recall and sort of rubbing) but how much of a difference that makes i dont know. again ratbag's the one to know.

Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Sherpa on Apr 09, 2010, 07:11:48 PM
@Zygote - I had a worry related to yours I think before I got pregnant - not that I have any particular fear of doctors, but I am somewhat intolerant of being patronised or told what to do without reason (at least that is properly explained). Plus I felt pretty horrified by the way that women seemed to become public property once they are pregnant. But to be honest, I haven't found it a problem - except for one comment by a consultant, which I didn't like at the time but in retrospect felt was justified, I haven't had any problems. 

It does still strike me that I have a little alien inside me, but it's not freaking me out too much!

@zooey/Skyler - I agree, I think that you get that stinging whether or not you tear (it's the flesh being stretched to it's limit - whether or not it breaks, so to speak). I've heard that massaging your perineum with almond oil in the weeks beforehand can help ....
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Rala Rwdins on Apr 09, 2010, 11:02:32 PM
One thing which strikes me, the more I talk to people and watch One Born Every Minute etc, is that people's experience of pain in labour is quite varied - it seems to be talked about as if everyone has the same feelings, but some "tough it out" and others have an epidural, but I don't think that's right (correct me if I'm wrong!).

I don't think that it could possibly be the same for everyone either.

When I was my pregnant my boss regaled me with horror stories from her own labours and her sisters'. That she could hear her sister screaming from two floors below etc.

I had two paracetamol and a warm bath. Partly because I was a lucky cow and partly because the labour went from go to whoa so quickly (2hr 30min) that there wasn't time for anything else. Towards the end I did ask for more pain relief but I was told there wasn't any time. I had a second degree tear because it all happened so quickly.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: my sparkle instinct on Apr 09, 2010, 11:13:52 PM
I didn't find the actual pain frightening or unbearable at any stage - in fact my back pain from osteoarthritis was far more trouble than the contractions themselves during monitoring, when I was unable to move from lying on my back.

The last hour or so before pushing, I couldn't concentrate on anything but the pain and movement/force within my body, but I never felt that I couldn't bear it - it was just as much as I could bear, and that was with her being back to back aswell. I had gas and air and two paracetamol. I am sure everybody experiences labour differently.

Because of my osteoarthrtis in my spine I knew I could not have an epidural, so not having that option available to me meant I didn't consider it even from when I was first pregnant. I can't honestly say if I would have had one otherwise. My mother didn't, and I grew up knowing that, which probably added to the assumption I wouldn't, but who knows.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Hayjay on Apr 10, 2010, 06:50:11 PM
I am somewhat intolerant of being patronised or told what to do without reason (at least that is properly explained)

It does still strike me that I have a little alien inside me, but it's not freaking me out too much!

I've heard that massaging your perineum with almond oil in the weeks beforehand can help ....

Its funny because I quite hope professionals will "patronise" me a little bit.  I don't mean patronise me but I guess I mean treat me as if I don't know much (I don't).  Generally there seems to be a presumption that because you are a doctor you know everything about it all.  I prefer to be treated like a nervous first timer that needs lots of reassurance.  My midwife always asks me if I think the heartbeat sounds okay????  ::)  You tell me.

I have the alien thing and I never thought that I would - I thought it would all be so natural - I love it but its stranger than I ever thought it would be.

I am going to do the massage thing from 34 weeks,  Basically like a clockface 3pm to 9pm (via 6pm) back and forth for 5-10mins every day. Use one finger about 3-4cm in with oil.  You can also practice pushing down so you know how the stretch feels.  Good if you can get a partner to do it so you can lean back and relax - or not, lol!  :o

I am not too worried about the pain. Famous last words.  I know it will be painful but generally I can cope fairly well with pain if I understand it.  I have a prolapsed disk so the back pain thing worries me a little because that stops me moving - so far so good with the back though.  I have had gallstone colic and that was hell so as long as its not worse than that.  I am apprehensive about the stinging burning ring of fire (thanks friends) pain but hopefully the adrenaline will push me through it.  :-X



Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: charliest3 on Apr 11, 2010, 10:48:31 AM
This is a fab piece of work  - very kind of you to give your professional advice. There are a few things I really want to concur with from my recent birth experience (my wife gave birth to our daughter in March)

keeping things normal - we carried on the whole day doing what we always do on a tuesday right up until the contractions got too intense, then we set off for the hospital. I'm not saying cooking dinner and watching tv are any good for pain relief but keeping to a routine makes whats coming a bit less daunting.

being a birth partner -i can see why you say that lesbian partner (as with dads) may not be the best people to be there. The delivery room is scarey and watching a woman you adore in pain is very frightening no matter how much you will love the end result! but my advice to anyone in this situation is to just get a grip and get on with it. I guess that might sound harsh but it worked for me and stopped my legs from shaking!
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Bumble on Apr 11, 2010, 12:20:56 PM
Ratbag - what a brilliant thread, thank you.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 12:35:42 PM
Thank you - you're all welcome. 

Have been working so been too busy to add to it at the moment - hope to get back to it in the next day or so.

Am not sure of the best way to add more info - do you want me to edit the original messages so the info stays broadly at the top, or shall I just keep adding at the end of the thread - I'm not sure if people will trawl through it all...  Can answer individual questions as they occur but feel that the bulk of the info should be at the beginning - thoughts?
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 12:55:50 PM
Ratbag - can you explain a bit about how things might be different if the baby is early (before 37 weeks)?

Depends how early...

Before 37 weeks generally means hospital birth, no water birth, continuous monitoring etc....
but -

no one can make you go to hospital if you don't want to, however your baby may need the assistance of modern technology - before 37/40 babies don't always keep their temperatures, or their blood sugars up, and often are slow to feed. 

Water birth may compromise an already compromised baby and prematurity is one of those situations where the baby may be compromised

Continuous monitoring has been shown to increase the caesarean section rate - I am not a fan of it simply for prematurity but every case is different.

Babies between 34-37 weeks - most of these babies will do very well - some will have feeding difficulties, a few will have some respiratory difficulties (particularly boys, and particularly if born by CS), they need to be kept warm as they can't maintain their body temperature.  Some hospitals will automatically take these babies to a NICU, others will wait and see and leave with mum under transitional care.  The best way to care for these babies (in my opinion) is kangaroo care and free access to the breast or if unable to suck regular small feeds of breast milk.

Between 28-34 weeks - most of these babies will do well if treated in an appropriate place - they will all need the care of the NICU.  Almost all will need to in an incubator for at least some of their early hours and days.  They are prone to feeding/respiratory/temperature issues.  As long as they have no other health problems, and they do not pick up an infection whilst in hospital todays modern care means that most of these babies will also survive and do well.

Between 24-28 weeks babies need to almost certainly be cared for in tertiary centre - often a distance from the parent.  Even without other health problems these babies face a lot of challenges - they are prone to gut problems, long term respiratory issues etc.

Before 24 weeks although some babies do survive the course of their early months is very challenging for them and their parents.  There are lots of ethical issues surrounding their care and whilst there are reports of babies born at this gestation surviving into childhood with no health issues these children are very rare.

I am not a neonatal specialist - I am not even a very good postnatal midwife - my speciality is labour, so please remember that this is only very general advice.  Each baby is different - some are born completely healthy, just early.  Others are born early because of infection and they are then liable to infection, some have genetic defects that mean that their body does not work as it should - so obviously I cannot do more than give a general guide.

What I can say is that the earlier your baby is born the more likely it is to be compromised at birth, and in the subsequent days, weeks and sometimes months. 

However, as a general rule of thumb, in the delivery room any baby more than 34 weeks I'm not too worried about - would have a paediatrician available but baby may not even need to be seen by them initially leaving parents to have a cuddle before (in my area) the baby is taken to NICU.  Other  areas keep babies with mum to be monitored by midwives.  Before 34 weeks I would probably (depending on the baby's condition) take the baby to the paediatrician (our resuscitaire is not in the room) for review and immediate transfer if necessary.  I would hope to have had enough time wth mum to give her an idea of what to expect.  Women in labour before 28 weeks are usually transferred out of our area to a larger hospital but if a woman did come in unexpectedly and there  was no time for transfer I would ensure not only a paediatrician but possibly aslo a paediatric consultant.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 01:06:40 PM
people's experience of pain in labour is quite varied - it seems to be talked about as if everyone has the same feelings, but some "tough it out" and others have an epidural, but I don't think that's right (correct me if I'm wrong!).

Everyone is different - but I am of the opinion that women are able to tolerate the pain if they are well prepared and supported.  However that preparation starts with what happened when you were ill or you fell over and what your mum did for you when you were tiny, or with the stories your mum told you about her births, or with what you have seen or read in the media, or even with your general health. The issue of preparation is multifactorial and it is not my job to judge a woman if she wants an epidural.

What I do know though is that women can cope with the pain, and they do - often.  Their body knew how to make and grow the baby, and it knows how to get it out.  It just has to be trusted.  A relaxed, easy going woman who is open minded about her birth experience generally does better (ie less analgesia and less intervention) than someone who has been very rigid and inflexible about their birth choices. 

 
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 01:13:44 PM
I'm absolutely petrified of not being in control...being preganant you lose all control and you're just a slave to your body and at the mercy of the medical profession.

Absolutely not true - you are still you whether you are pregnant or not.  Your autonomy and independence doesn't vanish with your waistline.  The medical (and midwifery) profession can do nothing to you without your consent - and if you approach them knowing that they can't bully you either....




Not to mention the whole thing about having a parasite inside you, stealing your nutrients, causing you untold discomfort for 9 months culminating in a 2 day long pain-athon.

Its not stealing your nutrients - its taking what it needs, which in comparison to what you need, is actually very little, and which you can compensate for in extra calories (in the last triemester) and extra micronutrients (in the first trimester).  You could have these extra calories as a big bar of chocolate or in a cake or by having a small healthy extra meal a day - the choice is yours....

Very few women have untold discomfort for the whole 9 months - those that do probably have underlying health issues - whether physical or mental.

And a 2 day pain-a-thon - I'll give you that actually.  For most first timers that is indeed what it is.  But there are ways of making that better.



Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 01:20:53 PM
I dont think everyone tears but maybe ratbag can correct me on that? you can 'prepare' your perineum pre birth by massaging it daily (basically putting a finger in your vagina and stretching it if i recall and sort of rubbing) but how much of a difference that makes i dont know. again ratbag's the one to know.

No not everyone tears.  You could try perineal massage - there is a good info leaflet here (http://www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/forpatients/090427patientinfoleaflets/090924perinealmassage.pdf)  but remember that everyone's tissue is different - some women have skin that gets stretch marks and some women don't for example.  So some women will tear, and some women won't.  As a rule of thumb each labour will mean less tearing - nature makes the hole bigger so the next baby can get out....
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 01:23:46 PM
My midwife always asks me if I think the heartbeat sounds okay????  ::)  You tell me.

Maybe she asks everyone that?  :)  I make sure women have heard their baby and they are happy that they have heard it - its their baby after all....

Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 01:24:42 PM
keeping things normal - we carried on the whole day doing what we always do on a tuesday right up until the contractions got too intense, then we set off for the hospital. I'm not saying cooking dinner and watching tv are any good for pain relief but keeping to a routine makes whats coming a bit less daunting.

Exactly what I tell women to do  ;D
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 14, 2010, 02:15:01 PM
It is important to note that until you are in labour ward you will not just have one midwife - I had around five who looked after me at different times. They also don't always tell each other everything so you will probably find you have to repeat things over and over again, even when they are written down.

I don't know about your midwives but I would much rather get a history from the woman, in her own words, than rely on my colleagues who may or may not have got the story straight....It also give me an opportunity to get to know her.   But I get that for some women getting to know another midwife is not something they actually want - for all sorts of different reasons.

As for care in labour - the aim is to have only one midwife looking after you but if labour is long it may take more than one shift to get it out....that means more than one midwife I'm afraid....
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: labrat on Apr 16, 2010, 03:01:59 PM
you are still you whether you are pregnant or not.  Your autonomy and independence doesn't vanish with your waistline.  The medical (and midwifery) profession can do nothing to you without your consent - and if you approach them knowing that they can't bully you either....

ratbag - great thread! 

I'm very interested to read the comment above.  After a straightforward (and quick) first homebirth, I am booked to see a consultant for a hospital twin birth in two weeks.  I am really not good at standing up to medics without getting argumentative and I don't think that's constructive.  The hospital twin protocol lists induction at 38 weeks, epidural, continuous monitoring, two paed teams in the room at delivery... everything I want to avoid.  Instead, I trust that I can give birth to these babies if I am in a calm, supportive and not overpopulated environment where I am allowed to move around (water would be good too!).  Ideally, I would like midwife-led, not consultant-led birth.

So, with apologies for high jacking this thread, but hopefully it is a question that is more generally relevant: how can I persuade the consultant to create an environment in which I envisage I can give birth, even if it goes against hospital protocol?  Thanks :)
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on Apr 16, 2010, 06:43:21 PM
The hospital twin protocol lists induction at 38 weeks, epidural, continuous monitoring, two paed teams in the room at delivery... everything I want to avoid.

You can decline all of these interventions - this is your birth experience, whether you choose to have your babies at home or in hospital.




Instead, I trust that I can give birth to these babies if I am in a calm, supportive and not overpopulated environment where I am allowed to move around (water would be good too!).  Ideally, I would like midwife-led, not consultant-led birth.

I am sure you can - my personal preference would not include birth in water but certainly labouring in water would be beneficial.  And it is certainly possible to have a midwife led rather than doctor led birth.

how can I persuade the consultant to create an environment in which I envisage I can give birth, even if it goes against hospital protocol?

You don't have to persuade him - he cannot do anything to you against your will.  Make sure you are well prepared - if you don't want induction ask him to explain his rationale to you.  Did you go to term or overdue last time?  Did you need induction?   

They will offer an epidural in the belief that they can do a LSCS in super quick time if you need one as an emergency (ie after the first twin is born or if a sudden deterioration in fetal heart condition).  This is true - but in a real dire emergency they could give you a general anaesthetic too - which is your preference?  An epidural limiting mobility for the 80% chance you have of a normal birth, or a GA for the 20% chance of needing an emergency operation - these figures are based on the WHO figure of attaining a 15% CS rate (some babies will always need to be born this way) and the definite but small increased risk in having twins.

As for two paediatric teams in the room - if your babies are born at term the first is very unlikely to require assistance - the second may need a bit more, especially if it is breech.  You can ask these people to wait outside until they are needed. 

Rehearse your speech - "Thank you for your advice.  I have decided to (decline the epidural/ask people to wait outside/wait for spontaneous labour/whatever else you have decided)."

If you are strongly encouraged (bullied) into doing something you are not comfortable with then say this "I have told you what I have decided Dr Bloggs, and I appreciate your advice, but I do not appreciate being harassed on this matter"

If the harassment continues say "I thank you for your advice, but if you continue to harass me I shall have no alternative but to report you to the GMC - perhaps you could give me your registration number?"  This will totally shut them up - you are the patient, you have your faculties intact and they CANNOT bully you.

If possible write to the Supervisors of Midwives, or if there is a consultant midwife, at your hospital and ask for them to attend your appointment too - this should give you some support and will make you feel less alone in your decision making.

There is lots of information out in internetland about birthing twins -many women do it at home, did you consider another home birth?

Best of luck - and good birthing vibes coming your way
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: labrat on Apr 19, 2010, 08:45:37 AM
Thanks Ratbag, lots of useful information there. With apologies again for highjacking the thread, some replies to your specific questions:

A home birth would be lovely, but I am concerned about the risks to the second baby, and unless I can relax about them, I don't think I would be able to labour well at home.  Monkey was born as 40+6, and it took 15 hours after my waters broke before labour started, so I think I do need to be prepared that I may go past 38 weeks this time.

I will be learning by rote those sentences to use with consultants!  Thanks :)
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: little-rogue on Apr 27, 2010, 04:39:05 PM
Really great thread  :D
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on May 14, 2010, 09:42:50 AM
Pain Relief Options in Labour

The pain of labour is not like the pain of a broken arm, it is like the pain of exercise.  This is a key thing to remember about labour.  The pain is not telling us to stop, it is telling us to continue...

Endorphins - the bodies own defence against pain.  Think of when you exercise - how it hurts at first but after 20-30 minutes it actually feels quite nice, those are endorphins at work...  Our body reacts to pain by producing endorphins - sadly their manufacture is not instant.  Pain starts and it takes a while for the body to catch up.  This is a key point to remember in labour - if things get too much try waiting 20 minutes before making a decision on pain relief - you might find you can still do it!


Always keep moving, always keep mobile, always try to relax...

First, when labour starts, paracetamol, hotwater bottle or a wheat bag...really.  Try to stay low tech for as long as possible  ;D

TENS machine - stands for Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation.  You have four pads, two either side of your spine just around the top of your pants, and two either side of your spine just below your bra line.  Start off with it on its lowest setting - just enough that you can feel it.  Have it pulsing on an off for around 20-30 minutes, this will start your own endorphins off...Once you have become accustomed to the tingle you can start to use the boost button during tightenings.  And as the tightenings increase you can turn the TENS machine up. 

Mostly TENS works for pain like a radio tuned between stations works for blocking out the sound of a pneumatic drill...tune your radio to the white noise, turn it up loud and see if you can hear anything else...TENS does this with your pain receptors.  Additionally it makes you make endorphins which are a good thing.

Entonox or N2O O2, or Gas and Air is an inhalation analgesia - the Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is laughing gas, and its mixed with oxygen (O2) so you can breathe!  You might use a mask or a mouth piece - either is ok.  The key is to use it effectively.  Lots of women take a breathe, hold the pipe at arms length and say "It isn't working!" - well it won't unless you are actually breathing it, one puff is not enough as most of the stuff is moved back out of your body by your lungs as soon as you breathe out, and there is a definite delayed effect to it.  The trick is to get to know your tightenings - learn about how they feel before they hurt - do you feel your belly go hard?  Is it in your back? A pressure feeling in your fanny?  Whatever the sign that the pain is about to start is, learn to recognise it.  And when it comes start to take puffs of entonox - in and out, in and out, in and out....not so deep straight away that it makes you gag...get used to it first.  If you start taking it before the pain is strong the effects should be fully in place by the time the peak of the contraction hits you...then you can take normal breaths again...

Entonox has a  very minimal effect on the baby, but if you use it deeply for hours you can get quite stoned....You may be asked to come up for normal air to make your brain wake up...

And it makes you very thirsty - keep drinking.

A note about entonox in the second stage - you can't push effectively while doing deep breathing - your midwife may take the entonox away from you if you are too distracted by it....

A community midwife would be able to bring entonox to a home birth

Opiate Analgesia - like pethidine or meptid.  These are heroin's little brother.  They don't take away the pain, they make you not care about it in between.  For some women that is a perfect way to spend a labour - dozing in between and relaxing.  Other women cannot stand the drunken stoned feeling that it brings.  It is a drug that is very useful when women are very tense - the relaxation it brings can speed a labour up in some cases, however, if used too early in labour it can stop it completely....

If given within an hour or so of birth pethidine can dull the respiritory reflex of the newborn - making them reluctant to breathe... we have an antidote and are all fully trained in neonatal resuscitation, and it is quite rare so don't let it stop you having the drug if you think you need it.  Pethidine can also dull the sucking reflex of the baby - this can make it more difficult (but by no means impossible) to establish breastfeeding in the first day or two.  Finally - there are some studies that indicate that babies exposed to opiates in the womb are more likely to become addicted to opiates as adolescents and young adults...

A community midwife might be able to supply opiates at a home birth but may be very reluctant to do so because of the implications for neonatal resuscitation....

Epidural - an injection into your back that leaves a little tube inside through which pain killing medication can be given either as a continuous infusion or as a series of top ups.... Advantages - usually total pain relief, although sometimes it doesn't work equally on both sides or you may have a window of pain or it may not work at all and will need to be resited.  Given by an anaesthetist - some labour wards have them available all the time, others have to share them with ITU for example.  It takes about 20-30 minutes to perform, and you do need to be able to sit still at certain points of the procedure - if you have a pain coming tell them and they will stop what they are doing.  You'll almost certainly need to have a venflon in your arm or hand to give you fluids as epidurals can significantly reduce your blood pressure and we can correct that with a drip. 

Epidurals can slow labour down, especially the pushing stage.  They are more likely to lead to an instrumental delivery (ie forceps or ventouse) because the woman may have reduced sensation to push.  They are not more likely to lead to a caesarean section....

Side effects include headaches and backaches but these are very minor and remedied easily.  More serious, but very rare side effects include paralysis and nerve damage....here (http://www.oaa-anaes.ac.uk/assets/_managed/editor/File/Info%20for%20Mothers/EIC/2008_eic_english.pdf) is the information card our hospital uses.


Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Sherpa on May 14, 2010, 12:12:18 PM
Thanks for this ratbag.

Can I ask you a question about membrane sweeps? My consultant is very worried about me going overdue - with some good reason due to age (i'm 42), ivf and family history. I had a membrane sweep on Weds which revealed that cervix was 2cm dilated and 1cm thick, so looking promising, and i had a show yesterday morning though nothing since. Plan is to have another sweep on Weds if I haven't gone into labour between times: I was thinking of having another on friday if that didn't work, but I was wondering, given your concerns about examinations, might it be better to hold back?
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: ratbag on May 14, 2010, 12:54:12 PM
Hi Sherpa, your age alone should make no difference.  All the evidence regarding older mothers points to the fact that unless you have a pre-existing medical condition (like high bp or diabetes - both more common in older women) the only thing you are more likely to suffer from is interference from the medical profession... ::)

In terms of membrane sweeping it would help to know how far on you are.... the evidence for membrane sweeping is that it reduces the time from sweep to delivery by about 12-24 hours... in other words - women who have sweeps have their babies on average (the key point here is on average) 12-24 hours sooner than those who didn't have a sweep.  The NICE guideline doesn't recommend membrane sweeping before term....

In terms of repeated sweeps - everytime you have an internal the chances of bacteria being passed upwards into the birth canal is increased - if your waters are intact the risk from this is minimal - however some bacteria are able to cause rupture of membranes.  If your waters have broken I would never recommend excessive internals....

the choice is obviously yours.  You can also encourage labour with regular orgasms, clitoral and nipple stimulation.  Some women still swear by castor oil but a whole fresh pineapple has also been suggested too.  All of these interventions, including a sweep, will only work if you are ready to go into labour anyway....

Good luck
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Sherpa on May 14, 2010, 01:08:35 PM
Thanks ratbag - waters are intact (though she said that they were bulging) so no fears about infections, it just occurred to me that all that rummaging could maybe make the placenta worse or something ... If it were just my age I would be resisting more strongly, but there's quite a poor placental family history so much as I think it would all probably be fine I am taking it a bit more seriously ...
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Hayjay on May 15, 2010, 03:18:48 PM
Exciting times Sherpa  ;D ;D ;D - can't believe we are here after meeting up last August.  ;D  All the best for the birth.

Thanks Ratbag  ;)
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Hayjay on May 18, 2010, 12:50:53 PM
Question for Ratbag (or anybody who knows).

Baby's head has been on the 100th (>97.7) centile at 20 week scan and also at my 4d scan at 26 weeks.  Abdomen was abbout 80th and femur about 60th. Generally my fundal height has been 1-3cms over but not been measured for nearly 4 weeks.  I am due to go tomorrow for my 34 week check.  The question is do I merit a growth scan because of his big spud head?  I have read that tearing correlates directly to head circumference so this is playing on my mind a bit  :o.  Maybe he has normalised and it would be nice to know.  I am starting perineal massage this weekend and I know I will stretch but I am trying to go for the birth without fear/hypnotherapy thing and this is the bit that worries me  most - only because of the size issue  - not generally.  If they told me he was 75th I would feel happier.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: nismat on May 18, 2010, 02:13:26 PM
I can't claim to be hugely knowledgeable, but I'm sure that it's the size/width of the baby's shoulders that is more important in relation to risk of tearing than the circumference of it's head - shoulders being wider than head!
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: my sparkle instinct on May 18, 2010, 09:10:13 PM
I know that size/weight estimates are supposed to have up to 20% margin of error when based on a scan - so it could be 80th %ile if that makes you feel any better?
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: LouieB on Aug 17, 2010, 11:02:45 AM
Hi everyone.  :)

I'm thinking of trying hypnobirthing. Can anyone suggest a good class or book? I'm in North London.

Louiebear
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: nismat on Aug 17, 2010, 12:33:43 PM
I bought Marie Mongan's Hypnobirthing book, which I think is a good starting point to find out if Hypnobirthing per se is for you (I think that Hypnobirthing is pretty much a trademark, but there are other programmes of using hypnotherapy for birth).. I found the book (and accompanying CD) too Americanised for me to get to grips with, without finding it annoying, and just too extreme; the idea of following such an intensive preparation process was too much for me, so I didn't investigate classes, which might well have given me a more balanced perspective. Her website is http://www.hypnobirthing.co.uk/marie_mongan.shtml (http://www.hypnobirthing.co.uk/marie_mongan.shtml)
However, I did use a Natal Hypnotherapy preparation for birth CD http://www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk/ which I found much more approachable and useful, personally speaking. I only started using it in the last weeks of pregnancy (probably not until around 37/8 weeks!!), but you can of course use it much earlier. Nevertheless, I found it very helpful, both in approaching the birth in a calm manner, and in dealing with contractions when actually in labour.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: my sparkle instinct on Aug 17, 2010, 01:11:14 PM
I used some cds which I loaded onto my MP3 - it wasn't hypnobirthing, it was another hypnotism one, but it was very good. Unfortunately my baby was born early so I only got to use it for about two weeks, but I used it in the hospital when I was very scared and I think it regulated my contractions and made them more productive. I was pretty much on my own the whole time in hospital so I needed something to focus on and it was really effective. I would definitely recommend! My friend used hypnobirthing and her labour was 3 hours and minimal pain.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: LouieB on Aug 18, 2010, 07:44:20 PM
Thanks for the advice  :)

Yes, think it might be good to have a non-Americanized version...
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: my sparkle instinct on Aug 18, 2010, 07:54:53 PM
Just checked and mine was the same one Nismat used - Natal Hypnotherapy. They have different versions for home or hospital birth - I did the homebirth one which is here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Natal-Hypnotherapy-Programme-Home-Birth/dp/1905220103/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282252585&sr=8-2-spell
I also read 3 brilliant books: Childbirth Without Fear, Birthing from Within and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, which all helped with confidence and knowledge of the birthing process.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: LouieB on Aug 19, 2010, 04:46:41 PM
Thanks. I'll look them up on amazon.

I used the Natal Hypnotheraphy IVF Companion. It was good, pretty relaxing, and nice to go to sleep to when i was worried about the treatment - but the voice got a bit annoying after listening to it over and over. It wasn't really hypnosis though, more deep relaxation. Unless I'm immune to hypnosis!!

LB
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: deemo on Jan 28, 2011, 03:29:02 PM
Dear Ratbag -- I read your notes quite a few times during my pregnancy and they helped enormously, so thank you! Whilst the birth was not what we expected (it never is, is it) I used your visualisation of the storm and the waves which really helped my - very short - labour. Unfortunately at the very last minute they noticed a foot presenting, the baby was undiagnosed breach and we had an emergency section. But, all is well :). Thanks again.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Hetty on Jan 28, 2011, 09:22:44 PM
Thank you for your kind words.  What a shame it ended like that after such a quick labour - women's bodies are brilliant and I am sure you would have managed to give birth beautifully - and I am sure you will do in the future.

Ratbag (posting as Hetty....duh)
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: blush on Mar 10, 2011, 04:56:54 PM
on this topic i'd like to add the following advice: don't waste any time thinking the midwife knows what will work for YOU.  also, if your mother had one or many very quick, or difficult births, chancea are you might follow suit and it may well be worth talking it through with the midwife at the beginning.

i knew without doubt i wanted an epidural as i am very bad with any pain, but the midwife was of the opinion that as many of us as possible should "go natural" and raved about the great pain relieving effects of warm water in the birthing pool. initially she had me thinking she must be right, she's the midwife. by the time i was strong enough to say actually, i DO want the epidural i've been campaigning for all this time, it moved too quickly (4 hours in total, like mum...) and i had to go through the whole experience with only gas and air. usually i am very headstrong but when you're in a vulnerable position you might find yourself behaving very differently to how you think you will. i wish i'd stood up to her straight away while there was still time, so i could have had a less painful and stressful experience.

you know yourself and your limits better than anyone... do everything in your power to have the birth YOU want, not what the midwife wants, even if she/he means well.

and good luck, it's all worth it in the end ♥
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: (just) DayDreamerXxx on Oct 24, 2011, 12:38:05 AM
where the hellll was you Ratbag when i needed YOUU 17 yrs ago!!!!????????????
lol Sh#t this is a bloody BRILLIANT thread!!!!!
it makes me want another baby JUST SO I CAN USE THESE GUIDELINES!!!!!! LOL seriously!!!!
u are awesome!!! :)) ;) :D *majorly impressive stuff* *grin*
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Lust for Life on Oct 24, 2011, 10:14:55 AM
^I would add that you can inherit speedy birthing from your father's side too, apparently ;)

And making decisions for YOU, applies afterwards as well to for YOUR child.  Of all the experts out there who can give you great advice on one or two aspects, at the end of the day you are the one(s) who have invested masses of time and energy in getting to know YOUR whole child, and sometimes you really do know best.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Jenny Talia on Jun 22, 2013, 03:47:32 PM
How to have a good birth - not give birth to a 4 kilo monster ::) :P

I'm glad I read this and all the other advice I got and actually I think I could have managed had the baby not been too big.  I was coping really well with the contractions and was mentally all set for the pain.  The only thing that I wasn't prepared for was the huge change in plans.  I managed to process the need for an epidural, as by then the contractions had become just one long grinding pain... Even the induction was ok as I wanted my baby to remain happy and I still had the chance of a vaginal delivery.  The c-section just killed me.  I cried for an hour, it was so far from what I wanted.  I'm glad I agreed however as my baby was happy to the end.  He had no idea there was ever any panic.
Title: Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
Post by: Musette on Aug 06, 2013, 11:05:12 AM
^ same here. My first weighed 4.5kg and had a 39cm head. He was never gonna make it out the traditional way :(