It seems like the water during early labour really does slow things down from what I've read. I'll have a chat about the birth plan with my ob. I didn't think to write one up for my 2nd but I'm hoping for quite a different experience this time so want to be prepared.
I really appreciate everyone's replies!!
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08-08-2016 18:51 #21
Timing for water birth
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hakuna matata (08-08-2016)
08-08-2016 18:54 #22
08-08-2016 19:56 #23Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2015
I had a water birth with my first. Short 4 hour labour in total and I was fully dilated when I arrived at the hospital so straight into the bath that they had waiting for me, I was in there for maybe 30-40 minutes before I had her.
At the time I found it comforting, but last year I had my second child and I didn't have a water birth (I had planned to but she had an extremely high heart rate so I had to be monitored) and if I'm honest they both hurt just the same I thought the water had made it less excruciating but it was the exact same amount of pain with my youngest!
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08-08-2016 22:00 #24
By definition true established labour is strong, regular contractions that have dilated the cervix to 4cm (with a recent push to change this to 6cm). The time spent laboring before this is usually called early labour but of course these are just definitions on paper. I understand and know from experience that the entire process is hard work and I am not meaning to minimise anyone's personal experience. Also I hate focusing too much on how many cm dilated because that suggests that everyone needs heaps of internal exams but I personally dont think that. Avoid them as much as possible I say! But anyway.... I do stand by the point that when your labour is clinically defined as 'established' then it is very unusual for a pool or anything else to slow it down.
So my point about getting in when you feel the need..... Part of why I think this is because as I said above I dont think it's helpful to really focus on the number. If you were 3/4/5 cm an hour ago but now the intensity has really kicked up a notch then I don't think the laboring woman should worry and need a midwives fingers to tell her she is now 6cm and can get in. IMO just get in.
If this is the wrong decision (in hindsight) and after being in the pool for a while and she has an internal and is still 'only' 4cm is that really so bad? You now think that the pool slowed things so get out and walk or whatever and amp things back up. I think this is preferable to putting lots of worry into whether you are getting in at the perfect time and maybe not getting in at all. Obviously this is just my opinion and others might rather wait and confirm with an internal that they are past the magic 7cm mark and maybe risk getting in 'too late'. It's all personal really tho isn't it? My own experiences have lead me to believe that doing what feels right is usually the right choice but obviously that's not everyone's experience. X
08-08-2016 22:01 #25
I got into the bath at 7cm which is when we arrived at the birth centre. I wasn't even aware I was in labour (honest, all I had was some mild period like pain) so I doubt even if I was aware, I wouldn't have hopped in any earlier. Dd was born a couple of hours later.
I remained in the bath for the placenta but the water was drained. It was bliss, didn't use any pain relief as I found the water worked well enough for the pain. I was gutted my ds was footling breech & required a csect as I would have loved another shot at a water birth
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08-08-2016 22:34 #26
08-08-2016 22:36 #27
I had early/pre labour all night long. Then things amped up and I had HOURS of strong regular contractions that felt and looked like established labour but my cervix just wasn't dilating. In fact it was getting swollen and damaged but still not dilating. I was planning to birth at home so obviously my pain management options were somewhat limited. I knew about the 'rules' about not getting in to the pool too early but I had tried everything else (showers, massage, position changes, heat.....) and I needed something. Or I was heading to hospital for the whole drug cupboard! My midwife didn't think the pool was a good idea but I REALLY wanted it so I got in anyway. Soooooo I had read so many waterbirth stories and I think I had high expectations. I got in.... And..... Nothing! It still hurt A LOT! I stayed in for ages anyway and used the water to support me in getting into some good forward leaning positions. Loooonnnng story short my labour was not going well because my baby was in an really cr@p position. I was at 4cm (with lots of swelling) all day. The pool wasn't helping pain wise and eventually I got out to go to the toilet. Moving out of the pool and then sitting on the toilet helped baby turn and engage and then bam! Everything progressed very quickly, there was a bit of drama and excitement but it all ended with me pushing my gorgeous son out in 11 minutes on my bed.
So I got in 'too early' and it didnt help with pain BUT I needed the pool emotionally. Kinda just for a change of scenery. A distraction maybe. It also gave me a rest physically. The weightlessness of the water and the position changes helped move baby around. I'm glad I listened to my instinct to get in and didnt worry about it being too early. Obviously it didnt end in a waterbirth but it was still the right thing to do.
My second labour was textbook. Early labour overnight. Labour then established. I wasn't that keen to get in the pool because it didn't help the pain last time but my (wonderful) midwife gently encouraged me to get in.... Well this time I felt the bliss that I had read so much about. The water felt great and baby was born not long after. The perfect textbook home waterbirth.
2 babies born at home. Both using a pool but both soooooooo different. All this has cemented my opinion to get in when you want to. If you have a great midwife that you trust then they can guide you. However I firmly believe that our maternal instincts are strong and valuable tools in labour. Good luck with whatever works for you. Xxx
08-08-2016 22:40 #28
@RedCreamingSoda that makes perfect sense. I hear what you're saying - I'm going to try not to focus on the dilation necessarily but will try to hold off on labouring in the water until the contractions are a lot more intense.
I'm kind of feeling like this labour is going to be a completely new experience because I'll be avoiding an induction if possible, so I'm not sure if it will be a lot faster *because* it will be spontaneous and my 3rd? My second labour was so hard and long, and I deeply regretted being induced.
08-08-2016 22:41 #29
Oh OP I just saw you mention tears..... Both my land and water births gave me small tears but the burning and stretching that feels horrible during crowning was definitely MUCH better in water. X
08-08-2016 22:44 #30
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