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Another question

Last post 04-16-2009 2:13 PM by Anonymous. 8 replies.
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  • 04-12-2009 11:44 AM

    Another question

    I've heard that showers can speed labor along (running over the breasts) but that if you get into a bathtub too early it slows labor down, is this true?


  • 04-12-2009 12:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Another question

    No hard and fast rule.  Some women like tubs, some showers.  Some think they'll like the water and then don't. Some like to simply hear the water running.  Sometimes the tub can slow labor down at 9 cm and speed labor up at 3.  Everyone's different but everyone knows what they like and don't like. Cool


    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 04-12-2009 7:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Another question

    Ok, I understand now. Thank you. :D


  • 04-13-2009 5:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Another question

    The thing that gets me concerning whether getting into water will slow a labor down is ... so what?  If the labor slows down, what's the big deal?  It's not like the labor is going to grind to a halt never to resume again and the woman's still pregnant a year later.  "Oh dang!  If I only hadn't gotten into the tub, I'd have had this baby last year!"  Or suppose mama's really tired and she gets into the tub and her labor slows down--or even (GASP! Surprise) stops for a while?  She gets some needed sleep, gets out of the tub and finishes her labor.  What's the big deal?  Unless there's a medical reason for the labor to continue--in which case, the tub is probably not an option anyway--then it's OK for the labor to slow down.  I'm not chastising you, blooming9midwife, I'm just saying it's not the big deal that everyone thinks it will be. The earth will continue spinning on its axis even if a labor slows down in water.


    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 04-13-2009 3:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Another question


    I don't believe its bad if it stops for a while, I just wanted to know because one day I'm going to be a midwife and there are gonna be women who would rather not slow their labor down whether their labor has already been slow or they're just eager to see their little bundle of joy, and they're going to ask me what to avoid and what to do.


  • 04-13-2009 6:13 PM In reply to

    • midwifea
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-12-2009
    • Kailua Kona, HI
    • Posts 475

    Re: Another question

    The only request I have for a mama about getting in a tub is;  if her bag of waters has already broken, we wait to get into the tub until labor is really active.


    "The Voice

    There is a voice inside of you
    That whispers all day long,
    "I feel this is right for me,
    I know that this is wrong."
    No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
    Or wise man can decide
    What's right for you--just listen to
    The voice that speaks inside."
    — Shel Silverstein
  • 04-14-2009 11:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Another question

    Again, I wasn't chastising you, bloomingmidwife, I was trying to get across that you will hear these "rules" as if there were commandments to having a baby and there are not.  Although women do tend to follow a pattern, just when you think you've got it down, the "rules" will change and you will go, "Wow.  That was different but normal" and then you'll see something else later on down the line and that will blow your mind, to.  I think a lot of the "rules" come from us sharing information and it gets a little twisted by the time it comes down the line. One of the hardest things you'll probably have to learn, however, is one that's hard for all of us--how to sit on our butts and let the motherbaby make the rules.  I think a lot of the "rules" come from us passing around information whether we're doulas, educators, midwives, or doctors.  We get excited when we hear a new thing or learn some new information.  It's only natural to think that it's going to work for everyone or that it works for almost everyone and then, like I wrote above, some other motherbaby comes along and completely blows that theory out of the water and we're left there scratching our heads and saying, "Well I'll be darned [or durned as we say down South]!"  There will be times when it's frustrating, too, and you're left saying, "Dang!  If she would have just followed the rules!"  Never a dull moment, eh? 


    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 04-14-2009 1:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Another question

    Another thing to think about (WRT advising women who are in labour) is that with the exception of premature labours almost ALL women want to meet the baby by the end of pregnancy.

    A good midwife friend of mine tod me that you cannot keep a cooked baby in.  So if a mama is keen to see baby but labour just doesn't seem to be moving forward much and mama could really do with rest but due to fear of slowing things down more is refusing to get into water even though she'd like to have the relief, it's worth asking why the labour isn't moving on much.

    Some examples i can think of off the top of my head:

    My friend - primip, 24, EDD+1, waters rupture at 9pm with slight (described as "not as bad as period pain") contractions 5-6 times an hour.  Mama is too excited to go to bed, sure that intense labour is just around the corner.  By 9am nothing has changed.  She calls the hospital and they tell her to come in since it's been 12 hours since ROM.  At book in she is 3cm dilated but barely effaced at all (and she has a very long cervix, about 5cm when fully closed, about 4cm at this point) and having painful ctx every 8 minutes. She is given until midday to progress, doesn't (everything is static), is given pitocin, progresses very slowly.  By 3pm she has an epidural in place and after 32 hours awake she has a nap for an hour.  At 6pm she is fully dilated and pushes with the epidural for an hour with very little progress.  The epidural wears off and she is moved onto her knees and pushes for another 20 minutes.  There is sudden progress and her son goes into immediate and persistent (i.e. not just descent and rotation distress-type tones) distress.  The Ob rushes in with a ventouse, has mum put on her back, cuts an episiotomy and delivers him.  He was asyclintic (head on one side) and not fully anterior (facing the back of her right hip instead of her spine), and had a nuchal cord and a nuchal hand, and had lots of bruises and marks from where he was against her bones and from the delivery.  She is stitched up, loves him and they BF for 26 months.

    Another woman i know: 2nd baby, 1st was medical induction for post-dates (EDD+10), 29, EDD+9, contractions begin around 10am but space out every time she relaxes.  Eager to get the baby out and unconvinced (after the first birth) of her body's ability to get the baby out in a timely and safe fashion, she spends the next 12 house at home walking, cleaning, polishing, scrubbing, climbing up and down stairs and taking the toddler to the park.  Her midwife (she is homebirthing) calls in around 8pm to see how she's doing and tells her to STOP.  She prescribes a shower and a long sleep and charges the grandma (who is there to help out) with getting the toddler up and out or quiet the next day so mum can sleep in if possible.  WOman reluctantly agrees but decides to give it a few more hours once midwife has gone.  By midnight her partner and mum have ground her down and she reluctantly agrees to the bath.  Bath halts labour altogether.  Woman gets into bed at 1am and sleeps until 11am.  At 11am she gets up, partner makes her toast, which she eats.  She feels mild contractions while she's eating but nothing too exciting.  At midday her midwife calls and they chat about how she's feeling and agree that she will call round again later in the day to listen to baby and see how mum is.  At 1pm mum has a long, intense, very painful contraction.  Immediately afterwards she vomits and asks for a bath to be run (to slow things down as it's so intense).  Midwife calls back to mention something she'd forgotten and partner tells her what happened.  Midwife arrives 25mins later to find mum pushing and baby girl is born 20minutes later in the bath.

    There are definitely times when a labour will NOT get going until something which is not right (mum not rested, babe not in a good position) comes right.  The best advice on this i was given was that if the mix was right and the baby was cooked no bath, shower, walk would keep it in.  Once the process is coming on it is very hard to stop - think of all the premature babies who are born despite cocktails of powerful drugs.  Really, how could a bath or shower prevent or slow something that is relentlessly imminent?  Ina May Gaskin encourages women to go on with their normal tasks until they cannot and then do whatever feels good until the birth.

    There might be times when as a midwife you will need to tell a woman that, keen or not, if her labour slows due to warm water or rest or anything else one would normally do, then maybe it needs to slow down for a bit!

    Wow, mammoth post! :)

    Me 32, DH 41, DD 2006, DD 2010, DS 2013
  • 04-16-2009 2:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Another question

    Sorry it took me so long to reply, living on a farm and having a big family sure does heap up the work load.

    Thank you all for helping me understand, I trust y'all's advice and love learning from the stories you share.

    Thanks again!

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