What's your opinion on internal examinations?
I am interested to know what the opinions of others are on having internal examinations in labour.
With my first baby this was not even a question I considered. I assumed internal examinations were necessary in order for the midwives or doctors to know how dilated a woman was and also to ascertain when she were ready to move to the pushing stage of labour.
However, when I was pregnant with my second baby I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on about the different birth choices available and also what could be included in a birth plan.
I learnt that I did not have to have internal examinations. In fact, some sources state that internal examinations can slow labour (as they bring the woman out of the deep state she may be in during labour). Many experienced midwives are able to tell what stage of labour a woman is in by factors such as: the noises the woman is making, the length and frequency of the contractions, the position the woman feels most comfortable in etc.
So with my second labour I only had one internal examination - when I arrived at the hospital. I felt other internal examinations would be too intrusive and had as my birth preference not to have them (unless they became medically essential).
Did you have internal examinations in your labour? Is this something you considered/ would consider commenting on in your birth plan?