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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    1st got stuck, afraid for second

    When I went into labour with #1, I was fine with the contractions. I was able to make it to 7cm before going to the hospital. There I was laid in bed and told not to get up because of fetal monitoring. I had his nappy bag all ready but did not expect labour to last as long as it did. I went to the hospital at 11:00 at night and he wasn't born until 7:30 in the morning. He got stuck when he was coming out and the dr had to make a large cut so I wouldn't tear and stitch me back up which bothered me for months after.

    I am pretty sure that birth position and the fact that my water was broken when I got to the hospital were important factors in my traumatic birth. He is two now and I am scared to have another baby because I don't want to have such a horrible experience again. Are there ways to avoid getting their shoulders stuck during labour? How can I avoid another traumatic birth?

  2. #2
    Dear dsmum,

    Thank you for sharing some of your birth story here. I am so sorry that you had a traumatic birth experience. This is a tragedy as a women's (and her baby's, of course) experience of birth is so important - it is a key life event and one which stays with us forever.

    Many hospitals have an 'afterthoughts' process where you can go back through the birthing notes in detail with a midwife. You can even do it at this stage in many hospitals (i.e. two years after giving birth). I wonder if this is something which would help you to understand fully what happened in your labour and to express your concerns and worries it has caused you.

    You are right; your position during labour and the environment that you are in has a significant effect on the labour itself. Was there a reason you were given for needing to lay down for fetal monitoring? Hand held fetal monitors can be used in most labours so that the woman can move around freely. Having an active birth (where you are frequently in an upright position and moving around the room finding positions that helps you feel more comfortable during the contractions) helps to make labour shorter and make the contractions more efficient. Laying down on your back on a bed unfortunately tends to mean a longer labour and that a woman will find the contractions more difficult to deal with.

    This birthing position (horizontal on a hospital bed in a stressful enviroment) also makes it more likely that a woman will need an episiotomy. In most cases it is actually better if a woman tears than has this episiotomy cut because the body heals better from a natural tear.

    Being in an upright position or birthing in water both help with your baby coming out more easily. Also, if you are in an environment that you feel safe in and cared for you are less likely to need interventions in labour.

    Did your baby's shoulders actually get stuck whilst he was being pushed out or was this just voiced to you as a concern? i.e. was the cut made with your baby's shoulders stuck? This will help us to answer your question better.

    Having midwife-led care (rather than hospital-led) if you have a low risk pregnancy is more likely to mean that you are: encouraged to be active in your labour, use water if wanted and be encouraged to get into a birthing position where gravity helps to bring the baby down and you can push/ bear down more easily. This all means a smoother and quicker labour is more likely and one which is experienced as a positive birth.

    I would also highly encourage you to look into getting a doula with your next pregnancy and labour. This specially trained and experienced birthing partner will understand your history and your birthing wishes in detail and be there for you to support you on the day. They can also be your advocate in hospital (if you choose to birth there). You could also consider a course where you learn 'Hypnobirthing' or 'Calm birth' to give you some excellent techniques for dealing with previous fear associated with labour and learning to release tension during your next labour.

    Please do continue to keep in touch and know that we on this forum are here to support you. Your next birth experience can be a positive one.

    With warm wishes,

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