Post # 1
I’m only 25 wks right now, but I’m starting to think of what type of birth plan I want when that time comes. I’ve started reading into laboring down and perineal massages as ways to help avoid tearing and speed up the pushing stage. Has anyone used these techniques and have they worked for you? I’ve already decided I want an epidural ASAP as I have a very low tolerance for pain, but like any pregnant woman, if I can come out of this in one piece I’m all for it! If you’ve used these techinques were your doctors and nurses supportive of them? I’ve only started my research so I’m not sure how common of a practice these are. I’m alreading getting freaked out about labor and could use any advice thrown at me!!
Post # 3
Mrs. DG had an epidural (I think), labored down, and didn’t tear. Maybe you could PM her?
Post # 4
If you want perineal massage, it will be up to either you or your partner to do it. I can pretty much guarantee that no L&D nurse is going to be doing it for you! Also, I am under the impression that it isn’t just a during labour intervention, you have to go it frequently leading up to labour.
Post # 5
I recently read a birthing story where the woman like really labored down, as her midwife hadn’t made it to her house yet. (eek).. She worte that she felt her contractions change and even though she was pushing she felt her contractions pushing the baby down! Really neat!
And perineal massage would definitely be something to look into, but you or your partner would probably have to do it pre-pushing as Ms Mini said… many midwives will do this while actually in the pushing stage to help you stretch and make room for the baby.
I’m not sure too many other things you can do when you have an epi since you can’t feel much, but I do know also just working with your body and not rushing things really helps as well =)
ETA: This site looked like a great resource with the different things that can/will help to not tear!
Post # 7
It’s where you hold off pushing even after your 10 cm. From what I read you can labor down for about an hour to allow the baby to descend on its own before you start the pushing process. It’s suppose to decrease the time your pushing and allow you to conserve energy since you’re letting your body do the first part for you. I’ve also read it help reduce tearing because you’re not straining your body for as long – at least that’s how the theory goes!
Post # 8
Just wanted to say that I had my baby on Aug. 18th and eventhough I was at 10cm the doctor said “let’s wait” till I felt all the presure and felt my body telling me it was time. It only took me about 15 mintues more to get to that point after I was at 10cm- but I can tell you that there was a huge difference in my feeling the need to push. And then I pushed for 2 1/2 minutes. I know my case is extreme- but I am very glad that I waited to push until I felt my body was ready and my doctor didn’t want to rush it just because I had reached 10cm. I only had a very small tear.
Post # 9
Thanks! That’s very helpful to know. I’m going to talk to my team about that.
Post # 10
No advice since I didn’t do either. I mentioned laboring down and not yet feeling an urge to push but the OB and nurses said well maybe I was just a person who didn’t get that urge. I think if I had mentioned it from the getgo and reiterated it several times maybe they would have been more on board. You may also want to look into pushing techniques too. The OB I had was a bit old school and wanted me to hold my breath for 10 seconds while I pushed, it felt awkward and wrong and just I knew I was going to get injured, what felt best for me was taking long slow deep breaths and pushing while I slowly breathed out. But I got yelled at to hold my breath everytime they caught me doing that, no explanation offered, and my husband said she was still being pushed out when I did that sooo….I think they were just old school. So if you do want to do something that might be a bit different don’t wait to say something – say it early and often.
Post # 11
I was able to labor down with my son and I didn’t end up tearing, but it didn’t decrease my pushing time either.. I still pushed for 2.5 hours. I know my nurse did some perineal massage on me with mineral oil while my son was descending, but I’ve read mixed things about whether or not perineal massage actually helps. I know some people do it over a course of several weeks towards the end of their pregnancy. I think if you want to avoid tearing I would look into learning different labor positions and try to hold off on the epidural until as far into labor as you can physically stand so you are able to move around more and work the baby down more effectively.
Post # 12
@firsttimemom: YEP! I was thinking mrs.DG too….ever sice I read baby cecilia’s birth story i’ve been researching laboring down as my only option! and she had an epi aswell.
As far as the massage goes…I’m Arab and in our culture the massages are A MUST (they even have massage parlors that do them for pregnant women too..just like any other massage). And I don’t know if it’s because middle-eastern women’s body are genetically different or if it’ the massages…but no one I know (Arab) has torn.
They swear by it and do it from day 1
Post # 13
im glad you posted this! i labored down for 2.5 hours — i was fully dilated but then my ob had to do another woman’s emergency c-section and we had to wait…and wait…and wait. good thing i had gotten an epidural cause i would have been ready to smack someone in the face! my ob let the epidural wear off some so i could feel the urge to push – i pushed for an hour and a half. i ended up with a 2nd degree tear. i didn’t have perineal massage…wonder if that would have made a difference.
Post # 14
I’m not pregnant yet but the more I hear about laboring down, the more I am intrigued by it. Definitely something I will look into more once Darling Husband and I are pregnant and putting together a birth plan.
Post # 15
omg @ everyone who could “labor down” There is no way in hell I could have done that! My push urge was out. of. control. they were like “don’t push yet!” and I was like “sorry bitches!’ But I only pushed for like 20 minutes so I don’t know. Can you labor down w/out an epidural? My stupid epidural didn’t work. grrrr.
Also do anything you can to avoid tearing. I had third degree tears and it HURT so badly. So I don’t know if the massages work but I would do them anyway. because the stitching up of a third degree laceration is painfuuuul.
Post # 16
I also had an epidural and labored down for a while before pushing. Altogether, I pushed for less than 30 minutes, and I ended up with just a couple “papercut” tears.
I considered perineal massage, but honestly, my husband would have to have done it for me, and I just couldn’t get on board. 🙂 If you have a midwife, or doula, she/he might do perineal massage for you during birth, though.