Posts Tagged ‘delivery’

What causes back labor?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

back painAsked about back labor, Dr. Siobhan Dolan answers the question in her new March of Dimes book, Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.

“Babies are usually face-down (looking toward the mother’s spine) as they move into the pelvis. But sometimes a baby is face-up (looking toward the mother’s belly) instead. This can cause intense back pain during labor and is called back labor. If you’re having back labor, your provider may try to rotate your baby by having you change positions, although that doesn’t always work. Sometimes babies rotate (either in response to a mother’s changed position or on their own), and sometimes unrotated babies are delivered face-up.”

Dr. Dolan’s book includes a section on coping with pain through relaxation techniques and with pain medications. It’s good to know about both options. You can read more about the book at this link.

3 stages of labor

Friday, October 28th, 2011

itstimeIs it time? Recognizing the signs of labor can help you know when it’s time to call your health provider and head to the hospital.  Learning about the stages of labor can help you know what to expect during labor and delivery.

Labor occurs in three stages. When regular contractions begin, the baby moves down into the pelvis as the cervix both effaces (thins) and dilates (opens). How long labor lasts and how it progresses is different for every woman. But each stage features some milestones that are true for every woman.

Stage 1: Early labor and active labor – The first stage of labor takes place in two phases: early labor (which can last a few hours or days, especially for first time moms) is usually at home; and active labor where you’ll want to be at the hospital or wherever you have planned to deliver.

Stage 2: Baby is born – During the second stage of labor, your cervix is fully dilated and ready for childbirth. Your health provider will want you to begin pushing to allow your baby to be born. Your baby finally is here!

Stage 3: Delivery of placenta – During the third stage of labor, the placenta, which gave your baby food and oxygen through the umbilical cord, is delivered. While you are bonding with your new baby during the first minutes of her life, your provider will get you ready for this final stage.

Read more, learn what you can do to help you through each stage and watch our video at this link.

Vaginal birth after c-section: Is it safe?

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

mom-with-newbornIs it safe to have a vaginal birth once a woman has had a c-section? That’s the question medical experts asked this week at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Vaginal birth after cesarean is called VBAC for short.

Some women want to deliver vaginally after they’ve had a c-section. They may want a “more natural” experience, or they may want to avoid having surgery again.

Yet many women have trouble finding a medical provider or hospital who will consider VBAC. Hospitals and providers worry about safety and about the risk of being sued.

The NIH experts concluded that, while there are risks involved, VBAC can be safe for many women. They encouraged hospitals, providers and women to work together. Everyone needs to consider the risks and benefits for the particular woman and her baby. When it makes sense, the woman should have the option to choose VBAC. The panel also called for more research.

Mom ‘tweets’ during childbirth

Monday, March 8th, 2010

81071382_thbI caught a fascinating story the other night on the news – a woman documented her entire labor as it unfolded on Twitter. She put her Blackberry down only for about 20 minutes during the actual delivery. What do you think of that? I’m all for social media, but if someone handed me my Blackberry while I was in labor I probably would have smashed it against the wall. My labor came on so suddenly we didn’t have time to inform our families that I was on the way to the hospital let alone hop on Twitter and give a play by play. I say…good for her though! By reaching out to her followers she had something else to focus on other than the discomforts of labor. Maybe it provided her with the continuous labor support that she needed and made her feel empowered. Would you ‘tweet’ during childbirth?

After you deliver: Do you know what to expect?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

mother-and-newbornIf you’re pregnant, you’ve probably thinking a lot about your delivery. What will it feel like? How bad will the pain be? Will the baby be healthy?

But have you talked with your health provider about your own health after the baby has arrived? What can you expect during the postpartum period?

In a recent study, researchers surveyed 724 women 2 weeks after they had delivered a baby. Many of these women said they felt unprepared for postpartum health issues. For instance, fewer than half were prepared to expect breastfeeding problems, hair loss, hemorrhoids, mood swings, and anxiety. Not all women have these problems, but they are fairly common.

So next time you see your provider, take a few moments to talk about the postpartum period. The March of Dimes has several articles and videos that can help.

The new study of postpartum women appears in the February issue of the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The day Hannah arrived, the conclusion

Friday, September 4th, 2009

75460078915_0_albAlthough it would have made a great story, I didn’t deliver in the ambulance.  Sorry to disappoint.

Now where was I?

We arrived at some random hospital. We didn’t tour this facility. My midwife did not have privileges here. This was not the plan. I was quickly pulled out of the ambulance and rushed inside. I caught eyes with an elderly woman in the corridor who stepped to the side as we wheeled past. She looked horrified. Was I that bad?

The ER staff stood in a line waiting for me. One of them called out, “how many weeks is she?” I was just shy of thirty seven. I was crying up a storm. Someone chuckled, “oh, take her to L&D then!” Hold on…I’m not having my baby today. I might be sick. A kidney stone perhaps? I have back pain. I threw up. I didn’t shave my legs today. WAIT!

Before I knew it I was off the gurney and standing in what looked like a delivery room. Two nurses were pulling my coat off while asking me for my social security number and health insurance card. I could barely answer them and they were getting frustrated. A short, portly woman with rosy cheeks stepped in. In a soft voice she said, “you have to let us help you. Please answer our questions.” She guided me to the bed and yanked off my winter boots and jeans. She asked me if I was having any bleeding. I asked, “who are you?” She replied, “your doctor.”

Crutches and all, my husband finally found me. He was swarmed with questions and paperwork from the nurses. There must have been at least four people touching me all at once. I was in a hospital gown, there were two monitors strapped over my belly, a blood pressure cuff on my arm, an IV in my hand and the doctor was checking me. “Well, you’re 10 centimeters. You can start pushing whenever you have a contraction.” I almost didn’t believe her.  I felt like the room was spinning. It was loud and bright. I’m not due for another few weeks. Our families don’t know what’s happening. There was no time to call our doula. No over-night bag. No camera. I wasn’t prepared for this.

With my husband quietly at my side, I started to push every time I had the urge. I wasn’t having contractions in the traditional sense. Just intense pressure in my bottom. “Stop pushing with your face,” a nurse instructed. In between pushes I would reach into my husband’s sweat shirt pocket for some ice chips that I was storing in a plastic cup. My mouth was so dry.

I wasn’t sure if my pushes were working. I was distracted for a split second by my bright purple knee socks. Not a good look. Stay focused. “Is anything happening?” The doctor told me to reach down and feel for myself. I touched the top of my baby’s head. I gasped. It was the most perfect moment. It suddenly became real and I snapped out of the fog I was in. I have to get the baby out now.

At 4:42pm I became a mom. The doctor placed this tiny person on my chest. I looked up at my husband who had tears in his eyes and we kissed. We have a daughter. What a surprise! The room was quiet now. I was comfortable. Someone turned the lights down. We’re a family now. Despite the pain, fear and uncertainty it was a perfect day and I wouldn’t change a thing.

It definitely doesn’t end here. My Hannah turns 7 months old tomorrow and I have a ton of stories to share. Thanks for stopping by and see you next Friday. Enjoy the long weekend!

The day Hannah arrived, part two

Friday, August 28th, 2009

ambulanceI could hear the siren getting louder as they got closer  to the house. I couldn’t believe that was coming for me. I felt a little embarrassed. Was this really necessary?  I’d never been inside  an ambulance before. The truck pulled in the driveway. They shut the siren off, but the lights were still going. Oh, brother! And here comes a police car, too. My neighbors will  be so worried. I was approached by one of the medics. He started asking a ton of questions at once and on top of that was speaking so loudly. I literally put my hands over my ears and cried to him, “please stop shouting!”

The pain was really bad now and I could hardly speak. I yelled at my husband to answer the questions for me.   How many weeks pregnant are you? How far apart are your contractions? Whatever you do don’t push! Push? What are you crazy? Of course I’m not going to push. I’m not having the baby today. I’m not even having contractions. My back just really hurts. Wait…before we go I really have to run to the bathroom though.

Oh my. This WAS it! I left the bathroom and told the medic about the new sensation I was having . I really wanted  to push. We have to get you to the hospital now. What hospital do you want to go to? I don’t care. The closest one.  I fought them hard as they tried to get me on the gurney. I can’t sit! I can’t sit! They eventually got me to lay down on my side and wheeled me to the truck. Just before they slammed the doors shut my husband yelled, “I’m right behind you.”

“Only eight more minutes,” the driver said over her shoulder. We were getting closer  to the hospital. Bouncing around in an ambulance was awful. I couldn’t wait to get there and find out what exactly was going on. Despite the medics previous warning, I was  pushing. It helped relieve the intense pressure in my back and bottom.  The urge had  become so regular at that point. It would build up and then I’d push. When the medic caught on he shouted, “are you pushing?? Stop pushing!” I ignored him. This was not something I had control over.  I kept thinking, “relax! I’m not going to deliver in your ambulance!”

Sorry guys, but this post is getting way too long. Check back next Friday for the conclusion of, The day Hannah arrived. Have a great weekend everyone and Happy Birthday Mae-mae!

Oh, and if you missed part one of this story click here.

I’m in labor and I’m thirsty!!

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

glass-of-water-2For years, health care providers have told thirsty women in labor, “Sorry. All you can have is ice chips.” But good news, change is on the way!

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently announced that it is changing its guidelines. Women can now have small amounts of clear liquids during labor, if they wish. Examples of these liquids are water, fruit juice without pulp, sodas, clear tea, black coffee and sports drinks.

Women are still not allowed to have solid food. Why? If a woman needs a c-section and has anesthesia, the food could accidentally get into her lungs and cause a serious medical problem.


The day Hannah arrived

Friday, August 21st, 2009

10129968915_0_albMy back was bothering me  again. I sat at the kitchen table trying to  finish  a bowl of cereal, but I was too uncomfortable. I was 36 weeks pregnant and I had a horrible cold. I called in sick to work and shuffled back to bed.  I tried to fall asleep, but the pressure in my lower back wouldn’t give. I flopped from side to side. I paced around my bedroom. I rocked on my hands and knees, but my back continued to throb. I couldn’t sit still for more than a second. I called for my husband who happened to be  home  recuperating  from a substantial orthopedic surgery that he had two weeks earlier. He massaged my back while balancing on his crutches, but it did no good.

“Don’t leave me”, I said. I was nervous and had to keep moving. He hobbled behind  me from room to room. Maybe I pinched a nerve or pulled a muscle? Let’s just call the midwife and  tell her what’s going on. She said it could just be end-of –pregnancy discomfort. Call her back if anything changes.  I wasn’t having any other symptoms. Until…very suddenly I did.

I ran to the bathroom and  threw up. The pressure in my back ramped up and radiated down into my bottom. I was moaning and walking  around on my tippy toes with my back arched. It was intense. Could this be it?  Was this labor? It came on so suddenly that we weren’t sure. I wasn’t having contractions . Everything we read said that labor progresses slowly and can take hours and hours for first time moms.  Could this be some other medical issue? My husband said, “that’s it we’re going to the hospital.” I was crying.

Somehow he managed to get me into the backset of the car although I was unable to sit. I was on my knees holding onto the head rest. We reached the stop sign at the end of our block and I jumped out of the car. I couldn’t tolerate the car. I just couldn’t do it. My husband was yelling at me, “what are you doing? Get back in the car!!” I somehow managed to crawl back in and he drove like a maniac in reverse back to our house. He whipped  into the driveway and called 911. ..To Be Continued.

Check back next Friday for Part 2 of, The day Hannah arrived. Have a great weekend and Happy Birthday Peter!

Infections after c-section

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

mom-with-newborn1Did you know? Women who have a c-section are more likely to develop a postpartum infection than women who have a vaginal delivery.

A new study from Denmark looked at the records of over 30,000 women who had given birth. Those who had a c-section were at increased risk of having a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a wound infection within the first 30 days after delivery. (A wound infection affects the area where the incision was made.) Other studies have also found an increased risk of infection after cesarean.

So if you have a c-section, be on the alert for these signs:

* For a UTI, watch for pain or burning when you go to the bathroom, blood in your urine, fever and the urge to go often.

* For  wound infection, watch for redness, swelling or pus around the incision site. Sometimes, the wound may open, and you may run a fever.

For more information, read the March of Dimes article on cesarean birth. Or watch our video C-Section: Recovering After Surgery.