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Thread: Maternal Fetal Ejection Reflex - who has experienced it?

  1. #1

    Default Maternal Fetal Ejection Reflex - who has experienced it?

    This was probably the one part of labour I didn't expect - my body to do it's job so efficiently once I was fully dilated!!

    The contraction built up, I felt pressure in my bottom which gradually increased with an urge to bear down, and then at the end of the contraction, there was a HUGE "crocodile snap" VOMIT which pushed the baby out into the world! I got through Stage 2 in 12 minutes and experienced about 4 or 5 of these "body vomits". Some contractions had just one, others had two or three.

    I've since done some net research and found this is called the Maternal Fetal Ejection Reflex and that it can happen when the mother feels safe and secure in the birth environment. Telling someone "not to push" through those body vomits would be like telling someone "not to puke" while their stomach was contracting.



    Has anyone else experienced this?

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    You can get an urge to push, which I had and sounds like what you are explaining, but I have heard about it being the opposite - the ejection reflex like flight or fight responses can happen when mum is frightened and needs to get baby out quick. e.g. my teacher who is into the psychological side to birth said that she supported a woman who stopped at second stage and couldn't push. They tried everything, it was a psychological situation I wont go into as to why but she had no urge and didnt want to. Crunch time came, doctor wheeled in his tool tray and as she picked up the forceps and got ready to use them, baby shot out in the ejection reflex.

    I did feel what you did, I was also vomiting at the same time so it did feel like vomiting from two ends LOL but I certainly wasn't feeling comfortable at all with the people telling me to hurry and push the baby out while lying flat on my back!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
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  3. #3

    Join Date
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    MMMM Don't know if I like the idea of calling it a "Body Vomit"!

  4. #4

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    Happy to call it something else if you can figure out a better way to describe it

  5. #5

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    Yep!
    It felt like a series of contractions that I couldn't control. My son was born very quickly all in one go.

  6. #6

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    Wow, I haven't heard of this. Fascinating!
    Pushing for me took almost 2 hours, so quite different. I was lying down though.
    Hoping this time will be different (read: quicker!).

  7. #7

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    I've had this - it blew me away. Although I tend to agree more with Kelly for the reasons behind it.
    With DS, I did not feel safe or secure. I was a little distressed and the sudden urge to push was unbelievable, but more so because my body just forced him out and it was uncontrollable. His head was born in one "push" and his body in the next. I initially thought it was the fact that he was a full 2 pounds lighter than his sister, but Kelly's explanation seems most plausible.

    My 2 girls (one before and one after) were born in quiet, safe and controlled environments and I never felt an uncontrollable urge with either. I just pushed when my body told me to - it didn't take over for me.

  8. #8

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    I think I had MFER with Caty....her second stage was nearly two hours and the midwife started talking episiotomy and held up the needle ready to jab me and thats when I had another ctx and Caty was born! I've always believed that was my flight or fight reflex as I definately didn't want my v cut open! I never had the urge to push with her which probably didn't help.

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