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Thread: Pushing too early bad?

  1. #1

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    Default Pushing too early bad?

    I know this is going to be a dumb question...

    but, I was wondering if is it bad for baby if you push too early? Does it mean youre more likely to tear? Does it mean you'll be pushing for longer?



    Just asking because sometimes people mention they felt like the ob/midwife was trying to rush them into delivering. I think I think too much and now I am wondering if I pushed too early and that is why I had such a long pushing stage of labour.

    So, is it bad if you start pushing before youre really ready?

  2. #2

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    Hi Karina

    I started pushing before I was fully dilated. Not sure if it was ok or not, but my friend who gave birth two weeks earlier spent a lot of time being very carefully coached to not push before she was fully dilated.

    I wonder if this is one of the reasons DD ended up distressed, they had to get her out quite quickly in the end and this meant a) no pain relief considerations for me, and b) I sustained some pretty bad multiple tears.

    I'll be just as interested to read the other responses. It was one of the things about my labour that has never made sense to me.

  3. #3

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    From what I remember pushing on a not fully dilated cervix can cause it to swell.

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    I've always read that purple pushing and premature pushing is not only bad for mum but sometimes bub too. Sometimes it can actually stall things, can cause bubs to get stuck because they haven't got themselves into the best position and of course there's the tearing...

    I was really lucky with Seth as the midwife basically told me to push when I needed to and not before. The only thing I was told was to stop pushing whilst he turned once the head was out that was about it. I came out with just a graze and he was 9lb 11oz And my first vag birth as Paris was a c/s. I had been taught alot about the pushing stage though so I think if someone had told me to push when I wasn't ready I would have told them to jump LOL!

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  5. #5

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    Yep, that's what I've heard too - if you push on a cervix that's not fully dilated, it swells and then can't fully dilate and gets bruised. I imagine that it could cause your baby some distress too, since you are pushing so hard, and it can't go anywhere. I'm sure an expert will bring a full explanation for us.

  6. #6

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    Something I dimly recall through my pain addled haze, about being told the baby's head was pushing backwards? against my bowel? And this added to the urge to push. Is this strong urge to push a feature of backache labours?

  7. #7

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    Thats another thing I think Shannon, thats one person's 7 cm's could be anothers 10... I think it comes down to when you feel the urge iykwim?

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  8. #8

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    thanks for your replies.. I know I was fully dilated when I started pushing as my midwife checked and told me I was and could start pushing whenever I wanted to...
    so I probably didnt push too early, but i thought it might have been a possibility because I was pushing for ages and ended up so swollen I had to sit with my legs wide apart lol.

    thanks for all your replies and stories

  9. #9

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    Birth, like sex, can't be rushed. In many hospitals, you do get rushed because they have timetables. (One of the advantages of homebirth is that you birth your way, on your time, there's no rush and that enhances safety & wellbeing for mother & babe). I've heard of doulas covering the clock (Sheila Kitzinger wrote a great article on the effects of clock-watching on labour!) to reduce time pressure on their clients. Better than the clock, better than the bleeping machine and better than someone else inserting their fingers into you to tell your dilation (according to their estimation) is what your own body is telling you and what your own inner voice is saying. Trust your labour's own special timetable. I have heard of women who completed dilation, and had a rest for half an hour or so. No pushing urge. Just chilling out. It was like nature gave them a nice little breather before finally a real pushing urge kicked in. You're a woman, not a machine and birthing your baby does not have to be text-book or mechanically efficient anymore than conceiving your baby was in the first place!

    I saw something amazing at one birth - the midwife saw no need to do any vaginal exams on my client. We just asked her to shut her eyes and imagine how dilated she thought she was. We told her that we trusted her estimation. That helped her really tune into and trust what her body was doing. (this was at a birth centre, not a hospital). When it's your first time, you can feel kinda skeptical about whether you even have any instincts (well i was anyway!) But when you're in the middle of it, all that you need will come to you.

    So, what if you listen to your body, and assess yourself when you think you are fully dilated? And then wait until you really know that the pushing urge is there and work with the surges? One midwife advised my client, "if you can resist the urges, try to breathe or blow through these next few contractions. Wait till the urge is utterly compelling before you give into them and start really pushing." I thought that made sense, and right away, she was able to blow away the cx. After about half an hour, she was pushing for real.

    Karina, did you have the aid of gravity when you were pushing? Sometimes moving into different positions during pushing can help distribute the pressure differently, and you get the help of gravity too.

    We also tried the Sit Bone spread once. Wow - instant results. She was pushing semi-standing, leaning forward over the bed. To do the sit bone spread (from The Pink Kit), you sit down into your partner's hands, and he/she gently eases your sit bones outwards as you relax into his/her hands. Your partner is taking some of your weight, and as you relax, your sit bones are eased outwards just a fraction. Immediately, the mother could feel significant descent and there was a sudden gush of liquid. (The midwife was amazed!)
    May blissful & powerful urges and surges be yours ....

  10. #10

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    Hi Julie, thanks for all that information - very interesting. Some great points for me to (try to) remember if we ever have any more babies.

    No, I didnt have gravity on my side, which is also something that probably caused my difficulties. My daughter was in an unusual position and I had to be lying on my back when the Ob came in the turn her head - she wasnt coming crown first, she was coming sort of side of head fist therefore too big to fit out that way. I was just so exhausted (hadnt slept a wink in like 30 hours) and by that point just could physically not move onto all fours.. so unfortunately I could only really push her out while on my back.

  11. #11
    Turk Guest

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    i agree with everyone one else, pushing too early can not only bruise everything down there but can cause stress on baby if your bodies not ready.
    My last baby #3 born may 07, i was only in labour for what seemed on half hr if that, i asked the MW to check me because my body was telling me babies ready, but she wouldn't cause i wasn't in "actual labour" yet.
    I had a little push and realised bub was there and asked again, so she checked me.
    My babies head was there!!
    My point is listen to your body, it will tell you when the time is right to push!!
    My full labour from start to finish was 49mins!
    And i'm due again 1st wk June 07

  12. #12

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    If you'd prefer to avoid vaginal exams, you can check yourself - try palpating your own cervix in late pregnancy. Then each time you check yourself in labour, what you're looking for is changes. You can feel the changes in your cervix yourself. The Pink Kit goes into how to do this a bit more. I agree with Turk - listening to your body & trusting your body.

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