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Natural Birth & Parenting Natural Birth & Parenting

My Case against the HEP-LOCK and the IV altogether

Posted by on Nov. 12, 2010 at 6:49 PM
  • 12 Replies

I am so tired of these Doctors justifying their ROUTINES by saying it's for my sake or for the baby's sake and especially when it comes to my mobility to move during labor in the hospital.  FINE!  I can't afford a home birth and my husband would be most comfortable in the hospital setting!  But I'll be ding-dang durned if I let some Nurses and Medwife, or ANYONE tell me HOW to have this baby.  Not after having a taste of a natural birth with my second son!  My revelation came after they couldn't get an IV in (due to small veins and my not drinking enough they claimed) during my labor and I got to move around, dance, sway, even get in the shower which was such a great experience since water soothes me and all the other pregnant women I've spoken to up here.  Anyway...I finally thought...why not just google the IV v/s Hep-Lock and  hand it to the Doctors/Nurses when they tried to convince me to get one.  Guess what?!  IT IS FOR THEIR CONVIENCE!  THE NERVE!!!  Nothing to do with me or my baby!  But more to come in my research.  How about yall?  What negative effects have you had with either the IV or the Hep-Lock, or both?  Make this case for me when I present it to them...

 

Hep-lock or IV?

Q: I have encouraged my clients to have birth plans for many years. I urge them to discuss using a heparin lock as an alternative compromise to routine IV. Very few moms report back that they had a lock--most all had IV. I discussed this with a CNM and she said she uses IV routinely, mostly for the "convenience" of the nurses because, she states, "heparin locks frequently get blocked."
Should I continue suggesting this alternative to "routine IV" to my clients (most of whom get IVs as a sort of "insurance policy" for the staff's comfort)?
-J.Batacan
====

I too have recommended clients request a heplock instead of the whole IV. I am beginning to believe, however, that they should refuse both altogether until proven necessary .... I believe the "risk" of needing an IV is small enough in properly prepared and well supported moms that any pre-IV "just in case" is unnecessary, and the greater mobility of mom is much more important. If a nurse can't do a quick IV if it becomes necessary, then I'm not sure I'd want her treating me or any of my clients.
-Jen Taylor
Doula and aspiring CNM
====

We were told in midwifery school that the only times a woman absolutely needed an IV was when getting an epidural, when having a cesarean section or when dehydrated and unable to take anything by mouth. In other situations like trial of labor after previous cesarean, antenatal history of anemia, or other medical conditions, a heplock can be used. It gives access to a vein without the burden of the drip and pole (if a woman wants to walk). A well placed heplock like a well placed IV should not block off. Is that CNM starting IV on every laboring woman? Who is she there to serve, the nurses or the laboring women? It's like the time when the RN told me her lady wanted an epidural; when I went to talk to the woman, all she wanted was an aspirin. The nurse was angry because an epidural frees her up. She doesn't have to spend time with labor support. We must always remember who we are serving and do what's best for them and their health. This doesn't include unnecessary interventions.
-Harriet Kaufman
====

A running IV tends to encourage laboring moms to change positions less, and this is more harmful to them than the small risk the lock may plug and need to be restarted. As always, the bottom line is assessing if the IV access is justified in the first place!
-Sharon Breidt RNC, BSN
====

I am a paramedic and in the INTs I start, we use plain saline. Most EDs here are using INTs exclusively because IVs waste tubing, saline and other products. This saves money for the hospital. Usually money talks. I would suggest to keep offering this as an alternative. I see it as a trend that maybe has not reached the L&D floor.
-Melissa
====

Why are you suggesting they need an IV line at all? Routine IV access is not something I would recommend to a woman who is having a baby. Perhaps they would be better off putting on their birth plans that they decline to have either.
-Andrea Quanchi, Australia

by on Nov. 12, 2010 at 6:49 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Roadfamily6now
by on Nov. 12, 2010 at 7:14 PM

I very much agree and after my reply in another thread, you are probably going to be confused.

So there are 2 trains of thought in my world.

1. My own

2. As a Doula

Personally, I wound prefer to never have an IV including a hep-lock or saline-lock. I agree 100% with your post and that it is almost always for the nurses convenience and has very little to do with mom's ability to give birth.

As a Doula and an Natural Birth Advocate, I see that sometimes, moms need to make compromises in order to get that birth they desire. Sometimes, the hospital staff can become extremely hostile to a mom (and dad) if she starts refusing the routine procedues. The simple act of allowing a hep-lock can help to bridge any gaps there might be between the staff and the mom.

 

AntroNet
by on Nov. 12, 2010 at 7:37 PM

I see both your points....(big smile miniespecially point #1), but one of my least favorable memories was when I was attempting to "catch" my own baby and felt like I would drop him from all the pain I felt from the Lock in my hand.  Bad enough to have all that pain during labor in the beginning, then to be confined to a bed, then other interventions one after the other....but that needle in my hand....drove me crazy.  I don't think I can compromise that.  Perhaps there's something else I can compromise.  Hmmmm...I'll eat before I get there and promise not to push the call button too much ---I'll send hubby or doula out for my icy water.  How's that?  LOL!  Again, I do see your points though.  Still not budging....Lord's willing.

truealaskanmom
by on Nov. 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM

I agreed to the heplock as a compromise because my OB is great but he was scared of the terrible things that could happen and a hep lock made him more at ease.  I most likely won't agree to one in the future because it really was a waste and it hurt to have one put in while in transition

DixieFlower
by on Nov. 13, 2010 at 11:31 PM

See I'm on the fence about this and for me it's person dependent. I am a very hard stick. At my OB's office she is the only one who can draw blood on me. The nurses and the tech have all given up even trying. I know that with previous surgeries I've had the nurses couldn't get the line in so after several attempts anesthesia had to be called in to do it. So for me I feel more comfortable having the hep lock in than waiting for a true emergency. I can understand though how for a lot of other women it would be better if they didn't bother with either.

melindabelcher
by mel on Nov. 14, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I got neither for my delivery a year ago. I told them i didn't want it and they said thats fine you don't need one for a natural delivery. And that was the end of that. I love that my decision was respected and was much more comfortable without a lock

kitty8199
by Bronze Member on Nov. 14, 2010 at 3:22 PM

I don't have birth experience, but I do work in healthcare.  I work in the ER.  MOST of our patients get one.  It depends on the complaint, though.  If you are having chest pain or abdominal pain, 99% of the time IV is needed so we put one in.  I feel the same as you do.  If I don't NEED it, I don't want it.  I don't like needles for one, 2 WHY are you gonna start an INT (what we call them, we use saline lock) JIC?  I understand that childbirth has a bleeding risk, but I have 33% MORE blood than normal, so I would have to lose that PLUS more in order to be a danger.  I also don't want fluids I don't need.  Why overload me with fluids I don't need, and screw up my kidneys, just because it is convenient for you?  I am NOT going to accept drugs, so there is no point.  I will refuse all drugs, and pitocin, so tell me why I NEED it?  I will be the biggest pain in the ass.  But really what are they gonna do, hold me down and stick it in?  That would be illegal, so if I say "no", they can't force it.  To hell with your routine.

Baby3inJanuary
by on Nov. 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM

The very fact that giving in to coercion, to submit to an unnecessary procedure which may hinder labor and increase chances of being exposed to infection, is part of what a laboring woman may be faced with as a bargaining chip for leniency in the maternity system, sheds glaring light on the human rights problems inherent in culture-wide institutionalization of birthing.

The very fact that a woman might be better off in keeping her head down and appearing compliant in hopes of better treatment (not fair treatment, not respect for her rights as a person to her bodily integrity or right to informed consent and refusal, but better treatment than 'dissenters' usually get), shows how little respect there is for her as a human being, once she gets labeled a patient instead of a person, by entering a medical institution.

I can't say your advice for how to work one's way through the terrible system is faulty, just that it is terrible that such advice would even be necessary. Hospitalization is inevitably a relinquishing of basic normal civil and human rights, and that is wrong and needs attacking until it is conquered.


Quoting Roadfamily6now:

I very much agree and after my reply in another thread, you are probably going to be confused.

So there are 2 trains of thought in my world.

1. My own

2. As a Doula

Personally, I wound prefer to never have an IV including a hep-lock or saline-lock. I agree 100% with your post and that it is almost always for the nurses convenience and has very little to do with mom's ability to give birth.

As a Doula and an Natural Birth Advocate, I see that sometimes, moms need to make compromises in order to get that birth they desire. Sometimes, the hospital staff can become extremely hostile to a mom (and dad) if she starts refusing the routine procedues. The simple act of allowing a hep-lock can help to bridge any gaps there might be between the staff and the mom.



-Meg, homeschooling, homesteading, and homebirthing after cesarean, loving life as an Over-35 SAHM and Postal Wife.

DD born 2004 8 lb c/sec; DS born 2007 10 lb HBAC, happily planning another homebirth in the second half of January, 2011!

pregnancy week by week

Roadfamily6now
by on Nov. 14, 2010 at 11:43 PM


Quoting Baby3inJanuary:

The very fact that giving in to coercion, to submit to an unnecessary procedure which may hinder labor and increase chances of being exposed to infection, is part of what a laboring woman may be faced with as a bargaining chip for leniency in the maternity system, sheds glaring light on the human rights problems inherent in culture-wide institutionalization of birthing.

The very fact that a woman might be better off in keeping her head down and appearing compliant in hopes of better treatment (not fair treatment, not respect for her rights as a person to her bodily integrity or right to informed consent and refusal, but better treatment than 'dissenters' usually get), shows how little respect there is for her as a human being, once she gets labeled a patient instead of a person, by entering a medical institution.

I can't say your advice for how to work one's way through the terrible system is faulty, just that it is terrible that such advice would even be necessary. Hospitalization is inevitably a relinquishing of basic normal civil and human rights, and that is wrong and needs attacking until it is conquered.


Quoting Roadfamily6now:

I very much agree and after my reply in another thread, you are probably going to be confused.

So there are 2 trains of thought in my world.

1. My own

2. As a Doula

Personally, I wound prefer to never have an IV including a hep-lock or saline-lock. I agree 100% with your post and that it is almost always for the nurses convenience and has very little to do with mom's ability to give birth.

As a Doula and an Natural Birth Advocate, I see that sometimes, moms need to make compromises in order to get that birth they desire. Sometimes, the hospital staff can become extremely hostile to a mom (and dad) if she starts refusing the routine procedues. The simple act of allowing a hep-lock can help to bridge any gaps there might be between the staff and the mom.


I could not agree with you more. My job as a Doula is very hard and more often then not, heart-wrenching when I see how women are treated while in labor.  And that is WITH a Doula in the room!

Tammy

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick."

 Join us in the Natural Birth Group!






AntroNet
by on Nov. 18, 2010 at 12:50 AM


Quoting kitty8199:

I don't have birth experience, but I do work in healthcare.  I work in the ER.  MOST of our patients get one.  It depends on the complaint, though.  If you are having chest pain or abdominal pain, 99% of the time IV is needed so we put one in.  I feel the same as you do.  If I don't NEED it, I don't want it.  I don't like needles for one, 2 WHY are you gonna start an INT (what we call them, we use saline lock) JIC?  I understand that childbirth has a bleeding risk, but I have 33% MORE blood than normal, so I would have to lose that PLUS more in order to be a danger.  I also don't want fluids I don't need.  Why overload me with fluids I don't need, and screw up my kidneys, just because it is convenient for you?  I am NOT going to accept drugs, so there is no point.  I will refuse all drugs, and pitocin, so tell me why I NEED it?  I will be the biggest pain in the ass.  But really what are they gonna do, hold me down and stick it in?  That would be illegal, so if I say "no", they can't force it.  To hell with your routine.

So....just for the record....cause I see more information in this post than I got in my little research....the IV/Saline LOck/Hep-Lock has a possibility of causing Kidney problems? Is that why I came out of that hospital bloated like the stay puff marshmallow man?  I looked bigger than I did going in!


truealaskanmom
by on Nov. 18, 2010 at 1:04 AM


Quoting AntroNet:


Quoting kitty8199:

I don't have birth experience, but I do work in healthcare.  I work in the ER.  MOST of our patients get one.  It depends on the complaint, though.  If you are having chest pain or abdominal pain, 99% of the time IV is needed so we put one in.  I feel the same as you do.  If I don't NEED it, I don't want it.  I don't like needles for one, 2 WHY are you gonna start an INT (what we call them, we use saline lock) JIC?  I understand that childbirth has a bleeding risk, but I have 33% MORE blood than normal, so I would have to lose that PLUS more in order to be a danger.  I also don't want fluids I don't need.  Why overload me with fluids I don't need, and screw up my kidneys, just because it is convenient for you?  I am NOT going to accept drugs, so there is no point.  I will refuse all drugs, and pitocin, so tell me why I NEED it?  I will be the biggest pain in the ass.  But really what are they gonna do, hold me down and stick it in?  That would be illegal, so if I say "no", they can't force it.  To hell with your routine.

So....just for the record....cause I see more information in this post than I got in my little research....the IV/Saline LOck/Hep-Lock has a possibility of causing Kidney problems? Is that why I came out of that hospital bloated like the stay puff marshmallow man?  I looked bigger than I did going in!


yep it causes swelling and retention, it is also a known cause of vaginal tears because of the swelling it causes

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