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Only 23 weeks, but still a lot of questions...

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 5:26 PM
  • 8 Replies

Hi everyone! So im 23 weeks along and everything is going great. I just have a lot of questions about going into labor and what to do etc etc. My doctor told me at my u/s that she is already getting in position for birth, which means she may come early (according to her). But is that necessarly true?? Im not due until Dec 22 and she is thinking Thanksgiving...

I've also been told that there are a lot of pressure points to try and stay away from because they can induce labor, but my bf gives me a lot of massages, so where should he NOT push on??

Plus, I am getting really nervous about actually having to deliver her... I mean I don't really have hips, and yes they are spreading, but I just can't imagine a baby coming out of there.. Is it normal to be this anxious??

I know im rambling on about a lot of nonsense, but this all kind of came as a shock to me. About 2 days ago when she kicked so hard I split the drink I was holding on my belly, it really hit me that my little girl is coming very soon...

Please help..

Thanks girls!!

Samantha

by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 5:26 PM
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Replies (1-8):
smltwnmom
by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 5:33 PM

well, i can answer at least one of your questions, lol.  just b/c your baby is head down does not nessisarily mean that the baby would come early or anything like that, at least not to my knowledge.  My son was head down my entire pregnancy for the most part and then the day before my due date decided to flip, don't know if this really helps, but i hope it does a little.

nemosmom
by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 6:11 PM

well, as for the baby coming early, she will come when she is ready but my second daughter was head down for most of my pregnancy and she came 1 week early.

ive heard of the pressure point thing but dont know where they are, my husbad gave me alot of massages during pregnancy also.

 

i dont really have any hips either, im 5'0 and 100lbs, i was able to push out a 5lb 1 oz baby and a 5 lb 9 oz baby, women bodies work in mysterious ways,but if the baby seems to not be able to come out during delivery they may order a c section.

SabrinaL
by on Aug. 31, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Well ok let me try to answer your questions.

First question: Baby will come when it is ready.  Just because it is head down doesn't mean anything he can flip anytime.  This doesn't signal anything.  My baby was head down and engaged for 5 weeks before the birth.

Second Question:  There are a few spots to avoid but in reality your bf unless professionally trained (which I assume he isn't) is going to hit.  The web part between your thumb and index finger you don't want a lot of pressure on it but then you have to hit the place just right to even get the pressure point.  The main thing you would want to remember would be not to have a lot of deep massage on your inner thigh.  This is more for the potential of blood clots. There are some points on the foot but I can't even describe them to you as I am not ver familiar with them.  Again though the odds of your bf actually hitting any of them and them actually doing anything is very very small.

Third question: Your body will be just fine birthing your baby.  The hormones that are released during labor will help with the spreading.  Just trust yourself and your body.  You will not make a baby that can not deliver.

Jenny301
by on Sep. 1, 2009 at 6:24 PM

You should try reading Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.  They are full of birth stories that will help restore your faith in your body.

mandamitch
by on Sep. 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM

To help ease your fears/anxiety about the birth process, try joining some natural birthing groups here on cafemom (even if you don't neccessarily plan on a drug free birth).  They are very encouraging about what you are capable of during child birth and what you can do to make the experience more positive. 

You can google accupressure points to avoid during pregnancy and probably find somethings to avoid during massages.

 

babies
babies
Mama2lilGarrett
by on Sep. 7, 2009 at 5:22 PM


Quoting S_morgan09:

Hi everyone! So im 23 weeks along and everything is going great. I just have a lot of questions about going into labor and what to do etc etc. My doctor told me at my u/s that she is already getting in position for birth, which means she may come early (according to her). But is that necessarly true?? Im not due until Dec 22 and she is thinking Thanksgiving... (I had my son on Nov 28 and he wasn't due till Dec 20.. so it could happen but I am a tiny girl and he had NO room left)

I've also been told that there are a lot of pressure points to try and stay away from because they can induce labor, but my bf gives me a lot of massages, so where should he NOT push on?? (I know the back of your ankle is def one of them)

Plus, I am getting really nervous about actually having to deliver her... I mean I don't really have hips, and yes they are spreading, but I just can't imagine a baby coming out of there.. Is it normal to be this anxious?? (Completely normal!!.. I am a 90lb 4'11'' girl and I thought for sure there was no way a baby would fit down there. My hips didn't widen a lot and I was freaking. When I had Garrett, he was 6lb 4oz, I had him natural and didn't feel him coming through or out at all!! It wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had thought.. contractions suck but if you have ever had kidney stones.. not as bad as those!)

I know im rambling on about a lot of nonsense, but this all kind of came as a shock to me. About 2 days ago when she kicked so hard I split the drink I was holding on my belly, it really hit me that my little girl is coming very soon...

Please help..

Thanks girls!!

Samantha


army    come home

doulala
by on Sep. 8, 2009 at 9:29 PM


Quoting S_morgan09:

Hi everyone! So im 23 weeks along and everything is going great. I just have a lot of questions about going into labor and what to do etc etc. My doctor told me at my u/s that she is already getting in position for birth, which means she may come early (according to her). But is that necessarly true?? Im not due until Dec 22 and she is thinking Thanksgiving...

I've also been told that there are a lot of pressure points to try and stay away from because they can induce labor, but my bf gives me a lot of massages, so where should he NOT push on??

Plus, I am getting really nervous about actually having to deliver her... I mean I don't really have hips, and yes they are spreading, but I just can't imagine a baby coming out of there.. Is it normal to be this anxious??

I know im rambling on about a lot of nonsense, but this all kind of came as a shock to me. About 2 days ago when she kicked so hard I split the drink I was holding on my belly, it really hit me that my little girl is coming very soon...

Please help..

Thanks girls!!

Samantha

How do you like your doctor?  
That comment about positioned for labor and this means she could come early are alarming, lol!   There is NO way to know that.   There are tactics~  you may want to keep your eyes peeled, where doctors say things to compromise a new mom's confidence.  
How will you feel if your baby is breech in your last trimester?   Or doesn't "drop" prior to labor?   Or you go past your due date?   (There are so many things to consider...)
When Thanksgiving comes and goes, will you be wondering why you are still pregnant?   Will this be disappointing?

I am saying all of this because it's pretty shocking to read that.   :-(      I think that caregivers can take advantage of new/young moms-to-be.   In the end, these "set-ups" benefit the OB & her schedule (increasing opportunities for interventions like induction & cesarean)~  not the new family.


A few points for inducing:






Are you reading books, going to birth classes, watching videos, have a birth doula?    It's important to learn all you can so you can dispell myths and concerns, saving your energy for concentrating on pain-coping, etc., later in labor.   

In labor, your hip bones WILL spread, they are not one fixed bone.   They are loose and you can change positions as baby descends to make more room.   For example, a squat will open up your pelvis OVER 30%!   That is a LOT!   ;-D
Your baby will come down , wriggling as you stay upright, walking & swaying, dancing, moving~ working with gravity.   Head bones fold inward, "molding."  And shoulders come through one at a time.   

It's not that bad~  even a small person like you can do this!




from ICAN:

Q: My doctor told me my pelvis is too small to vaginally deliver a baby over eight pounds. Is this true?

A: No, the pelvis and the baby's head are not fixed bone structures. During labor the pelvis opens, allowing room for the baby, whose head molds to fit. The pelvis will actually open up 33% larger than it's pre-pregnant size with a squatting position. There are several factors that contribute to this. First a hormone called relaxin is released during the latter part of pregnancy which soften the ligaments and cartilage surrounding the pelvis. Also different positions assumed during labor will change the dimensions of the pelvis such as walking, climbing stairs and squatting. This combined with the flexibility of the baby's head gives ample room for babies to move through the pelvis. The baby's head is made up of five plates that are connected with soft tissues that allow it to mold during the birth process as the baby travels through the pelvis. These bones return to their pre-birth state within hours of birth.



And yes, it IS normal to be anxious.  ANd it's wise to do something with that nervous energy:


Worry is the Work of Pregnancy

This is a concept I like to introduce in childbirth classes. I first came across the phrase “worry is the work of pregnancy” in my most favorite of birthing books, Birthing from Within by Pam England. I’ve noticed that women often feel like they shouldn’t have worries during pregnancy and that talking about their fears is somehow “dangerous” (like it will make the fear come true). Bringing fear out into the open and “looking at it” instead of keeping it tucked away and bothering you is actually one of the best ways to work with it. Another common concern is that your worries are “silly” or unfounded. It is okay to have worries, even “silly” ones! The strategy Pam suggest for exploring your worries is as follows:

Explore each worry with questions:

° What would you do if this worry /fear actually came true?

° What do you imagine your partner and/or birth attendant would do/say?

° What would it mean about you as a mother if this happened?

° How have you faced crises in the past?

° What, if anything, can you do to prepare for, or even prevent, what you are worrying about? What is keeping you from doing it?

° If there is nothing you can do to prevent it, how would you like to handle the situation?




Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers ~ strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

~Barbara Katz Rothma


When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change. -Mongan


doulala
by on Sep. 8, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Pelvises I Have Known and Loved
by Gloria Lemay

What if there were no pelvis? What if it were as insignificant to how a child is born as how big the nose is on the mother's face? After twenty years of watching birth, this is what I have come to. Pelvises open at three stretch points—the symphisis pubis and the two sacroiliac joints. These points are full of relaxin hormones—the pelvis literally begins falling apart at about thirty-four weeks of pregnancy. In addition to this mobile, loose, stretchy pelvis, nature has given human beings the added bonus of having a moldable, pliable, shrinkable baby head. Like a steamer tray for a cooking pot has folding plates that adjust it to any size pot, so do these four overlapping plates that form the infant's skull adjust to fit the mother's body.

Every woman who is alive today is the result of millions of years of natural selection. Today's women are the end result of evolution. We are the ones with the bones that made it all the way here. With the exception of those born in the last thirty years, we almost all go back through our maternal lineage generation after generation having smooth, normal vaginal births. Prior to thirty years ago, major problems in large groups were always attributable to maternal malnutrition (starvation) or sepsis in hospitals.

Twenty years ago, physicians were known to tell women that the reason they had a cesarean was that the child's head was just too big for the size of the pelvis. The trouble began when these same women would stay at home for their next child's birth and give birth to a bigger baby through that same pelvis. This became very embarrassing, and it curtailed this reason being put forward for doing cesareans. What replaced this reason was the post-cesarean statement: "Well, it's a good thing we did the cesarean because the cord was twice around the baby's neck." This is what I've heard a lot of in the past ten years. Doctors must come up with a very good reason for every operation because the family will have such a dreadful time with the new baby and mother when they get home that, without a convincing reason, the fathers would be on the warpath. Just imagine if the doctor said honestly, "Well, Joe, this was one of those times when we jumped the gun—there was actually not a thing wrong with either your baby or your wife. I'm sorry she'll have a six week recovery to go through for nothing." We do know that at least 15 percent of cesareans are unnecessary but the parents are never told. There is a conspiracy among hospital staff to keep this information from families for obvious reasons.

In a similar vein, I find it interesting that in 1999, doctors now advocate discontinuing the use of the electronic fetal monitor. This is something natural birth advocates have campaigned hard for and have not been able to accomplish in the past twenty years. The natural-types were concerned about possible harm to the baby from the Doppler ultrasound radiation as well as discomfort for the mother from the two tight belts around her belly. Now in l999, the doctors have joined the campaign to rid maternity wards of these expensive pieces of technology. Why, you ask. Because it has just dawned on the doctors that the very strip of paper recording fetal heart tones that they thought proved how careful and conscientious they were, and which they thought was their protection, has actually been their worst enemy in a court of law. A good lawyer can take any piece of "evidence" and find an expert to interpret it to his own ends. After a baby dies or is damaged, the hindsight people come in and go over these strips, and the doctors are left with huge legal settlements to make. What the literature indicates now is that when a nurse with a stethoscope listens to the "real" heartbeat through a fetoscope (not the bounced back and recorded beat shown on a monitor read-out) the cesarean rate goes down by 50 percent with no adverse effects on fetal mortality rates.

Of course, I am in favour of the abolition of electronic fetal monitoring but it would be far more uplifting if this was being done for some sort of health improvement and not just more ways to cover butt in court.

Now let's get back to pelvises I have known and loved. When I was a keen beginner midwife, I took many workshops in which I measured pelvises of my classmates. Bi-spinous diameters, sacral promontories, narrow arches—all very important and serious. Gynecoid, android, anthropoid and the dreaded platypelloid all had to be measured, assessed and agonized over. I worried that babies would get "hung up" on spikes and bone spurs that could, according to the folklore, appear out of nowhere. Then one day I heard the head of obstetrics at our local hospital say, "The best pelvimeter is the baby's head." In other words, a head passing through the pelvis would tell you more about the size of it than all the calipers and X-rays in the world. He did not advocate taking pelvic measurements at all. Of course, doing pelvimetry in early pregnancy before the hormones have started relaxing the pelvis is ridiculous.

One of the midwife "tricks" that we were taught was to ask the mother's shoe size. If the mother wore size five or more shoes, the theory went that her pelvis would be ample. Well, 98 percent of women take over size five shoes so this was a good theory that gave me confidence in women's bodies for a number of years. Then I had a client who came to me at eight months pregnant seeking a home waterbirth. She had, up till that time, been under the care of a hospital nurse-midwifery practise. She was Greek and loved doing gymnastics. Her eighteen-year-old body glowed with good health, and I felt lucky to have her in my practise until I asked the shoe size question. She took size two shoes. She had to buy her shoes in Chinatown to get them small enough—oh dear. I thought briefly of refreshing my rusting pelvimetry skills, but then I reconsidered. I would not lay this small pelvis trip on her. I would be vigilant at her birth and act if the birth seemed obstructed in an unusual way, but I would not make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. She gave birth to a seven-pound girl and only pushed about twelve times. She gave birth in a water tub sitting on the lap of her young lover and the scene reminded me of "Blue Lagoon" with Brooke Shields—it was so sexy. So that pelvis ended the shoe size theory forever.

Another pelvis that came my way a few years ago stands out in my mind. This young woman had had a cesarean for her first childbirth experience. She had been induced, and it sounded like the usual cascade of interventions. When she was being stitched up after the surgery her husband said to her, "Never mind, Carol, next baby you can have vaginally." The surgeon made the comment back to him, "Not unless she has a two pound baby." When I met her she was having mild, early birth sensations. Her doula had called me to consult on her birth. She really had a strangely shaped body. She was only about five feet, one inch tall, and most of that was legs. Her pregnant belly looked huge because it just went forward—she had very little space between the crest of her hip and her rib cage. Luckily her own mother was present in the house when I first arrived there. I took her into the kitchen and asked her about her own birth experiences. She had had her first baby vaginally. With her second, there had been a malpresentation and she had undergone a cesarean. Since the grandmother had the same body-type as her daughter, I was heartened by the fact that at least she had had one baby vaginally. Again, this woman dilated in the water tub. It was a planned hospital birth, so at advanced dilation they moved to the hospital. She was pushing when she got there and proceeded to birth a seven-pound girl. She used a squatting bar and was thrilled with her completely spontaneous birth experience. I asked her to write to the surgeon who had made the remark that she couldn't birth a baby over two pounds and let him know that this unscientific, unkind remark had caused her much unneeded worry.

Another group of pelvises that inspire me are those of the pygmy women of Africa. I have an article in my files by an anthropologist who reports that these women have a height of four feet, on average. The average weight of their infants is eight pounds! In relative terms, this is like a woman five feet six giving birth to a fourteen-pound baby. The custom in their villages is that the woman stays alone in her hut for birth until her membranes rupture. At that time, she strolls through the village and finds her midwives. The midwives and the woman hold hands and sing as they walk down to the river. At the edge of the river is a flat, well-worn rock on which all the babies are born. The two midwives squat at the mother's side while she pushes her baby out. One midwife scoops up river water to splash on the newborn to stimulate the first breath. After the placenta is birthed the other midwife finds a narrow place in the cord and chews it to separate the infant. Then, the three walk back to join the people. This article has been a teaching and inspiration for me.

That's the bottom line on pelvises—they don't exist in real midwifery. Any baby can slide through any pelvis with a powerful uterus pistoning down on him/her.

© 2003 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.

[Editor's note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 50, Summer 1999 and is also available online in Spanish.]

Gloria Lemay is a private birth attendant in Vancouver, B.C., Canada






How DARE Mother Nature question SCIENCE! ~Mike Tymeson

The impossible is often the untried. ~Jim Goodwin

Women's bodies have their own wisdom, and a system of birth refined over 100,000 generations is not so easily overpowered. ~Sarah Buckley

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