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Old 09-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

With my dd, I wasn't making progress lying in bed getting baby to move down and out, so the midwife suggested squatting by the bed. That worked amazingly well and after about 2 contractions they said I HAD to get back in the bed to push "or else I'd have the baby on the floor". If I recall, it still took quite a few pushes after I was back in the bed to get her out.

With ds, they gave me the bar over the bed so I was up on my feet, but still in the bed - THAT position killed my ankles. I'd walked the halls for nearly 4 hours a couple hours prior and my fat swollen ankles just couldn't take that weight (I'd gained 61 pounds).

I much preferred squatting at the edge of the bed as I could stand and rock in between contractions.

So, I guess my question is - has anyone here done the squatting by the side of the bed AND been allowed to push while squatting (not in the bed)... just trying to figure out the logistics of it all... if it'd work at all... or if my MW and nurses just freaked out on me by "the baby will be on the floor"...
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

With my last one, I wasn't squatting, but I was sitting straight up on the end of the bed. It was the position I ended up in when I realized that I couldn't change positions again. If they had tried to lay me back, it wouldn't have happened, I simply couldn't move. So, my doc said she didn't really care and for me to do what worked for me. She lifted the bed up like 5 ft in the air, the nurse moved the back end of the bed straight up so that it acted like a chair back, and they broke the end off the bed and I delivered sitting straight up on the end of the bed.

Squatting just wasn't possible for me. I did try it to try to get some things moving about 20 to 30 minutes before I ended up sitting on the bed, but the pressure and pain was just too much. In fact that was the last "position" I tried before climbing back up on the end of the bed to "rest." for a second.

Really, my doc was so laid back about the whole thing, I actually don't think she would have cared if I was squatting on the floor at the end of the bed. It just wasn't a position I could handle at all.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:37 AM   #3
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

No, not really. They said I could, but I had to push on the bed and was not allowed to push anywhere else. Squatting on a hospital bed for me was completely impossible. It was squishy and wobbly and I felt too unbalanced. They had a "squat bar" they could hook up to the bed, but it wasn't hooked up, and it would have taken time to do it, and I just wanted the baby out, I didn't want to wait 10 mins while they fumbled around trying to hook up a bar to hang onto. Ugh.

I had crappy hospital staff that made me feel like a burden to them, tho. So I think if you had an awesome OB/MW and some great nurses, squatting would be more feasible for you.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

Yes, they did allow it. My ds was a brow presentation, and hard to deliver, so we tried everything. Squatting, on all fours, on the side, etc. Pushing on my back was the only position that actually worked. I think my midwives were bummed, because they were all about how things are done, and less about what works, KWIM?
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

kiliki - exactly - squatting IN the bed was just too awkward - part of it probably was the standing on the mattress. I liked being on the floor so my feet had leverage. I should ask if they have a bar that isn't the bed itself... I think their problem was I was facing the bed and they couldn't get in there/see what was going on.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

I had a home birth turned emergency transfer so not sure if that made a difference, but no - it was on you back on the bed or we will decide you need a c-section. I was aloud to labour in different positions - so long as I was in bed - but the second they decided I should push, I had to be on my back.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

No, I wasn't allowed to push squatting, even though I protested and my husband did also. I thought that maybe it was because we got there too late, but I was a doula at a birth recently where the mom had been there 12 hours and made it clear that she wanted to use the squatting bar. The nurses were okay with her pushing on her hands and knees until baby was actually close to being born and the doctor got there, then they basically forced her on her back on the bed. We were both really frustrated.

I think you'd have to have a really relaxed OB to allow delivering in a position other than vagina-in-the-air. I mean, even the light in the ceiling at our hospital is positioned and angled JUST SO it is shining on the vagina at the end of the hospital bed. It's just what they are comfortable with.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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I haven't delivered squatting, but have delivered hands and knees. I think the practice I go to is pretty flexible and happy to help find what works for mom.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

I was encouraged by the nurses to move into A LOT of differnet positions while pushing. I think I tried them all (except hands and knees). One that might be good for what you want is where they drop the end of the bed, you sit on the higher part of the bed, with your feet on the lower part and lean on/rest your upper body on the squat bar. It's basically like sitting on a chair. No need to try to squat/balance on a mattress.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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Re: If you had a hospital birth - did they allow pushing while squatting?

My hospital has squat bars that attach to the bed- you're technically in bed, but you're allowed to squat.

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