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Old 12-03-2012, 07:29 AM   #1
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Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

Please help educate me a little, and be kind. I'm a hospital birther so I realize it won't be natural like many of you like. But perhaps you can help me understand what the pros/cons would be to laboring in a tub as a hospital and not birthing in it.

My OB informed me a couple visits ago that our hospital does allow laboring in a birthing "pool" or you can shower (they have great showers, but I just can't imagine standing up for that...although there is a little stone wall built in seat in the shower, but that doesn't sound very comfortable). You can labor in the pool but can not deliver. I assume when pushing is ready to start, you would have to get out.

So a few questions:

I had an emergency c-section with DS due to sudden onset p-e HELLP syndrome. I am totally fine with it, I understand why it was done. I would like to try for a vbac simply due to the recovery time, I was a pain wimp apparently and in a lot of pain for several weeks. It made it tough to get out of bed from a lying down position to get up with DS at night, etc. My DH was a godsend! so I'd really like to try for a vbac, which OB is supportive of.

I have read here from other moms (on this forum) that a vbac is safer WITHOUT an epidural. My OB does not agree at all with this, and honestly, I do NOT want a med free birth. I really won't do well with it, I'm just not one of those people who can push through it. Can you have an epidural and still be in the tub?? Seems like a bunch of people would be lifting you in and out of the tub, that doesn't seem practical or safe (being wet, slippery, and laboring...) So would a tub labor mean no epidural? Or do you get out of the tub when the pain is too intense and then get the epidural? And if so, what is the point of the tub in the first place?

I am just trying to figure out if this is something I should even consider. I don't know if all the rooms accomodate the tubs, so it's something to think about and ask at the next appt.

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

No you cant because the entry site to your spinal can get contaminated. I did the tub until I couldnt handle it anymore and then the epi and I was in bed and on moniters after that point.

Nothing at all wrong with choosing meds.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:35 AM   #3
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

As for the point of laboring in a tub, a epidural that is done too early has a higher chance of a birth stall.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

About what point were you at before you moved from the tub to the bed for the epidural? I know it will vary between people, but just trying to get an idea? Since I've never gone into "labor" I have no idea how long labor would be for me to judge by.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

Very interesting question! I'm curious too, but not even pregnant. But I have been wondering about this lately so I'll be lurking around watching for responses.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:46 AM   #6
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Connor View Post
About what point were you at before you moved from the tub to the bed for the epidural? I know it will vary between people, but just trying to get an idea? Since I've never gone into "labor" I have no idea how long labor would be for me to judge by.
I was also a vbac but with severe birth trauma from my first birth so I had a midwife with me from early on so I am not sure what point people normally start counting. My midwife came soon after my contractions were 3 minutes apart even before they were super intense.

Contractions started around 11 am. My mom got here around 1 and it was regular, we called her at 3pm and she came at 5pm. We stayed hometill about mdnight. By 1 am I was checked in, ctg'd and in a delivery room. I went in the tub 4 hours before getting the epidural. I got out at the point in which the intensity was too much for my comfort level and my anxiety began peaking. I was by no mean the angry screaming lady at that point. I never got past breathing and humming through contrations. Not sure if that is because I am a monster wimp or perhaps much more in tune with my inner chi then I give myself credit for

After I got out of the tub I had to dry and it was probably about 45 minutes before I had the epidural in place.


If you do choose a epidural do not consent to any induction meds the risk are super high with the combo. I told them going in if you plan to induce me send me straight for a csection I wont endure that hell again and sure didnt want a natural birth.

Sadly vbac didnt work out for us. But I am very happy with the way my birth went and laboring in the tub is some of my fondest memories of it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:48 AM   #7
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

Forgot to mention I could have delivered in the tub if I wanted to here.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:53 AM   #8
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

I'll say, my experience was different from yours, in that I declined any pain meds.

Also, I am fairly positive you can't get any spinal type pain meds in a tub b/c of the water touching the entry point. I could be wrong. But I'm fairly sure.

So, for me personally, the water was a great pain relief. I labored in the tub until crowning. Then they forced me out and to the bed.

I personally think asking a pregnant woman, with a baby's head LITERALLY coming out of her vagina, to move, even to take TWO steps is really cruel. It's really hard to walk, and extremely painful to do so, during crowning.

That's all I can offer as far as perspective. It wasn't fun.

Pretty much once crowning hits all I can think of is pushing that baby out. It's hard for me to NOT push. Pretty much impossible. (and I think this is the case for many MANY women in labor) So forcing me to move, and to go all the way to the bed, was really not something I appreciated AT ALL.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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Getting in the tub "too early" can also stall labor. I wasn't allowed in until 4-5cm. Things really sped up of me in the tub, as in I wouldn't have had time to get an epi if I wanted one. I went in at 4-5, was in for maybe 45 min to an hour, felt pushy, water broke. When I got out I was between an 8-9 and in transition. It varies for each person. I was allowed to deliver in the tub, but I didn't really want to. For me it would have been hard to get leverage. I think some of the benefits for me that it helped relax me(probably why I progressed so quickly), and helped soften perineum. I had no tearing..
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:19 AM   #10
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Re: Labor in a tub but not deliver, how does it go?

You cannot have an epi and be in the tub. Risk of entry site being exposed to bacteria. You shouldn't get in too early, because it will stall labor. And getting an epi too early will stall labor too, and then you wold most likely end up with pitocin. Which would put you at greater risk of another c/s.
All the best.
I labored in a tub the last two times, and here we aren't allowed to birth in it, and walking to the birthing room with a babies head in your vagina ain't fun But I don't like dry laboring, the water helps me to relax,and it goes faster.
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