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Old 04-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
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"Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

I'm stuck with a hospital birth this time. My doctor is great and very supportive and I trust him but he might not be on call if it's a weekend and so far both babies were born over the weekend (DH jokes it's out of consideration for his work schedule ).

With my first birth I literally labored at home till the last minute and the baby was born within three hours of arriving at the hospital. They had only had time to check me in, check my progress and I felt the urge to push. I feel like I was incredibly lucky with that one because of a variety of factors all coming together to help me have the sort of birth I wanted.

Homebirth with the second one that was just perfect. I was able to take a bath during transition, delivered on my own bed, etc. I wish I could just have another homebirth but it's not an option this time and I won't go unassisted.

With both births the water did not break until the baby crowned.

Well, we just found out that the hospital has a policy that if the water is broken then the woman has to be monitored 100% of the time. Since my water had not broken with my first I was actually on the 20 minutes on 20 minutes off monitoring that I assumed was standard. Now I'm freaking out, how am I supposed to deal with labor if I'm stuck on the bed and can't move around? There's no way to predict when my water will break this time and I'm preparing for the worst.

There's no way I'm switching providers/hospital at this point. So many things are up in the air right now that I need the stability of being able to at least deliver in a familiar place with my own doctor.

The thing is that I'll be an hour drive away from the hospital and even my midwife recommended that given my past history I go in when contractions are ten minutes apart. Both of my previous labors my contractions were 6-8 minutes apart from the beginning and labor lasted 18 hours or less.

All that to say, any guidelines for dealing with labor and especially transition if I find myself unable to move around/take a shower/etc? I feel like a first time mom again.

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: "Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

I think you should bring a birth plan that communicates your desire to move around as much as possible in labor and using the tub when active labor gets going strong. Just because they have policies, doesn't mean they won't stretch them for you. My midwife was willing to let me deliver in the tub if I wanted, even though hospital policy was strictly against it.

I also think you should be focusing on your perfect birth experience and not what you don't want to happen. Whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, you are far better off believing that things will go perfectly. At least you won't be unnecessarily stressed in the meantime.

If you really want to insure your needs are met in the hospital though, perhaps you should hire a doula?
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
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Re: "Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

I don't think monitoring needs to mean you'll be tied down or anything, I would ask your doctor to clarify the policies.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:37 PM   #4
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Re: "Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

Could you possibly check into a hotel near the hospital while in early-ish labor and hang out there for a while, in the tub, on a birth ball, or whatever, until you think you're in transition? You might also hire a monitrice to help you determine how dilated you are before you go. It's not ideal, but it might be worth considering.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:44 PM   #5
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I've been constant-monitored during two births; they should have a mobile one. I even labored in a tub with monitoring! Call and clarify for peace of mind - it wasn't that bad.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:18 PM   #6
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Re: "Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

for number 2, I was 20 on/ 40 off- until they had a slight concern (in retrospect, I think it was a cord thing- so I'm cool after the fact with the extra monitoring- but they were calm about it so I didn't think at the time it was an actual problem). my major metropolitan hospital has no monitors where you can walk around (I've asked at both births). But you can stand or use a ball. I said I did not want to lay down- they didn't understand, but didn't say that and didn't hassle me. I just stood, swayed, did hip circles, kinda went inside my head and supported myself on the back of a chair. My labor was a surprise at work so I didn't have my yoga ball in the car- I transitioned before the people who had hospital balls were done with them. I'm smiling while typing- it was a good experience. As a second time mom, I spoke up for what I really wanted and kept it simple. Sure there are a few things I would have changed if I had known how it would go in advance- but remind yourself, you just can't know!

You can do it!! And it will be great.

(edit- my drs have had very little to do with my labors. they show up to catch Its the L&D nurses.)
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:02 AM   #7
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Re: "Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

I'd see if they have mobile monitoring too!
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:11 AM   #8
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Re: "Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

Yeah, being monitored doesn't mean stuck in bed the whole time. Even without a mobile monitor, I have been able to move around, use a birth ball, stand, walk, squat, etc etc etc.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:59 PM   #9
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I just had a vbac and that meant constant monitoring. We carried a battery pack with us and even took it into the tub.

Just talk to them to see what they mean.

I have never heard the 20/20 rule. With both my babies, my water broke before labor and with my first, I only had monitoring 15min out of every hour, but that was mostly for the antibiotics since I was gbs+. DH tells me I had an iv to walk around with during that birth. I don't know why.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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Re: "Unfriendly hospital" strategies for dealing with labor esp during transition?

Thanks everyone! I think I'll go on the hospital tour, maybe things have changed since my first was born there 4 years ago. Maybe there's a mobile monitoring unit that they can use now. Either way, I'll talk to my OB about signing off on a birth plan that allows for non-continual monitoring even if my water has broken. He's been so supportive of my decisions in the past that I'm hoping he'll be on my side for this too.
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