It’s time to meet your little one…..
You grab your bag and head for the hospital. You’re checked in and ushered into the ward and allocated a bed.
You’re expected to climb onto the bed ……….. so you do.
And then it begins.
Why deliver in a bed ?
Because hospitals are about beds.
And from the bed, you and junior can be easily monitored. And where necessary, ASSISTED.
The problem with the bed, is you’ve lost the help and support of GRAVITY.
A formidable force, that we all know well, because it causes “THINGS” to fall down. All “things” :- balls, feathers ………………….. and babies.
In the case of babies, still inside, the force of gravity can help them “fall” out.
When gravity is invited to lend a hand during labour, it makes a difference – A BIG DIFFERENCE. This is what a team of Italian researchers discovered, when they pitted gravity assisted deliveries, against one’s where gravity was NOT invited.
The team enrolled 225 first time Moms, delivering at the University of Padau, Women and Child Health Department, between Jan 2013 and December 2013. Going in – all the Moms were a go, they were healthy and baby was positioned well (in the cephalic position).
- 69 Moms were told to GET ON THE BED
- 156 Moms were told to DO WHAT “FELT” MOST COMFORTABLE
Feeling comfortable included
- Being in the bed
- Standing upright – alone or supported
- Sitting on a ball
- Being on “all fours”
In the delivery room
The team monitored how the delivery progressed, along with Mom’s position. And Moms moved about….
- 1 % of the time, they were upright
- 1 % of the time, they were sitting
- 2 % of the time, they were on all fours
- 6 % of the time, they were squatting
So what happened to the delivery ?
Baby POPPED OUT
Okay, it probably wasn’t that easy…………… but having gravity helping, made it significantly easier.
When they looked at the first stage of labour, this is the time period when Mom is having regular contractions, but the cervix has not dilated beyond 2cm. The gravity assisted Moms breezed through, averaging just 192.1 minutes, while the labouring in bed group, took significantly longer, averaging 336.1 minutes.
The same thing happened in stage 2 labour, this is the time it takes for the cervix to be fully dilated and baby is coming ! The gravity assisted Moms took just 34.4 minutes to get to this stage, compared to 84.4 minutes, in the Moms labouring in bed.
That’s just over 3 hours less pushing.
In addition to less pushing, the pushing seemed a little less stressful too…..
34.8 % of the Moms pushing from the bed, called for something to ease the pain, this figure dropped to just 9.6 % in the gravity assisted group.
With gravity helping, 87.1 % of Moms, successfully delivered, via the vaginal route. There were a few little ones (7.1 %) that needed a little extra help being delivered vaginally and a few (5.8 %), who needed to be “lifted” out, via a c-section.
Again, these stats are in stark contrast to the Moms doing the normal hospital bed delivery. Only 47.8 % of these babies came out of the vagina, unassisted. Another 26.1 % were dragged out, kicking and screaming, thanks to medical assistance, while the remaining 26.1 % had to be lifted out, through c-section.
It makes sense…….
The birth canal becomes a hole………………… not a tunnel.
Dropping through a hole is a lot easier, than wiggling through a tunnel.
Plus, when you’re lying on the bed, with baby on board……………. you’ve got a “dead weight” pushing down on you and your blood vessels. Now, just like a hose pipe, the pressure doesn’t stop blood flow, but it does slow it down.
Less blood flow, means the uterine muscles, doing all the heavy lifting, don’t get as much loving and when you’re required to push a baby, through a tiny hole, an extra big care package, packed with nutrients and things, is rather helpful.
Avoid the bed
As far as possible, during your labour……
After all, it’s called labour, not bed rest. Don’t be afraid to MOVE, you’ll decrease aortacaval compression, making uterine contractions more effective.
Insist on gravity being part of your delivery team.
NOTE : The other “person” you want on your delivery team, is melatonin, your night valet – together, they make a potent combination, that should see baby emerging quick quick.
Part of the fun, is guessing exactly when junior will appear. There are lots of methods used to predict baby’s arrival. The mom-2-be’s height is one of them.
All things being equal, babies who experience skin-to-skin contact with Mom in the delivery room are more likely to be, breast feeders.
Babies who arrive by c-section, avoid the PAIN but GAIN a lot more bacteria which belong to the Firmicutes family. And these are the “fat” bacteria.