Oct. 1st, 2009

aoinoue: (Default)
...that you don't hear very often, and unless you know to ask, your OB might not tell you.

1) You *will* feel some pain. There is no getting around this. You will potentially be in early labor for up to 24 hours prior to even setting foot in the hospital.

2) Inductions and/or labor augmentation are more painful than natural labor, and are harder on the baby.

3) Epidurals can slow labor and cause a drop in maternal blood pressure, leading to fetal heart tone decelerations and fetal distress. If the doctor/nurse cannot correct your blood pressure with a large influx of IV fluids, you will end up with an emergency c-section.

4) Epidurals will fail in 20% of laboring mothers. Plan for this possibility and research other pain management strategies.

5) The standard "on your back" position for pushing is the *worst* position for you to be in. You're essentially pushing the baby uphill, and it makes your pelvis smaller, thus a) making you more likely to tear and b) makes the pushing take longer. It's only standard because it's easier for the doctor to catch the baby in that position.

6) If you have not had an epidural, push when *you* feel the urge to do so. Purple-faced nurse/OB-directed pushing does not make the baby come out any faster, it just makes you more tired.

7) Episiotomies are not standard practice anymore. Neither are enemas or shaving. If your OB practices any of these with any regularity, find a new doctor if possible.

8) The required eye drops are ridiculous. They are treating your baby for a chlamydia or gonorrhea infection it may or may not have picked up in the birth canal. THEY PROBABLY TESTED YOU FOR THIS DURING ONE OF YOUR FIRST PRENATAL APPOINTMENTS. And, it makes the baby unable to see you for the first 48 hours. Assuming you were negative on the initial test and you haven't been cheating on your partner, I recommend declining this procedure.

9) Ultrasounds in late pregnancy can be up to to 2 lbs off. Do not get talked into a c-section for a "big baby". C-sections are a *major* abdominal surgery and have all the risks associated with a major abdominal surgery. No way to know if the baby is too big until you try.

10) The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology have just released that their recommendation is that women should be allowed to have clear liquids to drink during labor. Personally, I do not understand why they did not realize that ice chips (which is still standard practice) melts to water in your stomach, but wouldn't let you have a glass of water. Either way, you should be allowed to drink something during labor if you want it. Link here.

Anybody else with more tips to add?

Edit: How could I forget my favorite fact? Epidurals are not shots. They are catheters in your back that are put in by a hollow needle. Yes, you will have to stay perfectly still during one or more contractions while the anesthesiologist places it. And yes, it will add nearly $4000 t o your hospital bill.
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