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How long is too long to push?


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  #1  
June 5th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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With my first pregnancy I had a drugfree hospital birth. The labour was pretty fast but I pushed for four hours and ended up with some intervention (had some drugs to increase strength of contractions after 3 hours, and asked for vacuum assistance after 4 hours because I was exhausted).

I am considering a birth center this time around but obviously there will be no intervention there. Is there such thing as too long when it comes to pushing? What are some natural ways to make it go faster?

Here’s a link to my birth story
http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f237-january-february-2007-playroom/444566-violeta-lourdes-birth-story.html
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  #2  
June 5th, 2009, 10:05 AM
Kelllilee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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it sounds like you just had bad luck with her having her head turned funky. That's not something that's definitely going to happen again, and you probably would have been able to push her out faster otherwise.

It really sounds like you did everything you could to speed up the pushing phase. Your body was pushing on its own, you tried different positions, stayed mobile. Really you did everything you could. I didn't see anything in your birth story to indicate something being done "wrong" or causing the long pushing phase.

Typically subsequent babies will be faster come pushing time, so I wouldn't worry too much. And chances are you won't end up with another baby turned funny.

To answer your question, yes, you can push too long depending on circumstances. If baby is stuck in the birth canal where the cord can be compressed the baby can be cut off from their blood/oxygen supply. It just depends on other factors. If you are pushing for a prolonged time they will usually monitor the baby's heartbeat closely to be sure they aren't distressed...
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Last edited by Kelllilee; June 5th, 2009 at 10:08 AM.
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  #3  
June 5th, 2009, 10:06 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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I pushed for 3 hours! My labor was relatively quick and I expected the pushing to also be quick. My doula said my daughter just had some positioning issues to work out. Her personality matches this though, she takes her time doing everything- teething, crawling,walking. Most hospital OBs would be reaching for something to "help" so I feel very lucky that my midwife let things be.
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  #4  
June 5th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Hey glad to see another December mommy in here!

I agree with the PPs. I think V just gave you a hard time. I was in labor all day long and pushed for maybe 15 minutes. I was going to say trying different positions but you did that so Im sure this time will go much more smoothly for you.
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  #5  
June 5th, 2009, 10:28 AM
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I pushed my first son for a little over 3 hours as well. He was a large baby at 9 lbs 10 oz but luckily no one tried to push an intervention on me. I agree that your baby just had a funky positioning and hopefully that won't happen again. With my second baby I only pushed for 7 minutes so I hope you get that lucky this time around too!
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  #6  
June 5th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Well I hope it goes quick this time! Thanks for the input ladies.
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  #7  
June 5th, 2009, 12:17 PM
New_England_Girl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Sounds like it was just her head position. I pushed for 3 hours also...because my DD was face-up. I'm hoping, like you, that it goes quicker this time.
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  #8  
June 5th, 2009, 12:28 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My first vaginal birth had a funky head position and took a little over 2.5 hours of pushing. My other vaginal births we qucik in the pushing phase, less than 20 minutes!
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  #9  
June 5th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Yep, sounds like there wasn't much else that you could do. My second was faster when it came to pushing, hopefully you have the same experience!
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  #10  
June 5th, 2009, 12:55 PM
LindensMommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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they said I pushed for 2 hours - it didn't seem that long to me
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  #11  
June 5th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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Time of pushing isn't as important as progress and how the baby looks on the doppler. If you are having descent, rotation or some movement, even if it is slow then your body is working! Midwives know if the baby is moving by looking at you, vaginal exams, where the heartbeat is best heard at and many other signs. Some babies decend s-l-o-w, and that is ok. It actually reduces tearing and is gentler on baby.


For your last birth malpositioning seems to be at fault, and maybe lack of energy too. Food, juice, water and the like provide so much help, and they're often restricted in the hospital. I didn't read your birth story, so I dunno if that could be a factor)

I've seen a mama push for 3 hours in various positions, all gravity positive, which is like 5+ hours of pushing in a hospital bed! Second time pushing is usally about 1/2 of what the first was, and without a malpositioning you could have a much quicker 2nd stage easily, especially with being upright and moving around this time.
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  #12  
June 5th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoulaMama View Post
Time of pushing isn't as important as progress and how the baby looks on the doppler. If you are having descent, rotation or some movement, even if it is slow then your body is working! Midwives know if the baby is moving by looking at you, vaginal exams, where the heartbeat is best heard at and many other signs. Some babies decend s-l-o-w, and that is ok. It actually reduces tearing and is gentler on baby.


For your last birth malpositioning seems to be at fault, and maybe lack of energy too. Food, juice, water and the like provide so much help, and they're often restricted in the hospital. I didn't read your birth story, so I dunno if that could be a factor)

I've seen a mama push for 3 hours in various positions, all gravity positive, which is like 5+ hours of pushing in a hospital bed! Second time pushing is usally about 1/2 of what the first was, and without a malpositioning you could have a much quicker 2nd stage easily, especially with being upright and moving around this time.
I did get to drink during labour (they encouraged it) but was also puking and sweating and bleeding a lot so I suppose that why I got dehydrated. And I did move around (tried different positions, squating, all fours and the birthing stool are the ones I remember) until after that 3rd hour when I got the IV. To me semi reclinded with my feet up on the bar felt the most comfortable (or most effective?). In your experience is it best to birth in the position that feels most comfortable or to switch to a more gravity effective one?



Eating this time will be a tough one. I didnt have much of an appetite
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  #13  
June 5th, 2009, 02:42 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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it really depends.... If a position isn't effective, even if it is really gravity positive position, changing can help. Sometimes having yourself in a really good C position can help a malpositioned baby, although I'm not 100% sure why.... I think it is because sometimes you can exert more force that way.

It is ok if you can't eat. Drinking can give lots of energy. Pack some good electrolyte balencing drinks, juices and stuff. Whole foods sells an electrolyte water that is great, and doesn't have a taste- which is good for nausea.

If you want to try for better fetal positiong that is always a good idea
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  #14  
June 5th, 2009, 06:30 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Another thing to keep in mind is that somtimes your body gives you a break by slowing down contractions. In the hospital they normally give you pitocin and encourage your body to fight against what it wants to do. In other settings when your body slows down, you rest, you drink/eat if you can, and then when the contractions start again you have more energy and baby is born.
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  #15  
June 5th, 2009, 08:18 PM
rachna's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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For me my first took 3 hours to push, my second 15 minutes, both were posterior, but the second time the midwife had me doing things to get the baby to turn, which made him easier to push out, and I was in a much better position. I also knew more what I was doing, I think experience definitely counted in my case.
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  #16  
June 9th, 2009, 06:06 AM
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My personal opinion says - as long as baby and mom are tolerating it, you can't push for too long.
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  #17  
June 9th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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I had the same thing with my first birth as opposed to my second. I pushed for almost 2 hours to get my first out, she had a big head and had her head cocked to the side a bit, and it was my first time stretching that much, so it took awhile. I had a home birth so I was able to move around alot, drink vitamin water (I didn't feel like eating) and rest inbetween contractions.
My second was also a home birth, her head was slightly smaller and crowned just right. She was out completely in 2 contractions! I was shocked! Her labor was also much faster.
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  #18  
June 9th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cre8tivem View Post
She was out completely in 2 contractions! I was shocked! Her labor was also much faster.
I will be very habby if this is the case!
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