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Birth support for 3rd birth

11 replies to this topic

#1 Akeyo

Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

I'm pregnant with number 3 and preparing for my 2nd VBAC and I am just wondering how different your 3rd labour and birth was in comparison, and how much support you felt you needed?

With my first, I was induced and laboured for 17 hours (no doula) and ended up with an EC due to FD. I wished I had had the extra support and so with number 2 my VBAC, I hired a doula who was invaluable. All went well, I was in active labour at home for 4 hours and then pushed for 2.5 hours at the BC (posterior) and had a wonderful drug-free waterbirth.

This time I am at a different hospital in the midwifery group practice with a one-on-one MW who will be on call for my birth and will be my main support during labour, as opposed to looking after possibly 3 or more labouring women (as was my experience in the past). As my MW said, she will only be leaving the room to get heat packs etc. She will be by my side throughout. I have a great rapport with her and she is very much an advocate for natural birth but I am aware that if she has just come off a shift when I go into labour, another MW from the program will attend. I have not yet met the other MWs, but will in due course and have been told that they are all on the same page as far as natural birth goes.

I realise that birth support is a very personal decision but just wondered how others in a similar situation felt, having had a wonderful natural birth before and feeling a lot more confident in their own ability, whether they still felt they needed the extra support, both at home and at the hospital? I feel fine about labouring at home with just DH and I and I do feel like I am doubling up by having both at the hospital. Having said that, every birth is different and perhaps I would be better to be safe than sorry and have the extra support.

My MW also said that in her experience, 3rd labours can often stop start a bit before the main event (as in pre-labour) but once they get going, they are pretty quick. Has anyone experienced this with number 3?

All thoughts welcome!

Edited by Akeyo, 14 December 2012 - 10:36 AM.

#2 Natttmumm

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

I have heard the same thing about number 3 regarding the stop start then quick. I'm due with number 3 in 8 weeks and i am starting to feel good about it.
We considered a doula but ended up doing the calm birth course which I highly recommend. We still considered a doula after that but have left it too late so I will haveDH and mum.
I believe it would be very helpful to have a good doula but I know I can't do it without one. I think your midwife would probably be enough in your situation.

#3 Akeyo

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:14 PM

Yes I did a HypnoBirthing course in preparation for my VBAC and I agree it was amazing. Made such a difference to my second labour as well as helping me to let go of what happened the first time. I will be preparing for this birth in much the same way, meditating and visualising daily as well as weekly acupuncture from 36 weeks onwards (I loved that!).

Ordinarily I would not even second guess having a doula as I think they are a fabulous support but in this instance, I think I'm feeling a pull to just have DH and myself (and a MW) at the birth. I don't have family here unfortunately as otherwise I would probably also love to have my sister or my mum there too, I think that would be very special.

Best wishes for a wonderful 3rd birth!


#4 Leee

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:57 PM

My 3rd labour was stop start. Went into labour at 12am, went to hospital finally at 3pm and was 5cm dilated, DS2 was born 1 hour later. So a slow start, painful for a long time but never seemed to get into a steady pattern until the hospital where it just went bam!

Personally, I would just go with your MW. I was in a birth centre with a MW who was my back up midwife and it was great. Even if you get the back up they have the same philosophy and I didn't care one bit. I think having a doula with a group practice midwife does double up.

#5 Akeyo

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

Leee, so over those 16 hours (from 12am - 3pm) how long would it stop for and were the contractions erratic? Were you able to get much rest? Did you find that really intense going from 5cm dilated to delivery in just an hour?!

I am so hoping for a quicker 2nd stage this time but then I think that being in the bath for the 2.5 hours it took to push #2 out helped to make everything soft and stretchy down there.

Any other 3rd birth experiences - and what support you had - much appreciated!


#6 Carmen02

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:07 PM

for my 3rd I only really had DH for support as thats all I really wanted original.gif my 3rd was 6 weeks early he was in a real hurry no real reason for going into labour so early either lol my 3rd was extremely different, I had an extremely quick labour just over an hour and it was quite full on, DH was amazing to calm me down and i had an amazing midwife who did do wonders for me when DS got rushed off to NICU

#7 R2B2

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:09 PM

for my third I had 1 midwife and my husband. the midwife was with me through the entire pregnancy (same as you are having by the sounds of it)
there was more than enough support in the room. it was very calm and beautiful. (although I had a lot of unrelated anxiety in the lead up)
I had a lot of pre labour things happening in the weeks leading up to her birth, but once it got going, it was over and done with in 2 hours.

hope you get the birth you are after. if having a doula will make you feel more at ease, then put the feelers out now original.gif

#8 BabyHopeful

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

My 3rd labour was much harder, active labour went for 10 hours, quite a shock after DS2 labour of 96 minutes!

I had a doula with me for my 3rd and so wish I had had one for my previous 2. The guarantee of having her with us far outweighed anything else.

I guess you have to work out if you'll be happy if you end up with one of the other midwives.

#9 Akeyo

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

BabyHopeful - that would have been a shock! Were you at home most of that time? In the event of that happening, yes doula support at home would be invaluable and that is what I have to weigh up. I don't have too much of an issue with another MW attending (though of course would much prefer my own) as I know they are all very pro-natural birth and are all qualified to deliver in water. I am yet to meet them all of course.

R2B2 - Yes that is what I am thinking that with my MW and my DH, there will be plenty of support in the room. I am normally a big fan of doulas but as this is my 3rd labour and 2nd VB, I feel a lot more confident in my body and what it can do. I like the sound of a calm and beautiful birth! That was definitely how my VBAC was.

Carmen02 - how full on to have him arrive 6 weeks early and so fast! Hope his stay in NICU was brief. Did you manage to get to the hospital on time to have him?

#10 R2B2

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

You know you have the ability to do it wink.gif trust your body.

I find the less people that are present, the more calm the environment is.

it makes it a much more special moment when you don't have 20 people racing around the room with bright lights and hustle and bustle.

if you have full confidence in your midwife and your husband is a good birth partner, you will be able to achieve the birth you are after!

my 3rd went the complete opposite way to what I had "imagined" but in the end it was far better than anything I could have ever wanted!

#11 Leee

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:00 PM

Akeyo - I would say there was no real big rest periods between the contractions from about 2 hours after they started. The would fluctuate from 7mins to 3 mins apart. So for 30 mins they might be 3 mins apart then they would go to 5mins or be erratic.

Even when my DH convinced me to go the hospital they were still erratic between 3-5 mins.

Going to from 5cm to fully was not bad at all. The labour I was experiencing at 5cm was full on and it really felt like I was further along than that. I asked to get into the big bath after I had been examined at the midwife wanted me to get to 7cm, she walked out of the room for no more than 5mins. She came back into me vomiting and obviously advancing quickly, so she let me in the bath original.gif

Second stage for DS2 was the longest of all of them but only 25 mins. I think it was due to the bath and me not feeling stable. I loved that I experienced the water but I really didn't find it all that relaxing or easy to push.

On another note, in my experience (I am a student midwife) one birth I saw with a doula and a group practice midwife, the midwife became less of a support person and more medicalised as the doula took over, and there was no need for two people to be doing the same thing - just something to think about.

#12 Akeyo

Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:31 PM

Leee, you must have been exhausted by the time it all started really happening. That's interesting about the role of the MW often becoming more medicalised with the presence of the doula (in a midwifery group situation). I have heard this before.

R2B2 - I really agree with this actually, about the less people in the room. I think I am quite keen for it to just be DH and I (and the MW). I have the HypnoBirthing skills to help me if the labour is long as well.

The thing is, I have actually chosen a doula but we have not locked anything in yet and I am seriously thinking of going ahead without one. This has taken me by surprise a little as I am a big fan of that support. But this is my last birth and I really want to keep things simple. As long as I know that a MW will be there with me once I arrive at the hospital, then I know I can handle the rest. And my DH has learned an awful lot about birth support since our first rather full on experience. I have complete confidence in him and our relationship is even stronger now than it was 4 years ago when DS1 was born.

It's been helpful to hear others' experiences though. Birth is unpredictable and anything can happen but I know a lot more now and I think that makes a big difference.

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