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Help me solve a birth question

9 replies to this topic

#1 flipped out

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

I watched the footage of DD's birth recently (a water birth) and on multiple occasions when I was delivering the head the midwife says "Don't touch the head, don't touch the head" Just wondering about the reasoning behind this? It's not like I was going to push her back in tongue.gif I was just reflecting that perhaps I wouldn't have sustained such a tear if I was able support her head on the way out..

#2 greenthumbs

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:06 PM

I have no idea but I would have thought the same thing about the support helping to avoid tearing.

Will be interesting to see other replies.

#3 anotherid

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:09 PM

Touching the baby may stimulate it to take it's first breaths and thus potentially swallow the bath water.

Water births should be hands off, with the mother encouraged to gently pick the baby up and bring it to the surface once it has been born.

Hope this helps.

#4 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:12 PM

Not a mw here, but I remember with my breech son's c-section, being told that once they see him they would try to get him out in one fluid movement, as the OB's touch can cause them to take a big gulp (first breath) so if they are still underwater, maybe that could be an issue? Purely guessing, though.

#5 AnnBB

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE (anotherid @ 15/01/2013, 10:09 PM)
Touching the baby may stimulate it to take it's first breaths and thus potentially swallow the bath water.

Water births should be hands off, with the mother encouraged to gently pick the baby up and bring it to the surface once it has been born.

Hope this helps.

I've heard this as well. No idea if it is true though!

#6 Corella

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

Big difference between a mother's gentle touch and a pair of rubber gloves from a person.

#7 Anne of The Island

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

I also had a water birth with my 2nd (not planned but happened while I was in the bath) - it was most surreal because the midwives stood/squatted at the end of the bath watching & waiting until he was born.  

In the literature I read during my pregnancy, it is due to what PP descibed - the baby receives oxygen from the placenta until he/she takes their first breath.  Breathing is stimulated by touch & the baby could inhale the water.

#8 meemee75

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

Is this while the baby was crowning OP  or  head was all out?

I touched both my babies ( both waterbirths) instinctively. I also had my hands down there on their heads when I pushed the shoulder out  and I'm a midwife ohmy.gif  biggrin.gif

I  just did what came naturally but normally waterbirths are hands off ( from the midwife anyway).

A gently touch on a baby in warm water shouldn't stimulate breathing. It's often cold air and vigorous movement/rubbing.

Babies are born with a "diving  reflex" too


#9 flipped out

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:36 PM

Thanks for the replies - the midwife was saying it whilst she was crowning, before her head was delivered and it was so hard to keep my hands away! i was fine once she'd actually crowned as I no longer thought I was going to be torn in two! It makes sense not to touch once the head is delivered with regards to breathing but I would have thought that it wouldn't have mattered before the head was delivered?

#10 Rumina

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

I think that when a woman instinctually wants to touch her baby's head then this is ok. If left undisturbed then i personally dont believe a woman would feel the desire to place her hand on a baby's head that was going to breathe. Such a shame the midwife couldn't trust the process.

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