The Truth About Labor and Delivery – Myth One
1) It is not necessary to start pushing as soon as the nurse/physician determines you are fully dilated, especially with an Epidural. There is a term we use in OB called “let the baby ride down.” It is not one used by many physicians and even some nurses but in cases where your Epidural is so dense you cannot feel where to push it is often wise to let the uterine contractions bring the baby down on its own. This can eliminate many of the cases where women push for two hours with an Epidural and the baby has not delivered. At this point it is typically assumed your baby will not fit out the vagina. Next comes “The Talk”, this is the point where the nurse and/or doctor start mentioning things like “I just think the baby is too big or we should start considering a Cesarean Section”
In reality your Epidural is so dense that your “pushing” has been a wasted 2 hours of pulling your legs back, curling up in a ball, contorting your face and holding your breath to a count of ten (x3) each time you have a contraction. At this point you are so exhausted that a C/S starts to sound pretty good.
Solution: When you are told your cervix is completely dilated ask these two questions:
1)“Is my baby in any distress?”
2)“Do you think it would be easier for me to let my uterus bring the baby down?
**PLEASE NOTE – NOT ALL BABIES WILL FIT THROUGH THE VAGINA, but I suspected about 85- 90% do. The World Health Organization recommends that the Cesarean Section rate for industrialized nations should not exceed 15%. In 2007 the primary C/S rate in Texas was 33.7%. I am sure it is even higher now.