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When Labor Does Not Lead To Birth

Read our 4 part story about long labor scenarios, posted every Wednesday.

Part 1

As a home birth midwife who has also spent many hours on the labor and delivery floor as a hospital midwife, I find that the most frustrating scenario is when labor goes looooong and progress is slooooow and baby just doesn’t descend and come out. If the woman has had a previous cesarean section and or the baby seems to be big, then we have some likely causes that we can work with to a point, within the realm of safety.

We have tricks and tools like the information shared on the Spinning Babies website and using a rebozo to help affect a shift in the position of the baby. We have the advantage of complete freedom of movement that is typically not available in a hospital scenario. We are encouraging eating, drinking, and rest so that the birthing goddess keeps her strength and energy up for the hard work of labor. But without a crystal ball that tells the future, many times we don’t know what is holding things up (literally). These clients come to us wanting a home birth, a vaginal birth, a natural birth. They do not want to go to the hospital, or they wouldn’t have sought out our services.

If the system was not broken, we could transport these cases before we get to the point of necessity. We could transport for a labor that is dragging on with slow or no progress once we’ve satisfied ourselves that we’ve tried everything we can think of to affect the shift or change that will allow the baby to make its final descent and exit from the woman’s body. She would have the option to have Pitocin to be administered safely (while she is on a continuous fetal monitor – the only way Pitocin should be administered) and perhaps get an epidural for the increased pain she may feel while on the Pitocin or strapped to the monitor with limited ability to move around. If complete freedom did not help in the first place, then let’s try some other tools. I fully believe that vaginal delivery (wherever it takes place) is better for babies than cesareans.

Read Part 2 next Wednesday

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