Natural Birth

Who has requested no internals? How did that discussion go?

I personally don't feel the need--between the discomfort, the frustration at no progress, or the anticipation that goes with progress (despite the fuzzy meaning) I'd like to skip them. I'm not really sure the best way to approach it with my doc, though--while she's very open to natural and recommended hypnobirthing as a method, I feel like it might be an odd request.

Re: Who has requested no internals? How did that discussion go?

  • i never had one until halfway through active labor...since the docs all wanted to avoid introducing bacteria or accidentally starting labor early. imo...they aren't necessary before labor, and you should feel free to decline.
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  • Your body, your decision.  They really are totally unnecessary, so I can't imagine she would have a good argument for having them.

    You might as well get used to saying no now- it will be good practice for all the interventions offered to you during labor. ;) 

    BTW- My MW doesn't do them unless requested.  I think she only did 3 during my whole 40 hour labor and one of them was at my request.  

    Lilypie - (ZESJ)Lilypie - (QAi1)

  • ITA they're not necessary, but I also feel like EVERYONE on my local and on the Bump gets them! I feel like such an oddball declining, but I just don't want it--especially before labor starts. My doctor is really accommodating and understanding, so I'm probably overthinking it, but I feel like it might seem odd to decline just because I've never known anyone who has.
  • We have a checklist of what happens at every appointment and the last few all say "cervix check if desired." I think it's completely reasonable to let her know you don't want one, for whatever reason.

    Another compromise (if you're interested in compromising,) would be for her to do them, but not tell you the results.  

  • Its not at all odd. I have a theory that an early pelvic exam w my 1st contributed to my PROM during wk 36, which ended in a CS after no progress. I switched MWs for this baby & when I discussed my concerns w her and asked how to avoid a similar situation this time, she said there is no need to do pelvics if I'm not comfortable with them, simple as that. I didn't have one done this time until I hit my due date, and that 1 was at my request. 

    Don't feel uncomfortable making your wishes known. It's your body and your doc is basically a contractor you've hired to do a job for you. Just because it involves a degree doesn't mean you should ever feel like you aren't the one entitled to call the shots!  


  • I agree with the others to just be matter of fact about it and let her know that you're not interested.  My MW doesn't do them unless requested her reasoning is that it means nothing.  She says she's had women sit at 3 cm for the last few weeks of their pregnancy and conversely has seen women in the a.m. that are closed up tight go into labor later that day.  I had my first internal when I arrived at the hospital.  I was was 10 cm and ready to push LOL.
  • not an odd request at all. Both my OB for DS1 and midwife for DS2 did not do them until labor. I think some practitioners are in the habit of doing them because patients like it, but they are really a waste of time and stress.



    9 angels in heaven-3 in my arms and 1 in the NICU                                                                                                                                    
    Mono/di twin girls: Josephine born to heaven and Evangeline born Earthside at 25w



  • I had a midwife group, and they did not mind that I did not want any internals.  They offered at each appt starting at 36 weeks, and each time I said "no thanks" and they simply said "OK." 

    I had 3 internals at the hospital while I was in active labor, the first one was not until about 12 hours into my labor, the 2nd one was when I was about 8-9cm dialated, and the 3rd one was when I was 10cm and it was determined I was ready to push.  

    BabyFetus Ticker
  • Your care provider shouldn't have a problem with it at all, it isn't an odd request & probably more common than you think.  My midwife asked if I wanted them & I said no and that was it.  I also will be avoiding them as much as possible in active labor.
  • I requested the minimum amount of internals possible, but unfortunately I still ended up with a lot (and during labor, I was in no state of mind to deny them).  Next time around, I will be MUCH more forceful about it because during DD's birth, I contracted a deadly infection and there's a good chance it entered my body during an internal.  The fewer you have, the lower your chance of infection, and considering I almost died, I will make this VERY clear next time.
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  • I asked for no internals with DD. My OBs insisted on doing them starting at 39 weeks. I simply asked them not to tell me the "stats," so I didn't get frustrated at my lack of progress or overly excited about meaningless progress. They were fine with that. I still think it was stupid that they made me get them at all, but it wasn't worth fighting over.

    With DS, not getting internals was just the standard. I didn't have a single internal my entire pregnancy, including during labor.

    Mommy to DD1 (June 2007), DS (January 2010), DD2 (July 2012), and The Next One (EDD 3/31/2015)

  • I just did this today and was relieved and pleased that it was nothing at all.  When the tech said that today was the day to get one, I just said very nicely, "Oh, I'm actually not planning to get an internal."  And that was it!  She said she totally understood (I had gone on to say that I didn't want to know progress or the lack thereof) and the Dr. said nothing at all about it when  he got to the room and proceeded just as he always had.

    GL!  I know it can be awkward to speak up but it really is okay to.  :-)  Like the others said, it's your body.

  • It's your body!  (so basically, what everyone else said)  The only internal I had last time was when I arrived at the birth center saying that I was ready to push.  A quick look confirmed that DS's head was there and yep,  I was ready!  BTW, internals during labor (or at least the one I had) was more painful than the contraction.
  • When they offer, I will turn them down. They may start around 36 weeks when you get the GBS swab done, especially if this isn't your first baby. I'm not even bothering to discuss it ahead of time. Since this is my first time, I really don't see that they will even care to argue the point. Good luck!
    My story:
    Three early losses, then my baby boy in 2010, followed by three more losses.
    Debating between continuing TFAS or embracing OAD

    Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

  • image Ready2006:
    ITA they're not necessary, but I also feel like EVERYONE on my local and on the Bump gets them! I feel like such an oddball declining, but I just don't want it--especially before labor starts. My doctor is really accommodating and understanding, so I'm probably overthinking it, but I feel like it might seem odd to decline just because I've never known anyone who has.

    You're not an oddball.  Birth has just become so full of interventions that the idea of what is necessary and normal has become completely skewed.  My birth center routinely does internals at the first appt and then at the very end if you want one.  I declined the first one, but admit that I wanted one at my 39 week appt.  It showed zero progress.  I won't be asking for one this time around.  During labor, I think they did three internals.  During two of them my mw actually stretched my cervix because it was taking so long for me to dilate.  Although it hurt like he!!, I'm glad she did it because I am not sure I could have gone on any longer than I did (21 hours of active labor), and I'd rather have her do that than transfer me to a hospital.

    That said, if my next labor seems to be progressing quicker, I will probably not want any internals.

  • I asked my CNM if I would need to get internals and she told me that unless I wanted them, I could just decline them.  Internals are discouraging and painful.  If I can go through this pregnancy without getting an internal until I'm in labor, I will be thrilled!
  • Screw internals! I think they're pointless, and just make the end of pregnancy even harder to deal with...It is nerve-wracking to say no to something, but I'm guessing they'll be nice about it - just be polite and firm, even if they give you a hard time.

    I declined them at the end of my pg with DS, and my midwife never had a problem with me saying no. But I did get bullied into one when I was admitted in the hospital (I had said no bc I was still in early labor, but the midwife wouldn't let it go. grrrr). I think I had maybe two other internals during my labor? This time I think I'll only let them do one when I'm admitted, and then say no to the rest.

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • I'm with you on this!  I am declining all internals, even, hopefully, during labor!  Since I'd like to have the baby at home I figure that there's no rush or need to know exactly where I am!  They should be able to tell from my cues what "stage" I'm in.  I am also going to cover up all of the clocks in my house!  
  • My first internal was after my water broke. at 36 weeks I think it was she said she can do an internal if I wanted one I said no I don't want one and that was that.
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