Natural Birth

What's he going to do?

I'm only 20 weeks, but I've been thinking about labor and delivery since before I got pregnant. Because my insurance only covers physicans in a hospital, that's what I'm doing. I asked my doc if the hospital was set up for water births. He said they have tubs to labor in, but you can't deliver in them.

Why? And what's he going to do? Pull me out when it's time to push?

I probably won't put up that much of a fight, but I don't understand why delivery in the tub wouldn't be an option. I'm not high risk in any way.

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Re: What's he going to do?

  • If you try to rationalize hospital policies, you will make yourself crazy.

    A lot of hospitals have this policy.  Who knows why.  It could be that none of the physicians are trained to do water births so they just don't do them.  It could be that the head of the department thinks water births are for crazy hippies and by God, that won't happen in his hospital!  It could be that they don't want to deal with sanitizing the tubs as carefully.

    You can refuse to get out.  The staff may freak out on you though.  

    If your doctor is willing, you might be able to rent a tub and have your birth that way.  The OB I had my daughter with did water births this way.  She was the only one in the hospital who would do them.  Her patients rented a tub and they set it up on the floor in the L&D room.  He may not be willing to do that though, especially if it could create political issues for him. 

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  • My hospital does not have tubs because their "doctors aren't trained in waterbirths."  I wanted to ask, so patients can't labor in them? But, kept my mouth shut. 

    I agree, what are they going to do, pull you out.  But then again, are you going to want to fight that battle at that moment?  Good luck.

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  • From what I understand, most docs don't want to deliver you in a tub anyway.  There are all kinds of issues with the tub being sterile (I think water birth pools undergo special treatment and are made from special materials to assure sterile conditions) and it's quite uncomfortable for a labor attendant to hang over the side of a tub for very long.  I've not heard of a physican who would be willing to do it (I know it sounds kinda selfish, but imagine the back and knee problems a doctor could develop from doing this for extended periods of time, over many years, potentially threatening their own ability to do their job.)

     Speaking from experience though (I labored at home in the tub for a while then went to the hospital with my second) it really, really helps.  And ironically, I think the activity of filling up the tub, getting in and out, draining the water, etc. helped keep us busy and a little distracted.  So if you're allowed to labor in the tub, that's great!  But I'm pretty certain most hospitals and physicians would make you get out for pushing.

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  • image iris427:

    If you try to rationalize hospital policies, you will make yourself crazy.

    A lot of hospitals have this policy.  Who knows why.  It could be that none of the physicians are trained to do water births so they just don't do them.  It could be that the head of the department thinks water births are for crazy hippies and by God, that won't happen in his hospital!  It could be that they don't want to deal with sanitizing the tubs as carefully.

    You can refuse to get out.  The staff may freak out on you though.  

    If your doctor is willing, you might be able to rent a tub and have your birth that way.  The OB I had my daughter with did water births this way.  She was the only one in the hospital who would do them.  Her patients rented a tub and they set it up on the floor in the L&D room.  He may not be willing to do that though, especially if it could create political issues for him. 

    Oh wow, I was wrong.  This is the first I've heard of a doctor doing water births... how cool!

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  • My OB was very honest, and simply told me that he was not trained in water birth (not that he would necessarily yank me out of the tub if I started pushing in there; it's just not something he's comfortable or experienced with). 

    Since I would like to at least have that option, we are probably switching to the hospital midwives soon, who are trained to do that and will most likely be with me more during labor.  They do like you to get out for the placenta delivery, however, because it's easier for them to monitor your blood loss. 

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  • image aggiemeg:
    image iris427:

    If you try to rationalize hospital policies, you will make yourself crazy.

    A lot of hospitals have this policy.  Who knows why.  It could be that none of the physicians are trained to do water births so they just don't do them.  It could be that the head of the department thinks water births are for crazy hippies and by God, that won't happen in his hospital!  It could be that they don't want to deal with sanitizing the tubs as carefully.

    You can refuse to get out.  The staff may freak out on you though.  

    If your doctor is willing, you might be able to rent a tub and have your birth that way.  The OB I had my daughter with did water births this way.  She was the only one in the hospital who would do them.  Her patients rented a tub and they set it up on the floor in the L&D room.  He may not be willing to do that though, especially if it could create political issues for him. 

    Oh wow, I was wrong.  This is the first I've heard of a doctor doing water births... how cool!

    It's rare, unfortunately, but there are doctors out there who will do water births.  I think if you live in an area where there is more demand for NB and the hospital is more supportive, you will probably have better luck.  If you're in an area where the hospitals are pretty conservative and NB is seen as more of a fringe thing, it will be a lot harder to find an OB to do it.  Even if they personally support water birth, they may have to really put themselves out on a limb to get the OK to do water birth at their hospital, and a lot of doctors wouldn't be comfortable bucking the political climate where they work. 

    The OB I had last time was the only doctor in the entire St. Louis metropolitan area who would do them.  I think she got the other OB in her practice to start doing them too.  But yeah, not very common sadly. 

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  • The hospital that I just delivered at has one water tub to labor in but you "aren't allowed to deliver in there" - specific hospital policy.  When I got in the tub I was talking to my midwife about this not delivering in there policy and she said that they were working on writing/developing the policy for actual water deliveries but she's had to deliver babies in the tub as they came so fast (so against official hospital policy).  So with what previous posters said, they aren't going to yank you out of the tub if you happen to start pushing in there.  Honestly I got in the tub at 8cm and only really wanted to be in there for about an hour.  It was a nice break to the contractions but at that point I really didn't want to be stuck  in one place.
  • The reasons I have heard for why they don't allow you to deliver in the tubs at the hospital is usually because it is a jetted tub where the jets are powered by tubes. It's very difficult to ensure that the tubes have been thoroughly sterilized so they don't want to risk any infections.  As for the question about are they going to pull you out, it probably depends, but I wouldn't doubt it.  I have read a couple of message boards where the nurses picked up the laboring mother and set her on the bed, not saying that would happen to you, but just so you know, it is probably a possibility.  And I recently heard that my local hospitals are not certified in water births, so that of course may also be a factor.

    These reasons are why I am doing a water birth at a birth center, their tub has jets that do not have tubes so they can be sure that it is thoroughly sanitized.

    I hope this helped a little, good luck getting the birth you want! :)

  • Well, my Bradley instructor told me that some would pull the plug on the bath tub. 

    I actually asked my OB about it during my last pregnancy and she said there wasn't enough room in the tub for someone else to be there and assist.  Only one of the rooms at my hospital even has a tub and it's not any bigger than a regular bath tub in someone's house.  Either way, if I'm there and I need to push... I'll do it discreetly, lol... just kidding.

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  • The hospital I ended up in (planned homebirth...induced though) had jetted tubs you can labor in. Some hospitals won't  let you in after your water breaks.  Ours did let me.  I didn't get in until I was having bad contrax.  (After I bit my DH.)  I labored in there for 1/2 hour to an hour.  It was great.  It was more comfortable at that point bc I could relax a bit, but it was still a little hard to be really comfortable.  Then they told me they had to check me and I had to get out.  I stood up and felt pushy, so I wanted to stay in.  They said they needed to check me....so I got out but the DOC didn't come in for like 45 minutes!  So I was out and pushy and had to lay down to get checked.  I was annoyed...but then they turned off the PIT and I was happier.
  • I have also heard stories of doctors pulling the plug on pushing women... apparently delivering in an empty tub is better?  Stick out tongue  Then again there are others who say sometimes women "don't get out in time" and "have" to deliver in the tub (when hospital policy is against it) Wink.  It probably depends on your specific doctor.
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