June 2012 Moms

OK, TMI question for all you ladies who have given birth (also on FB page)

I posted a question on the June Bug facebook page and I am posting it here as well b/c the answers have freaked me out a bit. 

I wanted to know what happens after you give birth while you are still at the hospital in terms of nurses and how often they are up in your lady bits.  I am a very very private person about my private parts, and although I have handled the internals and am not particularly worried about people seeing my personal region during birth, I am dreading not having any privacy after birth.  I don't (think) I will want or need help in bathing, going to the bathroom, or changing my pad.  So I hear that (sometimes) the nurses come in every 30 minutes to every shift change to look at your crotch and check for hemmies, that they are involved in your going to the bathroom... basically my worst nightmare.  Especially the checking for hemmies part.  What does that mean?  That you have to spread your legs wide open over and over again for various nurses to look at your butt (not to mention other parts)?

Can't they tell me how to spritz myself and change my pads?  Do they have to be in the room?  I mean, I got my period when I was 10.  I know this is more than a period, but a pad is a pad and a spray bottle is a spray bottle.  I know how to use both.  Unless I have terrible tearing or something, can I request a little dignity for gads sake? 

I know it sounds silly and childish, and that many of you are going to tell me "I just won't care", but the fear of this has been with me before I was pregnant.  So yes, I think I will care.   

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Re: OK, TMI question for all you ladies who have given birth (also on FB page)

  • Ok, so OB nurses have to check a specific 5 things on a new mom: "4 Bs and an O": Brain (pain), Breasts, Belly, Bottom, and Other. The bottom part is probably what you are worried about. They wont make you get undressed, they will just have you lay on your side and just kind of check "down there" for hemrrhoids and check your stitches if you had any. You will probably be in a gown which will give them easier access, or if you have pj pants on they will pull them down just enough to check. I promise you they do not want to invade your privacy but they HAVE to check to make sure everything is ok down there. It's part of their assessment. This is usually done once a shift...I've never heard of them doing it every 30 minutes. They honestly don't have time for that.

    As far as toileting, the first time you get up they will want you to call so someone can help you to the bathroom, you may be a bit woozy....even if you didn't have any drugs. They are going to ask you about having a bowel movement. Its important that you have one before you go home.

    For the most part, with the spray bottle and pads, they can just tell you what to do. And if they insist, I would let them know that you prefer just doing it yourself. They are thinking of your safety when doing anything. I hope this helps you. I know you don't want to hear it, but you may have to overcome some of your privacy issues and compromise a bit.

  • Mine was not bad at all.  They checked my belly quite often but didn't go downstairs.  They did check my bleeding every 30 min for the first 2 hours after birth and the nurse did go with me to the bathroom the first time but I did all the work - she was there just in case.  Then my MW checked my bleeding, perineum, and anus (just a quick look) before she signed my discharge papers.  I don't know if it makes a difference but I didn't tear or have hemis (maybe 1 but no big deal).

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  • uh oh, I have a feeling im going to be one of those annoying patients who refuse things cuz no way am i going to be comfortable or ok with several nurses pulling down my pants to look at my butt. ive had hemmies before and i know how to take care of them, so it may have to be a case of thanks but no thanks in terms of that particular invasion. i don't care about the other stuff, but that is too much! i understand why they need to check bleeding and such, but unless i ask for help my butt is my business! 
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  • Mine was honestly not that bad at all. With both DS and DD (birth center and hospital births) I had nurses check only a few times overall (both about 30 hour stays), and it barely consisted of them lifting the bedsheet and checking for major bleeding or clots. Mainly they asked how I was doing. I never had them help me with the bathroom, nor insist on a BM before leaving. FWIW, they were both natural births with minimal (1 stitch) to no tearing, and great recoveries. 

    I understand that it's uncomfortable for you, but I wouldn't stress about it too much. They're just doing their job; it's what they see and do everyday. And it's in your best interest. If DH is there with you surely he could accompany you to the bathroom, etc instead of a nurse if they insist on someone being there. Also, wouldn't the hemmies develop during delivery anyway, so once LOs delivered they'll know about them. Why would they need to check for them every time? 

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  • i am a fairly private person, but all that goes out the window once you are delivering your baby.  and in recovery.  i don't even recall how often i was checked and i don't remember it bothering me at all.  i had a lot of damage from 4 hours of pushing and sideways forceps so i understood the need to make sure everything was ok down there.

    and i didn't get any assistance going to the bathroom or with pad changes or any of that.  DH was with me, but I managed just fine on my own.  i think the nurses offered, but did not insist.   

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  • I was not checked at all for hemmies.  The nurses would check to make sure that my uterus was going down and would check my pad/bleeding about twice a day.  They never went into the bathroom with me, and I really didn't feel violated at all.  I guess it just depends on the rules at your particular hospital.
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  • I'm much like you; having someone in the bathroom with me would horrify me, and I wouldn't be able to pee.  The nurses never came in with me.  Even when I went right after DS was born, she just helped me walk to the bathroom and waited outside in case I needed her.  Once I got transferred to the mother-baby unit, no one helped with the bathroom, thank God.

    The nurses in L&D/mother-baby did check my bleeding level/perineal area (I had some stitches) but it wasn't that often and took about 5 seconds each time.  Wearing a nightgown vs. PJ pants makes this super easy.  I laid on my side and they just kind of moved my underwear over to peek in.  

    As with anything else in healthcare, I have found if something feels uncomfortable for you, the nurses are more than happy to make adjustments to help you feel more in control; you just have to ask. 

     

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  • I have been checked for 5 seconds or less once a day just to check stitches and no one has been involved in my bathroom trips or showers.  I hope that helps.. You can control who sees what. I can't go to the bathroom if people are present and the nurses totally understood that! 
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  • It wont be as invasive as you think it is. I was really worried about those kinds of things too and it really wasn't as bad as i was expecting. It still sucked but I just reminded myself that the nurses that checked me have already seen 20 other behinds and vaginas that day and don't really remember any of them... or care. I would let them check your stitches if you have a vaginal delivery. 
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  • I don't really remember them checking that often after delivery. I didn't have any tears, so there weren't any stitches to have checked.  I had a really easy recovery, so I didn't need help showering, going to the bathroom, etc. 
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  • With both mine, they checked once before I was discharged (just a quick peak while I laid on my side).  Otherwise just abdomen/uterus checks to make sure that your uterus is shrinking (palpatations from the outside of your stomach only).

    Your boobs on the other hand will be man-handled by anyone and everyone if you need help with breastfeeding ;o).

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  • vjmc21vjmc21
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
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    With both of my deliveries, the nurse only went to the bathroom with me right after I gave birth.  They didn't really watch or help or anything like that and I think they're just in there to make sure you don't get dizzy and fall down or pass out.  The bathroom trip is usually the 1st time you're on your feet after delivery, so they might not let you go to the bathroom by yourself just in case something were to happen to you. 

    As far as checks go, I was only checked once with DD and twice with DS.  They're quick checks, no more than 30 seconds.  Most of the time when the nurses come in to check you, they'll just lift up your shirt a little bit and press on your abdomen.

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  • image bridetobe6411:

    Ok, so OB nurses have to check a specific 5 things on a new mom: "4 Bs and an O": Brain (pain), Breasts, Belly, Bottom, and Other. The bottom part is probably what you are worried about. They wont make you get undressed, they will just have you lay on your side and just kind of check "down there" for hemrrhoids and check your stitches if you had any. You will probably be in a gown which will give them easier access, or if you have pj pants on they will pull them down just enough to check. I promise you they do not want to invade your privacy but they HAVE to check to make sure everything is ok down there. It's part of their assessment. This is usually done once a shift...I've never heard of them doing it every 30 minutes. They honestly don't have time for that.

    As far as toileting, the first time you get up they will want you to call so someone can help you to the bathroom, you may be a bit woozy....even if you didn't have any drugs. They are going to ask you about having a bowel movement. Its important that you have one before you go home.

    For the most part, with the spray bottle and pads, they can just tell you what to do. And if they insist, I would let them know that you prefer just doing it yourself. They are thinking of your safety when doing anything. I hope this helps you. I know you don't want to hear it, but you may have to overcome some of your privacy issues and compromise a bit.

    Very helpful answer :)


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  • The only issue I have is the laying on my side so they can lift my butt cheeks to look at my butt.  I plan on wearing pajama pants, so the added indignity of having to pull down my pants so they can do this is just adding to the mortification level for me.  I can handle them looking at bleeding levels, my belly, etc, just not this.  I honestly don't see what this accomplishes other than dehumanizing you.  I will be able to tell myself if I have hemmies, and will ask for help if I need it, but I plan on bringing my own Tucks pads and hemmie cream so that I don't have to ask for help in that department. 

    I spent a week in the hospital in critical care and had nurses who treated my body like it was public property, and it seriously scarred me for life.  I felt completely dehumanized, like I was a machine.  I cried every time a nurse came into my room because it was one mortification after another in a situation where I was more than capable of doing certian things for myself.  I wasn't allowed to wear anything but a hospital gown, and I remember one time I was trying to sleep when a nurse and a tech came into my room and without addressing me at all whipped off my blanket, yanked my gown aside so that I was completely naked, and started hooking things up to my groin to monitor blood flow.  They didn't even shut the door, and the tech was a sullen looking teenager.  Since then I was determined to never let anyone take control over my body, and I plan on voicing this as well as having it in writing on my birth plan.

    Just so you guys know I am not being a complete baby or prude!   

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  • So when I was in the hospital, the nurse cleaned me up immediately after giving birth and showed me everything I needed to keep it clean and everything.  After that I was able to do everything on my own.  I just had a nurse come in several times a day to check down there for the bleeding and since I had problems with hemmies during the birthing process and had to have stitches back there.  
    Jennifer TTC #1 Dx PCOS 2009 Apr, Aug, and Sept tried clomid cycles.... BFN. Oct...DH SA results were normal. Me...HSG - left tube was clear, right tube was slightly blocked. Dec - Clomid #4 200mg Feb 2010 - IUI #1 200mg Clomid = BFN. June 2010 - IUI #2 200mg Clomid = BFN. March 2011 - IUI #3 w/ injectables = BFN (1st & last with RE, moving on to IVF). July 2011 - consult for IVF. Sept 2011, 1st IVF. Got our BFP on 10/2/11. Became a mom on 5/5/12 to a beautiful baby boy! Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
  • kdjuddkdjudd
    2500 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Second Anniversary
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    I can't say exactly what you will want and what you won't, but I can share personal experience with you. I am also a very private person too. However, when I got to the hospital and I was writhing in pain, all of that went out the window. I started out when I first got there by apologizing to everyone every single time I flashed them on accident or they had to see a little more than they wanted to. By the end of labor though, I bluntly announced, "I'm stripping" and that was that. All modesty was gone. After labor my hospital gave me a lot of space. They did the normal every 15 minute checks for the first few hours to see how my bleeding was (which entails them pushing on your stomach and looking down below) Other than that though it wasn't too bad. They came in every so often to continue to monitor bleeding and the first time I went to the bathroom they went with me. After that it was always DH who helped me shower and go to the bathroom. Trust me, you will want the help. I was so sore I could barely stand or sit on my own and bending over was out of the question. Having someone to help was great. They could refill my spray bottle, get me clean pads, and help me get dressed afterwards. It wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be. The nurses are so used to it that it seemed like an everyday thing for them and me.  Mine never looked for hemmies. Honestly, it's just part of the process. Everyone will be really professional about it and by the time your baby is here the last thing you will be worrying about is who gets a crotch shot. 
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