Best places for IV during labor? — The Bump
January 2014 Moms

Best places for IV during labor?

So I've had quite a couple ivs lately, and I've decided that I refuse to even let them attempt to poke the top of my hand.

I am not sure if I like it where it is currently.(the side of my wrist?)

I think it'd be more comfortable and out of the way in the middle of my forearm. Not in the crease of my arm, but between the wrist and the crease.
Only thing is that the person that did that IV blew the vein out so it bruised lol.

Yes, I'm that bored. Lol
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Re: Best places for IV during labor?

  • Ouch! I found top of my hand up be much better than the side of my wrist. That one hurt and bruised! So sorry about your bruising. I don't even know what to tell you. :(

    !!Jacob Noah was born 10/19/2013 at 27 weeks gestation, our little miracle!!

  • As much as the top of the hand hurts like a bitc to get, I think it would be in the best place so you can move around without worrying about hitting it, or getting it pulled on.

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  • My reason for not wanting to get it on the too of my hand.. This is from almost a week ago. Lol
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  • For me, the top of the hand was always brutal. The best place for IVs on me is actually the wrist just a little bit further down from the boney part on the thumb side!



  • I think the IV is what I am most anxious about.  That sounds crazy considering that will be nothing compared to everything else but there is just something about it I hate.
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  • I think the IV is what I am most anxious about.  That sounds crazy considering that will be nothing compared to everything else but there is just something about it I hate.


    I am the biggest baby when it comes to getting poked. It normally takes a shit load of adavan and a couple people to hold me down to get me to take my blood. Haha

    The IV hurt less than the blood draws I've been getting throughout the past 7 months.
    The hospital stays this pregnancy have gotten me over a lot of my fear. I used to say id rather shoot myself in the foot than get an IV. Lol
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  • @bellamatson I agree!  With all the IVF shots/injections I got "used" to it.  My RE would always give me a valium before any proceedure I needed and IV for.  He was a smart man. 

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  • The only issue is that if it's not consistently done after you get used to it... The fear and anxiety comes back. Lol @kristabelieve

    I have heard from my cousin how many times she had to give herself shots during ivf. She said she fainted for the first series of them.
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  • I have really small veins where they usually need a child's size needle for me. On top of that my veins roll, and go flat.  I have a lot of scar tissue from past IVs, so the IV for me is a scary thing. I also pass out when it is put in and taken out. I told my Dr. that I don't want an IV unless it is medically necessary. 
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  • On the top of my hand would be where I'd prefer it. It does hurt, but it's the most convenient spot IMO.

  • The side of my wrist by my thumb seems to keep getting in the way of everything for me. I'll give it another day before I make them re do it somewhere else's
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  • moosebaby2011moosebaby2011
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its
    edited November 2013
    I couldn't stand the thought of having an IV in my hand, so when DS was born I asked the nurse to put it in my wrist. Luckily, she got it on the first stick, and the placement didn't really bother me.

    I learned later on when a different nurse tried to draw blood from my hand that I have rolling veins, so it was a good thing that they didn't even try to put the IV there!

    ETA: I'm still bitter about the rolling veins thing. I'm pretty sure the nurse was new. I told her I've never had a problem having blood drawn from the antecubital region (inside of the elbow) but she refused to try from there and said she was only comfortable with the hand. Which I didn't want. I let her try once, in the spirit of being a cooperative patient but after she missed due to "rolling veins" I told her to let someone else try.
    OHM born 12/16/11, BAM born 1/10/14, mmc 06/30/15
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  • I got it in the crease of my arm for both my other kids. I will get it that way again. Had no bruising.
    Alexis 9.1.06 * Jaxson 3.17.08 * Tessa 2.8.14

  • @allyerrn what did they do wrong in both of the pics I posted above? Why are they that bruised after a week. Lol
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  • HkulaHkula
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited November 2013
    I'm with @allyerrn all veins "roll" it's just a matter of good or bad retraction by the person starting the IV.

    If two nurses attempt and still are digging, ask them to call the IV nurse
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  • The IV nurse was the one who made me bruise. But then again, it was a guy ;) lol they tend to have heavy hands.
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  • There is no good place for an IV, at least on me!  The last one I had was so bad that the line bent because of where she put it and it caused bruising that lasted over a much damage to my arm.  It wasnt even in the actual crease but on the top side of my arm, basically meant I couldnt bend it, I didnt sleep for the extent of my stay because of it, I couldnt get comfy. Finally a nurse realized the issue found a different Dr. and they changed my meds and discharged me cause they realized I wasnt going to get any better where I was.  I slept for nearly 20 hrs when I got home, my DH kept checking to make sure I was alive! 
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  • Top of my hand by a long shot.
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  • I liked having mine on the outter side of my forearm. It's the least painful
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  • I would go with the top of the hand even though it's uncomfortable. The veins in the forearm are hard to find and in L&D they're going for large bore IVs which require bigger veins. They're gonna go for the antecubital space (inside of your elbow) or your hand/wrist. The vein on the inside of the thumb side of the wrist is a good big one but it hurts like a bitch...the only place I really wouldn't want is the antecubital space because you cant bend your arm at all with those. I'm a nurse who happens to be a difficult stick and I was amazed at how  well the L&D nurses did with my veins. 

  • Xan84 said:
    Argh, I'm dreading this.  Do we really have to have an IV?  I've never had one in my life.  Why won't they just let us drink fluids to stay hydrated?  :-(
    Nope most hospitals will only let you have ice chips or like slushy things just in case you need a c-section....Depending on your doctor and the hospital they might consider letting you not have an IV but in case of an emergency situation it's better to have's really not that bad- young women typically have decent veins and the pregnancy makes your blood volume greater and makes your veins pop up more. Try not to worry about that part! 

  • I have to do the top of my hand. It sucks but my veins roll everywhere else and I end up getting stuck like 12 items :/
  • I hate IVs with a passion and get really anxious about it. But I prefer top of that hand also.
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  • I always look in the hand first. It doesn't get in the way for pushing or breast feeding. We use a larger needle in case we need to give IV fluids really quickly. (Baby in distress) The good thing is due to being pregnant even if you normally have crappy veins, the extra blood volume makes them nice and plump. I know IVs suck, but I'd rather have one then have an emergency happen and no IV in place. Then you're rushing to start an IV instead of treating the problem.


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  • I had mine on the top of my wrist as well .... much more comfortable.

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  • They use a 20 on me for my IV in l&d
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  • shortstuff15shortstuff15
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 250 Love Its Photogenic
    edited November 2013
    I only haf to get an IV with my first because I got the epi. IV's are not standard procedure here unless you ask for drugs or have a csection. The nurses forced me to eat about 3 hours before my first was born because I hadn't eaten in hours. And they had no problem with me drinking the litres of water that I did.

    I know my experience is hospital related because of friends who delivered elsewhere and were not allowed to drink and had IV's but maybe your hospital is like mine.

    Meant to quote Xan84

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  • Like others have said, the only place I would avoid is the AC (elbow) unless you are prepared to keep that arm straight for a very long time if you are getting fluids. My preferred spot is the outside of the forearm...usually a pretty juicy vein there and it stays out of the way easily. The hand and the inside wrist below the thumb are also good.
  • Call me ignorant, but I didn't realize I'd have to have an IV, and I really do not want one. Now I'm bummed and a bit anxious.
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  • @megngregk

    When you're in labor, you won't care. Lol

    And if you don't like being poked, ask to have your blood drawn for labs before they start the IV fluids. :)!
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  • @bellamatson You can put some heat on your hand for 15 min to help you body re-absorb the blood quicker if it's really bugging you.

    I've had a crap ton of IV's. I've had one in my wrist below my thumb (not too bad actually), a couple in my wrist on the inside below the palm of my hand (not awesome, but not the worst surprisingly), top of my hand, crease of elbow, and that nice juicy vein on your forearm about 2-3 inches from the outside of your elbow (the boney part, so about 4 or so inches from your pinky. That one SUCKED). Oh, and my bicep, which blew and I still had to have my bp taken on that side afterward :( If I had my choice, I'd probably go with either my wrist below my thumb or the top of my hand. Sometimes they need one bigger though to support a quicker push of fluids. But what I chose doesn't get in the way of BFing, and you don't have to worry about kinking it by bending or anything. That was joyous when I had a heparin drip :eyeroll:
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  • I have really small/crappy veins, even when pregnant.  In fact, when I did my 3 hour glucose, they had to go in the same arm (even same vein) all 4 times.  I need an awesome nurse every time I need an IV or need blood drawn so I'm not poked numerous times.

    And still, I have zero recollection of where my IV was when I had DD.  I do, however, remember that they somehow started the IV and then put something on it so that I didn't have to walk around with the IV pole since I didn't need the IV yet.  Don't remember what that was called but my OB put it in my chart.  Maybe one of the nurses on here can tell you.  t think you'll have so many other things to worry about that you won't care.
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  • I usually have terrible veins.  The last time I was in the hospital, I was there for 26 hours and left with 4 vein bruises, one pretty nasty from an attempted IV that flat-out failed, and one I didn't remember getting.

    But right now, I've got blue veins standing out all over the place, especially on my torso.  When they did the GD test, they stuck me in 3 different places and only one bruised a bit.  I was astounded.  In me at least, pregnancy causes better veins.  (Maybe that's why I got so many mosquito bites over the summer?)

    Hospitals have different policies about IVs, but most at least prefer to at least have a line started, even if it's not hooked up to a bag.  In an emergency, it saves quite a bit of time, especially if the patient starts going into shock.  (It's way harder to start a line on someone who's in shock.)

    Many hospitals do let you have water or even other things orally, also.  If it matters to you, ask.

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