Hello and a ? — The Bump
Natural Birth

Hello and a ?

Just found this board and am very excited about it!  I am trying to go with a med-free birth but I will be in a regular hospital.  I love my OB and he is very respectful of all my wishes even though he is a medical doc. 

Yesterday I asked him about having an IV in me- I don't really want one.  He said I don't have to but I should at least get the port thing..I forgot what it was called- something lock maybe??  Not sure if that's a big deal to just have it ready just in case.

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Re: Hello and a ?

  • I would still opt out of the port ... an IV only takes a few minutes to insert - even with a patient wriggling about! I think having the IV port just leads to easier med giving.  (Just my opinion)
  • First of all, welcome!

    As for your question, I was OK with having the hep lock... but you can always opt out of that, too.  I won't lie, I did feel a little pressured by my OB and the nursing staff to get one but it wasn't THAT big of a deal to me that it was there if that makes sense.  Like, I would rather not have had one but I wasn't going to argue about it.  It wasn't bothersome and I just had to wear a rubber glove before taking a shower.

    I did end up needing it anyway.  My labor slowed during transition and my cervix started to swell so I was put on the lowest dose of Pitocin to strengthen my contractions and get that lip of cervix out of the way.

    I don't think it would be a big deal to not get one and if for some reason you did need something they could always just give you the port at that point.  And even though I was hooked up to an IV for transition and the second stage, I was still able to labor in whatever position I wanted.  The nurses just moved the stand whenever I moved so it wasn't cumbersome in the least.  I pushed out my son on my hands and knees.  Just thought I'd throw that out there in case you were worried about that.

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  • It's called a saline lock, sometimes a heplock.  I would recommend getting it but that is my professional opinion (I'm an RN) because sometimes emergencies happen and you need emergent IV meds.  You'd see if someone was trying to put meds in your saline lock and you'd ask them what they are giving you (assuming they didn't tell you first, but they should)..so I don't see how you'd end up getting meds you don't want.

    Let me give an example of the emergency thing: After my natural birth I bled A LOT.  My blood pressure was extremely low and they had to give me a lot of IV fluids to resuscitate me.  I'm glad they didn't have to take the time to mess with starting an IV, they could immediately give me the fluids I needed.

    All that said, of course it's all up to you and what you're comfortable with.  

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  • Glad to have you here! This is a brand new board, created by popular demand Wink

    I would still opt out of the port ... an IV only takes a few minutes to insert - even with a patient wriggling about! I think having the IV port just leads to easier med giving.  (Just my opinion)

     I would tend to agree with this, only due to the fact that during labor, while you will be doing some of the hardest work (not a bad thing!Big Smile) and may not feel like reiterating your preferences again. I may suggest to watch some natural birth (even home births) videos on Youtube, just so that both you and DH/SO will have a sense for how loud and what kind of noises a birthing woman can be, and he won't think that you arein absolute agony. While they won't admit it, most DH/SO's can't handle seeing us in pain.

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  • i'm using an OB in a hospital and i asked if i needed a hep lock/saline lock whatever it's called and he said i didn't have to if i didn't want to.

    i think it's up to you and your level of comfort. i don't plan on getting one because i think the annoyance factor outweighs the benefit of the off chance i need an emergency IV super quickly.

  • imageEllaandLuca:
    I would still opt out of the port ... an IV only takes a few minutes to insert - even with a patient wriggling about! I think having the IV port just leads to easier med giving.  (Just my opinion)

    Hi! And This is what I would do too. Unless you have really crappy veins I would wait until it becomes necessary to have an IV or a hep lock. Im a big baby with needles though and I would be scared of bumping the hep lock on the bed or whatever, it would just be a disctaction for me.

  • Welcome!  This is so interesting to me from a midwife-vs-OB perspective.  I had a homebirth, and ended up having to have an IV because I got dehydrated from puking so much.  They used the heplock then so that I could walk around and so that it would be ready if they needed to give me another IV (which they did).  But it's not like it took forever to put in, so it was fine for them to do it when it was actually necessary.

    I have observed that hospitals tend to have a prepare-for-the-worst approach to births, while my birth center focuses on the hope-for-the-best part.  Hospitals have to have the prepare-for-the-worst focus because, well, that is what they are there for.  But this is just one more example.

  • mchell9mchell9 member
    Thank you all for your responses!  I am loving this board already!  YAY! 
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  • imageEllaandLuca:
    I would still opt out of the port ... an IV only takes a few minutes to insert - even with a patient wriggling about! I think having the IV port just leads to easier med giving.  (Just my opinion)

    I agree with this, but I'm naturally paranoid about hospital interference. I see this as the hospital pushing you toward a medical birth, not good sense, but, I read the other responses and there are several good points to be heard. In the end, do what feels best for you.

    And welcome to the board!

  • I had a heplock during labor with my DS, and it didn't bother me at all - I ended up laboring in the tub and it got wet, but no one seemed to care. I'm still undecided about this birth (I'm planning a VBAC, and they "require" continuous monitering and a heplock), though, and am leaning towards refusing it.
    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • I had to have a heplock because I was 4 weeks early and didn't have the strep B results back. They have to give 3 doses of antibiotics just in case I did have strep B, so I have to have the heplock. In the future I will absolutely refuse. I hated having it and was worried about bumping it the whole time. After the birth my hand was more sore than the rest of me. As SOON as he was born I asked if I could have it out (after I had him in my arms but before anything else).
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  • It's a hep or saline lock

    I would opt out entirely.  Once they have access they tend to use it (plus they are really uncomfortable).  My OB agreed to let me go without.  But, then he wasn't the one that delivered me and the doctor that was on-call insisted and I didn't feel like arguing.  I was only there to push and ended up with IV fluids and post delivery pitocin.  Quite a bit of intervention considering how little time I spent there.


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  • Its called a Buff-cap here in Colorado Wink

    My doc prefers that I have one. I am OK with that. It is going to be there "just in case". I am still planning on a completely med-free birth. However, it is there if something were to happen. Hopefully it will keep the evil spirits away!

  • I didn't have one and never needed it...IF I needed it my midwives were confidant they could get it in quickly as most OB's and nurses could as well. The likelyhood of you needed something IMMEDIATELY is below a .001%  or something low like that (would have to look back at doula research). So to me it just makes things easy on the medical staff which in turn makes things a bit uncomfortable for the mother and gives them an easy avenue to push some meds and such. All the clients I have had, opt out and only one or 2 have reached a point of "emergancy" where they needed fluids or something but there was still plenty of time to get the saline lock in.

    Also, as for heavy bleeding following the birth - this happened to me as well and I got a shot of pitocin in the thigh, which stopped the bleeding. The midwive said I was ok on fluid so there was no need for the saline lock.

  • i was okay having it in early. its only a little annoying when they hook you up to the pole/bags...they actually waited to put mine in until the last moment (water broke and needed a whiff of pitocin to get things moving). they took it out pretty quickly post labor too...which i appreciated
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