Question about Labor and Delivery — The Bump
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Question about Labor and Delivery

you do not have to have an IV unless you want meds - don't let them tell you otherwise.  i suggest going med free as you will have the ability to move around and labor - makes for a more gentle exp. for the baby as well - stay away from pitocin!  most often epi's lead to pitocin. 

also, giving birth laying down is the worst postion possible, and the IV keeps you chained to that bed laying down.  also, you will have a catheter if you are under an epi. as well...

as for the other pricks - not sure - i had my baby at home.

and, don't be scared - birth is amazing and powerful and you can do it - naturally.  :)

i suggest these resources:

Re: Question about Labor and Delivery

  • Definitely watch The Business of Being Born.  You can view the trailer on the website listed in the above post.  It's available on netflix if you have trouble finding it in your local video store.
  • 1.You don't have to have an IV--but, be sure to stay well-hydrated on your own. They may ask to put in a heplock in case of the need to administer IV fluids or drugs later in labor. You may decide to agree to it, because most likely they'll draw blood when you first arrive anyway.

    2. No! Only if you have an epidural (and then, you'd probably want one anyway, because you can damage your bladder because of not being able to feel that it's become over-full. This happened to me during my first labor, before it became standard procedure at my hospital to leave a catheter in for the duration of the epidural.)

    3. Yes, usually. That's when they normally put in the heplock or the IV.

    I'm not sure I'd fully agree with pp about med-free birth being more gentle---having done it both ways, I can definitely say that my fully medicated birth was more "gentle"--Sam eased out with controlled pushes, etc. My un-medicated birth was way more chaotic during the pushing stage--I basically shoved him out insanely quickly because I couldn't handle any more pain (went from being 8cm at 4:05pm, to Charlie laying on my belly at 4:27pm.) He experienced heart decels because of his precipitous descent, but nothing that was actually dangerous. I will say that the med-free birth was waaaaaayy easier on my body for recovery, and Charlie was far more alert immediately after birth. He latched on within minutes, as opposed to Sam taking hours and having many feeding problems in the first week. We went home within 24 hours, instead of 3.5 days.

    If you do decide to go med-free, adequate support is HUGELY necessary. I would really, really recommend hiring a doula. Go to to find one in your area. You can also just google doulas + whatever city you live in. Often, you can hire one for very cheap, or free if they are still trying to become fully certified. I couldn't have gotten through back labor without my doula and husband's help.

    Anyway, congratulations in advance, and good luck with whatever options you choose!

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  • Also, you can watch "The Business of Being Born" for free on

    (Here is the exact link--if this doesn't work, then just use the search function on the site)

  • 1.  They put a "port" in my wrist for easy access if they needed to get me something through an IV.  I did have an epi, so this didn't matter to me.  I'm not sure if they wouldn't done it otherwise. 

    2-No, only if you are getting an epi.


    4-Poke as in needles?  no.  Pokes like checking your blood pressure consistently throughout labor, doing internals, and during pushing?  Yes!

  • I might have a different answer, but here I go...

    1.  no IV at first, but water had broken 5 hours before I got to hospital.  Arrived dilated to 2, and was still there 3 hours later, so the IV had to go in, as they needed to put in Pitocin for fear of infection.

    2.  I don't know what kind of catheter I had, but chose to do an epi after several more hours of contractions with no progress, so they used catheter only right before I started to push

    3.  they did some kind of blood work, no idea what

    4.  nothing else I can think of

    just to let you know, DS was technically preemie, so we did have more care taken with both of us for that reason.  I say technically because if he had waited 8 hours he would have been full term...not that I was up for waiting another 8 hours after 16 hours of labor :)

  • I had an IV right away because I came in with contractions 2 minutes apart. They said sometimes they can be really close togehter becuase you are dehydrated so they wanted to get some liquids in me. It didn't work and I maintained 2 min apart contractions the whole labor.

    Never had a catheter, as I didn't have an epi.

    They did have to draw blood, since I was RH-. It annoyed me, though, because they forgot to do it right away with the original IV, so the guy comes in near the end of labor when it's really intense to draw my blood. I remember asking, "Do you really have to do this right now??".

    The only other "poke" I had was when I got my episiotomy. He gave me a numbing shot first before he cut, obviously. That was bad - hardly felt it.
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  • I think the others have answered your questions but I just wanted to add something.  Just know that sometimes things are out of your control and you just have to go with it. 

    I unfortunately lost A LOT of blood after delivery and ended up hooked up to an IV for 2 days and having people constantly poking me.  It sucked but it had to be done for my safety.

    Try to go into labor with an open mind.  Some things in life don't always go according to plan!
  • I see your questions are answered but thought I'd share my experience...

    1. No.  I had an IV to take Nubain and antibiotics for GBS.

    2. No.  I didn't have one.

    3. I had bloodwork taken because my blood pressure was high early in labor.  I also had bloodwork taken a day after delivery...I think it was because I was RH -. 

    4. I had another RhoGam shot since I was RH -.

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  • You might want to check with your dr and hospital for some of these questions. Our hospital INSISTS that an IV is put in, you do not have a choice (and unfortunately, it is the only hospital in our area so I have to go there).

    I did not have a catheter as I didn't have an epidural.

    Not sure about the blood work thing - if they do take extra, they take it at the same time they take the needed blood - so it's just one prick.

  • Interesting that they are blocking free copies of the doc so they can sell copies of their dvd.  I guess hospitals aren't the only ones in business.
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