Sep 112010

“I know you can feel him coming out, but don’t push until the doctor gets here.” -L&D Nurse to mother, while waiting for the doctor to arrive for the birth.

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 September 11, 2010  L&D Nurse, OB, pushing  Add comments

  57 Responses to “"…Don't Push Until The Doctor Gets Here."”

  1. Can women really NOT push? I didn’t have that option.

    • Yup! I stopped pushing and relaxed, as requested and my body contracted my baby right out XD (they had me pushing because I felt the urge and they figured it would be a while since my first was a cesaren for “CPD” and when she just came right out, they said, “Okay, you rest until the doctor gets here,” and frantically paged him–he was late, as per his usual, but got there just in time to unwrap her nuchal chord and let me know it was time to catch as she shot out like a rocket with a contraction). 20 minutes from push to birth. Although, OH did pushing feel good, heh! Relaxing was hard to do with my body yelling “Push” but it didn’t need me ;)

  2. Yes, this is what the nurse told me. It was a 2nd baby, quick 2 hour labor from start to finish. I kept telling her I felt him coming out! I was 10cm and she could see his hair. She told me to hold him in and not push because the Dr. had to be there to catch him. I said, “are you kidding lady?!” You can’t tell a woman in labor to hold in the baby as HE IS CROWNING!!! I kept pushing and the Dr. Luckily arrived 20 sec. later and my baby shot out like a rocket! Makes me nervous about how quickly the 3rd one will arive someday….(?!)

    • I feel you, I’m 35 weeks with #3, my last labor was 1 1/2 hours long. As long as I don’t give birth in the car I’ll be fine, but I’m not waiting for permission to push!!

  3. Okay…I’ll just lay here and do a crossword puzzle or watch TV until s/he deigns to arrive.

  4. I never got the urge to push when I had the epidural, but I couldn’t not push when I went natural. I think that it’s so rare for a woman in a hospital (here anyways) to go natural, that nurses assume they can just not push. Go figure.

    • My natural birth, I never had an urge to push, but in my epidural-assisted VBAC, I felt the urge to push like MAJORLY. I was laughing in excitement (since I never had it the first time around). But as I said above, I didn’t even need to push, she contracted out while I was resting and waiting for the nuchal cord to be unwrapped ;)

      • Haha, well, that theory is out the window. I sat for an hour and a half, laboring down with the epidural, and then pushed another 2 hours, without ever having the urge. My natural birth, I involuntarily started pushing while the nurse was checking me and I was 9.5. My daughter was out less than 10 minutes later, and I was pushing almost the entire time, even without contractions. I just couldn’t stop.

    • I had epidural…barely. He was coming so quick it hadn’t quite kicked in yet…so I was only at 50% numbness. It worked to my advantage though since I could feel where/when to push a lot better than being fully numbed!

  5. I couldn’t… I realize that the doctor wants to be there for the actual birth, but this really isn’t an option for a woman whose body is ready for pushing. Really it’s just cruel.

    • Well, if the doctor wants to be there for the actual birth, the doctor should BE THERE. I never was told to “wait” for my midwives in four births because the midwives were with me every second of active labor. (Once we were in the same building, that is.)

      • Certainly some doctors don’t hang around the hospital when they have patients in labor, even when they should, but sometimes doctors don’t make it in time through no fault of their own. My doctor missed my second birth because the nurses did not call him when I arrived at the hospital, and it was a precipitous birth. I called him when my water broke (about 1 hour 10 min. before arriving at the hospital) and said I wasn’t having contractions yet so I wasn’t going to come in right away and he told me that I would not need to call him back when I did go in because he was actually on call that day, so I didn’t call him on our way there. With it being my second quick birth I should have know just to call him on my way in anyway- next time I definitely will! He would have come right away (and he did once he was actually called by the nurses who didn’t believe that I was ready to push when I came in), he just didn’t have enough advance notice :) Oh, and it’s a really small hospital and there weren’t any other women in labor that morning so he had no reason to already have been there when I arrived.

        But, I realize that is the exception and most of the time something like this happens when the woman has already been at the hospital in active labor and the doctor is out doing who knows what because he doesn’t think she is close to delivering yet- so I totally understand your point.

        • My second daughter was born about 8 minutes after I arrived at the hospital. In the triage room while they were trying to get the machine to prove I was in labor. The on-call midwife was there. I think that was their policy: the on-call midwife was on-call *at the hospital.*

          If the hospital really thinks it’s important for a doctor to attend all births, then they should have a doctor on call at the hospital. That way they wouldn’t have to page the doctor when you’re at 8CM. That way when you walked in the door, even in the fastest labor known to womankind, there would be a doctor present.

  6. Yeah, they told my mom this same thing with my second sister. Dumb. It’s not like those contractions aren’t going to expel that baby right out anyway.

  7. Isn’t it dangerous for one to force a baby to stay in the birth canal much longer than needed anyway? I thought that could cause major problems.

    • Yeah I think physically holding them in can cause brain damage or something.

      • It sounds like holding a baby in the birth canal is simulating a shoulder dystocia. And that’s a dire emergency. But when a nurse or a doctor does it, it’s good and healthy…?

      • A friend of mine has had persistent neurological issues including debilitating vertigo since her second baby, and the OB she’s consulting with seems to think it’s connected the fact that the nurses *held her son’s head IN the birth canal* because the doc wasn’t there. Don’t know why but that’s what they’re thinking.

  8. That was not an option for me. The nurse caught my son, because I couldn’t NOT push. The doctor got there about 10 minutes later. This was in Germany, though, and no one told me not to push…I think they’re much more laid back about birthing over there.

  9. They tried to tell me this crap when I was having my third child. Like I could just *stop* pushing. I think it is one of the most cruel things that can ever be done to a woman.

  10. Doctor isn’t around to catch the baby? Not my problem. Either he/she shouldn’t work at hospitals so far from home or he/she needs to stop waiting until the last minute to show up!

  11. I can only imagine this comment coming from a male doctor. Anyone who has experienced labor, especially natural labor where you feel everything, would not ask a woman to do this. With my second child (first epidural-free), I told the nurse to get any doctor in there as I wasn’t waiting for mine. I didn’t care who caught him because he was coming out. Less than 10 minutes of pushing … Child number 3 came in about 6 minutes.

  12. I’ve heard that a lot of women are told this- I wasn’t, thankfully. When we showed up and the nurses found out that I was pushing they yelled at the doctor to walk faster instead of telling me to stop pushing :)

    I seriously don’t know how anyone could honestly think that a woman is just in control of expelling a child from her body and stop on the whim of doctors/nurses. Why is it that they try to say that NOTHING IS IN YOUR CONTROL in childbirth and then want you to stop pushing? kind of hypocritical, don’t you think?

  13. Yep. Let’s switch and see if you can keep from pushing? Its kind of natural to do it when we get the urge. I can understand that the doctor wants to be there and all, but he/she had better be fast on their feet!

  14. this is very similar to my story that was posted a week or so ago. i was instructed not to push for several hours while we waited for the dr to arrive then ordered to push on demand. dumb dumb dumb. if a laboring woman needs to push, don’t tell her no!

    • Hours!?! That is beyond cruel. So sorry that happened to you.

      This (being told not to push) happened to a client of mine, doctor made it in about 10-15 minutes, which was still hard on mom. Baby was out about 6 minutes after she arrived (with directed pushing). Mom had done a few little pushes on her own while waiting, she couldn’t help it. The doctor at least admitted later it is impossible to not push when you feel the urge, when unmedicated.

  15. This happened to me with all four of my deliveries. Every single one well except for the last one. I arrived fully dilated. They looked at short little innocent looking me and assumed was going to take forever. 2.I didn’t know what I was doing 3.I would be a push over. So I would tell them check me baby is coming just a few hours into labor. They would refuse. So I would start pushing my baby down as I saw fit. When they saw I was pushing baby out they would then say DON’T PUSH. Then I would pretend like I was deaf. Funny how when moms just do what they want the nurses find ways to accommodate the mom :) It’s funny I had the easiest recoveries and little to no pelvic floor damage either. The only purple pushing moment I experienced I decided I would scream right back at them. HAH my husband still talks about that.

  16. That’s ridiculous. I’m my moms second baby (my brother was 10 years before me) so when they told my mom “Hold back, the doctor isn’t here yet” she said some profanity and pushed me out anyway. They just assumed it would take longer, it took about two hours.

    OP-I hope you ignored such ignorance and did what your body was telling you, and not some idiot. And I hope your beautiful baby made them see just how wrong they were in thinking they needed to be there for the baby’s birth to happen.

  17. I can’t imagine being told to stop pushing. With both of mine I’ve just had that urge, and my body was going to do it whether I wanted to or not, I think.

    • Same here. 3 babies, and all but the one where I was unconscious (also the only one a doc DID deliver), I was not even told I HAD to push, I just did it. Nobody tried to stop me, nobody told me to wait for the doctor, nothing. Maybe it is just different here…

  18. I’ll make you a deal. For as long as I don’t push, you don’t blink. At least then you’ll know the absurdity of telling somebody to withhold a natural reflex.

  19. The nurse / midwife told me not to push when I was having big, pit-induced contractions because I wasn’t dilated enough. Plus, I had a bit of Nubain, so I was falling asleep between each contraction. Try waking up already pushing and having to STOP mid-contraction. Really really no fun.
    Had the same thing the second time around, but without the meds. That time, it was almost as intense but at least I was awake the whole time! Well, except for that nap I took when labor seemed a bit fitful, and my midwife let me choose whether to amp it up (by walking, etc) or take a rest.

  20. I just recently read somewhere you don’t even have to be fully dilated when the urge strikes and that as baby applies pressure, cervix opens up and well, we know the rest! If I ever get my HBAC, I will NOT be waiting for anyone once my body decides it’s ready!

  21. I think it’s funny when they ask me not to push…I’ve had one born on the bed with no one catching, and two more with nurses catching. My 6th born was born with the nurse and she said, “don’t push” after they had me push for an hour and 1/2. Suddenly “don’t push?” Well, I couldn’t not push, baby was born with bag intact, and the nurse apologized for telling me not to push after. It was a reflex action for her I think.

  22. Ah, yes. Don’t push. In fact, if you can, hold the baby in and do whatever you can to keep it from coming out. Any neck injuries or foetal distress resulting from this stupidity will give the doctors and hospital staff something to do to feel useful and life-saving. Well, useful, anyway. The life-saving part is only a guarantee after the fact.

  23. This is so, so, SO commonly uttered it’s ridiculous.

  24. The only time I am ever told not to push is when baby crowns and they want you to just breath through the next couple contractions to help you stretch and get ready for the shoulders without tearing. telling a woman not to push for stupid reasons like doctors convenience is dangerous and stupid… Any nurse trying to hold my baby in while crowning would lose the limb they were using to try to hold baby in. not to mention the lawsuit I would be slapping on them if my baby ended up injured from it…

  25. Although I wish I had known enough to not do instructed pushing during my VBAC, I never had the urge to push with either of the deliveries where I was complete. But after I had my second breech baby, I was relieved I never had the urge – because the doctor’s idiot answering service gave him the wrong phone number, so he couldn’t reach me to tell me what to “do.” LOL Thankfully none of us waited around and just decided to head to the hospital, because he came rushing in bleary eyed and we went directly to the OR. :?

  26. I am an L&D nurse, and I have told my patients “stop if you can”. If they can’t it’s not a big deal to me.

    • Seems like a reasonable compromise. Although I prefer the one when they told the doctor to run don’t walk. At some point the only options are to catch yourself or grab the nearest more qualified person.

  27. I had no pain meds with either of my kids. I think that had something to do with me not being able to stop pushing once I started. I warned OB #2 that I wouldn’t be able to stop. He ignored me and the nurse caught my son. OB #1 BARELY made it back into the room to catch my daughter.

  28. I was told this with my second. I sat up to have the epidural, but gravity did it’s job and I was feeling the urge to push. I told the nurse and she said it’s probably just pressure, and I told her no that I’m pushing but I’m not doing it. They laid me back down and she told me not to push until the Dr came it. A few minutes later I’m screaming I’ve gotta push and the Dr comes in and says “well then push. Do what your body wants you to do”.

  29. What’s all this gubbins about a doctor catching the baby? Here in the UK, doctors don’t even attend births, it’s all done by nurses and midwives unless a C-section is needed. And much of the time, the father or birth partner ‘catches’ the baby!

    • *LIKE* *LIKE* *LIKE*

      This is a model of care that should be adopted everywhere! Obstetricians are first and foremost surgeons…and should be relinquished to the OR. Save the normal stuff for nurses and midwives!!!

    • This is all very puzzling to me too, I am in Australia and we have the same system going on. Midwives do teh catching if dads/birth partners don’t. OB’s attend c/sections and complicated vaginal deliveries. Most people don’t even have an obstetrician, most do some kind of shared care with the hospital where they see hospital midwives, their own GP and a hospital OB only if it is necessary (unless they want to pay for seeing an OB privately or have private health insurance)

  30. Ok, I won’t push if you won’t breathe till Doc gets here. Deal?

  31. With my 2nd daughter, the nurse told me not to push, it struck me funny, and I started laughing and couldn’t stop. I laughed her right out, no pushing required! The doctor did manage to show up 15 minutes after the hilarious event.

  32. Isn’t that crazy. As a student, I watched one like that. This mom had an epi but the nurse explained to the patient that a lot of the time without one the mom can’t stop and the nurse ends up having to deliver the baby.

    • getting the point fail.

      The point is that she should not be telling the woman to stop pushing because if it is all going well (ie no nuchal cord etc) then it is more dangerous for mum to keep baby in there than it is for idiot nurse to “catch” baby.

      Student too. I got a mentor who actually KNEW her job and her role in birth. Hell, I actually caught one as the main birth assistant!

      • Um, thanks for “grading” my ability to comprehend the issue. I’m pretty sure I ‘get” that holding the pushing is a bad idea. Its also pretty ridiculous that lack of epidural is considered by some as an impediment to the “get the doc in at the last minute” system.

        • Sh*t! SOrry not you! Your idiot mentor! Im sorry, I sometimes have a really hard time explaining myself without being just plain imbecilic. This appears to be one of the times.

          Your mentor appears not to understand that lots of times with an epidural, a woman does not even know they ARE pushing, and cannot stop it.

          Apologies again…

  33. They told my sister this too when she was delivering her second child. She was unmedicated and already at 10 and they told her to wait for the dr. I can’t believe she did it! She breathed through 4 contractions. I told them they’re lucky she’s agreeable because if it was me I would NOT be waiting!

  34. My mom is a +30 year vetran nurse in both Postpartum and Labor & Delivery. She explained to me that a nurse will be seriously dressed-down by many MD’s if she goes ahead and catches a baby. Therefore, sometimes even for job security itself, she is forced to tell women the “doctor’s orders”–which are, “Don’t push”. As a doula I just lean over and whisper in women’s ears: “We’re in your birthplace. You’re in the bed. They’ve checked you and everything is fine. You just go ahead and do what feels right and I’ll catch the baby if no one else will.” P.S. Never had to catch one yet! :-)

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