Jul 012011

“You need to stop yelling and shouting, it’s not helping anything!” – Midwife to mother who was vocalizing through contractions.

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 July 1, 2011  contractions, labor, Midwife  Add comments

  29 Responses to “"You Need To Stop Yelling & Shouting, It's Not Helping Anything!"”

  1. Says you. You’re not the one having the contraction.

  2. BAD midwife! BAD!

  3. Au contraire, it helps a lot. Now shut up and let me deal with labor.

  4. When *I* am the one in labor, and coping with a contraction *I* am the one who gets to decide what is helping and what isn’t.

    For example:
    Vocalizing = helping.
    You = not so much.

  5. Vocalizing helps me a lot – it takes a huge edge off the pain. Or something – I’m not sure exactly why, but I can cope when I vocalize, and I can’t cope when I don’t.
    So, mEdwife, stick to what you know, which is medicine, and leave me to what I know, which is natural childbirth.

  6. I was yelling “Ow, ow, ow!” during contractions and my doula and the L&D nurse were the ones screaming at me to stop screaming. After awhile, I just ignored them. Yelling “Ow!” was the only thing that got me through, so I certainly wasn’t going to stop. Them screaming at me to stop screaming certainly didn’t help ease my pain.

    • I yelled Ow, Ow, Ow! too, lol. All the way through active labor. It helped, a lot! Sorry you got stuck with a bad doula, that’s terrible. I would never tell a client to stop doing something that’s helping them cope unless it’s truly unproductive, and then I wouldn’t be screaming to stop (how does that help?!) but actually getting in there and helping her to redirect her energy.

      • I had a client yell that, and more. I tried re-directing her, but it seemed to be the only thing that got her through each contraction, so I just rubbed her back and kept calm myself (although it was hard – it was the first time I had a client yell at me – but I always remind myself that what they’re going through is way harder). Afterwards I spoke to my midwife (over 1,000 births) and she gave me some perspectives to mull over.
        I would never yell at a client – talk firmly, yes, but gently. I agree with you – what positive outcome would yelling accomplish??

  7. Exactly, yelling and hollering is proven pain relief! So is swearing ;)

  8. As a Doula, I have to agree with the statement, but not the wording or assumed tone. My midwife told me, when I started yelling and screaming, to focus that energy inwards towards the contraction because the yelling and screaming was using valuable energy. I try to have my moms redirect their energy rather than yelling/screaming as well, but I WOULD NEVER tell them this in the fashion which this midwife told the OP. I think if the midwife offered a quick explanation of why the yelling and screaming wasn’t helping anything or how to redirect, maybe the OP wouldn’t have been so offended. But alas, the lack of tact by these midwives and OBs is mind-boggling.

    • Caryn,
      I agree that yelling and screaming may not be the most productive sounds to make however there is a huge difference between screaming and vocalizing through a contraction in a controlled manner. Being completely silent may not be an option for a laboring woman. Are you saying that you advise your clients to make no noise at all?

      • Oh, heavens no! Please make the noise you need! I just offer the suggestion that redirecting the energy might have a better result and conserve that energy. If you’re a screamer, you’re a screamer and that’s how it’s going to be and it’s wrong for someone to tell you to shut up. I’ve attended births where the mom has yelled and screamed and I’ve attended births where there’s been no more than a grunt. Just depends on the mom and what works best for the her! Vocalizing is like positioning. You have to do what’s best for you and not what’s best for the OB or midwife or doula. As a doula, I’m there for support and to assist the mom. I certainly do not tell her what to do!

        • We were advised to keep our vocalizations low–like a cow mooing. It helps to open the cervix, but high-pitched screaming or yelling can have the opposite effect. It worked really well for me. When I started getting high-pitched, my husband or doula would moan in low tones at me to encourage me to keep it low.

          Still, if that’s what the midwife meant, it was badly said.

          • My midwife pointed out that people doing any kind of hard physical work (that is, labor) tend to go “Huh-URRRRNGH-guhhh,” which suggests that it helps, or at least doesn’t hurt.

  9. ha! I woulda kicked her in the face if she told me that. Maybe she never heard before but labor is excrutiatingly painfull. I was a screamer with one of mine and nobody told me to shut up, the midwife said she did the same thing with both of her births. The nurse told me to make a deep screaming sound, that it would help me push the baby out. She was right! Anyone that would tell a person to shut up in labor should go through labor themself, without pain meds. yeah I coulda had an epidural but I was more concerned about my baby’s health and the potential ill effects on my health that an epidural sometimes causes and chose to have a natural birth. If you cannot be compassionate while a woman is in the worst possible pain a person can feel then you shouldn’t work in labor and delivery.

  10. Making noise is what helped me not tense up, like I was letting the tension out through my voice, so yeah, it helped. Tense mama = painful labor. With my labor with #2 a nurse came and told me to be quiet because I was scaring another laboring mom, but I didn’t hear her. With #3 my midwife didn’t tell me to be quiet, she had me lower the pitch from aaah! to oooooh! to help but didn’t care how loud I was. And with the twins if anyone said anything I didn’t hear them, I was too busy yelling my head off lol. During labor I’m quiet but when it comes time to push I’m very noisy.

    • This, exactly. With my first two, they told me to be quiet and calm and I had to have epidurals to stop the extremely painful tensing, trying to keep everything calm and inside. Number 3, I let loose with the vocals and the only thing the nurses and midwife did was stand back and chuckle. The lovely nurse told me, while I was trying to apologize between contractions, to not feel bad at all because I was coming along like a dream and not tensing up at all. They also told me they were a little glad my cold had left me a little hoarse because they couldn’t really hear much of my yelling.

  11. The last time we had a shut-up-you-laboring-mom post, didn’t one of the commenters say she was an opera singer? :-) And that when she vocalized, she VOCALIZED? LOL — I imagine that was amazing to behold.

    I got through labor doing “mmmmMMMMMMmmmmm….” or “oooh” and it helped a lot. I would have been really distressed if someone had been there telling me I *needed* to stop making noise.

    Really, it’s the L&D nurses who “need” you silent for their own reasons. It’s not to the mom’s benefit to tell her to quit something that’s helping.

  12. I was told that I needed to stop making noise during delivery and push properly >:| EVERY single time I’d make a noise all I’d here from both the doctor and my “support” person was stop doing that that’s not helping! next time if i’m told that i’m gunna say shut up cos being quiet didnt help first time around (I went to the hospital 8 cm dilated but ended up with a vacum extraction and 2nd degree episiotomy!)

  13. This makes the unicorns sad.. :(

    I’ll agree that yelling and screaming does use valiable energy,maybe the mpm didn’t think she was doing so. The Midwife needs to be more like, “low tones and moaning help to ease pain and keep you in better control.”

  14. Yelling, screaming, whatever – whatever works for mom! It might be using valuable energy to some, but if it works, hey – do what you want! They’re just not used to hearing people make noise because most patients receive pain meds.

  15. Yep. Had a nurse tell me this during delivery of my 4th baby (no drugs). Turns out, the baby was ready to be born, but the placenta was not, and was ripping away from the uterus. After my daughter was born, the oncall OB had to go in with something tong-like to retreive the pieces of the placenta that didn’t come out with the afterbirth. (I didn’t get any drugs for that one, either) That’s the first time I’ve ever BARKED at a doctor.

  16. would you like me to do some yoga instead ????

  17. I’m so glad I had a nice midwife! When she could tell the pain was getting too much (I was trying to have a natural birth and was on my hands and knees but couldn’t talk because of the pain), she said it was ok to get pain relief and that she’d had a back labor and it was brutal. I tried gas-and-air first (I delivered my baby in England) which wasn’t enough for the agonizing pain. While I waited for the epidural, she was there, telling me I was safe and doing great. Throughout the labor she told me how wonderfully I was doing. When I thanked her after my child was born, she said it was her honor to be with me :).

  18. My MEDwife did pretty much the same thing and I’ve felt bad about being so upset by it until now! This site is amazing! I love the term medwife, totally works. I was attempting a VBAC and she yelled at me that if I couldn’t be quieter than she wouldn’t let me push.

  19. I yelled through active labor with my first, but not through the pushing, that was more of a trance like state for me. Yelling helped, I am sure that I scared other mother’s, but I didn’t care, it felt the best. I am sure at least one of the nurses told me it wasn’t helping and the last one I had in the room with me told me that I was in controll and that I didn’t need to yell and when my husband repeated that to me, I lost it and yelled at both of them since neither has had a child. Now I’m pregnant again and could go into labor at anytime and I would like to go drug free again, but I am sure I will yell through it.

  20. I was meditating and doing my best. I just told the nurses and doctors not to touch me. They were aggressive and it wasn’t an energy I could handle. If it was quiet and free from interference, I managed through meditation or quietly cursing through each contraction. But yes, the nurses in particular were offended by my no touching declaration and the dr was like a football coach from a isney movie. I eventually decided to just wok with my body directly and imagined working through a really hard poop.

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