Nov 102012

“You are not allowed to push until I say that you can. You will tear your cervix open.” –  OB to a woman in transition during her natural labor, who was 8 centimeters dilated with a strong urge to push.

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 November 10, 2012  OB, pushing  Add comments

  30 Responses to ““You Are Not Allowed To Push Until I Say You Can…””

  1. While excessive pushing on a cervix that has not fully dilated can cause swelling, if a woman feels the urge to push, it’s time to push, OB’s wishes be damned. OP, I hoped you were able to follow your body’s cues and push.

  2. How were babies ever born before this ob started practice?

  3. My body pushed when it was ready to push. In fact, I made it through a whole pregnancy and labor with no “checks” and my son is now 11 months old. Whoda thunk.

  4. I heard something similar when I was in labour. At 9-10cms, I had this huge urge to push and was told to hold it back or else something bad would happen, she never really specified what. I held it back until I was shaking and crying from the pain of doing just that until I finally convinced them to check me. (Actually the were trying to put their fourth attempt at an internal in but whoops, baby’s head was there!) I really doubt that I would have ended up with a swollen cervix had I pushed then if it took that much effort not to!

  5. Yeah, because the Pushing Police come and write you a Pushing Ticket, and then you have to go to Pushing Court where the judge orders you to do five hours of community service and confiscates your cervix because you aren’t taking good enough care of it.

  6. I wish I hadn’t listened to my *home birth midwife* who said pretty much this, then held my cervix for me. I think if she’d have let me get off my back (yes, I said let, she was holding me there and I couldn’t get her off, and I did try, so please don’t judge me) I could have done it myself. I’m still having flashbacks, and it’s been months…

  7. I hate this concept, and think that many a birth has been screwed up by the threat that the woman will harm herself if she pushes with a natural urge. Two natural births here, and no cervical checks at all.

  8. With my youngest, I had the urge to push while the nurse was asking the stupid questions. I couldn’t stop pushing for anything. She told me to stop because I would tear my cervix if I pushed right then. I told her I couldn’t stop, so she tried to check my dilation (I had been at 6 just 10 minutes before this) and his head was there. She ran to the door to call for a delivery team to get in there immediately. Less than ten minutes later, I was holding my precious baby boy.

  9. i was 8 cm when i arrived at hospital, transition was in the car (HORRIBLE!) i got off the bed as soon as she’d checked and my waters broke and i was pushing, no one said anything except offering me a wheelchair rather than make me walk to delivery. i wonder if anyone who says this sort of thing has every actually given birth? there is no way someone who has had a baby could say “dont push” with a straight face!

  10. I was the nurse for this one. After the doctor left the room, I told the patient to do what her body was telling her to do – and then I caught her baby. I told him “next time a woman says she needs to push, maybe you should listen to her.”

    • Nurse of the year. You rock!

    • The doctor *walked out of the room*? Un-freaking-believable. That’s like the power trip to end all power trips.

      I’m so glad you were her nurse and you did what was best for the mother.

      • I had the same level of disinterest when I was having my first. I can kind of understand that most first time moms push for quite a while, but I really felt like I was birthing on my own while the nurse putzed around the room and didn’t call the doctor in. Little did I know that calling him in would be such a bad idea.

    • WOOHOO! I’m so glad you did this. That mom was so blessed to have a nurse there who would help her follow her body’s cues despite their nonconformity to the All-Knowing Textbook.

    • You are amazing! Your patients are lucky to have an ally and an advocate in you! (And your story is a great antidote to the L&D nurse in a recent post who said that she *couldn’t* catch the baby, and that the pushing mom had to hold her baby in until the doc arrived.)

    • Thank you for doing this for her!

    • I hope that you are actually on of say octoplets, and all your siblings are nurses who are just as awesome as you! We NEED more fantastic people like you in this world!

    • In the process of getting my BSN-RN, then going on to midwifery school — and I’m doing my OB rotation. I am INSPIRED by nurses like you (they seem to be few and far between) who understand birth and believe in women. Thank you thank you thank you!! I hope you get students at your hospital, and that they are able to learn from you.

    • Not trying to be rude but, sometimes I think only women should be OBs. Like mend don’t know what its like, and never will. They don’t understand.

      • In my experience, the women are worse. They think someone choosing to birth differently than they did is either a moron or thinks they’re better than them and are less sympathetic to pregnancy problems because they got through them just fine

  11. Growing up, my all time favorite movie was “Charmkins.” (Anyone else remember them?) In that little half hour movie, the bad guy threatens his dopey sidekicks and they ask him, “Or what?” And then there’s a whole song about what would happen if the people didn’t do what the bad guy said. That’s where my brain went in reading this one… the song started playing through my head.

    OP, you absolutely rock! I love hearing about nurses that stand up for their patients!

  12. You know, a torn cervix isn’t the end of the world. Mine tore with my first (in a birth center, and I was dilated to all 10 cm–but my daughter had her hand up by her ear, and her head circumference was the same as her body). I went on to have two home births with only the tiniest tears on the perineum and my cervix was fine.

    That said, though, the body usually knows what to do. Fighting it is worse than anything else.

  13. That’s why I had midwives! They are usually much less biased than OB’s, at least toward natural options. And a good midwife knows when to send the mother to the hospital.

  14. I was told to hold in my urge at 8cm too. I was going for a vbac and this time no meds. After about an hour of holding back and being scared of something bad happening I ended taking the epidural and within minutes I was at a 10. By then my body was totally confused and the baby was not coming out. After 3 hours of directed pushing my ob said ” you have a small pelvis, the baby won’t fit” my husband said he had seen the baby’s head. I ended up having another c-section. I should have listened to my body and not let the doctor scare me. I’ll switch doctor next time I go for a vba2c. This time I’ll let my body to the talking.

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