Dec 282012

“Pushing on your hands and knees is not natural. You are going to hurt the baby.” – OB to mother during birth.

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 December 28, 2012  birth, OB, pushing  Add comments

  31 Responses to ““Pushing On Your Hands & Knees Is Not Natural…””

  1. {{uproarious laughter}} “Do you have any idea what you just said?”

  2. Ha! I delivered my third child by surprise on my hands and knees in the hospital. The doctor didn’t even have a chance to utter anything like this!

    • Shame on you girl. Don’t you know the “only” way to push a baby out is flat on your back and defying gravity? After all, it’s only your body so you couldn’t possibly know what you were doing? Okay, sarcasm over. Great job! ;)

      • I know! You should have seen the way the staff reacted when the nurse looked and exclaimed, “The head is already out!” Mass confusion erupted! Muahahahaha!

  3. Ever see a horse give birth flat on her back with her legs up in the air?

    • Okay this is ridiculous, of courses horses don’t push on their backs, they don’t do anything of their backs. You however I hope have hands and walk on two legs. If you don’t I apologize, but using an animal with a completely different body design for an argument is silly. Horses also eat grass, are you going to eat grass during labor? I have never seen a horse drink fruit juice or eat sandwiches.

      If you are going to use any animal for an example of human birth use a gorilla or chimpanzee, they are the closest to us in form, and they usually birth on their backs so they can reach down and bring the baby to their chest once it is out.

      • They don’t, actually. I’ve been following a documentary about a group of chimps for years and chimps birth in all kinds of positions. Crouching, reclining, on hands and feet, but never flat on their backs.

        • Most the bonobo and chimp births I have seen (I admit they are all in labs) have been on the back. Regardless it doesn’t make the horse thing any saner.

          • That would be the key thing right there, they were lab chimps, they very likely either had never seen a natural example of birth, or perhaps had only seen TV depictions of birth which in almost all cases will show women on their backs.

      • Of course its ridiculous, that’s why I choose out as an analogy. Its also very ridiculous to suggest that a human giving birth on her hands and knees is unnatural and she will hurt her baby.

      • I actually completely agree with you (about the horse part). But the best “analogy” is to humans, who, you know, before hospital births, most often did not/do not birth on their backs. And the idea h&k would somehow harm the baby (in the absence of some truly unusual circumstance I can’t even think of) is ludicrous. In fact, in the case of shoulder dystocia, h&k can be life saving.

      • Furthermore, when it comes to apes, I don’t know if they birth with attendants, but humans “naturally” do, so h&k is still pretty practical for us. Regardless, afaik, the most “natural” (typical/effective) position is squatting, which would also be the easiest in which to catch the baby and bring it up to one’s chest. Human or ape.

        • You know, elephants do? They have midwives, basically, an older elephant who has gone through pregnancy and labor, who stays with the pregnant elephant throughout labor and delivery to make sure everything’s okay. Otherwise the pregnany elephant often doesn’t know what’s going on and panics and can harm the baby. It’s why elephant breeding in captivity doesn’t/didn’t work well a lot of the time, because people didn’t know that. Not related to apes but interesting to know!

      • I don’t understand the physiognomy here — how would it be easier to reach down and get the baby if you’re flat on your back? It’s easier if you’re upright and able to flex your spine to get the trunk closer to the vagina. Try it — would you be able to insert a tampon while lying flat on your back? Yet it’s easy to do it if you’re sitting upright because your spine flexes easier when you’re upright. And it would be even easier to access one’s own vagina if one were on her knees because you’d have even more spinal flexion and you’d be able to shift and flex your hips.

        Just did a quickie Google search, and the first chimp birth that came up was this video: Momma chimp starts on her head. No, really. LOL. Then she rolls into a C position, pushes a minute and then gets on hands and feet. She moves around a lot right before the final push, but the actual birth takes place while she’s standing, and the baby chimp is delivered onto the ground. Then she picks him up.

        The second search return is this one: in which the mother chimp birthed in a squat, again birthing the chimp onto the ground and then picking him up.

        • Ummm not that I tend to share personal details, but that happens to be how I accomplish that task… I think it’s just easier to get to things from that position.

          • Wow. I would never be able to insert a tampon while lying on my back. I have a hard enough time getting the diva cup in while I’m standing over the toilet. :-)

          • I’ve never heard of, nor could I imagine, a women inserting a tampon lying in her back. It doesn’t make much sense. And yes, from experience it is much easier to lift baby up from birth in some sort of squatting or kneeling position. All kinds of help and muscles would be needed from a supine position.

          • I have a congenital pelvic malformation, which I guess makes things kind of different. Most of the women in my family do it like that, but most of us have the same problem. I actually had to look at the package to figure out why people thought doing it that way was weird….:$

      • My comment fell into moderation purgatory, but I googled “How chimps give birth” and the first two videos that popped up show chimps giving birth in an upright position. I hope this comment makes it through. ;-) The other one has the urls to the videos, but you can repeat the search yourself if you’re interested.

      • Regardless of the whole animal analogy, depictions of birth from earliest recorded history until just this past century have shown women giving birth in a variety of upright positions (squatting, kneeling, H&K, standing…). Even now, in parts of the world not dominated by the practice of obstetrics (which as we know is barely 100 years old) the preferred position for birth is anything but supine. That’s just physiology.

        The doctor in the OP’s comment was simply making a stupid remark to cover up his/her desire to have the mom in the position most convenient to the doctor, regardless of whether it was helpful to the woman pushing out the human.

      • Why would you need to give birth on your back to reach down and pick up the baby and put it on your chest? Actually, that’s the wrong question because I know you don’t need to, I gave birth squatting, caught my own baby and picked him up and held him to my chest. I really can’t see how being on your back would help with that. It makes it further to reach.

  4. This is probably the STUPIDEST remark I have ever read on here. If this was my birth, I might just have to take a break from birthing to LAUGH at the stupid.

  5. I was in the middle of pushing on my hands and knees, and had already delivered his head, and the OB told me if I rolled onto my back, I would deliver quicker and easier. In the back of my mind, I knew it was wrong, but I was a little distracted :-( So I did…

    • That’s exactly what happened to me. The attending nurse glanced to see if I was close to crowning and I had already delivered my daughter’s head. The nurses and doctor freaked out and said I had to flip over to deliver the rest of her.
      I started to turn and paused midway while I was sitting up with one leg bent and the other one extended. I wanted to stop there and push her out the rest of the way, but everyone kept telling me to lay back. At least she slipped out before my hind end hit the bed, but I still dream about what it would have been like to catch her myself.

  6. How awful! OP I am so sorry. This kind of comment sounds so stupid that is is laughable until you realize that this was said to a woman in labor by her birth attendant, and that is a person with a lot of power over her. It is nearly impossible to stop someone who means to force you onto your back when you are ready to push, and it is even harder to fight your way back up when they want to hold you there. OP I hope you were treated better than I was. (and that you pooped on this OB)

  7. Following my body’s cues is the most natural thing in the world.

  8. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  9. Natural would be whatever position the mom feels most comfortable in. My 2nd and 3rd homebirths I birthed on my knees while clutching or holding on to something because that’s what felt right to me. My 1st was in the hospital all drugged up and on my back and I couldn’t feel a thing. An episiotomy and vacuum were required after 3 hours and exhaustion. That, my friend, is not natural and more likely to hurt the baby.

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