Undilated cervix leading to emergency c-section

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Undilated cervix leading to emergency c-section

Undilated cervix leading to emergency c-section
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Hello. I currently have two ladies in my class with similar circumstances for their first labour. Both didn't dilate much, about 2 inches, and experienced labour for about 10-12 hours, leading into emergency c-section. One of these ladies is very close to deciding to have an elective c-sec for her second baby because 'it will be easier and less stressful than last time'. My first thoughts are breath, let go, and trusting the body, but maybe there is a deeper picture here that I'm unaware of. Is there any general scientific or experiential information behind why the cervix doesn't dilate? Any responses (hoping that these forums are up and running) would be great. Thanks!
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Wed, Jan 17 2007 6:40 PM In reply to
gaye

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Hi there, I'm a baby yoga teacher so have any professional birth knowledge but your post reminded me of the talk Ina May Gaskin gave at the conference. She mentioned some women who, in her experience as a midwife, dilated to 3cm and no further. 1 case was with a woman who had been adopted and had the idea that her mother has died while giving birth to her. Another was a woman in a relationship but not actually married. Ina May suggested that when these women relieved these anxieties that labour progressed. Perhaps Ina May's books may have more discussion on this topic.

Here's a link to the conference page on Ina May. It has a further link to Ina May's own website
http://www.birthlightconference.com/Pub/Ui/Speakers/Speaker_Img.aspx

Gaye

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Sat, Feb 17 2007 6:37 AM In reply to
marionsymes

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Dear Taranga

Sorry that I didn't see this until now. I'm a Birthlight tutor who has been teaching perinatal yoga for 18 years and was a midwife for 12 years before that.There may be a number of reasons why the cervix failed to dilate in these 2 women. I totally agree with Ina May Gaskin's views in the other reply. Fear of labour can be a large contributor to delayed progress in first stage as excess adrenaline results in less oxygen to the uterus so painful contractions with little/no progress and fetal 'distress'. A posterior or back-to-back baby sometimes results in no progress as the fetal head tends to be less flexed and does not 'fit' snuggly onto the cervix-remember that the pressure of the baby's head helps dilatation. Reassure the women that, if this was the case, it is less likely to happen in a second or subsequent pregnancy and suggest the tips for optimal fetal positioning in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy but remember not to give any guarantees! It is often helpful for women to review their previous labour to help them to understand why the labour did not progress-if your local hospital has a 'Birth Afterthoughts' scheme this is the ideal way to do this-it helps women to come to terms with their previous birth experience and look forward to the next birth more positively. One of the most important ways that yoga can help is in re-building confidence in the body's ability to labour and give birth normally and in offering strategies for coping with labour such as appropriate breathing, the skill of relaxing quickly between contractions, encouraging an active birth including labour and biirth positions that work with gravity. These women will probably have some limitations placed on them as continuous monitoring of the baby and contractions is the norm with VBAC but I have found that if women really want to stay active they usually manage to do so, even if they have to remain on/near the labour ward bed. Hope this is helpful!

Best wishes

Marion

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Fri, Mar 30 2007 9:32 AM In reply to
taranga

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Thank you both for your responses. My first lady was experiencing a lot of emotions left over from the trauma of her first birth. I had a feeling to put her in touch with our local Hypno Birthing teacher mainly because the H.B teacher is a practicing midwife and has a better understanding of the birth notes than I had. (Unfortunately our midwives are so busy they were unable to give my lady the extra attention she wanted.) The Hypno Birthing teacher visited my lady a few times and went over her first birth story in detail which helped my lady enourmously to cry and grieve and release the held emotions from the first birth, as well as understand a lot more about what and why it happened. She decided to go for an elective c-section. I saw her privately a couple of times just before the birth to go over breathing practices and she was very strong and positive and looking forward to the birth. I didn't judge her elective c-section, I wanted to make sure she felt she was empowered for this birth and could use the breathing practices and have the birth she wanted to for her second baby.

Unfortunately there's no such scheme here in Devon as a "Birth Afterthoughts", but the more I spend time with second- and third-time mothers, the more it is obvious that some kind of counselling scheme/forum is so important for them to understand and process the emotions from birth experiences. (It took me three years to come to a place where I can say I have a good understanding of what happened and why at the birth of my girl. Studying with Birthlight helped a lot and not all new mothers have the time or access to research their stories.) I know I can't "be it all" or do it all for my ladies, but it is making me think how I would like to set up my Postnatal classes. Does anyone include a sharing circle in their classes or link in to counselling or something along those lines? I would be very interested to hear.

Thanks again.
-julia.

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Sun, Apr 1 2007 12:19 PM In reply to
maya

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Dear Julia !I have tought pregnancy yoga , childbirth eduction and mother and baby yoga for many years and I always include a space somewhere for the women to share about their births. However each group is different, so the approach has to be adjusted as well. If i have a postnatal group with lots of mums who have also done the pregnancy class with me , I invite quite early on to share their story and there are always tears but also much support. In other groups I have to wait a little till their have got to know each other and non-comparing, early motherhood-guilt and other such issues have been talked about.Many other sujects taken up for discussion can lead back to someone feeling open to share about the birth, for the experience of a difficult birth can have far-reaching effects.. For example I sometimes get a pen out and together we write a list of ' what is motherhood ?" or " how have my relationships with other people changed ?" or " what does it mean to give and receive advise ? ". I recently had a group which was a little difficult to hold together, as a few of them had only come to the class because of their friends ( NCT ) . So I did not find the right time and space to ask these question and it was not untill the very last session ( before breaking up for Easter ), when only 3 of them turned up that the space was suddenly there for them to talk....and it turned out to be a very healing session ! If a group is with me for a long time I will even open the space for talking about the birthexperience several times as it will change along the way. As the mothers gain in confidence in themselves, their bodies and their mothering ,deeper levels of the 'trauma' could be looked at with more compassion and understanding and energy to deal with it !There is of course never any pressure to speak and I do mention that I see people privately ( seperate meeting ) .I have a background in couselling and therapy so it is not difficult to offer this. But if you do not, then make it more informal first and if you feel that that is not enough for that particular woman, then find and refer to other professionals.The " Birth Afterthought " can be a great idea, but often it can also be too difficult for the women to go back to the same professionals that they may have had difficulties with or with whom there is the association of a traumatic birth.Just a few thoughtsMaya
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Fri, Apr 13 2007 5:48 AM In reply to
francoisef

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Hello Maya,

Sadly this pattern seems to become more widespread. Generally it may be associated with the increase in cone-biopsies for testing cells after cervical smears indicating possible risks of early cancers. Also with previous terminations of pregnancy.

The response with yoga is more nurturing through the whole pregnancy, particularly in the early months before there is pressure in the lower pelvis. Deep breathing in supported inversions is effective for ensuring better blood circulation in the lower pelvis, also for changing the chemistry and hormone balance and even healing past traumas attached to the reproductive organs. Gowri Motha has some Ayurvedic herbs that are helpful for this purpose too. I hope that some of the Amazonian plants that women have used effectively for millenia will soon be tested enough to be made available to women here.

Generally, more alertness to not only 'womb ecology' but even before that, reproductive health enhancing for pregnancy and birth, is on the Birthlight agenda!

Could anyone who reads this posting add ideas, information or testimonies to contribute to a thread on this important topic?

Thanks Maya for starting this thread

FrancoiseF