Having a baby is a big deal. Moms think about the day they’ll head to the hospital to greet their tiny baby. They plan, dream and worry about what will happen once labor begins. But sometimes moms make a doctor’s job more difficult than it should be. By refusing treatment, bringing the wrong things into the delivery room or being just plain difficult, mom can keep the doctor from doing her job.
The doctor’s main focus is keeping mom and baby safe and healthy throughout labor and delivery. They want the outcome to be predictable and drama free. That’s why there are certain things doctors wish moms would quit doing in the delivery room.
Certain choices mom makes in the delivery room can interfere with the doctors’ ability to produce the desired outcome (read: safe mom and baby). It can reduce the number of options the doctor has to deal with an emergency. It might also just physically get in the doctors way when seconds count.
Today, mothers have incredible freedom in choosing what happens during their labor and delivery. Most doctors just hope that those choices don’t get in the way of them keeping both baby and mom safe.
15 Laying Down During Labor
We see the mom on TV lying in her bed during labor. Some doctors may get upset if mom is being too “lazy”. Relaxing too much can actually stall labor. Instead of lying in the bed, mom should try walking around, gently bouncing on an exercise ball or even rocking in a rocking chair. This movement will help baby to gently move down into the birth canal. Moving around will allow gravity to help in the birthing process. It may actually help mom to feel more comfortable. During labor, mom may have the urge to sway in a certain direction or move one way then another. These natural urges are a message from her body about what she needs to do to help the baby move further down. If she ignores her urges and lays in be instead she won’t help the labor to progress.
14 Eating The Placenta
Some cultures value eating the placenta after giving birth. This could be fresh in a smoothie or dried, grounded and put into capsules. Most mammals eat the placenta after giving birth (although not first time mom-mammals). Some people are encouraged to eat the placenta. The thought is that the placenta contains incredible nutrients that were used to nourish the baby. The other side of the story is that the placenta actually blocks harmful substances from reaching the baby. Therefore the placenta could be full of toxins that your body tried to protect baby from. Your doctor would rather you just eat a healthy diet and take vitamins than risking eating a toxic placenta. Beyond the toxins it could contain, there is the concern over whether or not it is prepared properly.
13 Insisting On A Water Birth
Water birth has become more popular in recent years. Some advocates tout that it is less painful for mom, more peaceful for baby and can even help to reduce the severity of tearing for mom. Your doctor may have a different opinion. Water births make delivery more difficult for doctors because they can’t see what is happening as baby emerges. They can’t tell how much mom is tearing or how much blood she is losing. In some cases it creates a dangerous situation for baby. If the temperature is not just right, baby may try to take his first breath underwater causing him to get water in his lungs which creates many problems. Most doctors don’t mind if you go through labor in a tub (which can really help with pain) they just want you to get out for the delivery.
12 Saying No Induction
Moms of today have more say in what happens in the delivery room than they have in generations. They are more informed and more willing to voice their opinion. And they may also have very strong opinions about being induced. A decade ago we started hearing about celebrities choosing their due date and having elective inductions. We also heard about doctors inducing because they were going on vacation (which still happens sometimes). But today many doctors are really trying to cut down on unnecessary inductions. Unnecessary inductions are those that are not medically necessary and can lead to more complications. When your doctor feels an induction is needed to keep you and baby healthy they really don’t want you to refuse it. If your doctor recommends one make sure you know the reason for it and that there is evidence to back it up.
11 Standing Up After The Baby Is Born
After baby is born (or maybe a couple hours after) you might get the urge to use the bathroom. You might be sitting in bed adoring your baby and feel totally capable of getting up to use the restroom. Whatever you do, make sure you call for a nurse before you get up. Labor is such an intense process and you might not be able to get to the bathroom by yourself. You might be numb from an epidural or you might be lightheaded. I tried to get up with just one nurse after both of my deliveries and nearly fainted once and totally fainted the second time. The crew had to call in extra help and get the smelling salts to wake me up again. When the nurse tells you to call for help before using the restroom make sure you do!
10 Overlooking The Baby’s Heart Rate
Your doctor might get upset if you refuse fetal monitoring. Fetal monitoring happens with a small device placed on your belly. It doesn’t hurt (although the straps can be annoying). It also doesn’t hurt baby. It tracks baby’s heart rate during the delivery. Each time you have a contraction your doctor will be able to see how baby’s heart holds up. Fetal monitoring can help the staff to see if baby is becoming distressed during labor. In some situations it can save the baby’s life. For mom, though, it means that she will pretty much be tied to the bed. It may also mean that being in water during labor is out of the question. Doctors don’t want moms to refuse it because it is a way to make sure baby is doing okay.
9 Waiting Too Long To Come To Hospital
On the other hand, your doctor doesn’t want you to wait too long to come to the hospital. I know, it’s a hard balance for moms to strike. Your doctor doesn’t want your normal labor to turn into an emergency situation because your giving birth in a taxi, along the road or in a parking lot. The doctor would rather have a little time to check you out and see how the baby is doing before the big event. That way the doctor can help to ensure a safe delivery for both mom and baby. By waiting too long, your doctor may not have all the information she wants before the baby is born. It may also mean that if you needed a C-section it could be too late or create a dangerous delivery.
8 The Birth Plan Dilemma
Having a birth plan is a great idea. Moms should be informed about the types of choices they have during labor and delivery. They should also be aware of the consequences of those choices. A good doctor will recommend that you research all of the different options, create a birth plan and discuss it with him in the last month of your pregnancy. Your doctor will usually give this advice with a little asterisk beside it. You should have a birth plan *but you should be flexible with it too. You can’t always foresee how a birth will go. In some cases you may absolutely need a cesarean. You may need to be induced. You may need certain medications. Your doctor will advise you on what’s best for the situation so that you and baby stay healthy. It might not be according to your birth plan but it might need to be done.
7 When There’s An Audience
Your doctor’s main focus is delivering your baby safely and keeping you safe at the same time. One of the biggest problems in the delivery room is too many people. Having a ton of people in the delivery room will keep you distracted from the task at hand (which could be good or bad) and keep the nurses and doctors from being able to easily access the equipment they need during delivery. Birth is a special and sacred time. It should be quiet and peaceful. Mom should have the opportunity to focus on what her body is doing and how she can help it along. It’s not time for a family reunion. The birth is a special time for your partner too. The two of you can grow together during this rare lifetime event.
6 Delivering At Home
Home birth has become more popular in the last decade. The movement is wonderful because it focuses on the natural aspects of giving birth without medical intervention. But from your doctor’s point of view it can be really dangerous. Most doctors would rather have you go through labor and delivery in the hospital. Things can go south in a matter of minutes—too long to get into a hospital to get help. Plus if you do try for a home birth and then need emergency care one of the doctors on staff is going to have the difficult job of figuring out what went wrong and how to fix it with little or no warning. These situations make it much more difficult for doctors to assure the safety of baby and mom and make it a much more difficult emergency delivery.
5 Coming To The Hospital Too Soon
The last weeks of labor can make mom super jumpy and excited. Every cramp, pain or movement has her wondering if labor is actually starting. That’s why mom is usually ready to hit the road and get to the hospital as soon as labor begins. But most doctors don’t agree. They would rather have mom labor at home for as long as possible. This happens for a couple of reasons. Sometimes when mom gets to the hospital, the excitement and change of scenery will actually cause labor to stop. When mom is at home she’s more likely to be moving around than stuck in one room like in the hospital. This movement helps labor to progress. Plus if mom comes too early she might take a room or staff away from another mother who is further along. Early labor can last for days sometimes and you doctor doesn’t want you sitting around the hospital for too long.
4 Refusing Medication
3 Being Crabby With Staff
When you have been in labor for hours you might not be the easiest person to be around. Your nurses and doctors get it. Labor can be exhausting physically and emotionally. It can last 30 hours or more. You might not be able to get much rest. They understand but they also don’t want you to be crabby with them. Remember that you’re not the only woman who’s ever been in labor. From their point of view, you’re not the only woman who’s been in labor that day. They’ve seen it all day, every day for 20 years. And they don’t want to be treated badly all day, every day for another 20 years just because someone else is in labor. It doesn’t give you a get out of jail free card on the manners.
2 Trying To Get Out Of Bed
If you’ve opted for an epidural, your doctor is not going to be very happy about you trying to get out of bed. Some doctors also worry about the risk of infection once your water has broken. So they make the rule that you can’t get out of bed if your water has broken (although this rule varies with different practitioners). Walking around can help labor to progress but getting an epidural usually leaves you pretty much bed bound. Since it affects the feeling in your legs it isn’t safe to get up until it completely wears off. Once that happens you’ll still need help getting up. If you don’t want to lose your ability to get out of bed then make sure to opt out of the epidural or other medications that will make it impossible.