Stalled labor

Stalled Labor

The experience of childbirth is different for every woman. Being told that your labor is stalled, or progressing very slowly, can be very nerve-racking for both new moms-to-be and seasoned parents. If you find yourself in this situation it is very likely that your medical caregiver will try to unnaturally speed up the process by way of drugs like pitocin and syntocinon, artificially breaking your water, or having a cesarean.

The first question you may ask is, what criteria are used to measure the rate of labor? If labor is as unique as the individual experiencing it, then how can there be a set standard for how quickly labor should progress? What’s shocking is many medical caregivers are still using “Friedman’s Curve” to measure normal length and pace of labor. This study was published back in 1955. It detailed the average amount of time it took women to dilate throughout labor. The study found that once in active labor, a woman should dilate 1cm per hour. Despite the continued use of Friedman’s Curve, many modern researches argue that this theory is outdated and should not be used at all.

The most common causes of stalled labor are induction, epidural, emotional stress, and your baby’s position. The article “When Labor Stalls” gives the following tips for what to do when your labor stalls:

  1. Rest: Take advantage of the moments you are able to relax. When labor is long you will need to allow yourself time to “recharge your batteries”.
  2. Walk and Change Positions: Movement is a great way to facilitate progression in your labor. Ask you partner to steady you and try a few squats, lunges, or just simply walk around. The gravity of your movement will help maneuver your baby down to the most ideal position.
  3. Nipple Stimulation: Roll your nipples in between your thumbs and pointer finger. This stimulation has been known to cause stronger more productive contractions.
  4. Change your environment: This is especially effective if you are suffering from emotional stress. As noted above, emotional stress is a common cause of stalled labor. Make you are comfortable and in a relaxing environment. Turn off any loud electronics and harsh lighting.
  5. Shower: For many women, showers are our happy place. If you are having a hard time relaxing try taking a hot shower.

A study conducted in 2010 found that around half of all induced women who had a cesarean due to stalled labors had not yet dilated 6cm before that decision was made. That means that most women were still in the very early stages of labor when there inductions were declared a failure. It is up to you to educate yourself before your delivery. Choose a healthcare professional who has a high rate of natural childbirths.

Aeroflow Healthcare Breastpumps wishes you a happy and healthy delivery. Contact one of our Breastpump Specialists today to learn more about how you can continue promoting your baby’s growth and development by qualifying for a breast pump through insurance.

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