We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
At many hospitals, it's routine to start an IV when a woman is admitted in labor. You'll definitely need one to get antibiotics if you test positive for Group B strep, for hydration if you can't keep fluids down, if you want a spinal or an epidural, if you need oxytocin (Pitocin), or if you have any health problems or pregnancy complications.
But if your pregnancy has been normal thus far and no labor complications are expected, you can — with your practitioner's approval — hold off on the IV. That way, you'll be freer to move about as the urge strikes you, without having to contend with tubing and an IV pole.
Another option is to ask to have a heparin or saline lock attached to your IV catheter (the part that's inserted into the vein). This small device keeps the blood in the catheter from clotting, and it has a portal so your caregivers can plug tubing in at any time. You can get fluids or medications whenever you need them, but you won't have to be tethered to an IV pole in the meantime.
When you're not medicated, you can try a variety of positions during labor, including standing or leaning on your partner, sitting, and kneeling – either upright or on all fours.
You may find movement comforting, too. Try walking around or rocking in a chair or on a birthing ball. Moving around can make you feel more in control, which may ease your anxiety and pain. And a meta-analysis of studies looking at positioning and movement during the first stage of labor suggests that being upright or walking around may shorten it by about an hour.