Anterior Cervical Lip (Article)

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TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
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Anterior Cervical Lip (Article)
MrsMangoBabe's picture
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I love that blog. She addresses so many relevant birth issues and I love how she is able to explain things so clearly. I had cervical lips with both of my births. With DD, it didn't matter because I already had the epidural, but I really think that if the situation had been managed differently in DS's birth, the birth would have been different, maybe for him as well as for me. My OB could tell that my body was starting to push a little because of the way I started vocalizing and she asked if I felt pressure and when I said I did, she took that to mean she needed to check me and when she found the lip things got really tough. She told me to only push as much as I had to, which was fine. She kept checking to feel if it had gone away yet and it was really invasive. Then she tried having me push while she held it back which was awful and then she told me to try not to push and I got all messed up and had trouble pushing once I was complete. I also did not want to move out of the position she had me in to check me, and ended up birthing that way even though I really liked the idea of other positions and probably wouldn't have gotten into that position voluntarily if it weren't for the check.

On the other hand, if you look at my post on "powerbirth" you will see that there is controversy out there about how some midwives who use the idea that you don't have to be 10 cm to push as justification for doing some pretty harmful things to women in the name of speeding up their births. There is another article I have read on this by a midwive who appears to be associated with that method.

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I totally love you for posting this!

that exact thing happened with DD. i was moving around and starting to feel pretty inclined to push and the had to check me, and told me i wasnt complete and shouldnt push. DD was posterior BTW so that doubly makes sense with this article, they DID try to hold the lip out of the way while i pushed ONCE THEY GOT ME ON MY BACK IN THE BED! if i had just kept moving around like i was comfortable things might have gone very differently! And this is a total help with another birth right around the corner for me too!

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This makes so much sense. Thanks for posting.

heatherliz2002's picture
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Great article. Thanks for posting!

kridda_88's picture
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I had this with both boys. With my first I had an epi so I could just ignore the pressure until it was complete but With DS2, if you remember, I was fully dilated until my bag of water broke and then I had a lip. My bag broke because my body was pushing on it's own and when the doctor told me not to push any more I couldn't stop so I screamed at her and, *shhh* kept giving little pushes, With that it went away and I could continue pushing, I actually knew when it was gone because I felt it slip past baby's head. I never had any damage done either.

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
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I just found that blog yesterday. Here is an article in midwifery today about this same issue:

The “Rule of 10” Versus Women’s Primal Wisdom"

Shummel's picture
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Very interesting articles! As you've read in my birth story with DS, I started pushing at 8 cm and was told to stop - subsequently got an epidural. I'm not sure though, seriously, if my body was really ready to push or if it was more me fighting the contractions. At the time, I was tensing every muscle to "protect myself" from the pain - so I definitely think a lot of the pushing was my fighting back. When it was time to get the epi and I relaxed my body for the needle - I didn't push then. I guess there's no way to know now... What do you guys think?

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This makes perfect sense and pisses me off about DS' birth. My only question is, what happens when the cervix begins to swell and dilatation is being lost? What should be done then?

My MW kept moving me into a squatting position, or sitting on the toilet or the ball... a front-leaning position. But all I wanted to do was sit in a back-leaning position reclined against the side of the birth tub. I wish I had been left to my own devices for a while. Squatting was unbearable, and so was sitting on the toilet. So much so that I eventually adamantly refused. Then, when all I wanted to do was sit back in the tub, and I was in unbearable pain during VE, I began to lose dilatation and that's when we transferred.

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My body started pushing when I was only dilated to a 6. Well, no, probably even before, because I started pushing involuntarily while I was still at home- and when I got the hospital I was at a 6. My midwife was wonderful though and said, "She's not doing this on purpose, if her body is pushing, let it push- it knows what it's doing." As this went on for a couple hours before I was dilated completely, my doula suggested I get on all fours. I did that and very soon was complete (and I slept between contractions in this position, so it was nice). They were getting worried about the swelling, and apparently in the all fours position, it took the pressure off the cervix. Worked well for me!

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The biggest thing I learned after dealing with that for DD's birth was to just listen to my body and not stress over what everyone's saying. I ended up tearing pretty bad with DD because I was on my back because the MW had to hold the lip to the side for a while during pushing and then I didn't want to move after that. I loved DS's birth for that reason and it wasn't any harder (though the back labor sucked) and I completely followed my body's signals. When it got intense I woke DH up and from there had his help. He laughs saying that he was freaking out running around and I was the one in labor and directing him on what to do. "Get a water bottle and a straw. Don't touch anything. What's that (as i point to what ended up being his heal)" lol Another thing to look at, I didn't tear at all for DS but did so for DD what was what 3.4 pounds less than DS. On all fours for DS and on back for DD.

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Very interesting article!

I know I had a lip with DD's birth - I think it might have been posterior, though, since the nurse said something about it being really rare and wanting to show a few people. I had pitocin and an epi, so we waited a while to see if it would go away (side laying position), and it got paper thin but never disappeared. It moved right out of the way when they had me try to push, though (lithotomy position).

I'm glad it worked and there was no threat of c-section, but I really hated pushing on my back. Hopefully I can avoid the pitocin and epi this time and be allowed to move (though it sounds like being on my back might have been the best position for me...definitely something to think about).