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A birth pause - helpful information

Why things sometimes do not progress during birth

The term ‘standstill’ usually plays a dramatic role in the reports of mothers after caesarean sectional delivery. Pregnant women should not listen to such stories.

We have read the article linked below for you and come to the conclusion that midwives and doctors view a standstill differently. Midwives focus on the natural birth process, while most doctors focus on pathological causes. This results in different ways of dealing with the problem.

Since we want to spare pregnant women worrying scenarios, we will summarize here, what they should know, if they are dealing with the topic of birth pause. We recommend that this be addressed when choosing your place of birth and that you inquire about how they deal with pauses in labour/weakness in labour.

Regarding a natural birth, the following should be said:

The birth process can come to a standstill for a variety of reasons. Basically, a birth is not a straightforward process. A multitude of different causes can contribute to a shorter or longer phase during the birth, in which it does not "really go on". Perhaps the expectant mother feels disturbed by the hospital routine, which has an effect on the finely tuned hormonal interaction between her and her child. Perhaps the woman giving birth is simply exhausted and needs a break. Then patience is required. In out-of-hospital births, time is given to recover. The processes in clinics are often determined by time schedules and staff shortages. In the delivery room, for example, it is seldom possible to deal with the psychological causes of labour pauses or a standstill.

"Not every break has to be treated. We should bear in mind, that our body sends us signs, which we have to pay attention to in order to avoid even bigger problems. Weak contractions are the body's reaction to any disruptive factors. We should look for these and eliminate them if possible, so that the birth can take its normal course undisturbed."

(states Midwife Olivia Heiss)

Conclusion: It is not necessarily true, that every interruption of birth is based on a pathological cause, which can only be eliminated by medication or invasive (penetrating) interventions. If the woman giving birth is told, that pauses in labour are normal, this provides relaxation. An empathetic companion, who has time and is patient, can help the woman to recognise and resolve the cause of the break herself.