General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Is it typical to have a catheter during labor and delivery?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10086 points ) May 30th, 2011 from iPhone

I feel completely unprepared for this birth! This is my first baby and I’ve never been in a delivery room with family/friends while they gave birth so I have a million unanswered questions still. One I’m particularly worried about is whether I will have a catheter inserted during the birth. If I deliver naturally with no complications and I get an epidural, do they typically use catheters? I have this horrible fear of them ever since I had one when I was a child. I remember intense pain and me laying on a table screaming and crying for my mother. Yikes.

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21 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

This is a question you should ask of the coordinator of your birthing class, or of your midwife, doula or doctor, whoever you’ve been seeing for prenatal visits. Every birth is unique. If you don’t want a catheter, this is something that should be in your records and the birth team should know it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I haven’t really heard of women having catheters during L&D. I didn’t have one either time.

Mariah's avatar

I can’t tell you for certain, but I can’t imagine why you’d need one! I would think it would just get in the way more than anything. How soon? Good luck, you’ll do great!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I thought they only cathed for c-sections. I can’t imagine why you’d need one for a natural vaginal birth. Never heard of such a thing.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Mariah That’s what I was thinking! Wouldn’t it get in the way? I’m due sept 15. Thank you!

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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@noelleptc aha, so I am wrong. You make a very good point, though. ha.

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gasman's avatar

Foley bladder catheters are not inserted routinely, though “straight cath” (in-and-out) is more common. For prolonged labor, for adherence to absolute bedrest, or for closely monitoring urinary output (all of which are fairly common occurrences), a Foley might then be inserted. It’s also more common with cesarean section. I’m not an expert in obstetrics, however.

augustlan's avatar

I never had one, but I never had an epidural either. Three births, no catheters.

Stinley's avatar

@wundayatta said it – you need to ask and make your preferences known. I think that if you are planning an epidural you won’t feel a thing below the waist anyway so there will be no pain if they do have to put one in.

How exciting though, you are nearly there. These last few weeks are the longest and you’ll get SO much bigger too! How is the baby lying – head down?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Stinley Last sonogram he was still breech but the doctor didn’t seem concerned.

Stinley's avatar

my 2nd turned at about 35 weeks, that was some experience – I nearly passed out. Try sitting often on a dining chair facing backwards and leaning forward onto the back. It’s a good position for the baby to turn as there’s more room

SuperMouse's avatar

I had epidurals with all three and I was cathed with all three. I didn’t feel a thing any time. All three times I had to pass urine on my own before they discharged me.

Cupcake's avatar

Please read this and be prepared to advocate for yourself.

jca's avatar

I had an epidural and I had a catheter, because with the epidural you can’t get out of bed to urinate, so they have to cath you. Believe me, the cath will be the least of your problems.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I didn’t have a catheter when I got an epidural for my first baby.

augustlan's avatar

I couldn’t get out of bed (health complications) during my first labor, and they put ‘chucks’ under me on the bed and made me pee in the bed. Slightly humiliating, but no catheter.

Nimis's avatar

Natural birth. No epidural. Prolonged labour. They wanted to put one in. I said I’d rather not…and that was the end of that. No big deal or fuss. Just let them know what you want. If you’re going to have an epidural, let them know ahead of time in case you’re too out of it later.

jca's avatar

Before I gave birth, I read that you are supposed to make a “birthing plan” where you go over your wishes and desires with the doctor. I didn’t do that, I figured the doctor would do what they felt was best and I would just go with the flow. He did and I did and I have a wonderful child who just turned 4 yesterday!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I made a birthing plan, and neither the doctor, nor the nurses bothered to fucking read it. It clearly said “NO Episiotomy”, yet my hubby almost had to coldcock one of them who was approaching me with scissors and an unholy gleam in their eye.

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