Below are real life stories submitted by people around the world for our recently published Signature Article: Evidence on IV Fluids during Labor
“I received antibiotics for GBS through IV. Hep lock when not receiving meds.”
Victoria had IV fluids during her first birth and noticed some side effects: “I had IV fluids in my first birth, but not my second. I certainly noticed a difference in how I looked after the births (much puffier after the first than the second). I experienced a lot of back labor with my first birth and it was hard to handle during the moments I was tethered to the IV pole, this was a negative side effect in my opinion – the inability to cope with contractions. Also the placement of the IV was at an odd angle on my wrist and made it hard to stabilize myself while I labored.”
Her story continues:
“The IV in my first birth were given due to exhaustion, but I wish I would have been encouraged to eat or drink instead. At my second birth not being restricted by IV was very much on my mind. I ate and drank freely to keep my energy up. I did consent to a saline lock due to a medical condition that meant I was at risk of PPH, but asked my nurses to put the port in at a better angle for movement. It was much more manageable the second time to have IV access!”
Abbie had IV fluids during her birth and had minimal IV fluids during labor and she was able to ambulate with a saline lock. She did not notice any side effects from the minimal fluids she received in labor and immediately postpartum. She had an unmedicated vaginal delivery. Here is her story!
“This with my third vaginal delivery, our son Reid. This was the first labor that begin with PROM at home. I had been on bedrest at home for the last 14 weeks of this pregnancy due to contractions, yet once my water broke, I didn’t have a single contraction! We headed to the hospital fairly quickly as my last labor went very fast. When I arrived, I still was not contracting. Having had two successful unmedicated vaginal deliveries prior to this birth, and having never been induced, I was strongly opposed to pitocin to get the contractions going. Also, as I had been contracting for months, I was determined to get this labor going on my own. After some initial IV fluids when I first arrived, I was saline locked and began ambulating in my room and the halls of the labor unit. I am an RN and happened to work on this unit at the time, so I was able to visit with co-workers while walking. Needless to say they found it rather amusing that I had been off work for more than three months for frequent contractions, and now I was needing to walk the halls to get contractions going! My OB had agreed to let me have 12 hours from my ROM before beginning pitocin, and I said, “I can do that!” About 2 hours of ambulating later, I was in active labor. I continued to labor standing in my room and on the birth ball until just before the second stage, pushing. To my recollection, I was not reconnected to IV fluids until right at the time of delivery when it was standard protocol to infuse a bag of IV fluids with pitocin to minimize bleeding. This photo was taken seconds after he was placed on my chest and I kissed him for the first time. I was so grateful to have another unmedicated vaginal delivery! This was the only delivery after which I had more than normal bleeding after the delivery of the placenta. My OB needed to do a manual sweep of my uterus to ensure there were no retained placental fragments, and they did run the pitocin in wide open at that point. My bleeding returned to WNL shortly, and after that 1st postpartum IV bag, I was saline locked and taken down to my postpartum room to recover. I didn’t receive any additional IV fluids after that. Having never been induced and never having had an epidural, I would consider my amount of IV fluids in my 3 labors very minimal compared to mothers who do have pitocin inductions and epidurals. I did not have any side effects of fluid overload, edema, or pathologic engorgement with any of my postpartum recoveries. For that, I am very grateful!”
“IV fluids were not necessary for me. I was able to eat and drink during my 6-hour labor to stay hydrated and give my body energy. I did have IV fluids for my two previous (hospital) births and did not notice any difference between those births and this one that would be related to IV fluids.”