Use of soft restraints during delivery

I heard recently that in the past, women were typically restrained during and immediately after delivery. Checked with Mom and, sure enough, she was put into soft restraints (wrists, anyway…feet were in stirrups) while having me (1975) and my brother (1964). She said they wouldn’t even let you hold the baby right after birth. WTF? Was this typical or typical for certain pregnancies or what? Am I way off-base in thinking it’s completely barbaric?

Yes, it was done in the past in most if not all hospital deliveries. The explanation given was that otherwise the mother might fall off the narrow delivery table while thrashing about in agony. :rolleyes: Of course, if you go back even farther, it was also at one time routine to use general anaesthesia for everyone. You had no choice in the matter. Obviously if you’re unconscious, you don’t care if you’re strapped down or not.

And just for comparisons sake, when my wife gave birth they handed her the baby and had her breastfeeding within 5 minutes of delivery.

Weren’t women also required to get their pubic area shaved prior to delivery? What was that all about?

I have given birth four times. Three deliveries took place in birthing rooms, which are basically a regular exam type room with pretty wall paper, muted light, in my experience with an adjoining bathroom with shower. They are, again, in my experience, located on the same floor as the delivery room/s, just in case something goes awry. Although I was attached to an I.V. I was allowed, in fact encouraged to get up and walk, shower, whatever helped me along with the labor. A pleasant place.

With daughter #2 she was overdue (as were all of my children, I baked them well!) and I was being induced with a pitocin drip. I wasn’t given the option of the birthing room, as the doctor had checked me and the ultrasound and was concerned that he would possibly have to help me get her out. I had to lie on my back while my legs were lifted up and out, and strapped into these, well, all I can think of to call them is leg trays. They were the approximate length of my legs from the knees down, cupped to cradle my legs, which were strapped down. Between the inability to sit up or otherwise move my lower body, the back labor (she presented posterior), and the incredibly intense labor the pit drip causes, it was easily the most unpleasant delivery of them all. My wrists were free, but I could not move the lower half of my body to try and ease the pain. Daughter #2 weighed 9 1/2 lbs and was 21 inches long, with a 14 inch head, a nicely full term-plus baby!

It used to be they shaved everything down there in the name of hygiene. It also used to be a given that one would have an enema prior to delivery. Women have come a long way in making doctors aware that our bodies will, in most cases, do the work it is supposed to without all the medical hoo-rah. Episiotomies used to be routine as well, but IME a small tear repairs more quickly and with fewer problems than a scalpel slice.

No doubt!! The body-cast-like thing sounds particularly painful.

Thanks for the responses.

It sounds no more barbaric then a painful medical procedure someone undertakes while awake and w/o (many) pain killers. Restraining them just stops them from getting in the way of the dr’s. Knocking the person out is just another way to restrain them.

Now as to why the baby wasn’t handed to the mother right away, I don’t know, but some assumptions is that they want to check out the baby to confirm it’s OK, and check you out to also make sure.