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Down with the lithotomy position!!

IMHO, the lithotomy position is just about the worst position one can be in to deliver a baby . .. you are pushing uphill. Now really, pushing is such ridiculously hard work as it is, why make it harder by working AGAINST the forces of nature? I’m pretty sure the lithotomy position (as opposed to squatting, kneeling, semi recumbant, etc.) was invented by doctors, because quite frankly, it’s much easier for them to deliver when mom is in this positon, no funny contortions here!

You are probably wondering what brought on this diatribe . . .. . I saw the spine doc again yesterday and got the results of my MRI. As it turns out, I have an L4/5 herniated disc and an L5/S1 bulging disc. The doctor I saw is amazing!! So very nice, takes his time with his patients, and gives you lots of useful information. He looked at the MRI films with me, pointing out where the problems were. Then he gave a pretty detailed explanation of how the disc becomes herniated, citing some study done by a Norwegian (I think). Being the wanna-be nurse that I am, I was quite interested. He did say that the study discovered that it didn’t have to be one traumatic event that caused the herniation, as would be the case with an abdominal herniation. You could be doing simple movements that were placing shear-type force on the disc, which would then cause small fissures, which would eventually lead to a bulge and a subsequent herniation.

So what does this have to do with the lithotomy position? For some reason (I think I was too wiped out to object), I ended up delivering NOR flat on my back, not the way I envisioned it. I pushed for probably an hour and a half, and towards the end I remember telling the midwife “my back is KILLING me!” After relating this story to the spine specialist, we both agreed that that delivery was most likely the cause of the herniation. Pushing in the lithotomy position puts an HUGE amount of stress on the discs, and being there for 1.5 hours didn’t help. Down with the lithotomy position, I say, down!!!

*sigh* Now I’m going to need to have physical therapy twice a week for a month, and then once a week for some time after that. It is possible for the herniations to retract, hence, the physical therapy. I’m looking forward to it because I’m REALLY tired of not being able to sleep on my back. I think I’ve been sleeping on my side for a year now, and I’m really not a side sleeper. There is one drawback to the PT . . . . Rick is going to have to use up LOTS of sick days or work from home alot. Not sure his co-workers will like that, but I say, why have sick days as an option if they can’t be used, right? I’m hopeful that by my follow up visit at the end of August, things will have improved.


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