October 31, 2011,
L.L. asks from Saint Joseph, MI on November 21, 2007
Looking for tips and encouragement for a natural birth experiance with my second child. I had an epidural with my 1st which went fine but I am really interested in natural birth for the next one. I have not taken any medication while pregnant and want to keep it that way throughout labor, thinking this is beneficial for my baby. I also want to see what my body is capable of and heard there is a better recovery time for natural births. Anyone had any experiance with water births or other natural births stories of encouragement? What method did you use to deal with pain or what book did you find had helpful advice? I am interested in any thoughst on the subject.
So What Happened?™
Everyone on here is wonderful. I appreciate your support. I am looking forward to laboring my baby naturally God willing.
L.N. answers from Benton Harbor on November 23, 2007
Im sure you'll get lots of great advice on here, these moms always come thru! I have had 3 babies 3 different ways and I just have to add my two cents. It's not about the trip, it's about the destination. The prize is the same at the end and no matter what your birth experience turns out to be, you'll still get to go home with a precious new baby! I would never try to discourage natural childbirth, I just hate to see some moms get way too hard on themselves if it is just too much and they end up with medication. Trust your body...if you can do it, great! But you are no less a good mommy if you choose pain relief!
Good luck to you!
1 mom found this helpful
A.A. answers from Kalamazoo on November 21, 2007
Yeah for you!!! I've had two natural births, the last being at home even. I used the Bradley Method and took classes both times. They were wonderful classes. They really help you to understand your body and how it can take care of this process naturally. Our bodies really do know what to do! You practice lots of relaxation techniques. And you get lots of moral support! I felt very informed when I was done with the class!
I hope that your husband supports this 100% because my husband was the best coach possible!! I couldn't have made it without him! Throughout the Bradley classes he learned the best methods to relax me, how to read my body, how to really be in tune with me in order to know what I liked and wanted. He was support, encouragement, massage, and a hand to squeeze. If you have the baby in the hospital, I imagine he has to be the one to be firm about doing thing naturally because I've heard many nurses/doc's aren't into that and sometime get pushy. You'll be in pain so unless there is an emergency, he must be the firm one and keep you committed.
Bradley classes will give you so many exercises and methods for relaxation and pain management (for birth preparation too)! For me, the bathtub was wonderful! I didn't have a waterbirth, but being in the warm water helped immensely! Moving around sure didn't feel good while in labor, but they say it helps. :) Back massage helped also. A friend of mine said that sitting on a birthing ball helped her. Oh, I also liked leaning over with arms on a table letting my belly hang. And this may sound funny but groaning during contractions helped deal with the pain; did that both times.
My first baby was born at a free standing birth center (not connected to a hospital) so it was much like a home birth. I went home 6 hours after the baby was born. Neither birth did I have stitches. I can't compare it to anything, but recovery was very easy.
I guess I've gone on enough...I love talking with people who are into natural births! Feel free to write me if you have any other questions or just need to hear someone say, "YOU CAN DO IT!!"
1 mom found this helpful
J.J. answers from Des Moines on November 26, 2007
I am glad to hear you are going to try a natural birth. I had an epidural with my first and with my second I did natural birth and what a difference!!! I used a lot of mind stimulation. I used music and tried putting my mind in another place staying very relaxed. My husband helped a lot as well with massage and soothing techniques. Best of Luck to you!!
R.G. answers from Boise on November 22, 2007
Congrats on your upcoming baby! I had my daughter without drugs, even though she was a week late and it was a 33 hours of hard labor. It was awesome! Giving birth was so empowering and I loved it! Two things helped me get through this with a smile on my face. The first is that I had a doula. I'm not sure if you are familiar with Doula's but they are labor assistants. My doula was also a certified message therapist so she messaged my back during my contractions, which really releived the pain. I read the book The Doula Advantage by Rachel Gurevich. I really think that my doula was the key to my positive birth experience. She kept me positive and focused on my goal of a natual childbirth. The second thing that my husband and I did is Hypnobirthing. Check out http://www.hypnobirthing.com. This method basically gives you ways to relax and refocus during contractions. So, good luck on your upcoming baby. I hope that this helped.
K.B. answers from Kalamazoo on November 23, 2007
Hi, L.. I love to hear that women are looking into more natural ways of birthing their babies! I birthed my daughter in a MA hospital with a midwife, and although they gave me pitocin, I birthed her naturally without any meds. I birthed my son here at home, and although I had wanted to birth him in water, or at least labor in water, his birth was so quick that the tub didn't fill fast enough. You're welcome to email me if you want to talk more about my experiences.
A great place to start is to check out if there are Bradley classes in your area. Go to www.bradleybirth.com and you can find out if there are some located near you. Some great books to check out are called "Birthing From Within" and "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Birth". You can read more about them both at Amazon's website.
Best wishes for a strong and beautiful birth!
S.O. answers from Lincoln on October 03, 2008
Read Bradley Method books and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth book.
A.F. answers from Salt Lake City on November 23, 2007
L., I too had an epidural with my first child but then went completely (or almost) natural with my second. I hated my epidural so it was out of the question for me. I was induced because my baby was so big, which is where the almost from above comes in. My labor was much faster and much better. I had prepared myself from the moment I was pregnant to go natural. I didn't take any child birth classes, it was all a mental game with myself. During labor I couldn't walk around, I was tethered to the monitors, but when I had a contraction I would breathe through it and know that it would soon be over. I moved from my bed to a rockingchair. My boyfriend was there to massage my shoulders and my back. Having him there was extremelly helpful to my emotional state! When the contractions got worse I would concentrate on my breathing and ignore everything else. The labor didn't get bad until my son was ready to come. At that time I was ready for something but could not express it through the pain. My son was born half an hour, or at least thats what I remember it being, after the labor became bad. I had the urge to push and my doctor told me to go ahead and push. It was so great! I would do it again in a heartbeat! I loved being in control of my body and knowing what I needed to do and when he was ready. A half hour after I had him I was up and using the bathroom, I was then able to be in the nursery when he had his first bath! When I had my first I never wanted to leave my room, and only got up to walk when they forced me to. I highly recommend going the natural route! Talk to your doctor about some pain medication when the labor gets bad, because they have narcotic pain reliever they can give you but when it gets bad you might not be able to ask for it.
J.O. answers from Boise on November 22, 2007
I've done it both ways, and have VERY fast births, which is why I have done it both ways, didn't make it to the hospital, and I can honestly say thier is no way I would choose "natural" when given the choice between pain meds or not, all births are natural regardless of pain meds, and all of my children are perfectly normal and bright! If your doing it to see how long you can handle it then don't, the recovery was the same with all of my children.
H. answers from Provo on November 21, 2007
Things about going natural that I loved- I felt like I really knew what was going on with my body. I was proud that I could do it. My recovery and my daughters were really positive.
I used the Bradley method with my first, its a natural method that uses the husband to help you focus outside the pain. There isn't any strange breathing but you want to get a book so you can work on some of the stretches and getting used to relaxing. I actually need to get a couple books as my second is due this Feb and I need a review :)
Last time I read through Husband-Coached Childbirth : The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley and Ashley Montagu
Its a good book... you husband needs to be on board because you depend on him through out the birth. If you want to talk more about this let me know, I would be happy to share my experience.
T.N. answers from Saginaw on November 23, 2007
I wouldn't trade natural for anything. My first one i was 19 years old. Me and my ex went through the whole birthing class and watched videos and to tell u what I hardly used any of it. I thought they were crazy. All 3 of my kids were natural births and i leave it toooo what i did before hand. I walked and exercised. Infact i did it right up until the day i had my kids. I wasn't worried about gaining all the weight i was just a very active person. With my first one since she was born in november i walked all over my fathers deer hunting property with him while he got ready for deer season. Up and down hills and all over the place. My parents even walked in the evening time up the road a couple of times so i walked with them. I was in labor and didn't even know it. I was up one morning at 430am thinking i was in labor and sure enough when i went to my midwife at 10am i was to 7 cm. I was like OH GOD no drugs lol Anyways my second was just the same and the 2 were 16 months apart. My third who is 17 months old he was the same. Although i was uncomfortable with him from memorial day early morning until 230pm the next day. I still really didn't feel no pain and got to stay home until i was completely ready. I mean completely ready lol I made it to the hospital just in time for him and had to wait for the doctor. My point being is i believe it was all activities that i was doing. Like the walking and keeping active. The reason why i tried it was my mother did it with me and had the same reaction. Fast no pain drug free natural child birth. The only thing i had a problem with was the whole getting sick during birth......... ewwwwww now if anyone has a suggestion for that lol My other thing was Focus on something really good during labor. Like the one suggestion said focus on something. That person did the clock. The first time i did the little spot on my mother jeans lol don't ask. Alot of people take things with them but i suggest find something in the room that u can focus on. It helped me alot. I also like the suggestion find a doctor that feels the same way u do. My first two i chose a midwife. she was wonderful i mean wonderful. My third i had no choice but to go with a doctor. UGGG lol Really in the end its the reward that u should be proud of no matter what happens. Natural or not, unconditional love from the little one is the best. Good luck !!
A.B. answers from Fargo on November 26, 2007
Honestly, what worked for me was sitting on the toilet. Whenever I'd try to sit on the bed or anywhere else, it was so uncomfortable. I was able to just focus and get thru the contractions. It worked so well for me that I was wanting to push while we were still at home! :) You can totally do a natural birth and it's not as painful as the world tries to make it seem. A book I read with my 1st was called "Supernatural Childbirth" and that's definitely what my childbirth was like. Congrats on #2!
J.S. answers from Kalamazoo on November 21, 2007
Here are some videos i found on natural birth there are ones that show you relaxing positions, easing labor pain, stuff like that hope it helps a little atleast i didnt get to watch them all so not sure what exactly they include. but good luck and hope everything goes well.
K.H. answers from Philadelphia on October 31, 2011
Read Natural Hospital Birth! It helped me a lot!
J. answers from Boise on November 23, 2007
HI L.! Fantastic! I would highly recommend Kyndal May from Birth and Bodyworks ###-###-####)for preparation for a natural birth. She is an experienced doula and massage therapist who has come up with a unique, very realistic and very helpful means of preparing couples for natural birth. She has a long class that lasts several weeks and a quick one day overview for parents who have been through birth before. My husband and I did the one day (eventhough I ended up with a csection for our first) which was one piece of our success in natural. The second piece was having a highly effective doula at the birth. If you are not familiar with a doula, she is a person who is skilled in massage and many other tricks for relieving pain and helping you work through the pain of birth drug free. The third key was removing ourselves from the hospital setting and employing midwives. We went to Treasure Valley Midwives. They were wonderful. There are two other birth center options that I know of, possibly more. One is the Baby Place in Meridian and the other is a branch of Mercy Medical center in Nampa.
Best of luck! It is a very empowering, beautiful experience which I would absolutely do again.
C.S. answers from Milwaukee on November 22, 2007
Hi! I've had two natural births, and I wouldn't have it any other way. My first son was born at home with mid-wives attending. I wanted a water birth, and was in a tub for awhile, but I was too relaxed and not progressing enough, so I eventually gave birth on a futon. I was in labor for 17 hrs., and it WAS hard, but it certainly didn't discourage me from having a natural birth again 16 months later with my twins! I was in the hospital for that one, and had a VERY supportive doctor, Dr. Sheldon Wasserman. My first son was born naturally and quickly, within 4 hrs. of the onset of labor. My second son turned onto his back, and after three attempts at manual turning (this is gross, but the doctor reaches up inside the uterus to try and manually turn the baby, and it hurts WAY more than labor, and I did that drug free), I had a c-section. If I have another child, I will definitely do a V-BAC, all natural! It is an amazing, wonderful experience that will connect you to your baby, and give you the self-confidence to realize that you can do AnYTHING! I won't lie, and say it isn't painful, but I never asked for drugs, so that's something! I would definitely recommend #1 a doctor who is COMPLETELY supportive of natural childbirth and who won't try and pressure you otherwise #2 hiring a doula, for sure! I can give you names of people I adore if you are interested #3 writing a birth plan #4 a natural birth friendly hospital like Columbia St. Mary's or a home birth or a birthing center like Menomonee Falls Birthing Center #5 lavender oil, classical music, low lights were nice #6 taking a Bradley class with your partner or whoever is going to be your "coach" during labor. L., it is a beautiful, rewarding experience. I do not think you will regret going "all natural". think of all of the women who have done it over the centuries! but don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work out the way you planned. like my c-section, sometimes even the best laid plans need to be changed at the last minute! good luck, C.
L.S. answers from Omaha on November 21, 2007
My first child was delivered naturally with no pain meds. I must confess that having her without the epidural was NOT part of my birthing plan, however when I was given some meds after being induced (she was two weeks late), but body could not handle it and there were some problems, so I honestly cannot tell you what the doctor did, but it was something to counter-act the pain meds and for the next 12 hours I was not allowed any type of medication. So obviously I had no idea what I was in for. But I did it. And of course I can remember screaming, "just get her out!!!", but now looking back I don't remember the pain at all. And I know that all mothers say that to some extent, but with me it is totally true. Long story short, with my next child I planned a pain med free labor. Of course it didn't hurt that my labor time literally cut in half (and yes, I had to be induced for the second time - he didn't want to seem to come out into the world either). For me, and all women are different, it was all just a state of mind, and a level of determination. I told myself I could do it, and I did. And I'm glad I did!
Mom of 3
A.B. answers from Waterloo on November 22, 2007
I had a natural labor and the one piece of advice I have is get a "birthing" ball. Same thing as an excercise ball or yoga ball. You can get one at Target. This was a life saver during my labor. I sat on it almost the entire time I was in labor. I would also recommend a second support person other than your husband. My sister acted as my labor coach while my husband massaged my back and tried to keep me comfortable. A doula would be great for this. Mys sis just happened to be a natural at it! Hope you can decide this is what you want and stick to it.
M.B. answers from Boise on November 22, 2007
I had both of my daughters naturally, and has amazing births with both of them. I am also a doula and childbirth educator specialized in music therapy assisted childbirth. I combine traditional birth methods like relaxation, breathing, and movement with music and music therapy. You can use my methods during any kind of birth you choose (water birth, squatting, etc.) I offer discounts to mamasource members as well. You can find me under member perks, or go directly to my website at http://musicbirth.googlepages.com My method also uniquely prepares couples emotionally for the birth of their child, and view pregnancy and childbirth as more than just a physical occurance. I would love to help you!
M. Bigelow, MT-BC, CD(DONA), CBE
S.K. answers from Milwaukee on November 22, 2007
I have 2 children. The first I had 7 years ago when I was 19. I wanted to go natural and almost did until the 3rd day of labor when my doctor said epidural or c-section ( I had stressed my body out so bad they insisted that I would never be able to follow through with labor without help..)
My second child I stated from the very start that I was not going to have anything. I had an OBGYN and a Midwife. I talked this over with my midwife who fully supported my choice. I had only a local while in full labor because I had broken my tailbone a few weeks before...and my baby was pushing directly on it....I had a wonderful midwife who coached and comforted me...My baby's father was also very comforting....It can be a very painful experience however, if you stay calm and focused and know going in its ok to yell a little bit and while in labor if there is no danger to the baby you can be in whatever position you feel is most comfortable...(and use that to your advantage) you will do just fine....I wanted to go natural because I felt it was better for my child in the end and I wanted to experience every part of the birth. I am glad I did! I was alert and with it for all of the second birth and I wouldnt go back and change it for the world!! Good luck!! ....
Also what I forgot to mention is I was so upset after my first having used an epidural....however, I have an extremely intellegent and wonderful son who obviously was never effected by it....I think I pushed harder with my second to have no help simply because its my last and I wanted to "be there" for it all.....And my Midwife gave me the best advice...the only person to know you is you....so, if you get to the point that you are stressed out and in so much pain that it is consuming you....then by all means get a little help...there is no reason to make yourself miserable....and it doesnt mean you are any less of a person......(being a mom and going through labor however it may be makes you a wonderwoman all by itself!!)
good luck...and love yourself no matter what choice you make!!
D.C. answers from Iowa City on November 27, 2007
HOw long was your labor with #1? The second is usually much quicker. My second, I was only in labor for two hours; I had no time for pain medication!!!
I found it very beneficial for my husband to squeeze my hand during each contraction. It was just enough to shift my brain from complete focus on the pain of the contraction. Stay in tune with your body and breathe!
V.S. answers from Salt Lake City on November 22, 2007
I have three children, each born with no pain meds. I did Lamaze with the first, and was not too impressed with it. Then for my second child, my sister-in-law introduced me to hypnobirthing. It made a huge difference. I was at an 8 and just breathing through the contractions. There is no actual hypnosis, they teach you how to completely focus and relax, and how to breathe through the contractions. Classes are taught at St. Marks Hospital. I love it. And yes, you recover very quickly. You are able to get up, walk around, shower, etc. right away. My sister-in-law also has three children, all with hypnobirthing, and the last was a water birth. She loves it. A very important thing about hypnobirthing is that they do not talk about contractions or pain. They call contractions surges, and refer to pressure, not pain. As long as you are relaxed, pain does not register. It really is amazing. I did feel pain at the very end, on the last few huge surges, but then you are ready to push. I highly recommend it. Another thing that helps physically is to supplement with cod liver oil or blends of plant oils like borage and flax. It helps you to stretch more easily, and not tear.
S.F. answers from Lansing on January 21, 2008
I recommend reading Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Childbirth-Bradley-Way-Revi...
It explains what your body is doing throughout the labor & birth process. I had a negative first experience with being induced, then going back 2 days later and giving birth the next day with an epidural. I went on to have two positive natural childbirths. It can be done. The biggest thing for me was staying home as long as possible to avoid interventions. And having a great birth plan and an agreeable doctor/midwife.
Good luck and I know you can do anything you put your mind to.
M.M. answers from Lansing on November 24, 2007
I have two sons and both births were vaginal and the first was induced with pitocin and the second was with out. I tell you that pitocin makes the contractions stronger and more frequent. I took the birthing classes offered by the hospital and found them very helpful because you learn different positions and breathing techniques. The key to any labor I think is making sure that you are completely comfortable. Try to have some sort of plan or idea of what you would like to happen. For example I decided up front who I wanted in the room with me. Who/what was going to be my focus point. My husband was absolutely wonderful during both labors I was actually pretty surprised. I put the head of the bed all the way up got on my knees facing the bed and hung myself over the back of it and swayed back and forth to help baby move down and had someone rub my back during contractions. I got hot during both labors so I was pretty much naked but they also kept getting wet clothes and putting them on my neck and forehead where ever I needed it at the moment. Breathing helped as well and it also helped knowing my contraction pattern because I knew I had 2 min. breaks between each one and that gave me something to look forward to. I did have them break my water with the second one because it speeds up the labor and I figure the quicker we get it over with the better but I will tell you that once the water is broke the contractions are stronger and more painful but it does speed up the process. The one thing that helped me through both of the deliveries was these key words "ONCE THE BABY IS OUT THE PAIN IS GONE" so during labor try to stand and sway or use a ball to sit on or rest on your knees in the bed because that helps baby come down. I didn't do that with the first one and I had to push a few times. I did it with my second one and I swear to you the nurse told me not to tell any of the other woman that I didn't even push. My son was practically delivered on the table. And honestly the delivery of my placenta took longer and was more painful then the delivery of my son...Another key thing is listen to your doctor when they say push or not to push because that is helpful when you don't want to tear down there. I of course was a little sore down there for a short period but honestly I was up walking around and feeling pretty good shortly after. Just remember to have a plan like who will be in the room who will rub your back and get you wet wash clothes and the pain will disappear when baby is out so give good pushes (as much as you dont want to). Congratulations hope I was helpful and good luck....:)
L.H. answers from Des Moines on November 21, 2007
I had a natural birth and I thought it was a great experience. I read an old book on the Lamaze method. I will confess I never made it through the whole book. But what I found most interesting about it was the history of childbirth and the concept of pain. Reading that really helped me redefine what pain was; it helped me understand what my body was going through instead of just calling it pain. My experience was quite positive. And my perception of what I went through, wasn't really painful. I was by no mean comfortable, but it wasn't what I consider pain. I never had a contraction but at my Dr. appointment 5 days prior to giving birth, I was 90% effaced and 4 cm dialated. My water broke at 2am which woke me up. Still, I was not having contractions. I was at the hospital by 3 am and didn't start having contractions until 3:30 am. I had a wonderful nurse who gave me lots of ideas. I kept moving for as long as I could; rocking on the swiss ball, on all fours, hot shower, walking, etc. The whole time, I was uncomfortable- like really intense and long menstrual cramps. My nurse told me that the cramps would not get any more intense after getting to 6cm, just longer and closer together. I kept moving and breathing and at about 8cm is when I couldn't move anymore and just had to lie down and focus on breathing- still, uncomfortable but not painful. At 7am they told me I was fully dialated and ready to push. Once I hit that point, I wasn't even uncomfortable anymore and it felt so good to finally be allowed to push- it was a very satisfying feeling. However, I pushed for an hour and I just couldn't get him out. So, the doctor did an episiotomy- again, I really didn't feel that- I pushed again and still couldn't get him out. So, the doctor used forceps- that was the only thing that hurt- that was painful- and let me tell you, nothing motivates you to push a baby out like a pair of forceps! So one more push with the forceps and once I cleared the head and forceps- no more pain. The afterbirth and passing the placenta was more uncomfortable than I expected- but not really painful. I think what also helped me was knowing that the discomfort I was feeling was temporary and I knew what was happening; unlike when you have a backache or toothache and you don't know why or what is causing it or when it's going to stop. I plan to do a natural childbirth next time too (if I'm so lucky to have a next time). That's my experience and I hope that helps you. I say go for it- but always keep an open mind- you never know what is going to happen, everyone is different and every birth is different.
A.H. answers from Waterloo on November 22, 2007
Hi L.. I had a wonderful natural birth experience this past spring and am now studying to become a doula so I can help others achieve this as well. The things that I felt helped me most were being knowledgeable beforehand about what I wanted, what the hospital had to offer, and who was going to be an asset to me.
I found out about 'Hypnobirthing' while listening to the Pregtastic podcast and found it to be the best book I have ever read. I was able to have my labor partner help me along while reading passages (it's helpful if they read the book as well) and I used the cd during labor as well. If you have classes in your area I'm sure these would be an asset, but I did not have that available to me. I have heard that 'Ina May's Guide to Childbirth' is excellent as well. I have found that listening to podcasts helped me learn more as well and is an easy format. A few good ones from itunes are pregtastic, birthtalk, babies & moms: birth & beyond, & natural moms talk radio.
The only hospital I had access to (I live in a pretty small town) was very drug-friendly so I had to make my wishes known both to my doctor in a birth plan before I went into labor, but most importantly with the nurses as soon as you are admitted. Ask for one who is an advocate for natural birth and you will be home free. I was able to avoid being hooked up to a monitor constantly or have an iv in my hand so I could walk the halls, be on the birthing ball, take multiple showers and eat whatever I wanted :-). The only person who wasn't fully aware of my wishes was a resident doctor who ended up joining my doctor about 1/2 way though and she was in my room multiple times during the active stages asking me if I "wanted anything for the pain". It was very empowering to be able to say no each time.
Finally, I would not have been able to get through it all without my doula. I was very lucky to find someone who was working on getting certified so they have to attend so many births free of charge, but I would gladly pay to have one again. She kept me strong, focused, gave me massages and support when I needed it most.
I found that even with a 24 hour labor and 8lb 5oz baby that labor was intense but not what I would describe as painful. I hope this helps and that you have the birth experience you desire. Your baby is very lucky to have to as a mommy :-).
R.W. answers from St. Cloud on November 23, 2007
My best friend had a home birth in water, and my chiropractor's wife, Jenny, is studying to be a midwife and had her kids naturally in water. She also teaches Bradley. If you are interested in talking to someone, she would love to talk with you. Her husband is Jon Davis at Family First Chiropractic. The receptionist there is R..
P.H. answers from St. Cloud on November 22, 2007
Yoga. I had my 3 boys with epidurals partial working. I went to Yoga when I was preg with my twins with no problem. It works!!!! good luck P.
A.M. answers from La Crosse on November 22, 2007
L. -- I had an all natural birth just over a year ago. It was amazing. I am SO glad I choose to give birth this way. I honestly believe that WANTING a natural birth is half the battle, and since you've been there before and know some of what to expect, I think you will be great.
Here are just a couple suggestions I have for you:
Find a doctor who feels the same way you do. Or a midwife. Whoever it is, they should fully support your desire to have a medication-free birth.
Ask the doctor/nurses to refrain from offering you pain medication. Someone suggested this to me, and I think it helped me get through the birth. I knew I could ask if I thought I needed it, and I'm certain if things had gotten "bad" they would have offered it to me. But the nurses all knew I wanted to give birth with no pain meds.
Get a doula. Or a friend, sister, mom, someone besides your husband to be there. My husband was there, and he was fantastic, but it was such a relief for both of us that my mom was there too. She had two very easy, very quick (I didn't get that lucky, lol), all natural births. So she knew what to expect, and she held my hand when I needed it. It also allowed my husband to take a break, get some food, things like that.
Read some books and learn some different options about natural childbirth. I have heard great things about waterbirths (I didn't get to do one because I was GBS+ and our hospital didn't allow it, for whatever reason) and I'm pretty fascinated with hypnobirthing. See what's out there. Take a class. Learn. Then, when you're actually IN labor, you'll have different options of what might work.
Relax, and remember that many women have done this before you, and many will do it after. I truly believe that (for MOST of us) we are made to do this, and if we want to we surely CAN give birth without medication.
Please email me if you have any other questions or if you want to chat more about this. I'm studying to be a doula and I'm very interested in helping women have the birthing experience that they desire.
K.D. answers from Salt Lake City on November 21, 2007
My husband's suggestion was, "Wait until the last minute to go to the hospital!" which is what I did and I had no time for an epidural (although it was what I really wanted).
I had an epidural with my first which was a lot of back labor and I loved the epidural (and it was over 15 hrs and a very long recovery). However, with my second the labor was all in front and I was able to tolerate it, to my suprise, with a lot of breathing. I'd liken it close to Lamaze techniques, but really, it was just what I did naturally to deal with the pain (I never took a class or read any books on pain-med-free birth). By the time we got to the hospital 3 hrs after labor started, I was already dilated 8 cm and going quick. Within 20 minutes, I was ready to push and 5 pushes later, our daughter was born.
By far the most painful part was the last hour or so and, especially the last 5 minutes. I can only liken it to feeling like I was being ripped in half and there was screaming. :-) However, my recovery was extremely quick and pain-free. I think I took maybe one ibuprophen pill the entire hospital stay.
Would I do it again without drugs? Not if I could help it, but I was proud of what my body could do, how I somehow managed the pain and that there was virtually no recovery. So if you want to do it without pain meds, then go for it. I really found that focusing on the breathing helped me manage the pain. Good luck!
B.C. answers from Appleton on November 27, 2007
I had a completely natural birth at a birthing center. It was absolutley wonderful, my midwife and nurses were great, as was my husband.
I think that having a birth plan that you pass out at the hospital is key. You need to be sure all the nurses and your midwife (or dr.) know exactly what you want. That way you won't have them offering drugs because they know not to. Also mediate daily on your natural birth, you need to assure yourself daily that your body can handle birth naturally and that you are a strong women. Its also good to practice mediation to keep yourself in a calm state of mind for the birth.
It is so amazing to know you can give birth naturally-you feel so confident after and being able to feel everything make you more in-tune with your body.
H.B. answers from Salt Lake City on November 23, 2007
You need to have a Hypnobirth! I was in the same boat when I was pregnant with my second child. I took a hypnobirthing class and it was absolutely wonderful. I am convinced, that if you want to have a natural childbirth, that this is the way to do it. They believe that fear causes tension and tension causes pain, so if you take away the fear and tension, then you can deliver your baby without any pain! It really sounds too good to be true I know, but I did it myself and it totally works! I plan on doing it when I have more children for sure! if you want more information, go to www.hypnobirthing.com for more information. (everyone thought I was crazy until I actually gave birth naturally, but it was totally worth the time and effort.)
K.W. answers from Sheboygan on November 22, 2007
HypnoBirthing is a wonderful technique for a natural birth! About 30% of women actually have painless births (not sensation-less, but not painful) without drugs. There are testimonials at www.hypnobirthing.com, as well as the syllabus. If you are near Fond du Lac, WI, I teach here. You can find more information about my classes at www.kimwildner.com. If you have any questions at all about it, please feel free to email me at ____@____.com's my favorite thing to talk about :-) but I don't know what you might want to know.
Certified HypnoBirthing Educator
C.G. answers from Detroit on October 26, 2011
"Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds" is all about this! Giving birth is an amazing way to see what we are capable of and the recovery time is WAY better! No drugs in your system, no bloating from IVs, etc.
M.T. answers from Eau Claire on November 21, 2007
I had a all natural child birth with my 2 child and I felt great after it. The pain method I had with him was none at all only because he came to fast for any thing and my thing that I focus on was the clock in the L/D room but not much of any thing went on in the room. But good luck and congrats with having your 2 baby and I hope every thing works out for you.
L.F. answers from Casper on November 23, 2007
I had a natural birth with my second and it was surprisingly not that bad. I think that I lived through it because the contractions built up and I was able to prepare for the next round. (I also almost didn't make it to the hospital in time because I thought my contractions were not to bad.) Just thought that might encourage you. (I also had an epidural with my first)
J.E. answers from Madison on November 23, 2007
Have you checked into the Bradley Method? It is everything that you are talking about. I am sure there is an instructor near you. You can take the classes or call up the instructor for possible one time session just getting it in a nutshell version with questions and concerns.
My first was a 10 hour labor, no medicine and 40 minutes of pushing, only 4 stitches needed. I was so focused on seeing my first born that I didn't notice too much pain. My second was a scheduled c-section, I had twins with placenta previa complete. I would much rather go natural birth any day. Good luck and stay focused and positive.