Natural Childbirth

Updated on March 15, 2008
S.G. asks from Pico Rivera, CA
23 answers

So we are finally trying to get pregnant again after 13 years. Whew! I am very interested in approaching our next child birth in the most natural way possible. Has anyone here had a natural child birth? Has anyone tried having their baby in the tub? What have your experiences been? I have been reading a lot about vaccinations and such. I plan on following a modified vaccination schedule for our future baby. I just started researching so I'm not sure what other vitamins or vaccinations are given to babies at birth. But I plan to find out and be very involved in what goes into my baby's body after he/she is born.

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So What Happened?

You ladies are awesome. That's why I LOVE this website. I am so happy to get all this wonderful feedback. I was so discouraged about natural childbirth bec. some of my in-laws were giving me so much grief about it. But I just have a gut feeling that this is the right choice. I will definitely be contacting some of you in regards to methods and advice. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

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L.V.

answers from Sacramento on

I have had 2 natural births. One in a pool at home in my bedroom (40 hr labor total, 6 hrs from water break to baby out), the other in the car on the way to the birth center (2 hrs total, less than an hour from water break to baby out). They are both long stories but both children are fine. With the first we had complications and yet I still wanted a home birth for the second but couldn't find a midwife willing to come to us (we live quite a ways into the Sierra Mts.) I highly recommend it if it's right for you. It is my belief that mom knows best and mom should give birth wherever she feels most comfortable for the least stress.

I had family who disagreed too (especially with the first) but when they realized I was dead set on it, they shut their mouths and grinned and beared it. There are risks to every pregnancy so just be informed and aware and then go with your heart knowing it will guide you and if you go with your heart, be ok with whatever the outcome. One way to dismiss non-supportive relatives is to cut them off before telling you their horror stories and say, "Thank you. I'm concentrating on positive birth stories at the moment. Do you know any positive home birth stories? Here's a book with lots of them in it." or just interrupt them mid-sentence to say, "Thank you for your concern. You obviously care a lot. You gotta try this salad over here." And change the subject and keep deflecting. You don't need to argue or prove anything to them. It's what your gut says and that's all you need to know. You don't need to research even. Some do but I am a research fanatic usually and I just stopped during pregnancy because my heart kept telling me the same thing and I was getting exhausted trying to prove something that must rely on faith. It's like trying to prove God exists to an athiest. It's funny, those against home birth the most act like they have the strongest belief in God and yet they wouldn't hear my arguement that we must sometimes have faith in God and for me, this is one of those times. Take every precaution and then let it happen... hoping for the best. We are not in control. The Doctors are not in control ... though they like to pretend they are. And I'm not even a very religious person. Although misguided, they probably just want to feel important to you and want to feel protective of you so talk it up like they are and cut their words off before they go into being negative and overbearing. You can always ALWAYS hang up or walk away ...with a smile and a "thank you" so they think alls good. I don't really care if they're all good but it makes it easier on you ... if they feel attacked or defied, they'll keep trying to win you over to their side so it's pointless. Then go vent to someone more supportive.

Except for vit K and stuff the hospital administered without consent when we had to take the first baby in (she had a lung infection at birth so the midwife took her in and I followed after my tears were sutured), I chose not to vaccinate for fear of causing autism ... I know the jury is still out on it and I'm aware of the risks. I believe in what I've chosen. I've just talked to too many moms with autistic children who believe the vaccinations had something to do with triggering it in their children. There is a book I've been looking for myself that comes highly recommended called: A Thoughtful Parents Guide to Vaccinations by Aviva Jill Romm. Good luck.

A note about Kaiser ... it depends on which Kaiser you are attending. Not all are pro-natural and I've seen one Kaiser in action not natural at all. That hospital scares me.

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A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm glad you are doing all your research before geting pregnant. I had planned a homebirth for both of my kids. My first had to be delivered in a hospital because I went into labor at 36wks. Even though I was in a hospital I had a natural birth with my midwife and husband's help. I also declined the vitamin K shot and the eye ointment.

I had a successful homebirth with my last baby. I had the same wonderful midwife as my first. Again, we declined the vitamin K and eye ointment. Pain is really mind over matter. As long as you stay focused and in control you can have a successful natural birth.

I've heard of other women using Hypnobirthing. We used the Bradley Method which worked great because it gets the partner involved.

I would recommend www.drfeder.com for more info. I highly recommend purchasing her book because it has great info from pregnancy through the early years. I wish I had known about this book with my first pregnancy.

Also, if you have difficulty getting pregnant I would recomend seeing a homeopath before using drugs. My friend tried for 5 years to get pregnant. She endured one heartbreaking miscarriage before having a successful pregnancy. This was all accomplished with artifical means. She didn't want to go the same rout the second time around. She saw my midwife who is also a certified homeopath. Six months later she is pregnant the old fashioned way!

Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! I had a natural childbirth and was very prepared for it. My husband and I took the Bradley Method classes and worked with a doula. I HIGHLY reccommend doing that.

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S.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi S.,
How exciting to be interested in having another child and doing it as naturally as possible. I had 3 natural births and found it challenging but not impossible. I have been teaching Lamaze classes for decades and love to help women have the normal birth they want. One of the main things I help women learn about is optimal fetal positioning. If baby is in a good position, pregnancy, labor and birth are more easily done with less pain. Look at my web site for more information www.mybreastfeeding.com Love to hear more from you. S., PT and Lamaze instructor

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J.W.

answers from Salinas on

Hi S., My name is J. and I had a wonderful home birth 17 mos ago. I intended to have a water birth but everytime I got in the water I got too relaxed and my contractions stopped. Alas, no water but it was great for early labor. I used Leslie Drew as my midwife. She is great and I will use her again. Try out the moms program at MIT(massage institute) you get good info on alot of subjects incuding midwives- weekly you have a 2 hr guest speaker, prenatal yoga an hour and then a prenatal massage by students for I think 160. total for 8 wks I think. SUPER great. Also, the book Natural Family Living is awesome- great info. and the vaccination book I liked was 'Vaccinations- A thoughtful Parents Guide' By Romm- gives both sides of the coin. I chose to do no vaccinations but felt informed to make that choice. Good luck and if have any questions feel free to email!! J. W.

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G.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I had a wonderful birth without drugs, at home and in a birth tub. I totally recommend to have a water homberith. In the bay area try to talk with one of the midwives from the bay area homebirth collective.

g

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J.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know this is a very old post but I can't help responding to it! I have 3 kids, two are my teenage (step) kids and one I gave birth to. I was a little bit older when I had her - 29, and I very much wanted a natural childbirth. I read and researched a LOT while I was pregnant, saw midwives for my prenatal care, and wrote a birth plan. Many people called me 'brave' for deciding to have a natural childbirth with my first baby, I don't consider it brave, it was just right for me.

My intentions were to enjoy my pregnancy and have very little intervention - if any - so that my daughter could have a nice calm smooth transition into life. I only had a couple ultrasounds and I declined other testing or internals. I tried to eat healthy and exercise to provide her the best beginning and make it easier for me to handle the pregnancy. I did consider using a tub during labor, but my labor progressed pretty fast, by the time I got to the hospital, I was at a 7. The only concern I had was that my husband (whom I had sent to work at 4 in the morning without concern that we'd have a baby that afternoon) wouldn't get there in time.

I didn't have an epidural or any drugs by choice, so my daughter did not get any meds in her system. I would do it again the exact same way, it was wonderful! She nursed right away, skin to skin and my husband got to cut the cord.

I believe they get a vitamin k shot (to ensure proper clotting) and something for their eyes, and I didn't mind that. I refused the hep vaccine because a newborn baby does not need that immediately.

Research whatever you can concerning immunizations, contrary to what some people will tell you, they are NOT mandatory, there are ways you can get out of doing them at all OR you can do a modified schedule where you wait until your baby is older and do only one at a time - to check for reactions or problems. It's a very personal choice for parents and should always be that way. Good luck!

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I agree that the key for any positive experience is to keep an open mind and be flexible. My first three were all natural births (8 lbs, 8lbs 12oz {and 23"}, 8lbs 13oz). My last one was a c-sect (5lbs 3oz, go figure). Only one was a "textbook" delivery (#3), I took all the Lamaze classes and thought I had it all figured out-except that when I actually got in the delivery room, I discovered when I'm in extreme pain, I can't stand any outside stimulation (I hated the shower, the music annoyed me, the massage my husband kept trying to give me just made me more irritable etc.). All I wanted to do was focus on my breatihing and getting through the next contraction.
I guess the bottom line is, don't expect it to go any certain way, the important thing is what you end up with- an amazing and beautiful baby!
I'm a big advocate of vaccinations, I've been hearing that Whooping Cough (Bordatella Pertussis) is making a comeback.
Information is key, don't do anything because someone tells you to, do it because you've researched it and you're making an informed decision! Good Luck.

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T.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Oh my Gosh I have got to stop reading this website!!! It's so hard to not WANT to respond to each one! But my desire for all you Moms is to have strong and healthy children!
I just responded in length to a Mom about the immunization process. I'll give you the short version. Check out in detail the website www.909shot.com. Also, find yourself a very experienced midwife. My second one had 40 yrs experience (delivered her own kids!), she had PHd's and untold acronyms behind her and beyond a wealth of information in comparison to our OB/GYN. I delivered BOTH of my kids vaginally. My son (who is 7) I attempted to do naturally but after 59 hrs of labor needed an epidural. My daughter I DID deliver ALL natural no drugs....she's now 16 months old. I'm 47. All things are possible!

Good luck and God bless!

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello. I had a natural child birth ~ But not by choice ;).I was told to wait untill I could not stand the pain anymore and by then it was too late. I am grateful that it happened this way because Cassie, my daughter, had jaundice and they say that this is made worse with the addition of drugs into her system. I remember that the last two hours were the worst and I just wanted her out! Cassie came sunny side up so I had a back delivery. I can tell you that after a few hours I honestly forgot how much pain was involved. Good luck to you and your family ~Angie

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J.M.

answers from Modesto on

HI S.! Congrats on ttc! Make sure you start prenatals and take good care of yourself (sorry, I'm such a Mom!)

I had 2 natural births and felt so lucky that my deliveries were so quick. The contractions were nothing for me, it was the delivery that HURT! OK, not to scare you but I almost 100% of the Moms I know wanted to go natural but couldn't even stand the contractions and had to get an epi. I am personally scared of them. I do not like invasive things and going in with my first I was determined to not have an epi, catheter, bed bound, etc. I wanted to be free and walk or move as I wanted. The hot shower was FAB! I didn't feel any contractions while I was in there and wanted to stay in there forever, but my nurse kicked me out because she afraid it was too hot and steamy ;)

OK, so I think you should be open minded about your labor. Since you have experience you should know how your body will react to the labor. I'm sure you can do it! I keep thinking, maybe with no. 3 I'll try an epi? Maybe not...

GOOD LUCK!

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H.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yeah, why not, go natural. Just realize that you're insane and enjoy it. I had two very different experiences.

Baby #1 - What I wanted: no meds, no episiotomy, no intervention unless absolutely neccesary, nursing for at least a year. What I got: 4 different meds, episiotomy, stuck in bed with monitor, I nursed for 4 days.

Baby #2 - What I wanted: Meds and lots of them, scheduled induction, IV, no nursing. What I got: no meds, no induction, no IV, and I nursed for 14 months.

Would I have an epidural again? No. It was awful. Would I go natural again? No. It was excruciating. But in the aftermath... baby number 1 I couldn't walk for 3 days and wouldn't carry the baby for a week... baby number 2 I walked 1/4 mile through the halls of the hospital 1/2 hour after delivery.

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M.W.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi S.. We had our last daughter at the birth Center. We were in the birth tub(which was great for the back labor)but due to some problems not progressing, had to get out. The midwife and staff there are wonderful, we are actually going there currently due to a surprise pregnancy. I will once again do the tub as it is better than the hospital IV drugs for the back pain(had with my first daughter). They will let you lead the birth plan, and accomodate very nicely I think. I had tested + for strept B last time and signed a waiver refusing antibiotics, as I thought any unnecassary antibiotics makes everyones fight worse. My daughter was fine, and everyone was happy. You also are released pretty quickly(3-4 hours), no three days in the hospital. ugh! Keep on your journey of research, and feel free to contact me or the birth center for more info. Good luck. [email protected]____.com
www.birthcenter4sacramento.org

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R.F.

answers from San Diego on

I had a natural childbith with two of my children. The first one I had at a birthing center and the second one at home. With my first I was really pumped up for giving birth in the tub. I labored for a couple of hours in the tub and progressed very quickly for a first time mom. In the end it was just too intense. I got out of the tub and laid on the bed which immediately slowed down my contractions and made it a little more manageable. Don't get me wrong, the tub is great... I don't know how long I would have labored if I were lying on a bed. But I had a whole fantasy of what the tub birth would be like for me and my husband. So my advice to you would be to just go with the flow and be open to following your instincts when you get into labor and not be disappointed if things don't go the way you originally planned.
good luck,
R.

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J.N.

answers from San Francisco on

I gave birth to my baby naturally at an alternative birth center in a hospital in Illinois. While pregnant my husband and I took a Bradley birth class which helped us a lot to prepare for the birth. I strongly believe that mental preparation is key to successful pain management. In that course you also learn what possible problems may arise and how to deal with them.
I had an intense and quick labour (7 hours) but the delivery took 3 hours, which I feel I wasn't prepared for. It's really hard work! I wanted to give birth in a tub, but ended up getting out because I was pushing for a long time and the water made me very drowsy. But I'm happy we had the tub, as it made my transition much easier.
I'm very happy I gave birth naturally and I'm definitely doing it again. Make sure that you are well prepared and supported and you will have a wonderful experience!

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E.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I had a home birth and took Bradley classes prior. If you need a CNM referral for the peninsula, let me know - we could not have been happier with ours!

I tried to use our tub but I also had precipitous labor. Being wet, half-naked and nothing stopped my doubling-up contractions... it just pretty much pissed me off and provided a wet slippery nighmare of profanity for my poor ex-husband and the L&D nurse in attendence ;-)

I really do think, though, that it would have been wonderful had my labor progressed a little more slowly...

Good luck to you! Having my daughter at home is the achievement of which I am most proud. I have such a deep appreciation for what I (and my body) am capable of and the wonder of nature.

Enjoy!

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L.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,

my name is L.,and I am mom to 2 boys. My first delivery was a long drawn out affair, with medication (which I had not wanted) in hospital. I wanted to do the second one differently. At the time w e lived in Illinois, and I found a great midwife who did home delivery. We rented a tub from "waterbirth international" (i think that was the name), and it was wonderful. I spent the most hectic bit of labout, transition, in the tub, and it was amazing. Being in the water, being supported by the water, gave me such freedom of movement, I felt I coudl really work with my contractions, and not fight them. After transition, your contractiopns really space out, to give you a chance to regroup, and get energy to push. I started almost falling asleep, so my midwife got me out of the tub, onto a mattress we had set up on the floor, and Adam was delivered after jsut 5 hours of labour. He was a big boy, too, weighing in at 9lb 10oz!! It was such a beautiful, calm, loving experience. I would highly recommend it.

Let me know if you need any more info...I would be glad to help.
Best of luck with it all!

L.

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N.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Congratulations on trying again to add to your family. I have a wonderful 2 year old daughter, Raven who I had naturally. I kind of went the "extreme" route for a first time mom. I hired a completely fantastic midwife (Beah Haber) out of Pleasanton and had a home birth. She does all your prenatal care too!!! I initially wanted a water birth, but during labor it slowed my contractions and progression so I had to get out of the water. I had no drugs at all except a touch of tylenol when the contractions first started. My total labor time was a very long 20 hours but it was worth it completely. I had a huge rush of adrenline after Raven was born, and I swear, there was absolutly no pain after she was here. I don't know if that was just my adrenline or who knows.....Next time I'm completly going to try to do the water again. I personally really found that the water eased and helped with the pain of labor and contractions.

again good luck and congrats !!!!

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M.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

With my 1st son, now 2, I desperately wanted a natural childbirth. I thought I was doing the right thing by taking the hospital "prepared" childbirth class focusing on Lamaze. All it really "prepared" me for was to follow hospital procedure like a good girl. My natural childbirth quickly turned into me being bullied into an induction for being 6 days "past due" (ridiculous), being told I had to have an enema (again, ridiculous!), being told I had to stay in bed, needing the epidural because of the unholy amount of pitocin they were pumping into me, being completely numb to the point that I had no urge to push, and then being told that it was "very dangerous" to push for longer than 2 hours and I needed a c/s right away... totally untrue unless there is a real indication that the baby isn't tolerating it. So I went from hoping for a beautiful, natural birth... to having every intervention in the book, including a c-section.

Fast forward to baby #2, now 9 months, and I was a woman on a mission to give birth to my baby without unnecessary interventions lousing up the beautiful natural process my body was designed for. I switched to Kaiser, which is much more natural-childbirth friendly than the other hospital which shall remain nameless. At Kaiser, VBAC is the norm unless there is a real reason not to. I hired a Doula when I was only 6 weeks pregnant. Hubby and I took Bradley classes, which I highly recommend. The reason I chose Bradley is because it focuses on a non-intervention approach as long as there is no true need for medical assistance, and I knew that unnecessary interventions were what led to my c-section with my 1st son.

So, at 10 days overdue with son #2, and still no signs of labor, I had a BPP, and the baby was looking perfect. My midwife said she could break my water to get things started, but I told her unless there was a problem I wasn't going to mess with nature. So I went home. Later that night, I thought I might be in labor. I wasn't sure, but there was a huge rainstorm that night, so I thought I had better head to the hospital just in case. The nurses told my Midwife that I would be going home because I was way too happy to be in labor. My Midwife checked me and I was already completely dilated... 10 cm!!! I didn't have the urge to push, so I just hung out for an hour and a half. Then I felt like pushing and my 8lb 14 oz baby popped out in 15 minutes! The entire process, from the time I first thought I *might* have had a contraction, until the last push, was under 4 hours and never felt worse than bad period cramps.

So I have had 2 completely opposite experiences. I would highly recommend natural childbirth, and avoiding any unnecessary interventions. My 1st labor was horrible, but my 2nd was a piece of cake!

Please feel free to PM me if you'd like a Doula or Bradley instructor recommendation. =-)

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S.S.

answers from Sacramento on

I have 2 sons 3 years old and 3 months. First child was with an epidural :) 8 pounds 9 ounces. Boy #2 came into this world totally natural 9 pounds 8 ounces.... Would I have a natural birth again????? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! Pushing through those contractions was INSANE!!!! That's just my opinion though:)

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C.M.

answers from Salinas on

I love the forums at mothering.com for all info on things not quite main stream when it comes to parenting. I wish I had known about them sooner and I wish I had also known the importance of natural child birth more so before I made certain choices with my first pregnancy and labor. It's good to do as much research as possible ahead of time so you are well informed of all of your options and that you're making the best possible decisions for you and your family. Your decisions may not be the same as everyone else's but if you did all your homework, you can feel totally confident in what you are doing and peace of mind is priceless! I got really interested in vaccines after watching the show on autism on oprah. By that time my son has already been having a traditional vaccine schcedule - again it's just one of those things I wish I'd done more homework on!

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I had a natural childbirth for my first baby, and will actually pursue a homebirth for my next one, whenever that happens. I think the best way to go about attempting a natural childbirth is to get great childbirth eduction. I took my classes at Natural Resources on Valencia St. It was a non-biased class, and went over all kinds of comforting techniques. I think it's better to take a class like that than to take the hospital sponsored classes, which will give you the party line of the specific hospital at which you are taking the class. Right now, no one will let you have a water birth in CA, but the midwifery practice (there's only one) at CPMC is has just started to allow this. As for the stuff that is given at birth, I only allowed the Vitamin K shot. They also like to do antibiotic eye ointment (unnecessary if you've been tested and are negative for STDs) and Heb B vaccine (unnecessary until the child is sexually active). If you are looking to take a more natural approach to your family's health, I think that getting hooked up with Natural Resources will be a great help to you. Good luck!

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C.A.

answers from Sacramento on

go to mothering.com and check them out. I would also encourage you to subscribe to their magazine. I did for years! I had an all natural child birth, I used a tens unit and for one I used one cc of narcotics, but know better now! The tens unit, if used properly, can take care of the pains of childbirth. I also used hypnosis in conjunction with the tens unit... good luck and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
mamaC

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