March 2013 Moms



FTM and I really want to go natural as long as nothing out of the norm happens! I have been hearing all these horror stories and people telling me to get the epidural instead of going through unneccessary pain.. I know everyones labor is different but if I can please hear from some people that have had kids and went the natural way and would not have chosen any other way..  Thanks

Re: Natural

  • I have not had a baby before but I am doing hypnobirthing and the first thing you need to do is not listen to people and their horror stories!  Only read positive stories of natural birth!  It can definitely be done and is done all the time.  I have a friend who just had her first baby naturally and everyone that was in the room said it was like she was in a meditative state.... no moaning, groaning, cursing or screaming... very peaceful!
  • Hi! I am a FTM who wants to go natural as well! I hear you with those horror stories!! You might get more responses if you post this on the Natural Board! GL!
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  • Thank you - I will definitely post on there!

  • I have had 2 kids and basically gone natural with both. With DS I was induced at 37 weeks for medical reasons and lasted for 26+ hours without an epi. I finally decided to get one but I progressed so quickly that it never went into effect and I felt everything when pushing. With DD I went 100% naturally and wouldn't have had it any other way! I took Bradley Method classes w/ DS and used the same techniques for DD and it absolutely helped. I am actually looking forward to laboring again this time- it's really not as bad as you think.Yes it is painful but it is a different kind of pain- it is a pain from your body doing something it is naturally supposed to do vs. a pain from an injury or something out of sorts with your body. Ignore the horror stories- only read positive stories- its also important to remember that in many situations people say they are glad that they had xyz intervention b/c it was an emergent situation when in all reality it was possibly an emergent situation to begin with b/c they introduced interventions in the first place. I would do lots of reading and research and definitely prepare. I think it is all mental about whether or not you can do it since in 99% of situations your body would labor and deliver a baby without you doing anything. If you go into it undecided you will probably end up getting an epi, 
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  • I went natural with DS and plan to do the same with this baby (though I will need to get to the hospital sooner, hah).

    I had a doula though, admittedly, didn't "use" her that much because I called her so late (my fault). However, I think doulas are a great way to go for med-free labors because they become both a support for you and an advocate for your birth plan to the doctors/nurses.

    What worked for me was laboring at home as long as possible. Honestly, things were fine for me, but after my water  broke (around 5:30, I had  been laboring at home for like 8-10 hours at that point), the contractions did become very close together and painful. I would not recommend going through transition in the car like I did, lol. Bonus, though, is I arrived at the hospital at 10cm so even if I wanted drugs, it would have been too late.

    After DS was born I DID faint, like 2-3 times. I have to assume it was just all the effort and how tired I was from laboring/pushing, especially because I didn't have an IV (I had been eating and drinking all day so that wasn't much of an issue). This time, I will likely get a heplock IV, just in case. I was never opposed to the IV itself as much as I was opposed to it restricting my movement. 

    I think it's great to be very determined to have a med-free labor & delivery. I definitely think that determination is one of the things that sort of forces  you to do it. However, a part of you definitely has to be open to other possibilities. You don't want to go in there thinking "I would NEVER get an epi or NEVER get a CS" because, well, you might. And you don't want to be depressed about your delivery not going as planned. One thing I loved about my doula was that she had assisted in med-free labors, labors where the mom wanted to be med-free but didn't do it, and labors where the mom knew from the get-go she wanted an epi. It was very important to me that she not judge me if I changed my mind or something didn't go as smoothly as I wanted, and I could tell from her past experiences & personality that she wouldn't. 

    ETA: If you haven't read Ina May's book, read it. It's really empowering to read the stories. 

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  • Thank you sooo much! Your post definitely has helped ease my mind.. As long as everything goes well with the baby I will be delivering natural! I have already started practicing my breathing techniques... I guess I'm just getting nervous because time is almost here!
  • I went natural with my other two and will do so with this one. Do not listen to the horror stories! Yes there is pain but its from your body working hard and the reward is knowing you are giving your baby the best possible start you can in life.

    I do not regret my natural births for a minute! I labored at home for as long as possible, so I was able to walk, drink something, eat a little (even though I didn't feel like it) and just zone out in my own space. I believe this may have enabled me to have relatively short labors (6hrs for DS and 4 for DD). And my recovery time was super quick.

    Just make sure you have plenty of fluids and use the bathroom even if you don't want to, labor can be a bit more painful if you don't.

    Most of all. Don't let anything discourage you, you CAN do it!

  • Agree with PPs, look in the natural board for recommendations. I'm a FTM trying to go natural too, I definitely wouldn't try to do it "cold turkey". Try to take a class or invest in a doula if you can afford it. Also involve your partner as you will need their support and they need to know how to assist you. Good luck! I decided this late in the game too, I'm starting Hypnobabies this week.
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  • image horsevaulter:
    Hi! I am a FTM who wants to go natural as well! I hear you with those horror stories!! You might get more responses if you post this on the Natural Board! GL!

    I have lurked on the Natural Board since before I found out I was pregnant.  The ladies are super knowledgable and helpful as well.  If you would like to try natural than go for it mama!  I am goignto try and see how it goes.  If can't handle it then I'll get an epi.  I'm just going to go witht he flow if I can.  And if I need a c-section, well then thats what it will be. 

    I would do whatever you want to do but read up on wasy to deal and just try and remember that every birth experience is different.  I have heard both awful and wonderful natural stories. :) GL

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  • Yay for wanting to go natural!  

     Agreed with a lot of the advice here that you need to prepare, prepare, prepare.  There is a great book called "Natural Hospital Birth" by Cynthia Gabriel.  That is a good place to start.  But, definitely look into a natural childbirth class (I recommend hypnobirthing) and possibly invest in a doula. 

     Be prepared to be told by many others (moms and non-moms) that you are "crazy" for attempting natural.  People LOVE to share their horror stories.  And, I've found very little support for my decision outside of my DH, doula and midwife. 

     I learned the key to planning for a natural birth is to know what to expect at the hospital, get a good support system around you (I.e. use a midwife instead of an OB or find an OB who is very supportive of natural birth).  Write a BIRTH PLAN.  Once you get to hospital and get into the standard L&D system (induction or pitocin, epidural, etc.) it's too late to request a natural birth and have your requests honored.  So, a brief written birth plan is key.  A natural childbirth class can help you with that.  

     Also, it helps (with the fear) to keep some perspective.  As in, we plan for a beautiful natural childbirth but know that if complications arise we will be we'll cared for and our "plan" cold be drastically altered. At least you can plan for and try for your ideal birth!  Best wishes for your natural delivery! 

  • I am a STM and with my first I planned on getting an epi but waited very late into my labor before decided to do so.  My Dr. wouldn't let me have a full on epi because he wanted me to be able to push effectively.  I could still feel my legs and my contractions, so I am not sure how much drugs I actually had.  

    This time, if my labor is similar to my last, I plan on going natural.  I personally won't decide until I am in the moment, and I don't think you really can plan completely, not knowing what your labor will be like.  If I feel that I can handle it, I will go drug free, but if I can't I will do what I feel like I want to.  

    My biggest reason for not wanting to do the epi this time is I don't want a prolonged labor.  Some women are so drugged and feel nothing from the waist down that they cannot push effectively and actually prolong their labor because of not being able to feel anything.  My suggestion is to make a decision ahead of time but know that your labor may change and that it is ok if you change your mind.  YOU are the only one who is pushing that baby out!

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  • I'm a FTM as well and I'm doing a natural birth. Luckily I've been surrounded by people who have done the same and have had nothing but good things to say. A friend of mine has had 4 kids, all of them were natural births. 3 of them were at home, and the last one was at a water birth center.  And another friend of mine had an all natural birth at a hospital. All of the births went smoothly and neither of the women regret it. Was there pain? Yes. But they both assured me it wasn't unbearable and your body has a way of getting you through it. 
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  • Im a FTM also and have been on the fence about this ...

    Watch "The business of Being Born" ..  Its a great perspective of natural births and really encourages women to know that your body was made to deliver a baby.  It totally opened my eyes ! 

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  • Thanks everyone! Your advice is greatly appreciated!!
  • I went natural with DD #1 and will be with DD#2. It was the best thing I've ever done. We did the Bradley Method, which was really helpful in terms of educating me and my husband - as cliche as it sounds, it's really empowering for the partner, as they have a very active role in coaching you through labor and delivery. I labored mostly at home (actually I arrived at the birthing center ready fully dilated and ready to push), so I think that helped.

    The biggest things that helped was educating myself on the various interventions, pros and cons to them, why and when they might be used, so I could make educated decisions during childbirth and not just blindly follow what the nurses/doctors recommended. Also, educating yourself about what actually happens during labor and delivery - what your body is doing and why it is doing it, definitely helps reduce the fear factor, which reduces pain and anxiety. I really believe a lot of it is mind over matter. And I'm pretty stubborn, so people telling me that there was no way I would deliver naturally due to the pain was like a personal challenge for myself. 

    Women have been having babies without pain medication as long as humans have been around. It's what our bodies are designed to do (unless someone has a medication condition or something ;)

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  • For sure educate yourself on all of your options and how they affect the baby. It's not just a case of nothing for pain or an epidural. There are more than just 2 choices. We took a prenatal class that did the pros/cons of all the options out there and when each option is no longer available. This really helped us develop a plan so we were educated and didn't feel forced to make any decision ahead of time that really could wait until later.

    For DD all I needed to get me though the contractions was the gas. Ahhh... glorious laughing gas, oh how I loved thee...  I was mentally prepared to progress to stronger drugs or an epi if I felt I needed it, but I never got there. By the time I felt the gas wasn't controlling the pain enough for me and something needed to be done, they checked me and I was 10cm and ready to push. Pushed for 90min completely med free. So, I had a med-free birth for DD, just not a completely med-free labor. Hope to do roughly the same thing this time around.

    Labor progressed pretty quickly though for me. 

    3cm at week 39 OB appointment

    5:30am felt contractions starting, stayed home.

    8:30 called hospital to see if we could come in since I was 5-1-1

    9:30 arrived at hospital and I was 7cm

    11:30 started to need gas to get though contractions

    2pm gas no longer enough, 10cm!

    3:30 baby out.


    Derek - February 2013        Caelyn April 2011

  • We are going to bradley method classes and I am planning on not using any interventions as long as i and baby are doing well. For me its not about the pain i rather deal with it. I have major anxiety about being hooked up and having drugs pumped into me. So where i am going they wont do an IV unless needed and they dont do continuous fetal monitoring unless needed. I also watched the business of being born. I have several friends who had calm peaceful natural births either at home or a birth center and loved the entire experience even with whatever pain they had to deal with. The ones with the horror stories and the ones that say how much they hated pregnancy, hated labor, and hated giving birth were the same ones that used a medication,epidural, etc. Not saying everyone who got a medication hated giving birth but all the ones i personally talked to pretty much gave the same stories. So i really enjoy talking to the ones who gave birth naturally.
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