Natural Birth

Advice for a first time mum

Hi everyone I am 35 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I know that she is due around the 15th of December so not that long away. I am almost completely sure I want to go natural but I don't have any advice. My sisters and sisters-in-law have all had pain relief or c-sections by choice. I was just wondering what your advice would be for a first time mum who wants to go natural? Also maybe a birthing pool might be involved? 

Re: Advice for a first time mum

  • Labor and delivery is hard, it is painful, and it is emotional.  You need to know what types of options are available for pain management (labor in the water, counter pressure, positions, aromatherapy, music etc).  Knowing what you can do to help ease the pain/discomfort ahead of time is extrememly important.  I found that laboring in the water was a huge help.  The warm water took the edge of contractions and made them bearable.  I also found that position was really important.  For me I was only comfortable on hands and knees in the tub.  I tried several different positions but when I found where I was most comfortable I stayed there.  I would also read up on the different stages of labor and what to expect at each stage.  This will help you get an idea of what is normal and where you might be in the process.  Lastly, I think a positive support person is really important.  This can be a friend, your H/SO, mom, doula etc.  SI had a doula and my H. They were amazing and kept me positive and focused during my L&D.
    GL you can do it!
    [Deleted User]
  • Thank you so much for all the advice! I am going to go and read up on the stages of labor now :) Thanks again x
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  • I would recommend focusing on a certain pain management method as well. You could even combine the things you like from several. Some of the more popular ones are The Bradley Method, HypnoBirthing, HypnoBabies, etc.

    At 35 weeks you likely don't have time to start a class, but you can still do extensive research online. These programs also have books that you could order and start reading up.

    I'm studying Hypnobirthing and there are relaxation CDs that come with the book. I listen to them every night, and also have a "birth affirmations" cd with positive reinforcement.

    I'm a FTM so I don't speak from experience, but I think it's vitally important to be prepared going into this labor or you'll "give up" too easily and be more inclined to accept interventions.

    Good luck to you! I'm only a few weeks ahead of you and I can't believe it's almost here!
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  • Thank you so much for the advice. I will look for some books and Cd's. 
    Good luck with your little one and yes it has come around so fast ! :) 
  • Hey! I'm a ftm also hoping to have as natural of a birth as possible in the hospital. I found this book super helpful and informational: Natural Hospital Birth The Best Of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel
  • I couldn't have gotten through a natural birth without the help of someone. For me it was my husband, but for others its a doula, a nurse, etc. My husband read the "comfort measures" chapter in the book, The Birth Partner.  I also prepared myself by reading as much as possible on natural birth coping mechanisms. Check out the website

    8.7.04 Married the Man
    7.16.11 Welcomed the Boy (#1)
    8.19.13 Welcomed the Boy (#2)

  • Try and read some natural birth stories.  I really liked Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth.  And read as much as possible about the stages of labor.  Usually when you feel you can't handle it anymore, you're in transition and you're near the end.

    For me, the warm water in the shower at home, and then the labor tub at the hospital was key to managing pain.  If you have the opportunity to labor in the shower or in a tub, try it.  Also, my tendency was to hold my breathe and clamp up during contractions, but thankfully a nurse firmly told me that if I want a natural birth, I needed to breathe through the contractions, relax, and also moan deeply.  Screaming/crying at a high pitch for whatever reason makes it worse - you should moan deeply. 

    As much as possible, get your support person educated and on board.  You may want to consider a doula, particularly if you think your OB or MW and the hospital staff may not be supportive of a natural birth.
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  • Had a natural birth yesterday. What I did was brought a towel from home (for whatever reason towels have always been connected to comfort for me, so whenever I had a contraction I closed my eyes and focused on the feel of that towel! Lol) like a pp said, position is INCREDIBLY important. I had back labor and found that holding onto the side of the bed and my towel, and rocking back and forth on a birth ball got me through each contraction like it was nothing. The pushing does hurt, but I made it harder on myself because I couldn't relax my legs! Once I did that baby was out in a few pushes and all that pain went away. He was born incredibly alert and is one healthy little boy! I feel fine today! You can do it. I feel completely fine today and can't wait to take him home.
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  • mb314 said:
    I needed to breathe through the contractions, relax, and also moan deeply.  Screaming/crying at a high pitch for whatever reason makes it worse - you should moan deeply. 

    This, this, this!  Seriously.  Towards the end I was tensing up when the contractions started and my doula would remind me to relax.  So I would take a deep breath, relax, and moan deeply.  That helped so much. 

    I read one hypnobirthing book and sort of listened to the CD, but the main thing that I took away was how to relax my body. 

    Pushing was one of the easiest parts for me.  I didn't feel any pain during pushing, as odd as that sounds (even with a 2nd degree tear).  Not even the ring of fire. 

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    LO then (2 days) and now (1 year)
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