How did you choose? — The Bump
Natural Birth

How did you choose?

I am not yet at the TTC stage but am already thinking about my future options. I was wondering a few things (also sorry because I am sure that there are probably a lot of threads about this):

  1. What made you wonderful moms choose natural birth?
  2. Was it at a hospital/home/birth center?
  3. What do you think helped you the MOST to get through the pains?
  4. Any suggestions on the best preparation for this?
Me: 29 DH:31
Friends: 6/2007

Dating: 2/2012
Married: 5/2015
Member of BMB 7/2017

DD: 6/27/2017


Re: How did you choose?

  • I made it through baby # 1 unmediated --

    What made you wonderful moms choose natural birth?
    A lot of things - here are a few of them... (1) Figured it went 9 months without drinking, why would I then take drugs? (2) My grandma and mom both did, why cant I? (3) I am not a big fan of anything medical, don't even like getting my blood drawn (4) Interventions typically lead to more interventions (5) It is natural, every animal on the planet gives birth without drugs, why not me?

    Was it at a hospital/home/birth center?
    Hospital - I figured on the off chance I needed something or there was an emergency I wanted to be in the right place.

    What do you think helped you the MOST to get through the pains?
    I think the biggest thing was that I made a list of mantras in the weeks leading up to delivering - may sound really stupid - but then I recited them to myself in the weeks ahead and then that day. For example... your body is working with you, not against you....every contraction is one less contraction....this is natural, your body was made to do this.... you can do anything for one day....

    Other than that, I told my nurse immediately when I entered the room that I didn't want drugs and that I would ask if I needed them. The fact nobody ever offered me drugs made it easier. 

    Oh, and my room had a bathtub so I spent some time in the tub with the shower head on my belly - that helped.

    Any suggestions on the best preparation for this?
    Really just making the choice that that's the way you want to go and knowing is is completely possible without any unforeseen circumstances. Obviously there are things that can arise and derail your entire "birth plan" but its normal and natural. 

    I read bits and pieces of Inda May Gaskin's writings - fair warning, its a bit hippy dippy.
    I also watched the Business of Being Born with my husband - also warning, it has Ricki Lake in it, which is weird, but it was good and got my husband on board. Made him my advocate.

    Regardless of what happens, you'll feel like Superwoman after bringing a baby into the world <3

    Me: 29 DH: 35

    Married: 9/29/12

    DS #1: 3/8/15

  • @lmc929 thank you for answering this very much! Very encouraging and it is helpful :)
    Me: 29 DH:31
    Friends: 6/2007

    Dating: 2/2012
    Married: 5/2015
    Member of BMB 7/2017

    DD: 6/27/2017

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  • liacinliacin
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Comments Photogenic
    edited August 2016

    1. What made you wonderful moms choos natural birth?  I wanted my baby to be drug-free of course but I also just felt like it was so normal to do it without medication. My body was made to do this and I wanted to be fully present for the experience and in control of my own body.
    2. Was it at a hospital/home/birth center? It was a Birth Center which was so great because I could move around and use a big comfy tub for most of my labor.
    3. What do you think helped you the MOST to get through the pains? Laboring in the tub helped to kind of melt away the pain from the contractions but also relaxing as much as possible and breathing deeply. I thought relaxing and breathing would just be intuitive but it wasn't and it was definitely something I had to work on.
    1. Any suggestions on the best preparation for this? Yes take a class like hypnobirthing or just practice meditation as much as possible. Practice different techniques to relax.
  • @liacin Thank you!
    Me: 29 DH:31
    Friends: 6/2007

    Dating: 2/2012
    Married: 5/2015
    Member of BMB 7/2017

    DD: 6/27/2017

  • @lmc929 I just watched The Buisness of Being Born. Very eye opening. I plan on watching the 4 part series later this week. Thank you for the suggestion!
    Me: 29 DH:31
    Friends: 6/2007

    Dating: 2/2012
    Married: 5/2015
    Member of BMB 7/2017

    DD: 6/27/2017

  • I chose no epidural but technically had to have pitocin since my water broke but wasn't in actual labor.
     I have a needle phobia like another person had said so I figured I could deal with my pain over that.  I do have to admit that other than the pushing my contractions were manageable.  I did have braxton hicks for almost half of my pregnancy and practice contractions for about 6 weeks of my pregnancy so I was used to the pain.
    I do have to admit having a good partner would help, I did no classes or research, which I should have done. 

  • I had a natural unmedicated birth with my first baby and it was truly wonderful! I felt her slither out and would do it all over again in a heart beat. It strange to hear myself talk about this because I was in a vastly different place during my first trimester. I was all aboard the "epidural sounds amazing and that what I want" train. I was terrified of pain and needles. But I am also a scientist so at some point I knew I was going to start doing some research. I hated that a lot of mom friends scoffed off my questions with "oh trust me, honey, you don't want to know what its like!" I believe knowledge is empowering so I started looking at the stats and the number of c-section and the trends scared me. I talked to my grandmother and my mother who have 7 unmedicated births between them and they said they were never afraid - they sounded so practical and simplistic about the whole process. Somewhere along the way, generations of women have lost a lot of support and encouragement and were left with no tools to deal with the fear. Sure I did watch "business of being born" and read ina may gaskin (again all with a grain of salt due to my scientific background). But the stats are there for everyone to see - c-sections have gone up and continue to go up even while accounting for increasing maternal age. The rates spike right before shift changes. I think doctors treat every pregnant women for the complication that maybe 5% actually see and its an inefficient system. Pregnancy is not a disease - but they always have to look and be prepared for worst case scenario and take extreme precautions. This is why I think education is important - you can politely ask why a doctor makes any recommendation and if you are armed with knowledge of the risks, you can decide if you want to take it (For instance another friend of mine that had a natural birth chose to go longer than 24 hrs after her water broke without induction - her labor started naturally at 28 hrs). Take classes, ask questions. The most important thing is to stay healthy and exercise - i run marathons and my muscles felt like that after the delivery. Your best chance of a natural birth is if you have a low risk pregnancy. The tools you pick to deal with labor will depend on you. The key is not to tighten up or stiffen against the contraction while still vocalizing how you feel. Warm showers, yoga positions, visualizing, having everything dark, quiet helped a lot. I did a maternal hatha yoga class where i initially thought the chants were weird but my husband told me i was chanting under my breath while swaying quite a bit. We took Bradley classes and had a doula. I labored at home and arrived at the hospital fully dilated - delivered an hour later. I loved the idea of a home birth or birthing center but the truth is no matter how confident I am, the baby could arrive in any condition and I wanted doctors close by to help. Stay positive but also practical about all possibilities and you will do great!! Good luck :)
    (ps: sorry for the extra long post)
  • edited October 2016
    1.  What made you wonderful moms choose natural birth?
    I just felt my body would know what to do. I was more afraid of any interventions than of any pain of birth. Like no pitocin, leading to the cascade effect, ending with a C-section. I also wanted to be in an atmosphere that a "natural birth" was normal. I would also call it a "non-intervention" birth...a lot of ladies consider all birth to be "natural"...I like to call it unmedicated.

    2.Was it at a hospital/home/birth center?

    I actually felt like I had the best of both worlds. I started at the birth center bc I wanted all the bells and whistles: the jacuzzi tub, the birthing tub, yoga ball, nitrous, etc. I ended up leaving the BC towards the end bc I had been barfing with every contraction and chose to take the anti-nausea med. I could only labor standing up or on the toilet and the med made it so I couldn't stand up anymore. So I just lay there with every painful contraction unable to move. After a while of that, I gave in and changed plans. As we drove to the hospital, my back labor started. That was the worst part of the delivery. I was terrified of getting an epidural but couldn't tolerate the pain and was in line for one, but it all happened so fast that I couldn't get one. THANK GOD. That was exactly what I didn't want.

     If I chose again, I would use a midwife at the hospital, hands down. It was lonely at the BC, just two women and us in the middle of the night, and then they have you leave within 4-6 hours!

    3. What do you think helped you the MOST to get through the pains? Just standing up and walking around. And with every pain, when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, I thought "this is just one moment in time, a bubble, and it will soon be over." None of the classes would have helped (I read Ina May, the yoga method, every single book you can think of--can't remember them all now). I really fretted about that. Also, although you are "thinking" in the back part of your brain... you aren't really thinking thinking while it all happens.

    4. Any suggestions on the best preparation for this? I read every book. Researched every class. Honestly, just knowing what could possibly happen was helpful, so I felt prepared (even though it scared the crap out of me). If I hadn't read anything, the back labor would have shocked me. I wanted to be aware enough to be my own advocate if I had to be. In the end, I just went in as myself. No playlist of music, couldn't use the tub--it was of no use at all. Nitrous? Nope--couldn't breathe. I second that other poster--I did preg exercises and yoga starting after 20 weeks (have been practicing for 17 years). Used to run/walk but never really did during preg--too tired.

    Within hours of giving birth, I was like, "that really wasn't that bad." The 2nd degree tears, not that bad. I'm not sure I want more kids but the my birth experience was so awesome. Most powerful experience of my life. And I did work on feeling confident. Technically, I had an "easy" birth though. Pushing was harder than I thought it would be. I know I was blessed...esp since I got post partum pre-eclampsia after I had safely delivered my little girl. And I knew that existed bc I had educated myself, and was paying attention. I had a really good luck of the draw birthwise.
    *****Losses Mentioned*****BFP MENTIONED*****ALL WELCOME******ALL ABOARD!!

    Me: 42, DH: 46, Married: 11/12
    Losses: MMC#1 11/12 BO, MC#2 11/13 at 8w BO?, MMC#3 8/14 chromo healthy M @12 weeks, stopped growing at 10.
    Negligible AMH, FSH finally went high. Pursued DE.

    DD born at 38w2d on 5-27-16. Finally!!

    Pregnant again with OE. EDD 11/9/17 Girl!

  • I have not had an unmedicated birth at this point, but I can tell you what made me want to go that route this time.

    a) Everyone said to get the epidural and sleep during labor.  I did sleep but woke up feeling disoriented and scared.  I would rather stay in control the whole time.

    b) Because of my disorientation, I did not advocate for my son after birth.  I knew he had a lip tie, but was too groggy to voice it to the doctors.  We went through breastfeeding hell for 2 weeks before I spoke up.  I don't want to make the same mistake again.

    c) 93% of moms who have unmedicated say they would do it again.  People don't seem to regret this choice

    d) I want that superwoman feeling everyone talks about.
    Jana Lynn
     Happily married since 5/24/2015  Momma of a baby Viking since 4/16, expecting #2 in 5/18
  • I am just almost 18 weeks in my first pregnancy, but I have just started to change my mind about epidural, et al. and am now researching and thinking about going the natural birth route too. I just want to thank you all for your replies. It's helpful reading these and encouraging.
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