two specific important things to prepare for natural birth? — The Bump
Natural Birth

two specific important things to prepare for natural birth?

I am looking for SPECIFIC, books, classes, videos, practices.  Just the two MOST IMPORTANT please (I am looking to see patterns in responses, so please post repeats even if others have posted the same before you.)
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Re: two specific important things to prepare for natural birth?

  • Each of my pregnancies that I had planned a natural birth I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

    Also a few good videos to watch are "The Business of Being Born," and "Orgasmic Birth."

    I didn't necessarily agree with the orgasmic birth thing but the video had some neat births and when you see positive natural birthing experiences it can be very helpful in visualizing yourself having one as well.

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  • natural childbirth classes (such as Bradley)

    watching natural births (youtube has a lot)

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  • Ditto Ina May's book, I have read it 3 times since Ive been preg it is great!

    Hypnobabies is pretty nice too, I dont think I would ever have a full night of sheep without it, IDK how much it is going to help me in labor since this is my first. But I do feel like at very least it will be worth it to have something to focus on and help keep me relaxed

  • I agree, Ina May Gaskin's book is a must.

    Also, I liked watching the Business of Being Born, the births they show aren't all natural (like one of the main ladies ends up having a c-section) but the info is all good.

    Marie Mongan's Hypnobirthing book is good as well.  

  • Books: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth... and... The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

     Videos: Business of Being Born... and... Pregnant in America

    Classes/Methods: Hypnobabies

    Other: Watch youtube videos and read natural birth stories. As many as you can!

     So that's more than 2, but they're all great/important things!!

  • imageleviandlandensmom:

    Each of my pregnancies that I had planned a natural birth I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

    Also a few good videos to watch are "The Business of Being Born," and "Orgasmic Birth."

    I didn't necessarily agree with the orgasmic birth thing but the video had some neat births and when you see positive natural birthing experiences it can be very helpful in visualizing yourself having one as well.

     

    This. (Or rather "these" for the exact same reasoning.)

  • If you're planning a hospital birth, "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Childbirth" by Henci Goer is a really good info source about routine hospital interventions. "Pushed" by Jennifer Block is excellent, also, though I probably wouldn't recommend reading it if you're already pregnant.

    I think reading birth stories helped me imagine what was going to happen, and taking prenatal yoga (though a specific class - Bradley, Hypnobirthing, would be similar) helped me cope with labor. Sorry, that was three things!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • Definitely "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" for reading and "The Business of Being Born" for watching!
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  • imageleviandlandensmom:

    Each of my pregnancies that I had planned a natural birth I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

    Also a few good videos to watch are "The Business of Being Born," and "Orgasmic Birth."

    I didn't necessarily agree with the orgasmic birth thing but the video had some neat births and when you see positive natural birthing experiences it can be very helpful in visualizing yourself having one as well.

    This!  I'm an orgasmic birth skeptic (which means I probably won't have one since I don't have the right mindset) but just watching these women give birth naturally does sooo much for your confidence level.  Also, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth!  

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  • ina may's book

    hypnobabies course

    are you expecting?!?!?!

  • imageAshfieldMay:
    Definitely "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" for reading and "The Business of Being Born" for watching!

    This. Though, take The Business of Being Born with a grain of salt. It is far from unbiased and at one point they make a pretty dramatic leap of faith, claiming that women who have a cesarean section will not bond properly with their children--information based totally on a study of monkeys. Other than that one part, I loved the movie, thought it was fantastic and it was definitely worth watching for the video footage of natural births.

  • I agree with "The Business of Being Born" and anything written by Ina May Gaskins!!

    Bradley really helped us (and I am an OB nurse)

    Surround yourself with like-minded people.  People who look at birth as a normal, natural process!!  And make sure that your providers feel this way too.  That makes ALL the difference in the world.  In fact, your provider's beliefs and stats may be #1 above all else!!!!!!!

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  • I'm just in 1st tri and barely that even LOL, but I really liked the Business of Being Born, and what I've read so far on Bradley.  I didn't like Orgasmic Childbirth because mostly I laughed through it so yeah, it's likely not going to happen to me either, haha.  I haven't yet read Ina May Gaskins stuff but clearly it's highly recommended. 
  • Business of Being Born

    The Birth Partner (book) - This was a great read for me even though it's written for the partner. It has good info about interventions and what to expect. My husband didn't have time to read it because I was 4 weeks early, but I liked it. 

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  • The most important IMO- the right provider and the right location. 

    Yeah, BOBB is great, Ina is wonderful (love love love her book)... Heck, the natural birth class I took through Isis (Brookline Village) was fun and interesting, but in the end none of those things are going to help if your provider is not truly supportive (some may say they are, but they really are NOT) and the place you give birth at is not accepting or tolerant.

    Most of the hospitals in Boston are not natural birth friendly- despite the fact that there are a lot of nurse MW working at said hospitals.  Giving birth naturally in a hospital in Boston is going to be a uphill battle.  That was pretty much what the nurse teaching our class at Isis said- a nurse who worked at a local hospital and interned at others...and who was pregnant at the time and planning a homebirth.  LOL

    I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people before deciding on a homebirth at 25 weeks...send me a PM if you want any specific information.  I know homebirths are not for everyone, but I think you should explore all your options before deciding. 

    GL 


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  • Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth

    The Business of Being Born

    ETA: Your Best Birth was also awesome and I wish I had read it earlier in my pregnancy

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  • imagepinksweetpea2:

    The most important IMO- the right provider and the right location. 

    Yeah, BOBB is great, Ina is wonderful (love love love her book)... Heck, the natural birth class I took through Isis (Brookline Village) was fun and interesting, but in the end none of those things are going to help if your provider is not truly supportive (some may say they are, but they really are NOT) and the place you give birth at is not accepting or tolerant.

    Most of the hospitals in Boston are not natural birth friendly- despite the fact that there are a lot of nurse MW working at said hospitals.  Giving birth naturally in a hospital in Boston is going to be a uphill battle.  That was pretty much what the nurse teaching our class at Isis said- a nurse who worked at a local hospital and interned at others...and who was pregnant at the time and planning a homebirth.  LOL

    I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people before deciding on a homebirth at 25 weeks...send me a PM if you want any specific information.  I know homebirths are not for everyone, but I think you should explore all your options before deciding. 

    GL 

    The good news is that there are options on the spectrum between hospitals and home births.  There are at least three birthing centers in the Boston area.  

    I am hoping to go with MOMA, the Midwives at Mt. Auburn and have heard nothing but good things from the four ladies I know who have birthed there.

    http://mamah.org/babystories.html

    Thanks for your input.  I am intrigued by home birth but it isn't the best option for me. 

  • OP-

    I had DS at Cambridge Birth Center.  It was FABULOUS.  I loved all of the midwives.  Feel free to PM me if you'd like.

    Also, I really recommend The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer and The Birth Partner by Peggy Simkin.

    DS born February 2009 * DD born September 2011
  • Read: Ina May Gaskin's Guide To Childbirth.

    Hire: a doula.

  • imageBostonGayGal:
    imagepinksweetpea2:

    The most important IMO- the right provider and the right location. 

    Yeah, BOBB is great, Ina is wonderful (love love love her book)... Heck, the natural birth class I took through Isis (Brookline Village) was fun and interesting, but in the end none of those things are going to help if your provider is not truly supportive (some may say they are, but they really are NOT) and the place you give birth at is not accepting or tolerant.

    Most of the hospitals in Boston are not natural birth friendly- despite the fact that there are a lot of nurse MW working at said hospitals.  Giving birth naturally in a hospital in Boston is going to be a uphill battle.  That was pretty much what the nurse teaching our class at Isis said- a nurse who worked at a local hospital and interned at others...and who was pregnant at the time and planning a homebirth.  LOL

    I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people before deciding on a homebirth at 25 weeks...send me a PM if you want any specific information.  I know homebirths are not for everyone, but I think you should explore all your options before deciding. 

    GL 

    The good news is that there are options on the spectrum between hospitals and home births.  There are at least three birthing centers in the Boston area.  

    I am hoping to go with MOMA, the Midwives at Mt. Auburn and have heard nothing but good things from the four ladies I know who have birthed there.

    http://mamah.org/babystories.html

    Thanks for your input.  I am intrigued by home birth but it isn't the best option for me. 

    Mt. Auburn is great!  I have a lot of friends who birthed there--some med-free, some not.  I had a med-free birth with a midwife from the Cambridge Birthing Center, and she was fantastic.  I also have a friend who had a med-free VBAC at the Brigham, so I think being your own advocate is more important than anything.  Good luck!

  • MrsZee-

    Who was your midwife?  My regular one was Lara Holbrook but Christlee Harris and Nikki May attended the birth. 

    DS born February 2009 * DD born September 2011
  • 1. Marie Monagan's Hypnobirthing book/CD/class

    2. Hire a doula/get everyone on board with the natural birth plan (spouse, partner, birth coach, mother, whoever will be present)

    For me, being prepared with the hypnobirthing skills was key. I not only read and took the class; I practiced. Like, every night. And my support team knew that drugs were not something I wanted (even when I was 9 3/4 dialted for two hours and whispered between tough surges, "I just wish I had something to take the edge off.") The steadfast belief in my ability to birth naturally helped me too. I just kept believing that no matter what, I could make it through. Good luck!

  • imageWillisaurus:

    MrsZee-

    Who was your midwife?  My regular one was Lara Holbrook but Christlee Harris and Nikki May attended the birth. 

    I had a couple of postpartum appointments with Lara Holbrook.  My midwife was Gretchen Landwehr, but she left the practice shortly after I had my baby.  All of the midwives that I met were really good, though. 

  • Natural Childbirth Class (Bradley or Hipnobabies)

    Doula

    Doula

    Doula

  • I can list a few, but here are the TWO MOST IMPORTANT to me:

    1) Write a birth plan and discuss it with your healthcare provider weeks prior to your due date.  Give copy of birth plan to healthcare provider at appt, and pack a few extra copies in your hospital bag to give nurses, and anyone else involved in your labor and delivery. 

    2)  When it comes time to push your baby out, tuck your chin down towards your chest and breathe.     

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  • The best things for us were:

     

    Reading Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.

    Taking a Bradley class.

     

    The book provides a lot of practical information and exercises.  The class was a great way for DH and I to bond, and for him to really be prepared for what to expect and how to help me.  I will be honest - I don't feel that the class helped my labor at all, but I also had awful back labor due to DD being sunny side up - so I'm not sure what would have helped.  We will use Bradley again this time.

  • I am familiar with MOMA- as I said I did extensive research before deciding on a homebirth.  I actually have a masters degree in library science- so research is my profession. 

    As far as I know all the birthing centers in Boston are hospital associated and bound by hospital protocol.  That and they were all too far from my home in JP for my own comfort.  I was terrified of getting stuck in traffic while in labor.  It was one of my issues.  You will have your own. :)

    My friend who turned me onto homebirths in the first place was actually planning a birth with MOMA originally.  She decided to switch to a homebirth because she was borderline anemic and the birthing center would have transfered her if her numbers were even a tiny percentage below their cut off.  That just wasn't a risk she was willing to take. 

    For me they would have transfered me for several reasons- the most important being that I went past 42 weeks.  I would have been induced and I would have ended up with a unnecessary c-section because my body wasn't ready, Lily was posterior, and "big."  Even if I had been "allowed" to go into labor on my own, they would have probably transfered me for having too long a labor and my water broken for more than 24 hours.

    Both of us were healthy women with healthy pregnancies, labors and deliveries.  My friend went on to have another beautiful baby this fall also at home and also with borderline anemia- it is just how her body works when she is pregnant.  

     Unfortunately there are not many free standing birthing centers in MA- probably because nurse MW are not allowed to attend births outside the hospital and second because birthing centers have a hard time staying funded.  There are always a lot of issues surrounding birth that stem from funding.  It is always about the benjamins in the end.  

     Birth is a risk anywhere- at the hospital, at a birthing center and at home.  You have to decide what risks you are comfortable with.  I KNOW that homebirths are not for everyone.  You asked for the most important 2 things FOR ME and these are them.  I would have never been able to have my baby naturally anywhere but at home, so I know that it was the right decision for me.

    Just so you don't think I am anti-hospital in every way, I will tell you a good story about Mt. Auburn (which I think is the best of all the hospitals in the area for natural birth).  A friend of mine who was planning a homebirth had to switch to Mt. Auburn after a couple of days at home because her son was presenting with his hand by his face.  She was admitted to the hospital, given pit. and gave birth.  There were no other interventions- and although they were offered, they were not pushed onto her.  She went on to have her second son at home and feels just as good about her first birth as the second. 

    I am reading a really interesting book right now called "Birth: The Surprising History of How we were Born."  It is written by Tina Cassady- a fellow Bostonian and chronicles the history of, well birth.  It talks about hospitals, birthing centers, and homebirth.   For example- I now know that the birthing center attached to Cambridge Hospital was the first of its kind- created in response to the growing popularity of free standing centers in the US in the 80s.  Hospitals were nervous, so they had to change their tune- become more cozy and homey- to keep up.  It is an interesting read FWIW.

    GL to you whatever you decide. 


    Lilypie - (ZESJ)Lilypie - (QAi1)

  • Two things  that prepared me....

    my doula - someone who'd been there done that time and time again and knew what to do to help me through any rough patches.

    supportive providers - if you have one single solitary doubt that the medical people you've chosen aren't going to support your goals... FIND ONES WHO WILL!!!!!

    :)

  • I second the Business of Being Born. That has fully convinced me to do this the natural way, no drugs what-so-ever.

    You really have to lose sight of all fear in order to go about this naturally. For me it was easy, I'm not afraid of the pain... I know it's going to happen. The fears I'm working on over coming are more along the lines of "are the doctors lying to me". I'm delivering in a hospital. The nearest birthing center from me is about 100 miles away and the only midwife close to me isn't covered under my insurance plan. My doctor is on board with the natural birth. Of course I had to agree to fetal monitoring every so often... and a hep-lock, "just incase". I can labor in any position I want as long as I'm in those godforsakken stirrups when I start to push.

  • imageleviandlandensmom:

    Also a few good videos to watch are "The Business of Being Born," and "Orgasmic Birth."

    I didn't necessarily agree with the orgasmic birth thing but the video had some neat births and when you see positive natural birthing experiences it can be very helpful in visualizing yourself having one as well.

    Ditto the above. 

  • Be relentless about selecting provider/birth attendant.  Pick one that you know has a track record for being supportive.  Ask them lots of questions and read between the lines.

    Be well informed.  Read everything you can get your hands on...books, articles, birth stories, research, EVERYTHING.  My two favorite NB books were Birthing From Within, Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method, and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way.

     I have a third, sorry.  Hire a doula if at all possible and if you can't hire one then have someone there in addition to your husband to support you and your DH during labor.  If you're planning for a hospital birth that person should also advocate for your wishes and run interference between you and the hosptial staff and doctor/MW.  But hopefully if you were relentless in selecting your provider it will only be the hospital staff you'll need them to help with.

     

  • Have a game plan!  I think that's the biggest thing for us.  Being mentally and physically prepared is the best thing you can do.  I can't understand women who wing it, but that's just me.  Personally for us, we took the 12 week bradley class....we will be staying home as long as possible & have hired a doula.  I read every piece of information I could get my hands on & practice relaxation techniques both with my husband and alone. 

    Also, having a medical provider that is on board is crucial.  I love our midwife and she has been 100% from day one with all my wishes.  We started out with an OB and it wasn't for me, the switch was the best decision ever. 

  • only two things??  there's no way i could only pick two things.  even if my life depended on it...ok, that sounds way melodramatic. 

    ~ def read anything by Ina May- she is awesome and considered the midwifery guru.

    ~ surround yourself with like minded individuals, ignore the haters.

    ~ i don't love the Bradley technique, mostly because it seems to be "husband coached" and not everyone has a husband or male partner and frankly a lot of times the husbands are the ones who cause most of the problems.  some of the best births i've been to were attended by only women.  JMO. 

    ~ hypnobirthing is a nice technique if you are into relaxation and visualization.

    ~ take some kind of classes on natural childbirth.  research and pick the best one for you. 

    ~ have a natural birth because that's really what you want and not because it's a fad.  have faith in your body and the birthing process.  pregnancy is not an illness and doesn't need to be treated and managed as such.

    ~ know that a natural birth is more than just no drugs, water births, birth balls, doulas...etc.  you need to be in good health and be willing to take charge of your nutrition.  it will be your first line of defense during your pg.  certain medical conditions spark interventions that slippery slope into anything but a natural birth. 

    i'm going to stop there but i really could go on and on.  natural birth is my passion.  GL! 

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  • Read:  Ina May Guide to Childbirth and The Birth Partner.

    "Hire" the right birth team: may or may not include a doula (I did and it was fantastic), make sure your partner is on the same page is you, find a provider & hospital/birth center that you trust and has a track record of supporting natural birth (this took me awhile and I switched at 27 weeks after a horrible appointment with my OB and reading too many c-section stats for the hospital she delivered at.  I changed to a midwifery practice delivering at one of the more progressive hospitals in the area - still with a Level III NICU because we are pretty risk averse.)

    A natural birth can be accomplished in the hospital!  Just don't get there too early :)

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  • Everyone's already said it but I agree with Bradley childbirth classes and Business of Being Born. Hire a doula too.?
  • During your pregnancy, see midwives (vs. OBs) and ask if you have a choice of who can deliver you.  Have them note this in your chart.

    DH and I took HypnoBirthing classes, I read Marie Mongan's book and listened to the relaxation CD while pregnant.  It made all the difference in the world when it came time to be in labor and deal with the pain.  I also have a 16 yo who was also an umedicated vaginal birth.  I had no kind of birth plan with her and it was so different the second time around to have a 'tool' to help cope with the pain.

    Ina May's book is great too.

    Best of luck!

  • MamiJamMamiJam member

    1) Taking a childbirth class that focuses on natural childbirth and internalizing the info (believing you can do it)

    2) Practicing and using proper breathing and pain management techniques

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  • I never thought to read about having a natural birth. I just knew I could do it without meds and I did.

    Even with DD being premature and having wicked back labor, I did it. I was just determined and I had a great team of Mw w/ nurses that cheered me on...I'll do it again in a heart beat. I just hope the twins agree... 

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  • prepare a birth plan
    reading other natural birth stories
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  • The Business of Being Born is great!
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