Birth Stories

looking for natural birth advice

I'm going to a birth center and all my friends and family think I'm a loon. Can someone give me some experienced feedback on a natural, midwife-attended birth?

Lillian Annette, can't wait to meetcha! Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Re: looking for natural birth advice

  • I had a 'natural,' midwife and doula attended birth in a birth center that was connected with a hospital.  I had exactly the birth experience I wanted except that it lasted way longer than I thought it would--29hours from water breaking until birth.  I think if I had been anywhere else they might have forced me to take pitocin to move the labor along or suggested a c-section due to the long time with ruptured membranes.  My son and I were fine. 
    I did get IV fluids and antibiotics that is why I wrote: 'natural.'  Though I wasn't connected to the IV the whole time which is another benefit to the birth center. 
    I labored where I wanted: shower (majority of the time), labor ball, kneeling on bed, tub, toilet.  It is also great to have people around you that know you don't want drugs and can support you when you have weak moments.
    I think it is important to have the birth experience you want, and if that is the birth center, you need to get the rest of your family on board.  Take them on a tour there so they can ask their questions to put their minds at ease.  It isn't like you can't go to a hospital if it comes to that, but most likely it won't.
    You also need to prepare yourself and your partner for the process.  Take a natural childbirth class.  Read 'Birthing from Within.'  Watch 'Business of Being Born.'
    Good Luck to you.

  • You need to stay home until that baby is almost falling out.  The longer you stay at home, in the comfort and familiarity of your own things and people, the better you will feel. 

    That's the best advice anyone ever gave me.

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  • I have not yet experienced natural childbirth but hope to!  I just wanted to say, I'm taking a Bradley class now and it is very helpful to get so much information.  It really teaches you how to be in an environment that is supportive of natural childbirth.  I don't know if you have time for one -- it takes 12 weeks. but if not I'm sure you can get all the information elsewhere.  Because of what we learned through the class and reading related materials, we've switched from an OB to a midwife who delivers at a local hospital. 

    good luck to you!
    Dx ovulatory dysfunction 2/08
    IUI #2 did the trick!
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    DS born Jan. 2009
  • I agree with the pp that staying at home for as long as possible is one of the best ways to ensure that you have maximum control over your labor. I labored at home for more than 12 hours before going to the hospital and I was 5 cm dilated by the time I arrived. The breathing techniques I learned in birthing classes were helpful as well, though I think the most helpful thing for me when I went through transition was the breathing and relaxation I learned from prenatal yoga. I can't tell you enough about how wonderful prenatal yoga was for me throughout my pregnancy and during labor. All that said, I think you also need to be prepared for anything. It's good to be as well-educated about your choices and remember that ultimately what is most important is that your baby is healthy and safe. I have had friends totally committed to natural birth who went through very long and difficult labors and ultimately had to have c-sections. Others, like me, had a relatively smooth labor and were able to have the birth experience we hoped for. In both cases, the ultimate result was the same. Good luck! Alice
  • I disagree with the others about staying at home as long as possible; it is what I wanted to do but four hours into labour I was in so much pain I couldn't stand it. Before going into labour I had asked my doctor when I should go to the hospital- he said that since I lived so close, that it was up to me. He said that in all his years of practice he had never seen someone who lived nearby leave it too late- he said I would know when it was time, and it might be early in labour or it might be shortly before it was time to push. Either way, he said, it was up to me as I had had a healthy pregnancy and he had no concerns about my well-being. So I had planned on staying at home until the end. When I was in labour I tried everything I could think of to ease the pain at home but none of it worked, and I ended up going to the hospital for the drugs after only a couple hours. I was so disappointed in myself that I only made it a couple hours when I had planned to do the whole thing naturally, but I couldn't handle the pain at all anymore. Nothing I tried- bath, different positions, walking, etc- helped.

    So we went to the hospital and the hospital I delivered at was very supportive of natural childbirth. The nurse helped me find natural things that worked to ease the pain. I quickly found that sitting on a birth ball in the shower was the best thing ever, and it made it so much easier to bear. I sat in that shower for around 8 hours, and it was the only thing that got me through without the drugs.

    Anyway, I think that if you have supportive people around you who are knowledgeable about the birth process and how to ease the pain, it will be the best thing for you. My husband was very supportive but he couldn't think of new things to suggest and hated seeing me in so much pain, so he couldn't help me much when we were at home. I'm quite glad I sought help when I did, and if you feel you need the extra support in finding something that will help you overcome the pain, then don't hesitate to do it.

    Once I found something that helped, I didn't find it to be that bad. Keep trying new things, something will help, and your midwife will be a great resource during that time. I wish I had a midwife, but when I was pregnant none worked in this area. One recently set up a practice here, however, so my next baby will be born with a midwife.

    Make sure that when you are in labour you only have supportive people around you, and don't listen to anymore of that "you're a loon" talk because it will just discourage you. You CAN do it. Listening to that talk when I was pregnant scared me- someone heard I wanted to do it naturally and she said that I was insane, and that she was begging for the epidural when she was only three or four centimeters dilated. She looked at me like I had told her I wanted to grow an extra head.

    Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • You are NOT a loon. That being said. I didn't tell anyone my plans to try a pain med free birth b/c I knew they would criticize.

    My advice:
    - Don't "fear" the pain
    - Mentally prepare for the contractions
    - Remember to take each one as it comes
    - Remember that the pain serves a purpose & will end eventually
    - I showed up at the hospital at 9 cm but I thought the whole time that the contractions would have to be so much worse before I would progress that much. I think it was b/c I wasn't scared of them.

    - Think ahead about pushing...this is where I failed!

    My birth story is in my bio.
  • Stayibng home as long as possible worked for me - I was very relaxed and comfortable and was 10cm when they checked me for the 1st time at the hospital! Labor was only 6 hours start to finish - being relaxed was key!
  • I stayed at home as long as possible. ?I had a midwife delivery in a hospital (hospital has 95% epidural rate). ?If you are determined, no one can force you into anything. ?I arrived at the hospital at 5 cm and was checked in my room at 9. ?I agree with the previous post - labor was easy compared to the up your energy for that. ?I thought that was going to be the easy part, but alas I was wrong. ?You'll get through it - just takes a lot of mental focus. ?It is totally worth it at the end! :)
  • I was in a hospital but I did not use any medication.  My OB was there but the midwife did everything and it was wonderful.  She helped me labor at the end when it was the hardest and helped to reinforce that I did not want any medication.  I had back labor the entire time, but was able to get up and move around which made the labor much better for me.  I felt great afterwards, I did have an episiotomy (also not numbed for that) but all I needed after the birth was motrin maybe 4 times over the next few days.  I thought it was wonderful and wouldn't change a thing.  Good luck and do what feels right for you!
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