How are you planning to/did stick to your guns? — The Bump
Natural Birth

How are you planning to/did stick to your guns?

Hints, tips, advice... all is welcome!

FTM here and I really want a natural birth, my pain tolerance level isn't great but I really want to do this for me and for my daughter. Throughout my pregnancy I've been looking into different methods to help out, I have not taken any special classes (although our general expectant parent class focused mainly on natural birthing) and I am not really interested in any of the hypno-birthing or stuff. I'm due in just a few weeks and so far have this...

1. My OB, CNM and nurses will be told not to offer me any pain medications, that I knwo they are available to me and I will ask for them if I decide I want them.

2. I will be using  a birthing tub to help with contractions and per the advice of the nurse who taught our class, I will wait to use the tub until it feels like I am absolutely on the verge of asking for an epi.

3. I am filling out a handful of bright, fun neon colored index cards each with one of the many reasons a natural birth is my goal as well as with normal "mantras" about how I can do this, my body was designed to do this etc. etc., so that they are ready and handy for someone to whip out to me if I start to waiver.

4. If I do decide I need meds then I specifically have to address my FI and ask for them and ONLY him and ONLY in a certain way, then he has to stall me for at least 30 minutes before telling the nurses or doctor.

Okay FTMs have you made any plans on how your going to stick it through your natural birth?

Experienced natural mama's... how did you do it?



Proud babywearing, breastfeeding, vaccinating SAHM of 2U2!
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Re: How are you planning to/did stick to your guns?

  • Good luck with this first of all! I had a natural birth a few years ago with my son and it really was an awesome experience. BUT, it was very fast! I was not a FTM so my labor progressed quickly. Here's what I did: I watched a lot of Baby Story shows just to see what I was getting myself into. I told myself I would TRY to go epi free but wasn't a failure if I changed my mind. When we got to the hospital I did not take a wheelchair to my room, I walked. I truly believe this helped because it set the stage for staying mobile. DH was a great coach and when I started to doubt myself he reminded me I wanted to do this and that I could do this.

    I refused an epidural three times. Not going to lie- I was begging for it at the end! Once you get to that point (I was like 9cm) it's too late and you are almost done anyway. The biggest thing that I think helped was not laying in the bed too much. They will keep making you get in the bed to monitor but be clear that you want to get out as soon as they get a good read. Make sure you get an IV that allows you to be mobile. If you have a plan to get in the tub you will surely get that. One last thing that was helpful was the rocking chair. Like I said- anything to not lay in that bed! It made the contractions so much worse.

    You can do this! Remember- your body was made to do this!

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  • The things I think helped me the most are: Having a dr who knew that I didn't want intervention and was ok with that. My husband, without his constant support during labor and his aggrement that a med free birth was best everything would have been a lot more difficult. Myself, I knew without a doubt I would not get an epi. I was asked multiple times if I wanted one and I am almost positive that if I was so sure I would gave in. Like pp said once you really want one it's almost time to her the baby. Good luck!
    Wedding 6.18.04 Cole 11.20.06 Gavin 3.31.08 Parker 07.15.10 Logan 04.03.12
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  • First, I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. It's an AWESOME read, the birth stories were so inspiring and gave me so many ideas of things I could do to cope. For example, I learned to blow raspberries ("horse lips") to get through contractions, and relax my body, and I learned how important visualization is in terms of breathing and relaxing each muscle. 

    Second, I did NOT labour sitting in a bed. Sitting there, putting undue pressure on your pelvic floor, with your legs stretched out in front of you is not ideal for the baby's descent, and I found with both my LO's labours that it was actually more painful. What worked best through the contractions was to rest my arms and head on a tall dresser, or lean against my husband, with my back/butt stuck out. At another point it felt amazing to kneel on the floor with my arms on a chair, and have my husband put pressure on my lower back.

    Using a birthing pool or having a shower is a great idea for pain management, and your idea of waiting to use it is a good one. 

    My pain tolerance level is not great either, and I was surprised that my labour progressed so quickly. Granted, this was my 2nd baby, but I had NO CLUE I was 10cm, and based off of how I felt, I would have only guessed I was 4-5cm, especially in comparison to my son's birth. I was much less emotionally prepared then, and did NOT stick with a natural homebirth as I had planned. This time, though, I know that preparing myself emotionally (eg-reading empowering material) and learning to relax, visualize, and make proper vocalizations through the contractions made all the difference. 

    Good luck with everything! I hope you get the experience you're looking for, and as another poster said, remember that you CAN do this! Your body was designed to be able to endure childbirth, and you can do it! 

  • I laboured at home until I really  was ready to be at the hospital. Turned out, I was ready to push once we got there. They never offered me any form of pain meds - no time!

    It worked well for me, and I will do the same thing next time if I can.

  • Having a support team that knew of my plans.  My team of midwives knew I didn't want any pain medication from the very first appt.  The conversation never came up when I got to the hospital since they already knew of my plans so I had the mindset that it wasn't even an option to get an epidural or other pain medication.  My plan worked and it was amazing!  Best decision ever! 

    With my first birth I ended up getting an epidural at 8-9 cm after I went through transition.  The epi was awful and I really regretted it.  For that birth, I went into it being open-minded.  I told myself I would try to go without an epidural but would be open to it if I felt I needed it.  Giving myself the choice was the wrong thing to do because I mentally caved under pressure.  I also saw an OB rather than midwives and didn't have that support team there to cheer me on like I did during my natural birth.

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  • For me, it was reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Natural Chilbirth: The Bradley Method by McCutcheon (I think, it's been a while) were amazing. I loved all the birth stories in the Ina may book, and the other book had a lot of diagrams to help visualize what was going on. (sorry, on phone and can't paragraph) I was shocked that my music I brought along helped so much. I had a mix of about 7 classical songs that I loved on repeat, and it's one if the things that got me through. (That plus my wonderful DH.) At one point (transition, actually) my friend showed me a card with a picture of some flowers on it and told me to concentrate and I told her where she could shove it. :) Really though, different things work for different people, but as long as you go in strong, stay firm, and have the support of your DH/birthing coach, you'll be fine. It's totally doable and such an amazing experience. Good luck to you!
  • imagetokenhoser:

    I laboured at home until I really  was ready to be at the hospital. Turned out, I was ready to push once we got there. They never offered me any form of pain meds - no time!

    It worked well for me, and I will do the same thing next time if I can.

    This was almost my experience, except I wasn't quite ready to push right away! I was 5 cm and as soon as they got my tub filled, I hit transition. LO was born 4 hours after we left for the hospital.

    I think being in the tub helped me progress so fast so, personally, I wouldn't wait that long to get it. I *loved* the tub. I almost wish I had gone to the hospital earlier so I could have been in the tub longer, but I really was coping just fine at home.

    I don't remember if this was mentioned, but check out a doula! I know I could have done it without her, but she made it so much easier. She had a special way she pushed on my hips that I swear made contractions barely painful. MH could just not quite replicate it. It was amazing. She was also great moral support. 

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