Really want to go Natural- Need some tips! — The Bump
Natural Birth

Really want to go Natural- Need some tips!

HI ladies!


I'm a FTM, now 26 weeks along. I am delivering in the hospital, but really want to go natural. I haven't taken any childbirth classes yet, and to be honest, I'm not really sure what I'm in for! I know it's hard to prepare for something like birth, but I was just wondering if you ladies had any tips for me? Any books/websites that were helpful for you in preparing for a natural birth? Did music help you, breathing, etc?

 Any tips would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much in advance!!



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Re: Really want to go Natural- Need some tips!

  • Look into Hypnobirthing!  I'm doing it and have heard only wonderful things.  If you don't have a class in your area, look into getting the Hypnobabies home course.  I haven't used it, but others on here have.
    Baby Boy #1 born on 3/21/08 
    BFP 8/2/10 (3w5d); No more heartbeat on 8/30/10 (7w4d); D&C on 9/2/10 (8w) - Baby Boy with Triploidy
    BFP 12/3/10 (4w2d); Natural miscarriage 12/12/10 (5w4d) - Unknown cause
    Diagnosed with Compound Heterozygous MTHFR
    BFP 3/9/11; Baby Boy #2 born on 11/7/11
    Currently TTC Baby #3

  • You really ought to take a class, like Hypnobirthing.

    Read the popular pro-natural birth books by Ina May Gaskin - Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Ricki Lake - Your Best Birth.  Watch The Business of Being Born with your partner.

    You need a supportive partner that agrees natural birth is best for your family.

    You need a doctor or midwife that's supportive of natural birth.

    You should write up a birth plan that talks about what you want to do.

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  • You need to make sure you're informed.   I did the Bradley classes and it was very time consuming but we got  a lot of information that we wouldn't have had.   In addition I read Henci Goer's book The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.   She takes all the research out there on different interventions and explains it in layman's terms so you know what your options are.   I also read The Bradley Method which just reinforced what we were learning in class.   My DH read Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Bradley but I didn't.   This was written in the 60's and does contain some sexist views, such as don't make your pregnant wife do all the ironing, so it could be a bit off putting.

    Other than that, I found a prenatal yoga class that I went to three times a week, which help me prepare and strengthen muscles that I would need during the birth, like your leg muscles for squatting.  I also hired a doula to be with us for our birth and she was extremely helpful when the contractions got bad.   Most important you need to speak with your partner and make sure they are are on the same page as you.  At one point, I did ask my DH and Doula for an epidural, my doula was ready to call the nurse but my husband said no, 30 minutes later I was pushing.

  • Preparation was very helpful for me. I prepared so much that I really felt ready for labor and delivery. When I did go into labor I knew what to expect enough that I wasn't really surprised by anything. For example, I knew labor would get really tough in transition so when it happened I was ready for it. As a FTM I don't think you can ever really expect what labor is going to be like for you, but I knew a lot about what could happen.

    I wanted to learn about a lot of methods and strategies so that I would have a lot to pull from in labor. Personally I hated hypnobirthing but I know a lot of people love it and I'm glad I looked into it. I liked the Bradley method but wouldn't say I had a "bradley birth". I learned a lot and did what worked for me at the time. I loved Ina May's guide to childbirth. That was one of my favorite natural birth books. I also liked Natural childbirth the Bradley way.

    A good support system is very helpful. Having a partner who will encourage and help you when it gets tough is invaluable. There were a couple moments when I was pushing (that was by far the hardest and most painful part for me) when I wanted to give up but my husband and my L&D nurse were fantastic and really helped me focus again. Also, talk with you partner and decide ahead of time what you want to happen if complications arise. Ideally every labor and birth would go off without a hitch, but unfortunately that is not always the case. After 3 hours of pushing a doctor came and talked to me about getting a c-section. My DH and I had already decided that if we had a choice we wanted to try for a vaginal birth. If there was a problem and the baby was at risk that would be different, but as long as there was not a medical necessity I wanted to keep going. Since we knew that ahead of time, when the doctor came I didn't even stop to think about it. If we hadn't decided that already I don't know what I would have done in the moment because I was exhausted by then.

    I hope that helps. Good luck with your natural birth! 

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  • I did it at 18 years old with twins, no books, no classes.  I did it because I was afraid of my babies being sick from meds being born early at 34 weeks.  They were my motivation.  You can do it.  You just gotta take it one contraction at a time and know that the pain will end.  I would say that contractions got intense after dilating to 3-4 cm.  I tense up with pain and I'm sure finding relaxing techniques will help with "working with the pain"  You will know what your body needs at the time and I do suggest finding a few different relaxing techs before labor so you can change your options if something ends up not working.  Keep options open and don't be set on just one thing!  You will do great!
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