Post # 1
Since before I was pregnant, I’ve been interested in the idea of having a childbirth experience that is as medication and intervention-free as possible. Now that the time is getting closer, my feelings haven’t changed and I’m actually getting more and more excited about the prospect. I don’t talk to many people IRL about this (other than a few friends), because it is usually met with eye rolls, laughter, “words of wisdom” (aka “just get the epidural and don’t question it”), or horror stories.
I know everyone has a different experience and there is CERTAINLY a time and place for medical intervention…I’m planning to give birth at a well-respected hospital for my own peace of mind, in case of an emergency. I have no judgement for women who choose epidurals/pain medications. It’s such a personal choice, and each woman knows her body best. I just feel like this is the right decision for me, and have been surprised at the lack of open-mindedness and discouragement from many people. I’m a medical professional, have done my research, and know the risks/benefits…so it’s frustrating to be treated like I’m crazy.
Which brings me me to my question: was your natural birth plan successful? Why or why not? Did you have the help of a doula or prepare wih a birthing class? What would you have done differently? Please share your experience/encouragement! I’m strongly thinking about hiring a doula for support, especially because my OB – while I think she’s a wonderful doctor – isn’t super gung-ho about the idea of me not getting an epidural (but has said she will respect my wishes and just wants me to be well-informed and prepared).
Post # 2
I had an all natural no medicine no interventions childbirth! I didnt take any birthing classes but my husband and I readchildbirth hildbirth the Bradley way and followed the Bradley method techniques for relaxation! Im not going to lie, it was absolutely the hardest most painful day of my life but I had a 26 hr labor with 2 1/2 hrs of pushing! I still feel so so great that I did all natural though! Wechoose not to have a doula bc we didn’t want extra ppl in the room…we had a midwife tho so she supported all our decisions and wanted the same thing we did! Also, if ur partner is on the same page for a natural birth and they r willing to speak up for u that’s all u really need. My hubby made sure everyone knew that we wanted natural and gave them our birth plan. You do have to keep reminding ppl if ur in a normal hospital bc nurses change so much. I highly recommend reading natural childbirth the Bradley way with ur partner and doing the exercises together. It really helped get us what we wanted. Good luck!
Post # 3
Oh best advice I have is stay at home and labor at home as long as you possibly can!
Post # 4
I wanted a natural pregnancy and birth..and didn’t really get either. I read and read and read so much even before I was pregnant, and was so focused on doing what I believed was best.
Unfortunately, my pregnancy was plagued with kidney complications. I need more ultrasounds than I wanted, had to have surgery (which comes with anestetics, pain meds, xray, etc).
All the stress from that caused my DD to be IUGR and I required an induction…something I swore I would not do.
Luckily it just took cervical gel to put me into labour.
I tried to go med-free for the birth, but things moved ridiculously fast, and no one realized it. I went from a 3-4 to a 10 within a few hours. No one had checked my progress when I was BEGGING for the epidural. Only after it was in, did they check and find that I was at 10cm. I think if I had known how fast I was progressing, I could have held out, but being that I had never experienced birth before, I had no idea. My birth was still wonderful though! If it happened the same this time around, I would be ok with that.
I will try again this time for a med-free birth.
Good luck on your journey! I hope you have the birth you want!
Post # 5
My mum had natural births with both myself and my brother, despite being put under considerable pressure both leading up to and during labour by doctors and her midwife not to.
Her labour with me lasted 36 hours, with my brother 12 hours; she had nothing more than gas and air and didn’t need any intervention.
Post # 6
My plan was to have a no intervention/no medication birth.
BUT my plan was also very open to change 🙂
I ended up laboring at home a really long time, which I recommended. I also said no to induction, which, again, I recommend. I did want my water to break naturally, but after 3 hours of contractions and only a half centimeter to show for it, I let them break it for me. And although I declined the epi and made it through without it, I did opt for a med at 8cm dilated due to the possibility of being too tired to push.
I also did not want an episiotomy, but unfortunately my baby was not coming out without one, and even with one I still tore past it, so I am probably fortunate I had one. I made sure the compress, oil, and everything else was used first though.
I honestly would try again to go med free next time, but if it doesn’t happen I obviously know everything is ok. I have a beautiful son anyway 🙂
Post # 7
I wanted minimal interventions, and that is what happened. I labored at home, I had the support of my husband, a best friend, and two student doulas. I saw a midwife practice instead of an OB (low risk pregnancy though, complications get referred to OB of course). I avoided being induced despite going over a week past due. I was able to eat, drink, walk, sway, squat, use a birthing ball, take a shower, and get in a tub of water while laboring. All of those things helped me progress quickly and stay energized and hydrated. I delivered in a squatting position so my pelvis was much more open than if I had been laying on my back. I went from 5cm to holding our baby in just over half an hour.
The biggest things you can do to achieve the birth you want are:
-Choose a provider who supports your goals and has a similar birth philosophy.
-Surround yourself with a person or people who can support and encourage you when things get tough. Doulas are amazing, and they have some pretty cool stats according to the Evidence Based Birth blog:http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/
-Research your options, make a birth plan (or set goals and communicate them), and keep an open mind because you really never know what might happen. Interventions exist and can be used in appropriate situations to save lives. Just remember to research the evidence behind these interventions, know your risks and benefits, and make informed decisions.
Post # 8
I did – but needed a little intervention. My water broke at home around 6:30 on a Friday night. My midwife advised us to wait overnight to see if contractions start on their own. They did not so we called the midwife to let her know the next morning and wound up going to the hospital. I was admitted and had to have pitocin administered to give my body a little push to get the baby going. It worked really well because 4 hours later our baby girl was born.
I absolutely could not have done it med free without my husband. He was an amazing coach and helped talk me through each contraction as well as providing his hands for me to grab during each one after they got painful. We did take a comfort measures workshop which helped both of us.
If for some reason you don’t think your DH will be a great coach, then go for a doula to help you get through. In my case, I didn’t need one which was wonderful. He said after our daughter was born that it was so hard to see me in so much pain but he obviously just had to put that aside to help me get through it. He said the worst was delivering her shoulders because I literally screamed.
My advice is just try to prepare yourselves as best as you can – BUT keep an open mind. I wanted natural but I also knew that there might come a time when I couldn’t handle it. I almost caved and asked for Stadol to take the edge off – but wound up not and I’m glad because DD was born 1/2 hour later.
Post # 9
littlebee3: I was diagnosed with GD so was induced at 38+3. Unfortunately I didn’t even get to experience labour, as soon as my body started to prepare for contractions my DD went into distress. Turns out my placenta conked out and she wasn’t getting oxygen. I went from wanting to attempt a natural birth to an emergency c section put fully under and intubated 🙁 Good thing I didn’t have my heart set on anything. It got DD here safely and that is all that matters.
Post # 10
I planned a natural birth, although I had an open mind. Just as well really as I ended up with a prolapsed cord and emergency c section under general anaesthetic. I would say I’ll try for a natural birth next time, but I’m pretty sure I won’t do it again.
Post # 11
NewYearsEve: thanks for the advice! I’m really thinking about reading the Bradley method book. My husband is super supportive and I think would be a great labor coach. I’m also planning to stay home as long as I can (my childbirth instructor advised this as well), especially since we live less than 10 minutes from the hospital.
urchin: thank you for sharing your story! I can’t imagine going through all those kidney issues while pregnant…I’ve had one round of kidney stones a couple of weeks ago and it was terrible! You seem to have a great attitude and I hope things go more smoothly for you in the future 🙂
barbie86: thanks for the encouragement!
megz06: thank you for sharing your story! I’m glad your son arrived safely and hope you have more of the experience you want next time 🙂
DaneLady: I’ve heard great things about the tub and birthing ball, definitely planning to use those! Thanks for the advice!
irin997: thank you so much for sharing, sounds like such an amazing bonding experience for you and your husband 🙂 I feel exactly the same way – I really want natural but also trying to keep an open mind
awakemysoul: elindsp: oh my goodness, so glad your babies are healthy and arrived safely! I’m trying to keep in mind that things may happen outside my control, and not get too upset about it. I hope any future birthing experiences aren’t as scary for you!
Post # 12
I wanted one but ended up with an EMCS because one of my twins had a brow presentation and wasn’t coming out–contractions were causing hyperextension of her neck but not moving her forward. I had an epidural at 29 hours in so they could try an assisted delivery and manual internal version before resorting to a c-section (also because my chance of a CS was going up at that point and I didn’t want t go under general anaesthesia). Neither worked, so I’m glad they had the drugs and am glad for the section–my daughter would probably have died if it wasn’t for intervention in my case! As it was she came out black and blue from all the bruising she’d sustained and ended up with a severe case of jaundice.
natural birth is certainly a nice goal, but don’t hold on to it so tightly that you end up making choices that aren’t in your baby’s best interest. My daughter would have come out without the trauma or bruising if I’d listened to my doctors and gone with their advice for a c-section earlier in my labour instead of sticking to my guns on natural birth.
Post # 13
- Wedding: December 2014 - 13th ~ TN
littlebee3: As a practicing Doula I would say 9 times out of 10 the only thing to really keep a woman who plans to have a natural birth from not having one is an emergency which requires a c-section.
I have only seen like 4 births where the woman decided she needed drugs at some point in the delivery and I have attended about 100 births now.
Post # 14
Twiglets: so glad you and your daughter made it through such a scary delivery! Working in healthcare (at a children’s hospital), I’m probably more paranoid than most of the “what ifs”…I’m planning to deliver at a hospital that’s well-known for their labor and delivery services, and I have a great OB…so definitely feel that I’m in good hands as far as any emergencies! Obviously it wouldn’t be ideal, but my main concern is my baby girl arriving safely. So thankful for skilled doctors in a situation like the one you were in!
MrsUPS: thanks for your reply, how cool that you’re a doula! I’m trying to decide if I would like to hire a doula for labor support or have my husband be my primary coach. I’m amazed at the evidence behind what you do and the positive stories and outcomes. The hospital where I’m delivering actually offers doula services now, but I think its just for delivery – I need to call and find out. If I do use a doula, I would like to meet with her beforehand so we can get to know each other a bit before I’m in labor 🙂
Post # 15
- Wedding: December 2014 - 13th ~ TN
littlebee3: I work for the hospital, as well, and not on my own and the paitients have the option, through thier doctor to meet me beforeheand. Of course that is additional fees.