I had two kids naturaly. My first I was all for drugs, but when I went to talk to doctors two said because of my small size, and reactions to pain killers (I get LOOPY and have to take very small doses) I had a very high chance of C-section. I talked to a naturalpath midwife who delivered in a birth center. She said she was very sure I would be fine. She is trained in turning babies, and her husband is a MD, so he consulted when I had low iron and fought with me to raise it high enough to stay at the birth center.
I would say PREPARE!! The biggest issue I think is getting too overwelmed. I told my mom during labor that it hurt all right, but it was just floods of anxiety and emotion that was really the issue. I learned how to count meditate, (in one, out two, ect all the way to ten. then start over. Fiance kept me on track even if I threw pillows at him)
Another is you HAVE to move to be comfortable. Laying on your back is one of the most painful positions for me and many I talked to in birth class reunion. Most of us even though we didnt plan it, had water births. I LOVED being able to be in any postion with out pressure points anywhere on me. Only issue is we didnt plan it the first time and I pulled Fiance in so quickly he only got his pants off, and had to hang out in his boxers and shirt.. lol… he gets people who ask why he let me. “WOuld you tell a crazy hormonal women who was shoveing out a 6 pound baby no? I would been killed in my sleep!!” He helped keep me floating and massaging me when I would let someone touch me.
I took a natural class (even though I missed all but the first, going into labor 3 weeks early… opps) and I learned how to instruct Fiance on how to push on my hips, when to help me move, and get around. I would say it helps your peace of mind, and better prepares you on things, but most of the time I was just wingging it and did fine.
Back labor is HORRIBLE and my kids were stubborn. The more I relaxed and let Fiance do a position hip thingy we learned and it was alot better.
My Dr actually all but did force me to drink juice and water. She said the more dehydrated and low on sugar you are the more pain you feel. Also holding your breath restricts oxygyn and make it all more painful.
Sorry so long, but I was a converted naturalpath…lol
OH!! Bonus, I saw my medical bills after and it was about 1/5 my friends in a hospital… didnt realize how expensive hospitals are!!