Post # 1
Most of the threads regarding natural unmedicated birth seem to be many years old so I wanted to hear more recent experiences from bees.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and how do you feel it helped/didn’t help your actual labor and delivery?
Post # 2
I attended a class that went over unmedicated births and medicated. I found it helpful. The instructor had had a natural birth so she told us what helped her. I found it helpful to learn about the different interventions too.
I read some books from the library. The best one i thought was a hypnobirth book. I never used any of the techniques but I thought it was still a good read and helpful.
Honestly the biggest piece if advice i have is to trust your body. Go in with an open mind. You’re not a failure if you need help. But your body was made to do it. I think fear can make it worse so just trust and take things one breath at a time!
Post # 3
I took a modified Bradley class and read books, including “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth.” Then I asked my OB (at the time) about the policies of her group and the hospital and realized I likely was not going to get the birth I wanted with her. So, well into my second trimester and coming up on my third trimester, I switched to a CNM whose policies seemed more supportive of a natural childbirth. I did a lot of sitting cross-legged (tailor sitting) and prenatal yoga in my third trimester too to get baby in position.
Post # 4
I’ve had 3 unmedicated births and didn’t do anything special to prepare, with my first baby (14 years ago) I just went to the standard birthing info classes run by the hospital (public), which was very basic. I was never adamant about doing unmedicated but hoped for it and it just turned out that way. I just had my third baby this year (huge gap) and heard great things about hypnobirthing, but was too lazy to really delve into it. I’m more a wing-it, go with the flow (aka unorganised) type of person, but birth experiences are pretty unpredictable so it’s not a bad way to be.
Saying that though I think if you had the time, money and desire I it would be lovely to have a doula or midwife to accompany you all the way through pregnancy to birth or to do special classes to prepare in a way that makes you feel calm and confident 😊
It’s all up to personal choice and what makes you feel happy and comfortable.
Post # 5
I chose midwife only, but I also did a lot of reading. Like a lot. But, I believe my biggest factor in having a natural birth was actually a podcast I listened to call The Birth Hour. Each episode has a woman telling her birth story. I listened to over a hundred episodes my the time I had my daughter and I felt prepared for almost every eventuality. This caused me to be less fearful of birth and I think fear can really hold you back.
Post # 6
I didn’t end up having a natural birth, but I was intrigued by the idea during my pregnancy and read a lot about it. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is a really empowering read if you want to amp yourself up for a natural birth. The first half of the book is just birth stories of women who delivered at Ina May’s facility. Some crazy shit goes down in terms of really large babies, breech babies, etc., but every woman is ultimately able to get the babe out vaginally and without an epidural (they didnt have any there) and without much intervention.
Post # 7
I took a Lamaze class, discussed my birth plan with my midwife groups, listened to soooo many episodes of The Birth Hour podcast, and read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I think each part of that equation really helped.
Post # 8
I honestly didn’t really do much to prepare, I had pretty bad anxiety about baby’s wellbeing for most of the pregnancy and that sort of consumed me. In the end, I tried the gas through one contraction and had local numbing because of foreceps use, but no time for an epidural and didn’t request anything else.
I had hoped to go (mostly) drug free, but going in for an induction I kept an open mind knowing that they can take a long time and apparently result in more intense contractions. In the end, I just breathed through it, counting so I knew how long until the contraction would peak and start to get better. So for me, anything that focuses on breath would probably have been helpful, and is something I will look into for my next birth in the spring.
Post # 9
I attended a “drug free natural” birth class series and was fully committed to going through labor Unmedicated and on my terms. As it happened, I had unrelenting contractions 2 hours into labor that ended up putting my son into fetal distress and had an emergency c section in the middle of the night. Not exactly my plan! With my second and third, I had sections (though neither arrived on their scheduled dates). I guess my point is, read the books, do the classes, but also keep in mind, healthy mama healthy baby. There’s no medal for going without drugs- and however your baby arrives, it will be a special and amazing experience. Good luck!
Post # 10
I replied on your other thread but I’ll drop it here too (with other details)-
I was already trained as a doula when I was pregnant and preparing for birth. It really helped me to have a vocabulary to speak with my OB about what I wanted, as well as formulating a birth plan for myself. I also went on a silent meditation retreat for 10 days while I was pregnant (I was already doing them and loved them and had heard that they were great for babies in utero- I would agree, based on my son’s general disposition as a baby).
I did sign up for the hospital birthing classes, but they were really basic and boring since I’d had such great training from my doula program. I also read several books (again, for the training, but I found a lot of the information good for personal use). Hypnobirthing, Ina May’s book, The Continuum Concept, Pregnancy Sucks ( 😉 ) and several birthing books specifically about pregnancy and birthing as an African American woman (there is a statistically notable difference in how people in medical establishments hear and support Black women’s pain, unfortunately, that can contribute to maternal mortality and I wasn’t trying to be a statistic).
I was planning (hoping) to have an unmedicated natural birth (I was also planning to stay home and, potentially, have a free birth if things worked out that way). My birth team was pretty well packed, though, which gave me the confidence to move forward with that. My Mother-In-Law was a labor and delivery nurse, my SIL was a paramedic and my closest friend (a super amazing magical mystical woman) was my doula and had plenty of experience as a delivery support. They were awesome, as was my partner. And the hospital was just 5 minutes away from our home, which was good because we ended up having to transfer to the hospital and I had a C-section (turns out our son had the cord wrapped around his neck twice).
Something I found helpful to remember as a doula (and that I understood in an entirely different way after giving birth), was that you want the laboring mother to feel as safe as possible so that her pre-frontal cortex can “shut off”. Women aren’t generally super talkative once they reach stage 2/3 of an unmedicated delivery so as you’re preparing, you want to take in as much as will help you feel informed and also able to relax. Then, once labor begins, you want to be able to trust that the people around you will support you in staying in your body for the labor/delivery process. You can’t think your way through labor and delivery (I learned that the hard way!).
Post # 11
That’s really interesting! Since you mentioned you were at home, how were you able to find out about the cord being wrapped around the baby? Or did you find that after you went to the hospital?
Post # 12
I did the Hypno Babies course at home. I really loved it and I highly recommend it. I hired a doula who was trained in hypno birthing, but I didn’t use her for the course. It was nice that she was fully in to it while I laboured.
Post # 13
we found out after he was born via c-section.
Post # 14
I was pretty motivated to do a natural birth because I’m really not into needles (epidural = giant needle) or the idea of being stuck in a bed for hours during labor. I saw CNMs for my prenatal care and delivered with a CNM at an in hospital birth center.
I hired a Doula and she was awesome! worth her weight in gold! I went to a hospital birth class which was ok, but then went to another private one that went over natural pain management during labor. We learned all these positions and breathing techniques to help manage the contractions. So so helpful! Other than that I read the second half of Ina May’s book. The birth stories were a little too out there for me. The really helpful part of the hospital class was a visual demonstration of how a baby (doll) exits a women’s pelvis. Seeing that visual was really helpful to me since I’m pretty practical and like knowing how things work.
I did a lot of sports in highschool and for me labor was like a really long set of interval training workouts. The nice thing is there is always a break between contractions. Once you get to the point where there are no breaks and you start thinking you can’t do it anymore, its time to push and baby arrives.
Post # 15
I’m in the UK so midwife care is the norm. I had my babies on the NHS.
‘unmedicated’ here pretty much means no opiates and no epidural. All hospital and home births have access to gas and air and I had that in both labours. I loved it! I also had a water birth with my second which was heaven.
before the birth I did a NCT (natural childbirth trust) course. These are private courses and very popular. They talk about birth and what will happen and all the types of pain relief. They promote natural birth and breastfeeding. It was a really good course. Mainly though I got 6 mum friends who all have babies the same age as my oldest. It was and is a great source of support. Not to mention people to hang out with on maternity leave (52 weeks here)