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Natural Birth?


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  • 1 Post By ElizabethS
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  • 2 Post By AnniePixie
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  #1  
August 24th, 2014, 09:21 AM
pinstripedbabe's Avatar Veteran
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Location: New York, NY
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So I'm thinking I want to go for an unmedicated birth. Not that I have anything against women who go through medicated births and I'm not trying to be offensive. It's just that he thought of a needle being put in my spinal cord just freaks me out more than any amount of pain does. Not to mention all the side effects that could potentially come with an epidural. It just doesn't seem worth it to me. So for the mommies who have done it naturally, what advice would you give me? Did you have a doula or a birthing coach or did you just go for it?
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  #2  
August 24th, 2014, 10:22 AM
ElizabethS's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would suggest a doula for sure. They are great and can advocate for you when nurses are trying to push medicine or an epidural on you in your weaker moments.

I had an unmedicated birth with my thirs because my labor was so fast and intense..it was hard but mostly I think because it happened so dang fast and I was COUNTING on an epidural. But I only pushed once and I was uo and walking in ten minutes. It was my fastest recovery after any of my four babies. I am not set on an epidural either way this time. Depends on how fast she comes and how I feel at thr time but I have had 3 epidurals before so I am familiar with the process and side effects etc.


Good luck I hope you get the birth experience you want!
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  #3  
August 24th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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I have not done fully natural birth...so take my advice for what it is worth to you.

Have a good support person with you - a doula is great (I had one with my 3rd birth and loved it). She will have a great range of non-pharmacological suggestions for interventions and can help keep you very focused on your goal. I suggest interviewing a few different ones to make sure you get a good personal fit.

I think it is fabulous going into labor wanting it to be all natural and I truly hope that it is everything you want it to be.

That being said, be open to pharmacological intervention *if needed and you change your mind* - labor pain can be very intense and you are not a failure if you rely on pain medication. There are other options than an epidural or spinal interventions.
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  #4  
August 24th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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I have done both medicated and unmedicated. I am going to try unmedicated again for this one. Both had no complications. My first labor was so long, I can't imagine not having an epidural through that. My 2nd labor was 7 hours, more reasonable to go natural. Unmedicated labor is intense pain without let up, just be open to change if you do decide to gets meds part way through your labor. Not having labored before, it is hard to know what to expect. I didn't find the epidural to be painful for more than a second. I welcomed it to put me out of my misery. That being said, I applaud you for trying unmedicated. You can always play it by ear. Yes, I would recommend a doula for sure. They know how to use pressure points to help with pain relief. Good luck!
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  #5  
August 24th, 2014, 10:59 PM
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I had an unmedicated birth. My mom is a doula. She was with me right before and at the hospital. For me, the biggest thing that helped was waiting at home until close to the birth. By the time I got there, my son was born in less than an hour (I wouldn't recommend waiting quite that long...I had no idea he was so close to coming). It also helped me to accept the pain (know people survive) and to take it one moment at a time. I had a free contraction timer that really helped. I could focus on just pressing start/stop and it calculated how long each contraction was and the average per hour and length. Once I couldn't do the app anymore, it was time to go. I called my mom (doula) when it felt too intense, and when she got to our house, she told us to go to the hospital. It also helped to move around and for me it helped leaning on my husband for counter pressure. You'll be great. There are definitely pros/cons of medication and not. If i had a really long labor or back labor, I'd definitely consider medication. I'm playing it by ear this time too. It definitely hurts, but people survive and it helped with a fast recovery time and I think for pushing. (I too am freaked out by the needle thing and that's part of the reason I tried too). Good luck! Hope it goes smoothly!
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  #6  
August 24th, 2014, 11:08 PM
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I had a natural home birth with my first and am planning the same with this one. My sister in law is a midwife and I was trained as a doula. I would definitely recommend having a doula. Husbands can be great, but there's just something about the womanly presence that overrides them . I would also recommend using a program, although it might be a little late in the game- I used Hypnobabies, but it requires a couple months of listening to the scripts and such. Either way, I found it extremely helpful. Leading up to the birth I also started reading and writing birthing affirmations about how my body was capable- I found myself repeating these during the actual birth. And WATER, water is amazing at relieving pain- shower or tub, so if you have it available use it!!
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  #7  
August 25th, 2014, 05:49 AM
Urchin's Avatar Loving every minute.
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I tried for an unmedicated birth with my DD, but ended up getting gas, nubain (or maybe stadol??) and an epidural at 10cm. My labour moved really fast and no one realized it until after I got the epi in.

I think a support person, and lots of coping techniques ahead of time will be your best bet. Look into breathing techniques, counter pressure, water, etc.

I'm trying to go drug free again this time! I also don't like the idea of epidurals and side effects, even though I've been through it all once before. I'd rather try my best to get through the labour without it...but we'll see!

Good luck to you
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  #8  
August 25th, 2014, 09:13 AM
kto1111's Avatar Super Mommy
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Everyone I know who has successfully delivered unmedicated spent a significant amount of time preparing for it. They researched, took classes, and practiced the techniques a LOT. From what I understand, it's very very mental and it can be hard to get in the right state of mind, let alone stay there the whole way through. Most also had a doula. Will you be in a hospital? I think having a really strong support person in place is key and husbands can't always fill that role... they don't care to see their wives in agony. Good luck!!
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  #9  
August 25th, 2014, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kto1111 View Post
Everyone I know who has successfully delivered unmedicated spent a significant amount of time preparing for it. They researched, took classes, and practiced the techniques a LOT. From what I understand, it's very very mental and it can be hard to get in the right state of mind, let alone stay there the whole way through. Most also had a doula. Will you be in a hospital? I think having a really strong support person in place is key and husbands can't always fill that role... they don't care to see their wives in agony. Good luck!!
I agree that a lot of it is mentally preparing (accepting pain and that you'll be okay). I didn't do anything else to prepare though besides a one-day birthing class that discussed all methods. I did have a doula (my mom), who helped, but surprisingly, my husband helped the most. My mom was more an advocate to the hospital people to make sure our voices were being heard and to reassure us if we had any questions. I agree that support is very important and it helps to have as little stress as possible, so for me it helped being home until the last minute. This time I think I'll have my mom help, but come over way earlier so I can take advantage of the massages since last time I was past that point. Good luck! Hopefully whatever you choose will be the birthing experience you want
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  #10  
August 26th, 2014, 06:46 AM
pinstripedbabe's Avatar Veteran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnniePixie View Post
I agree that a lot of it is mentally preparing (accepting pain and that you'll be okay). I didn't do anything else to prepare though besides a one-day birthing class that discussed all methods. I did have a doula (my mom), who helped, but surprisingly, my husband helped the most. My mom was more an advocate to the hospital people to make sure our voices were being heard and to reassure us if we had any questions. I agree that support is very important and it helps to have as little stress as possible, so for me it helped being home until the last minute. This time I think I'll have my mom help, but come over way earlier so I can take advantage of the massages since last time I was past that point. Good luck! Hopefully whatever you choose will be the birthing experience you want
The only thing I'm worried about when it comes to laboring mostly at home is not being able to monitor the baby. When I went for the hospital tour, the nurse showed us how they monitor the baby's heart rate for each contraction. If I'm home, I won't be able to know if something is wrong.
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  #11  
August 26th, 2014, 08:46 AM
FlyingFlower's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by pinstripedbabe View Post
The only thing I'm worried about when it comes to laboring mostly at home is not being able to monitor the baby. When I went for the hospital tour, the nurse showed us how they monitor the baby's heart rate for each contraction. If I'm home, I won't be able to know if something is wrong.
So for me I'm all for the hospital and epidural birth experience. However from what I understand, those heart rate monitors are really really really unreliable. At this point in the US doctors are afraid not to use them because they have been using them for so long. But other places, ie other first world countries that have better outcomes for both moms and babies and much lower c-section rates, they don't use the monitors or only use them sporadically. They lead to a lot of interventions and c-sections here. Because of course if you're being told your baby's heart rate is dropping and not coming up and you need a cs asap you're not going to question it. That happened with me, they said DD's heart rate was dropping and she needed to come out right away or I would need a cs. It was scary and luckily she came out in 3 pushes. But frankly I really question if there was a problem. Anyway that's my thought on the heart rate monitors and just something for you to keep in mind. But also I'm not taking my own advice because I'm one for laboring not at home.
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  #12  
August 26th, 2014, 08:52 AM
kto1111's Avatar Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingFlower View Post
So for me I'm all for the hospital and epidural birth experience. However from what I understand, those heart rate monitors are really really really unreliable. At this point in the US doctors are afraid not to use them because they have been using them for so long. But other places, ie other first world countries that have better outcomes for both moms and babies and much lower c-section rates, they don't use the monitors or only use them sporadically. They lead to a lot of interventions and c-sections here. Because of course if you're being told your baby's heart rate is dropping and not coming up and you need a cs asap you're not going to question it. That happened with me, they said DD's heart rate was dropping and she needed to come out right away or I would need a cs. It was scary and luckily she came out in 3 pushes. But frankly I really question if there was a problem. Anyway that's my thought on the heart rate monitors and just something for you to keep in mind. But also I'm not taking my own advice because I'm one for laboring not at home.


^That's exactly how I ended up with a C-section. And what's baffling is that it went from an emergency to not, because by the time I got wheeled from the l&d room to the OR, the heart rate was normal again.


It's my understanding that people who desire natural births are actually very much against constant fetal monitoring for reasons FlyingFlower mentioned.


Do you have a doppler? I don't know if that would help ease your mind or make it worse!


Also - I like to believe if something is going seriously wrong, you'll know.
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  #13  
September 1st, 2014, 01:43 PM
KeliRevels's Avatar Super Mommy
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I'm just reading this thread (a little late for me! haha) and this was my first baby, but I had the best birth experience I could have ever hoped for. However, it was very short (JUST under 4 hours of labor and 13 minutes of pushing). I did it unmedicated, but I asked for medicine when I was very close to complete. I didn't take it because I didn't know how far progressed I was (for all I knew, I was still at 6 cm) and the nurse informed me that the first dose (of stadol, I believe) is the strongest and I wanted to hold out as long as I could. I ended up not taking the medicine at all.

Few nuggest of advice, take them for what they are worth, ha:

1) try your BEST to 'empty' yourself before getting too far into labor. everybody tells you that the baby makes you feel like you have to poo, but when you really have to (i did ) it is MISERABLE to be sitting on the toilet through contractions.


2) i was so thankful that i had somebody there to time my contractions. i was WAY too focused on my body and getting through them to time them myself and i couldn't stand having the bands for the monitor around my stomach. i know there are apps, but to be honest, i don't think i'd have even used it if nobody else was timing them, haha.


3) WATER. water, water, water. it helped SO much. when i was almost complete, i got out of the tub and i'm glad that i did because it probably made pushing easier when i got back in (gravity and whatnot) but the water helped so much. i don't know if your hospital offers water births but even the shower helped. the thought of a shower was appalling to me until i got in it. sitting was really hard for me through contractions and i was kind of weak to be standing up for too long but the water made sitting worth it.


4) just keep an open mind. our bodies are made to do this... and they are fully capable, but there is nothing wrong with pain management that isn't 'natural.' it hurts! lol. my labor may have been quick, but it was more painful than i could have imagined. not to scare you, just be open. things happen and i was very excited and confident in a natural birth going into it (i didn't read up on it as much as i could have, i just feel like if i kept a calm environment and stayed in tune with my body i'd be able to get through it without) but honestly, if my labor would have lasted longer, i can't say for certain i wouldn't have taken meds.


no matter what you decide, go into it confident. discuss with somebody you trust that will be there (even your provider; i was very blessed with a great relationship with my midwife) what you want and what your expectations are and then what happens if you decide to change them. you'll do great!
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  #14  
September 1st, 2014, 05:00 PM
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I almost was able to do this; near the end of labour I took the gas but it actually did very little for me. The breathing required to use it probably helped more than the gas! I had not planned on having a hospital birth but since my little one was breech, I had no choice. I had my husband with me as well as two midwives who normally probably wouldn't have been there except they felt like I needed their support and protection (I did) from all the doctors who were pushing for a c-section. It was also good that they were there for my husband; they gave him breaks and support as well. And it was nice to have someone informed right there to consult about anything.They didn't keep me on continuous fetal monitoring. They periodically checked with the Doppler and from time to time would do a 20 minute monitoring of the baby's heart rate and the contractions. Some of my coping mechanisms included ignoring the fetal and contraction monitors when they were on (I didn't look at them and I turned down the volume), I didn't watch the clock especially when they were updating me on my progress (progress is slower at the beginning and this was very true for me), getting into the bath when I was 6 to 7 cm dilated, having someone apply pressure (lower back, hips, etc. ... my husband could not believe the amount of pressure that I was asking for!) and movement (laying in bed was torture). Also be ready to be there for the long haul - my labour was nearly 28 hours, the whole time it was back labour and I pushed for just under 2 hours. There will come a point when the pain will be unbearable but this just means you're almost there. My recovery has been quite good with the exception of the pain from the third degree tear.
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