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Natural Birth for the Un-Crunchy?


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
August 30th, 2013, 07:37 PM
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I am researching birthing methods currently (yes, I am a planner!) and I am interested in possibly having a natural birth. But not because of any of the "crunchy" reasons (feminine power over body, etc). Personally I just care about a healthy baby, I honestly don't give a crap about the birth itself...the ends justifying the means if you will. But I dislike the idea of having to labor in one position and other restrictions that an epidural would cause, not to mention anything that might make recovery time longer. Plus I am one of those people who likes to experience things and I want to see what the full experience is like

Can anyone suggest any reading material for the un-crunchy regarding natural childbirth? I will be birthing in a hospital or a birthing center attached to a hospital. After my mother and I nearly died during my birth I want to be somewhere close to emergency help just in case. Thank you
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  #2  
August 31st, 2013, 07:44 AM
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I'm not crunchy. At all. Nothing about me is crunchy.

So, that being said, I want to have a natural birth because I believe it is something the human body was designed to do. (Is that crunchy?) Also, upon researching, I find that possible complications from intervention scare me more than undergoing the process of giving birth. (Is that crunchy? Not sure.)

Anyhow, I've read a few books now on childbirth (One by Ina May Gaskin and it was really great) and watched The Business of Being Born and Pregnant in America. Those were my starting points and they offered lots of insight as well as lists of other resources. I think there is some mention of spiritual reasons and girl power / femininity reasons for NCB but I suppose you could just ignore those parts? Mostly it's based on evidence from other developed nations with higher rates of home birth success and lower rates of complications. I find this more factual and informative than crunchy.

Good luck!
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  #3  
August 31st, 2013, 08:52 AM
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I tried the Ina May Gaskin material and I wanted to throw it through a wall. There was something that severely grated me the wrong way about how that woman wrote.

And I am not really interested in why people choose natural birth, just techniques. If I could move around with an epidural I would, and if C-Section didn't take so long to recover I might go that route too. I should have been more specific, sorry.

I was looking at the Bradley Method, since I don't like the idea of doulas and my husband is probably more nurturing then most women
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  #4  
August 31st, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Hmmm. That is a tough one. I feel like a lot of the books are geared toward the benefits of natural birth, for mom and baby. But they also will contain other aspects of NCB that are important for crunchy folks. I read one called "Natural Childbirth in a Hospital" and I feel that might be a good route for you to go. I can't honestly say I remember much of what it said (I read most of my NCB books before my second child). It does sound like the Bradley Method might be a good one for you. But honestly, even as a crunchy woman, that stuff made me want to vomit. Lol. I guess it's dependent on how the reading appeals to you. Ultimately, I think selecting a care provider who is on board with natural childbirth is going to be your best bet for "preparing" for a NCB in a hospital. There are a lot of docs out that who either intentionally or unwittingly sabatoge their NCB clients because of what they believe about a woman giving birth. I think finding a doctor who is willing to give you time, space, and a minimum of interventions is the first line of defense in a hospital natural childbirth. Then you can address the aspect of pain management. Because, sadly, in a hospital, usually your first battle is not over you being able to manage the pain, but over something like an unnecessary intervention or a restriction that places you at risk of needing other interventions (leading to things like pitocin, epidurals, and c-sections). Good luck! I hope you can find what you want.
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  #5  
August 31st, 2013, 08:33 PM
daneeleigh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaBonana View Post
I'm not crunchy. At all. Nothing about me is crunchy.

So, that being said, I want to have a natural birth because I believe it is something the human body was designed to do. (Is that crunchy?) Also, upon researching, I find that possible complications from intervention scare me more than undergoing the process of giving birth. (Is that crunchy? Not sure.)

Anyhow, I've read a few books now on childbirth (One by Ina May Gaskin and it was really great) and watched The Business of Being Born and Pregnant in America. Those were my starting points and they offered lots of insight as well as lists of other resources. I think there is some mention of spiritual reasons and girl power / femininity reasons for NCB but I suppose you could just ignore those parts? Mostly it's based on evidence from other developed nations with higher rates of home birth success and lower rates of complications. I find this more factual and informative than crunchy.

Good luck!
Ditto this. I'm not really crunchy but I believe in natural birth for health and safety reasons. I'd start with the business of being born series. It's not really very crunchy IMO.
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  #6  
September 1st, 2013, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modern Goddess View Post
Personally I just care about a healthy baby
That is exactly how I felt. I say often that I chose no induction for my baby's sake, and I chose no epidural for mine. Truth be told I read things from all kinds of sources, because I think that is the best way to get all sides, and the most basic truths will show up over and over. I read resources listed here, things I found on google, and I especially love evidence based birth (website). I also watched the Business of Being Born which I rec. to anyone and everyone. I read birth stories - not just natural birth stories, but birth stories of all kinds. I explored the full realm of births. I also asked a lot of questions of moms all over (irl, on here, natural and non-natural). I feel like doing so gave me a realistic expectation of labor and delivery - meaning that I didn't really expect anything at all because it is unpredictable, that it would hurt, and that I absolutely could have a natural birth despite that (I ended up being surprised that it was not as painful as I anticipated).
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  #7  
September 12th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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You might like this one, I got it free with amazon prime on my kindle.
Amazon.com: Posh Push: Modern Girls Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth eBook: Patricia Grube, Sara Smildzins: Kindle Store

I also took a birthing class called Mind, Body, Birth from Isis Parenting. It went over a lot of breathing techniques, birthing positions, some self hypnosis (not really, more like mental focus), taught my partner how to support me, but it also went over all the basic medical stuff too. I would certainly recommend finding a class like that.
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  #8  
October 3rd, 2013, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for the info I have just kept reading books and articles and it is all either new age spiritual, the "birth is empowering and will make you a real woman" or "the hospitals are going to bolt you down and force you to have a c-section" conspiracy hysteria. Trying to find the middle ground has been like pulling teeth.
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  #9  
October 4th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Emily Oster's new book Expecting Better has a great chapter about why she chose natural birth. There is absolutely zero anything "crunchy" about her. Of course the book is not really about the process of birth, more her research and her decision based on scientific data that an intervention free birth was healthier for her baby and herself. She birthed in a hospital with an OB and she does tell her birth story. You can run down to barnes & noble and find her book and read that chapter in about 15 minutes.

Personally my experience has been that the women I know who do natural childbirth are just regular people. Certainly I consider myself fairly ordinary. My midwives are not "oovy groovy earth mothers" as my husband would say, they are professionals who know a LOT about women's health and birth. I definitely roll my eyes at some of the new agey spiritual stuff. But you have to take it with a grain of salt--a lot of that stuff was written in the 70s and there are plenty of regular women's stories out there too, even in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, which has some really loony ladies in it as well. Try naturalchildbirthstories.com--I discovered that one recently.

Really I don't think you NEED to read a bunch of stuff to be well prepared. The only things you really need to know in advance are that it's a good idea for yourself and your child, it's the normal, not the exceptional, way to have a baby, and you can do it! Having a provider whose style you like and who you trust is the key.
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  #10  
October 17th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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This is an older post, but I think one of the things that might help is to look at the Science of birth. There are many many studies about birth and they all point to using interventions only when medically necessary because it improves outcomes for mom and baby. Books that can speak to this are: Your Best Birth, Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, Pushed, Bradley Books are great, Obstetric Myths Vs Research Realities, Any books by Penny Simkin or Sheila Kitzenger, Normal Childbirth: Evidence and Debate. Lots of these books are for birth professionals, but they help you get over the hippy material and straight to the facts. Hope this helps.
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  #11  
October 24th, 2013, 03:17 AM
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Its not really reading material as such but as I was out of the country for my pregnancy and couldn't find any prenatal classes or natural birthing classes locally my husband and I took an online course called Real Birthing which was invaluable.

Last edited by marysinc; October 24th, 2013 at 03:55 AM.
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  #12  
November 27th, 2013, 06:39 AM
Spottts's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm def not crunchy. I was very willing to give up on breast feeding and didn't attempt for the twins if that let's you know how "un crunchy" I am.

But the book that I found most helpful was Hypnobirthing or Hypnobabies. I didn't take the class. Someone my former DH knew gave it to him. I can't remember the exact title as I read it in 2004. The overall idea is to find your inner calm or focus. It worked really well for me.
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  #13  
November 27th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daneeleigh View Post
Ditto this. I'm not really crunchy but I believe in natural birth for health and safety reasons. I'd start with the business of being born series. It's not really very crunchy IMO.
Same here. I'm not crunchy at all but I view childbirth as a very natural process that my body was designed to do. I like the empowerment I feel and the high if you will that I feel after delivering completely natural.
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  #14  
December 12th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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If there is just one book you are going to read, I highly recommend to make it The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. It outlines the interventions used in labor and delivery and what research and history of use shows (ie that episiotomies do not mean faster, cleaner healing nor smaller tears but rather the opposite:most third and fourth degree tears started as episiotomies).

She also wrote Obstetric Myths Versus Reasearch Realities which is much more dry and is less layman's terms, so it's more geared towards people in healthcare (great for taking copies of research articles to provider visits).

For what it's worth, I chose a completely natural homebirth based on the research as well as seeing the same pattern played out over and over in the medical records I typed for the hospital I work for, and my hospital's policies and statistics are far better than the national average (ie first time Cesarean section rates of 12-18% vs the national of 30-40%). If I had to transfer, I felt comfortable being at my hospital, but I firmly believe a normal low-risk pregnancy has no place laboring at a hospital automatically and should only go there in the event of a complication or excessively long and/or painful labor. Hospitals, epidurals, Pain meds, and Cesarean sections all have a time and place, but they are far over used and not fully explained to the parents (after all, many doctors either aren't aware of the studies or don't believe them because like most doctors they are not trained in understanding statistical analysis nor can they read every study that is published.)

Plus, medicine is almost more art than science in many cases, especially when the process is not fully understood, such as in labor and birth because they don't know what makes a woman go into labor. The ob/gyn I saw for backup care even said that very thing and that if they did inductions would never fail and preterm labor could always be stopped.
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Last edited by bazil323; December 12th, 2013 at 02:11 PM. Reason: added statements
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  #15  
December 16th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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I would recommend a doula I birthed in a hospital after laboring from home. She taught us several breathing techniques and positions (she even had flash cards I could hold up during labor in case I couldn't describe what I wanted). She also told hubby what to do and I basically got a 20 hour massage from him lol.

It was great. I'm friggin scared of the epidural needle so natural was my choice from the beginning!
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  #16  
January 13th, 2014, 09:48 PM
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I took bradley birth classes from an RN and mom to 8. She was wonderful. Material was wonderful. I was single when I took the classes, but the information was grade A
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  #17  
January 14th, 2014, 09:58 AM
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I had a natural hospital birth (I also am uncrunchy lol) and it was wonderful! I just took the hospital's birthing class. I also did my own 'hypnobabies'. I didn't buy the materials (hello, EXPENSIVE) but found tracks on youtube and I think that was a little helpful.
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  #18  
January 18th, 2014, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazeleyes View Post
I tried the Ina May Gaskin material and I wanted to throw it through a wall. There was something that severely grated me the wrong way about how that woman wrote.

And I am not really interested in why people choose natural birth, just techniques. If I could move around with an epidural I would, and if C-Section didn't take so long to recover I might go that route too. I should have been more specific, sorry.

I was looking at the Bradley Method, since I don't like the idea of doulas and my husband is probably more nurturing then most women
What got me interested was research. I stc for 5 years and during that time anything and everything pg related was consumed. Pretty much anything evidence based is more my style actually. For me it is all about the healthiest way to birth. And like you said earlier the experience itself is very exiting to me.

That being said their are not a lot of ways to express this in an uncreunchy way. I found my quest for knowledge took me down the same path my parents went (they were hippies). I eat organic. Recycle... etc. I may not look the part. But I believe in the core principles behind living a healthy lifestyle and having a healthy planet.

I you are looking for just technique... why don't you get skip the other parts of all these books and corses. I mean, you can buy great natural technique courses. Hypnobabies, Hypnobirth, Bradly, Birthing from withing... etc. I have got my hands on as much as possible to soak it in. Some of the techniques may sound hokey or crunchy to you, but they are more about retraining your brain to make a natural birth possible and as easy as it can be. There is no better time to start practicing then as soon as you can. In fact studies show that the more you ready yourself for labor, the easier and faster it is.

Some tips I have seen in most birthing technique books and courses involve:

1. Positive affirmation and visualization. So there are many youtube videos with positive affirmations about birth, if you can stomach them. Or you can make up your own. Visualize what your idea birth would be like. And most importantly read as many POSITIVE birth stories as you can. DO not read or let people tell you negitive birth stories or tell you that you will not be able to do it (just politely tell them you don't want to hear that kind of stuff)... You should practice the positive reinforcement 20 minutes a day.

2. Birth readiment exercises. You can find these on you tube as well. They include squats and such.

3. Drink red raspberry leaf tea everyday after the 1st tri. It helps tone the uterus. And may 2X a day or more closer to you EDD it will give labor a timely kick start.

4. Acupuncture, Acupressure and chiro... Make sure to get alined and adjusted. THis will not only feel great but keep you in optimum alignment for birth.

5. Any relaxation techniques and ques for during labor. But Also practice these in the last 2 months of pg. One is to relax down there, while at the same time picture opening up (like a flower blooming, yes cheesy and "crunchy" I know) while at the same time come up with a phrase that reinforces babies decent. I use "Slide" and picture that scene in fight club with the penguin saying slide and sliding down the ice. A little less crunchy for you?

6. Try to labor alone and in a quite dark place, much like any animal in nature would. If you are disturbed or distracted it may be harder for you to advance and dilate.

7. Use natural pain relief, like a bath or shower.

8. Use/ try out different positions for laboring and pushing until one feel the most productive or right for you.


This is what I have learned so far. I may have missed some. But you get the point. Find as much info as you can, watch home or water births, and just skip anything that doesn't appeal to you.

Last edited by mariahpoo2; January 18th, 2014 at 02:30 PM.
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  #19  
February 11th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Natural birth, I believe is something that our body is designed for. Giving birth without medication or other medical interventions can be a powerful and joy filled experience for both the birthing woman and her partner. There are many benefits, both physical and emotional, for the mother and father.

P.S. There are some good materials in preparation before giving birth. It already covers a lot of topics about motherhood.
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