Is all natural birth the right choice for me?

User - posted on 04/10/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I need some advice. I am 33 week pregnant and consideringhaving my baby with out medication and as little medical intervention as possible. This is my first baby, so I am a little unsure of everything. Whenever I try to discuss it with my mom or other family, they are rather close minded to anything that does not include an epidural. So, I would appreciate any advice or opinions regarding the topic. Pros and cons. Words of wisdom. Anything will help. -Thanks :)

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Iridescent - posted on 04/10/2012

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This is important - to you. This may be the first of many children, or the only child and pregnancy you ever have, but either way this is the most important day of your life coming up. Go with how you feel. If you want to have a natural birth, you need to be sure of your decision, be confident in it, and stand up for yourself. If your family is not supportive of that decision I'd suggest you find someone who is to be with you during labor and delivery. Look now, before you're due, into other methods of controlling pain and your mind. Lamaze is great. Hypno-birthing. Balls, walking, squatting, all kinds of things! And do not be scared of your body. You can do this - and you should know that (I mean have confidence in it) before you go into this.

Sarah - posted on 04/14/2012

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With my first I really wanted drug free. I ended up with an epidural after 2 hours of pushing and him not moving because he was face up. Even with that I had another 2 hours of pushing. With my second I walked in the hospital and asked for an epidural (I loved it). I never got it though cause she came too fast and was delivered drug free. Having had both experiences, I can say, it really doesn't matter. My satisfaction of my deliveries was the same because the end results with both were beautiful healthy babies. I think that you need to approach birth with the notion that any birth, whether it be your first or your fifth is unexpected. You don't know what is going to happen. If you want to go drug free, great, but don't be closed to the option of pain control IF YOU NEED IT. If you don't need it, don't ask. If you need it, ask. No one gets a prize for going drug free, though there are risks with the drugs,not everyone experiences them. Good luck with your delivery no matter what route you go!

Margarita - posted on 04/14/2012

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There are actually two things here, so I'll start with the first. As long as you make it clear to the doctor and nurses in the delivery room that you don't want an epidural (unless you're going in for an emergency delivery, in which case there will be little time to discuss much of anything) you will not receive one unless you change your mind and want one. You can change your mind pretty much until baby crowns (which is about the time I began to consider it, and by then it was almost over). If you have been doing kegel exercises, have strong abdominals, and have a high pain threshold, there's a pretty good chance you will be able to do this drug-free. Just be aware that birth is a very uncertain process, and anything can happen. If the pain gets to be too much, or it goes on forever, or the baby is under distress and you need a c-section, the epidural will happen, and there's nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you keep an open mind (ya never know what will happen), and make anyone (mom, spouse, etc) you bring into the delivery room aware that they are not to try to pressure you into an epidural or say "I told you so" if you happen to change your mind or you can and will have them kicked out of the room!

The other issue is "as little medical intervention as possible." Obviously your doctors will not be performing any unnecessary medical procedures (and if you think they will, you should look for another doc ASAP!), but if they think you need a kiwi or forceps or even an episiotomy, there may or may not be time to tell you (seriously, my ob had to tell me he gave me an episiotomy - before giving me a local for the stitches. Even with no anesthesia, in all the pain and confusion, I had no idea of anything that was going on down there!) and that's just the way it goes. You can ask for a mirror, but you'll want to ask your hospital ahead of time as I don't know if they all provide them. If you're looking for a midwife, hypnobirth, water delivery, etc, you may need to look into a birthing center. They're out there (and if you're going that route you need to start looking right away 'cause you're getting close to d-day), but there's no guarantee you insurance will cover it. You can check with your ob to see if the place you're delivering has midwives with privileges (worse they can say is no) or if they can recommend a Lamaze class (not all hospitals have them as most people these days go for the drugs). Also keep this in mind: for a big chunk of your labor, you will have techs (they will monitor you before they ever get you to the delivery room) and labor nurses with med students (if it's a teaching hospital) with you. The doctor may well step out of the room to check on another patient or what have you for the majority of your birth. There may be less medical interference than you think! LOL! Thankfully these nurses tend to be highly qualified (there's a lot of competition for those jobs these days) and as long as you make your wishes known, they will do their best to make sure your doc complies (again, unless there are complications in which case all bets are off).

In the end, all that matters is that matters is that your munchkin arrives safely and in good health. Good luck!

Nora Amala - posted on 04/12/2012

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Hi Alexa,



So I immediatly want to ask you - What do you feel about natural childbirth. Is this important to you? What aspect?

See, we all are normally not 100% sure if we will make it or not - or if things might work out different. Childbirth is not under our control and so you might change your mind during birth or things might change. But you should get clear on your feelings, your motivation. It not really something wrong or right - its about how do you want to give birth. And why?



I can write more about the topic if you like more advice, but the core is really: what do you want and what do you fear?



You _can_ have a natural childbirth - and this is nothing about martyry :) - its about having a normal, healthy _active_ birth.



We can meet on skype (norabugdoll) to connect and discuss further if you like. Just send me a pm.

Love,

Nora Amala

Anne - posted on 04/11/2012

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I went into the hospital thinking the same way you do. I didn't want an epidural, figuring my mom gave birth 4x the natural way, so did my sisters-in-law.
When labor started, it wasn't so bad. I did agree to some IV drugs, but they made me super groggy. Finally, the doctor highly suggegested the epidural. He and my husband pushed for it. I was out of my mind of pain and finally consented, just to shut everyone up.
Tell you what, the epidural was the greatest thing ever!!!! Within a minute, all pain was gone, I became very alert and I was able to help the birth, instead of dealing with the pain.
I can only recommend it and I have to say that I have turned from an epidural opponent to a big fan!

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Ellie - posted on 04/13/2012

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Childbirth IS in your control - don't feel bullied into anything you aren't happy with. I've had 3 natural births and would recommend them as it's easier to stay mobile and use a more natural birthing position than if you have an epidural and maybe have to be laid down to ensure you and your baby are safely monitored. Staying fit active and mobile during later pregnancy will help you - it's labour which means hard work but it doesn't have to be unbearably painful!

Kaitlin - posted on 04/12/2012

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Get all your information, make sure you sign all your forms, and plan that you may have to get an epidural or c section, and then play it by ear- that's the best way to go. You can not plan a birth- things happen unexpectedly and you just need to be prepared.

I was able to give birth to my two (very large) sons without medications or interventions, and that was great, but I'm also aware that it may be different this time around. I am prepared to do whatever is needed for the health and safety of my baby and myself. My 'birth plan' is to go with the flow, be very well informed and educated, and listen to my body. I hope that helps! If you need some meds half way through, go for it, and don't let anyone tell you that you're giving up! Everyone's birth and body is different, for some, baby slides right out, for others..... not so much.

If your family doesn't encourage you, keep them out of the delivery room. YOU are the mother, you get to make the decisions (with the doctors), and they need to respect it! You don't need any added stress, don't worry about what they, or anyone else, thinks about an all natural or induced or medicated or c section birth- the end goal is the same! :D

Sal - posted on 04/12/2012

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I was terrified of the idea of an epidural and avoided them in all 3 of my births, trust your own instincts and trust your midwife and drs, dont think you are weak or doing the wrong thing if you choose an epidural or other pain killers they are there to help you but also don't go into the birth with the idea of having one just because your mum said you should...

Bonnie - posted on 04/11/2012

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You have to do what you feel you can handle. Don't let anyone decide this, but you. You are the one that will be going through this. You may say no medication now and decide half way through your labour that you need something.

Michelle - posted on 04/11/2012

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I had all 3 of mine without an epidural. I had a shot of pethadine with my 1st but that was 5 hours before he was born so had worn off by then. I had nothing at all with my 2nd and only the gas with my 3rd.

If you want to go for as natural as possible then you do it. Let your doctor/midwife know your wishes beforehand. It's your body and your choice but don't be disappointed if you do need something when the time comes.

Good luck and I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

Lady Heather - posted on 04/10/2012

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I really don't know why anyone would object to a plan for natural birth. It's not like you couldn't change your mind. Once you have the epidural though, you can't take that back! I would just say not to get entirely invested in it. You can't entirely plan a birth. I had a midwife and was totally prepared for a natural birth the first time. I did go without medication but we had an emergency episiotomy. There wasn't a choice and I just had to go with it. But the lack of pain meds was really not a problem. I didn't find it that painful for the most part.

Stifler's - posted on 04/10/2012

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Many people have given birth without an epidural and if you are having a normal pregnancy I don't see why a natural birth would be an issue at all. Don't let others bully you into changing what you want. My first I didn't have an epidural and everything was fine.

Tabitha - posted on 04/10/2012

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I've had 2 babies completely natural and 1 with an epidural. Only you and your doc can make the choice that fits your delivery. The pain free way is nice, but there's more to labor than pain. Your body knows what to do, when to push all those things. But if your body is numbed, it gets confused. When I had my epidural, I thought I was pushing with all my might...doc looks up at me and says, I need you to start pushing. I said, isn't that what I'm doing? lol, apparently not. Also, I'm sure it doesn't happen to everyone, but mine seemed like it took forever to wear off. I was ready to get up and use the bathroom, get a shower or just sit up in the bed but I couldn't move the bottom half of my body for hours. With the 2 natural births, yea, they hurt like hell but but I was up movin around sooner. The other difference I noticed is when you have an epidural, they tend to keep you laying more flat. Natural births, you're able to sit up a bit which aids in pushing. Those are my experiences, like I said, I preferred the natural births even though the actual delivery does hurt. Maybe if you can ask for something just to take the edge off during contractions but when you're ready to push, you want to be able to move.



It's good to have a plan in place but it's important for you to know that it doesn't always go as you plan. Don't get stuck on one idea, if you decide to go natural and have a hard time with it, your doc will suggest an epidural and other med assistance...take it! Or if you start off natural and it's just too much pain for you, ask for the epidural. There's nothing wrong with you changing your mind, there's no wrong way to have a baby. Whatever works for you for each delivery is just what you need to do. Good Luck!

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