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unmedicated birth - Page 3

post #41 of 56
PB's Mom,

Read the "Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Births" and your mind will be set for an unmedicated birth.

post #42 of 56

yes for natural birth!

It's so great to really experience the birth of your child...on a spiritual level, there is something to be said for "being there" 100% during what is easily the most important experience of your life. The pain, which can be intense, goes away IMMEDIATELY afterwards, and you have the alert, happy, baby who can breastfeed immediately. As a La leche League leader i have seen so many babies who have trouble nursing right away after epidurals and demoral, etc. And there are ways to make the pain manageable...part of it ( a big part) is perspective... realizing that literally billions of women have given birth without drugs for all of human history, and even now in cultures where women aren't trained from a young age to be afraid of birth. Our bodies as women are about the most amazing thing ever created or evolved, that's for certain. I read that women in comas often give birth "effortlessly", the uterus being fully capable of pushing out a baby with our without our conscious help (it can apply 90 pounds of pressure per square inch, it's a muscle that strong). So much our difficulty in labor in "civilized nations" comes from our fear of it. It is interesting to note that some of the most active natural birth advocates say that it is Fear that leads to Tension of the body and subsequent pain, problems, etc. The way to stop that domino effect of emotions and physical responses is to arm yourself with information. Francis Bacon said Knowledge is Power, and in this case at least he is right...read as much as you can by authors who right truthfully and open-mindedly about labor...Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read outlines the fear-pain connection, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way is a good one too, with lots of great pictures and diagrams that really teach you what your body can and will do in labor, so that you can help your body along in labor, rather than putting yourself in physical situations (like lying on your back) and mental sitiuations (where you don't understand what is happening to you or where you feel that birth is out of your control).

Check your local library for books by these and also Sheila Kitzenger to reall SEE and UNDERSTAND what birth without drugs really looks like.

Also talk to women who have had natural birth and get answers to your biggest questions..."What does it really feel like?", etc. or whatever your own ?s are.

Then you wil not only hear honest good things about it but you will know whether it is something you really want to do, which is essential to it working, i think--you making a conscious strong decision to avoid drugs in labor...like deciding that you WILL breastfeed rather than saying "I'm going to try".....birth is a vulnerable time and your decisions before the labor itself can be easily "persuaded away" by those around you who love you and don't want you to "suffer", as they may see it, or by medical helpers. What i am trying to say is that unmedicated birth can be a wonderful experience, but it takes a clear understanding of birth's stages and mechanisms for moving a baby out...a belief in your own body as capable and strong...and a willingness to make your ideas clear to others and make sure that those who love you understand your decision for your birth.

Anyway I didn't mean to write this long but maybe karma will reward me and someone else has replied to my question..

I wish you the best and I trust that whatever your decision will be it will be at least an informed one, which is very important...you need to feel like YOU believe in what you are doing most of all...more important than anyone's else's ideas, and also most likely to get you through it successfully..

Much love and light,

post #43 of 56
Hi PB's Mom,
Yay for you! I had a planned home birth - unmedicated of course! I also would urge you to consider home birth if you really want to avoid drugs - at home you can't help but have the support to do this - I mean it helps knowing you have no other choice. At one point I remember whining to my husband "Why can't I have an epidural like everybody else?" I realized I really had no choice and was just going to have do this birth like women have been doing since the dawn of time!

I think a lot of women agree that babies are far more alert when mom births without drugs - and the sense of empowerment really helps to keep mom on a high throughout those tough tough first weeks (months? years? just kidding!). This was a huge for me.

One last reason to have a drug free birth - when people look at the pictures of my daughter and I seconds after she was born they simply cannot believe it. We both look so alive and alert. I think a drug free birth, more often than a hospital birth with drugs, leaves you invigorated and able to be alive and awake to the tremendous event you're participating in. Why miss any opportunity to get back in touch with the wondrousness of life? I think having a drugged birth can take away this chance because it makes birth into a medicalized process.

Good luck to you!
post #44 of 56
Another vote for homebirth....I had to put myself in a place where I couldn't get drugs even if I wanted them to feel really committed to having an unmedicated birth. And yeah, your own nest is way better than the hospital IMO. Also, it is my experience that within seconds after the baby's birth I had NO pain -despite a pretty decent tear that needed several stitches- I think I was on a "baby high" for about three days, actually!
post #45 of 56
I had an unmedicated birth... and although it was pretty darn painful, it was also wonderful, and I would never choose a medicated birth!!
Some things that did help me during labor and birth-
*having a doula (my doula is also a massage therapist- and helped by rubbing and massaging, to help calm me and keep my muscles more relaxed)
*I used aromatherapy- a plug-in diffuser w/ lavender oil to help calm and soothe
*I drank a "labor/birthing tea", made of valerian, black cohosh, and red raspberry- it helps relax the muscles, calm the body and mind, and is beneficial for the uterus
*I used acupressure points to keep things moving smoothly (I can explain these to you if you want to pm me)
*I partially labored and gave birth in a birthing tub- it helped sooo much! I had some painful back labor, this helped take away the stress of gravity, etc... and was warm and cozy, very soothing... plus: so nice for baby to be born in the warm water- just like a womb!

With my next birth, I am very interested in birth-hypnosis!!

I really hope you choose all-natural! It is really the best for you and baby!!!
post #46 of 56


Mind over Labour by Carl Jones (and someone else, can't remember). Your body releases hormones to keep contractions going as well as it's own pain relief. When you start introducing meds. in labour you interfere with the natural hormones your making. A number of interventions follow resulting in things like episiotomies and forceps. I've had two unmedicated births. One was a home water birth! excellent! would never do it any other way! Lucid babes, lucid mamma!
post #47 of 56
Everyone has already mentioned the good points for an unmedicated birth, all of which I agree with, and I've had three, two at home.
These are the "anti-med" points that I focused on...
*the risks of permanent damage to your spine, I have a friend who walks around in constant back pain due to the epidural she recieved;
*the affect of the drugs on the baby lead to so many complications already listed above, but also including the possible need for vacuum extraction or forceps--AHHHHH!;
*& I simply refuse to be that weak, to me it would feel like giving up.

I am in no way making a judgement call on those women who have them, I am in no position to judge another woman's threshold for pain. It hurts like a bitch, even now I am about to deliver my fourth and I am a little weary of the pain I know is just around the corner. But when it's all over, I can say I was strong enough to do it without drugs, that I trusted my own body to do it's work and that I never interfered with it's progress. And this makes me feel like the strongest most worthy mother to the three boys I have been blessed with. It also gives me another reason to thumb my nose at the allopathic community that thinks we are unable to withstand this sort of work, or be able to make these kind of decisions without their assistance.
I love the Bradley book as well, take the class with a certified instructor if you can. Lamaze was useless. Ignore it, IMNSHO.
And good luck TTC!
post #48 of 56

recovery is worse after medication

I'm currently pg and planning a homebirth! With my son, I had a hospital birth--an epidural, and before the epidural 2 shots of Demerol. Let me tell you, the demerol didn't do a darn thing! The epidural was great AT FIRST! I was lucky and didn't have any problems pushing, he came out just fine. BUT, due to the epidural, I was given cathers twice (couldn't get up to pee) which was very uncomfortable after the epi wore off. Also, I couldn't stand or walk for quite a while, and in general felt "creepy". The demerol, which didn't do anything for the pain, did make me feel very "out of it". And I have suffered from horrible back pain since the epidural (it does say in the paper you sign that chronic back pain is a side effect). It was severe for a year after, and pretty bad until my son was 6! Since then, it comes and goes.....now that I'm pregnant, it's pretty bad. So, for me, the epi was great pain relief for about 2 hours, and then it's been years of suffering! Not worth it!
post #49 of 56
All I can give you is a purely emotional response. Giving birth to my daughter was the most sacred thing I have ever done in my life. I felt whole and strong and powerful. It was like some of the wildest stories in Spiritual Midwifery at times. I was so aware of everything that was happening within me and felt so deeply connected to all other birthing women thru all time. I felt an amazing communion with my baby and my husband. When she was born she looked right at me like she knew me. I would not have traded a moment of it if it were 10 times as uncomfortable. It's just worth it, in ways that you cannot measure or show in studies.
post #50 of 56
I've never had an epidural, but I took Nubain during my first labor. It does take the edge off, but I prefer birthing w/out drugs. Yes, there is pain, but you can handle it. It seemed to me that my pain tolerance increased as my contractions got stronger. The brain produces endorphins, your body's own pain relief system. My fourth labor was my most difficult--I was in labor for nearly 20 hours, I was exhausted and in terrible pain, but it never occurred to me to ask for pain meds. I found that sitting in a hot shower is a wonderful way to deal with the pain. During my third labor, I was stuck at 3 cms for hours and hours (I was at home for most of that time--I showed up at the hospital and went back home when I found out I was only 3 cms) Any way, I went into the shower and went into this almost trancelike state. It was very powerful and wonderful. In one hour, I went from 3 cms to 7.
post #51 of 56
jbcjmom said..
Some got epidurals because they got them the first time and they were scared to try it with out, and some went natural the second time and found it to be much easier than they expected.

This was me until my fifth birth and yes with each labors it went quicker than the last. Good thing we are only four minutes away from hospital. Dh thinks I'll go quick with this baby.

As far as dental caries in your son. You may want to look and see if anyone else in family had dental caries as a young child. I can't say that breastmilk wouldn't caused this but I KNOW formula does- so many artificial ingredients in formula (yuck!) With a bottle, when the child stops sucking, the formula still runs out into mouth. Where breastfeeding, when the child stops nursing at the breast there is no more milk coming out. What may be pooling in the mouth could be saliva and acids from the stomach. This COULD cause dental cavities. Anyone know this for sure? If there are any concerns maybe wiping baby's mouth out with a soft cloth would help. I'm just popping out ideas for I've not had this experience with my children.

As for epidurals use and sleepy babies. I do believe they cause breastfeeding problems and sleepiness in baby, especially for first time moms and also medical personnel interventions and pushing for moms to rest and let baby go to nursery when the mom and baby should room in and get to to know one another and breastfeed often and have skin to skin contact.

Goodluck and keep in touch. As you can see we are a great bunch of women and mothers
post #52 of 56
I stayed home and didn't even have a tylenol before or after. Did it hurt? Well, yes, but you're in SUCH a different place mentally at the time. I do remember thinking, wow, if I were at the hosp. I'd let them stick whatever they want in my back. But, that part was over SO soon and I am so happy for myself and for my son that we used no drugs.

You CAN do it. REally prepare yourself mentally and physically for it. Do all those hundreds of kegels and squats, etc.
post #53 of 56
also--another perk....the possible orgasmic release at the end where you bond w/(hopefully!!) baby and dad!! a good time NOT to let some big dr. hero save the day. I had this orgasm feeling w/baby one but not two. Labor one was much harder so maybe this had something to do w/ it.

another reason....you are imprinting a wonderful start for babe....you *don't* need drugs or escape when things get tough. THey have done studies that medicated births are more likely to produce children w/substance abuse problems....wish I could remember where I saw this....
anyway...i echo what some of the other woman said, if there had been drugs at either of our 2 homebirths, you BET I woulda taken them....you're too vulnerable to resist the "drug pushers". BUT I am soooo glad that I wasn't offered drugs. What an awesome, sacred experience!!!! seeing those two little babies come out, alert and peaceful! and both times, I felt GREAT afterwards.
post #54 of 56

Water birth and pain.

Originally posted by Ceinwyn
I've had two unmedicated births. One was a home water birth! excellent! would never do it any other way! Lucid babes, lucid mamma!
A great post in a sea of great posts!

As soon as my DW got into the water, much of the pain was removed. The second time rounf I made sure the tub was ready as early as possible to give the greatest "low pain time".

Our babies knew who we were as soon as they came out, looked at us, and took in the world.

No drugs = no dugged out new-borns.

I truely believe that water helps take out much of the pain.

The "how to" and the benifits of water-birth discussion thread might bring more information on water births generlly.

hope this helps

post #55 of 56
Giving birth to my daughter was the most sacred thing I have ever done in my life. I felt whole and strong and powerful.
kama'aina mama- what a wonderful way to put it! After Eli's birth my self-esteem skyrocketed. I think natural birth can make women feel so good about themselves, and really connect them to their baby.

Even now, when I am down or need a boost, I replay the birth in my mind. I am always amazed at how well I handled everything, how right everything felt, how powerfully feminine I felt. It bonded the three us in a way I would never have expected, and am so grateful for.
post #56 of 56
Here are my two biggest hints for anyone having a hospital birth.

1.) Stay home for as long as possible. If you labor for as long as you possibly can at home, then there is a good chance that when you get to the hospital it will be too late, then you won't have that choice lingering in your mind. If you get to the hospital and are less that 5, I would go home if you don't live too far and it is your first. I was in the hospital for 1 hour 20 minutes before my first son was born, and exactly one hour before my second son was born. He would have been an unexpected home birth if I hadn't been positive for group B strep and supposed to be on antibiotics for four hours before delivery.

2.) Talk to your doctor and tell them to write it in big letters in your file at the office and at the hospital that YOU DO NOT WANT DRUGS OFFERED TO YOU!!! I was planning on getting the epidural with #1 but when we got there I was in transition (didn't know it) and was so focused on just getting through the contractions that I wasn't even thinking of pain relief. If the nurses don't keep coming in saying "Do you want something for the pain?" you will be much less likely to think you need it. That little statement can just kill all the resolve in the world.
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