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My dh and I are TTC our first child, and we are interested in a natural birth. However, I am scared to death of the pain! Is there anyway to give birth at a birthing center and have an epidural? Does anyone recommend any books on natural births that may help me with my fear?
 

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Start reading! Look into homebirth. I think that a lot of birth pain is caused by being in a hospital setting. I had my dd at home and while it wasn't comfortable, it wasn't really bad at all. I would never do it any other way.<br><br>
good luck!<br><br>
-Angela
 

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A freestanding birth center will not have pain drugs available, esp epidural (because that requires an anesthesiologist). A hospital birthing center should have all hospital resources available.<br><br>
If you prepare yourself for what to expect from birth and learn pain management techniques, you CAN DO IT!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> You also need to find a provider who is supportive of natural birth and isn't intervention-happy. Finding a good midwife is what I would recommend. Many of the following books have great info not only on natural birth, but also on how to find the right care provider (questions to ask them, what to look for, etc).<br><br>
Some good books to read:<br>
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (Henci Goer)<br>
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way (McCutcheon)<br>
The Birth Book (Dr. Sears)<br>
A Good Birth, A Safe Birth (Korte)<br>
Gentle Birth Choices (Harper/Arms)<br>
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin)<br>
Birthing From Within (Pam England)<br>
Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn (Penny Simkin)<br><br>
I also highly recommend hiring a doula - a good doula is an incredible asset to have during a natural labor and birth!
 

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One of my friends did hypnobirthing. I supported her during the birth and was very impressed at how calm and centered she was all the way through transition.
 

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well, i'm not a big fan of pain either---i don't know many who are <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">. seriously, the setting, the support and care you receive and your deep beliefs about birth and your body (and its abilities) are huge. i would start examining what you believe about birth/pain/etc.<br><br>
i had my first birth w/an epidural, and i was in pain throughout and for AT LEAST six months afterwards due to the cascade of interventions and had my ds end up in the NICU, not to mention a horrid start to breastfeeding.... so, guess what i'm saying is an epidural isn't a cure-all. in fact, as an intervention, it hinders your body's natural pain-relieving hormones. my next two babies were born at home, and i would take an unmedicated birth over an intervention and drug-filled birth, hands-down, any day <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> so, you see where i'm coming from <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> and i would say i have a low tolerance for pain...but the *pain of labor* isn't like other pain.....an interesting video is a PBS documentary called Born in the USA....it's very cool!<br><br>
if you are interested in natural birth, i would highly recommend aviva jill romm's revised _natural pregnancy book_, peggy o'mara's _having a baby, naturally (mothering magazine's editor)....read every post here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> and check out past issues of mothering magazine--specifically the cover story "ecstatic birth"--i think it's available online, too. also, another great book is henci goer's the thinking woman's guide to a better birth. the more info you gather, the better informed you will be w/whatfeels right to you. i might also recommend a midwife rather than an OB, if you are at all concerned with a "natural" birth. your odds of having your wishes respected are much higher <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> also, i know some mamas really get into pam england's birthing from within....good luck TTC---and good for you for seeking input and options. may all your dreams come true <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Read all the books others have mentioned, educate yourself, you can do it!!
 

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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin) -- This book is SO great. The birth stories at the beginning make me feel so empowered. They're really great, uplifting stories showing that you really can do it. Reading them sometimes made me cry, LOL (in a good way!)...very inspiring. I definitely second the recommendation to get it.<br><br>
I just purchased a HypnoBirthing book, but I haven't started reading it yet...my husband and I are going to read it together. I've heard really great things about it.<br><br>
Also, something I read recently said that giving birth and/or laboring mostly in the birthing tub is second in pain relief only to an epidural -- that sounds like a lot of pain relief to me! And from something natural! We're definitely renting a birthing tub, especially after reading that.<br><br>
Good luck! Read, research, meditate...maybe try prenatal yoga? My yoga instructor gave us a lot of poses to help during labor and delivery (even doing them now feels SO good). My mom had my sister and I completely natural, and said that she'd never even consider drugs...this is the same woman who got a tiny tattoo and said it was the most excruciating pain ever and she'd never do it again. LOL, she has NO tolerance for pain whatsoever, and she did it, twice!
 

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I was and am a "pain baby" if I have any pain any where I feel it and it sort of over takes my consciousness, my mother did not even stay in town when I had our first because she could not imagine me having a baby-- but I did it I had a baby without drugs even in the hospital. I would say your fist consideration of where - a birth center is good- they are more supportive and often less meddling. Now how to get you to a place of resolve- yes it hurts, but it comes and goes and it builds- it is a different sort of pain than any other - it does not help to run from the feelings but surrender to them- a yes I can do this no matter what it takes will get you alot further than anything else-- hire a supportive midwife and a supportive doula-- I meet all sorts of women in all walks of life and they give birth everyday- even through fear. yes it will probably be the hardest thing you can do but in a good way- as labor progresses your ability to cope with the pain improves- because your own body puts out more endorphins- feeling un-safe or having your higher brain engaged detracts from this ability, so finding support that will protect you from this kind of distraction is very helpful. start with Bradley classes they have early class on nutrition and then later other bits on labor and birth- read Birthing from Within, and Ina May's books---
 

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I would recommend homebirth. You figure out how to cope with the pain because there is no other choice. It sounds too easy, doesn't it? I had my ds in a hospital (horrible experience) with an epidural and, although he was born safely enough, they then gave him a Hep B vax without our consent and was ill for months after birth. Dd was born at home and it was the best, most awesome thing I've ever done. I was afraid of homebirth too, with ds, because I'd only ever heard about how horrible the pain is from labor. It's very intense, but it's not horrible. Ds's labor was horrible because it was induced (after I pleaded for over 24 hours to not be induced, sigh) and therefore I had no other way of tolerating the pain but with an epidural. (Believe me, I tried!) If you want a natural birth but are afraid, I agere with the pp that said to hire a doula. It'll help tremendously! And go to a birthing vcenter if you're not yet ready for homebirth. It'll be much more catered to YOUR needs rather than their WANTS.
 

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I recommend Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin as well as her guide which has already been recommended. I was able to deal with the pain/ discomfort just thinking about the stories in those books... Don't be afraid, that is part of what makes childbirth so painful for some.<br>
I was also in a hospital with no familiar faces until dh arrived 20 minutes before ds was born!<br>
Ina May's books are a little out there, but they really gave me the mindset I needed for a calm and non-medicated birth. I love them both.<br>
Good luck.
 

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The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer....talks about all the drugs and interventions used in hospitals, presents fact/research based info.<br><br>
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin....AWESOME natural birth stories, great birth/pregnancy book in general.<br><br>
Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent.....More AWESOME natural birth stories.
 

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Please get the book Mind Over Labor by Carl Jones. I studied that, the Bradley birth book & the book titled Hypnobirthing: A Celebration of Life. Oh, and I also read Supernatural Childbirth.<br>
You can do it! Good luck!
 
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