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I am nearly 30 weeks pregnant and I really want to have a natural birth avoiding epidurals and injections. Unfortunately I find that a lot of my friends and acquaintances who have gone through the experience of labour all say the same thing: "I am so happy I had an epidural!" or "I wish I had an epidural!" I do not want to give up on the natural birth before I even tried but it would really help to hear more positive experiences from other women. Please tell me about what kind of natural pain relief you have used during your labour? It would really help as I want to feel in control of my labour rather than succumbing to drugs and anesthetics. Thank you!
I didn't have any pain relief at all - no hypnobirthing, TENS, water... It just didn't occur to me to want it! What helped me was being in charge of timing my contractions. I knew they lasted 50-60s with a similar length break in between so I could watch the clock & knew when one was coming up & how long until it was over. It was nice to feel like I was ticking another one off each time!
From what my aunt has told me my grandmother had similar labours. She told DA not to worry because birth didn't hurt at all & she couldn't understand why other women made such a fuss! My poor aunt believed her, ignored everyone else & thought she was dying when she was in labour! I did my research & learnt what my body was supposed to be doing so I didn't get that shock!
I found it really useful to research different forms of pain relief as well as potential interventions so I felt well informed about the advantages & risks of pretty much anything that was likely to happen. I think that made me feel as in control as possible which really helped. I also made my notes from my research into a little booklet for DH to look at if there was a time when I wasn't able to make a decision so he'd be as informed as I was & be able to see my rational opinions on different interventions. That definitely came in handy when the mw was pushing to move me from my homebirth, I was busy contracting & told DH he needed to decide what was best. We stayed put but agreed to the ambulance being called because he was concerned that moving me would've slowed things down. I don't doubt he was right. It would've distracted me & within minutes of the ambulance arriving I was wanting to push. Either the distraction of moving would've interrupted the labour or DS would've been born in the ambulance. I've never been so proud of DH - he normally dithers when it comes to making decisions! He says he only knew what to do because of the booklet I made - research is very useful!
DS was fine btw but I had a small pph so needed the ambulance for me in the end!
Try to help your baby into a good position nhs optimal foetal position leaflet I was given this advice early on and I'm sure it helped. I did rate the tens machine during the early stages of labour with ds (induced in hospital) and the gas and air but delivered underwater. dd1 was underwater at home - no pushing -I was so relaxed until the midwives came at the last minute - told them dd was on her way down - not sure they believed me. dd2 also underwater at home with quite an audience - dm and mil in the house a couple of midwives dh, ds and dd1 and a trainee midwife... A bit ouchy during transition but ok with just the pool. I had to transfer in due to blood loss but with the benefit of hindsight, I didn't need to go in as no real observation was done and I felt fine all through. But obviously it was a good call because of the amount of blood. Escaped home after breakfast the next day.
when women use terms like " i feel like a failure because i had a emergency section, or gavein to drugs" there is a back culture creating an enivronment making them say that with pressure and guily - as oppose to simply
" I didn't find I need drugs" or " I needed drugs at x stage"
words like failure etc really really shouldn't come into it.
the last thing you want is to be in labour and not only be thinking, wow - this pain is something else i think i need drugs, but also - i am letting myself and my baby down!
who needs to put themselves under that extra pressure?
the birth will last a few days if that and you will be a mother to that baby for the rest of your entire life they wont care when they are any age whether you had tp have an epirdual, anyway even if you did want one there is a high chance you wouldnt get one anyway.
I also disagree with shag that people dont like to go on about postive birth stories, I have heard plenty of both.
Rant over - hypnobirthing is supposed to be amazing, amazing, getting dh into coaching mode through harder bits, massage, tens good for begining.
dc1 epidural, drip on my back, none of it my choice, but hey, he arrived fine and wasn't coming out on his own (was back to back, 48 hour labour and he was 10lbs 1oz with a HUGE head - no seriously, the head of a 4 month old, I am amazed he got through the birth canal at all)
dc2 induced with pessary, then all natural, 2 hours, no pain relief, standing and walking very do-able, was actually very positive experience
dc3 induced by breaking waters, 1.5 hours labour, all natural no pain relief, standing up whole time, harder than dc2, did have a moment when I thought 'How do I remember this as a do-able thing - OWW' then she was born, so didn't have any more time to worry. She was 10lbs 7oz, which could explain why she was a it harder to push out. Also very positive, bounced back physically very fast (took 3 kids up to London and round science museum when she was 3 weeks old!)
So it is totally possible, but with dc1 I did end up with all the stuff I hadn't planned for, and it was very helpful to take the attitude that you need to go with the flow, and getting him out safely is more important than the perfect birth experience.