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natural birth(30 Posts)
how to prepare myself for a natural birth? i rally want to experience a natural birth but can't stop stressing about the pain.. what worked for you?
Also, unless there are reasons to do otherwise, ignore labour until it can't be ignored. I was was doing stuff like grocery shopping, sorting out baby clothes, and cooking up until the contractions were every 4 minutes or so, at which point I automatically zoned out into a labour focus. Not everyone has the sort of labour that works like that, but lots of people start thinking if themselves as in labour really early on and go to hospital and get all excited and then everything stays the same for hours and they get sent home/ worn out/ induced. By the time I saw a midwife, I was pretty much ready to push.
I had hoped for a natural birth with my first but the reality was the pain and contractions were so much more intense than anything I had ever experienced that I asked for an epidural. This was refused as I was 10cm dilated by the time they got around to me but I would have grabbed it with both hands if I could.
When pregnant with my second I read the New Active Birth book by Janet Balaskas and planned for a homebirth. The book just made so much sense to me and I guess I let go of a lot of the fear I had felt after my first. My second was born at home as planned, no pain relief needed, I just kept repeating "it's not so bad" over and over in my head and let my body do the work. DD was born after just 3 and a half hours labour. But I tried to keep an open mind too and recognise that this was partly down to luck, a quick labour and baby's position. I was more than happy to go into hospital and accept any intervention if it came about that it was needed, luckily for me it wasn't.
Totally agree with engaging with positive material like 'Hypnobirthing' (Marie Mongan) and the Natal Hypnothrapy CD, reading any Ina May Gaskin and youtubing water births. I think all it takes is a change in perception so stay well away from 'One Born Every Minute'. I found the same regarding the earlier comment about the tooth ache. I had to have a wisdom tooth out in my second trimester and that was way more painful than anything in my labour. There's a lot you can do in the run up to have a well positioned baby and to keep it that way.
It's all luck really isn't it. But for me I found the natal hypnotherapy cds really good. I think 1 thing on the cd stuck out (or maybe something I read elsewhere), but that was that until you get to the pushing stage, you don't have to DO anything. For a lazy person like me, that was perfect. The more you relax, the less painful it is.
In the weeks before my due date I went swimming 3 times a week and I had a system where I would swim a length as fast as I could and then swim 2 more really slowly, or basically just float. I would repeat that a few times. It was my way of getting into the frame of mind of hard contractions, followed by a rest. I don't know whether it helped, but I guess when I went into labour I had got my head round the idea of a little bit of hard work, followed by a nice rest.
I hoped for a natural birth but ended up having an epidural with DC1 when the pain got too much for me (it was a long labour - 21 hours from 5cm to birth). Then had DC2 and DC3 with gas and air only (much shorter labours).
All three were really positive experiences, mainly because I felt I had been allowed to make my own decisions and not been pressurised towards either more or less intervention.
Good luck OP!
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