Sunday, October 11, 2009

Natural Birth Advice

So my due date is fastly approaching! I have 31 days (1 month/4 weeks and 3 days)! It is starting to set in to me that in as little as 4 weeks (or less) i could meet my little man!

As most of you know i am preparing for a natural birth at a birthing center. As much as i would like to say i am completely ready i just am not. I have so many unanswered questions.

I do not by any means doubt my body's ability to do this but mind and body often can be 2 separate things. I am trying very hard not to freak myself out over the details and just allow myself to go with the flow and allow my body to do what it knows how to do.

What i need from you all who have given birth naturally (either at home, hospital, or birthing center) is some advice.

What was the most comfortable position for you to labor in? I have heard a lot of people say that on all fours helped take some of the pain off their back but what did you do during the beginning and middle stages of labor? Did you walk a lot or use tools such as the birthing ball? I know it will ultimately be what is most comfortable for me but i think i would fare well knowing what all i can try to help.

What position did you find yourself in when you actually delivered? I have not yet decided if i will do a water birth or not (since it is an option). I am guessing it will depend on how i feel at the time and if i feel comfortable in the water. I know on the back as they do in hospitals is not the best position for baby but i have yet to really figure out what is the easiest way for baby to get out. Well maybe i don't mean easy but i think you get what i am saying.

What were some of the essential items you could not have lived without during labor? The birthing center provides all the comfort of home but does not provide any of the items you would have at home, meaning i have to bring everything i need/want with me. So what do i need because i am pretty clueless. Robe? PJs? Food? Drinks? Cell and a laptop are probably on my list already. What did you have to have or wish that you had, had at the time?

Did you have anything specific that got you through the transition phase of labor? Did you visualize anything specific or listen to a certain CD? I have heard the transition stage is usually when women start to panic since that is when the contractions really start to pick up. I have planned on visualizing something soothing like a bubbling brook or a gently rain but for those of you who have been there how well does this work. I need brutal honesty here!!!

I am not sure if i got all my questions out but if i have more i can always do another post lol. Thank you all for helping and feel free to leave a mile long comment as i need all the advice i can get! And by all means pass this on to anyone you know who can lend some advice!


Cass said...

In the beginning of labor I relaxed, spent time with my family, and tried to get some sleep. Once things started to pick up a bit more and the contractions were every 5 minutes I went for a walk. At the end of the walk the contractions were finally strong enough that I was stopping during them. I gave birth at a birth center and when I went in I stayed upright as much as possible. I sat on a birthing ball and played cards for a while and then moved to the birthing pool when transition started. The water was so relaxing. It was actually really easy to just relax in the pool with the lights dim and no real noise. I didn't turn on any music or anything, I liked the peace and quiet. I had also studied the Hypnobabies birthing program and the tools from that were very useful at that point. When it came to pushing I found myself naturally turning onto all fours to push. It was by far the easiest and most comfortable way for me to push.

I hope that helps some. If there is anything I forgot that you want to know just say so :)

Shawna said...

I intended to give birth completely naturally, but ended up having to have pitocin to start my contractions and then ended up having a C-section. I went through close to 20 hours of (pitocin-induced) contractions, and it really wasn't that bad. Some things I found that helped me (although not sure if they'll help you--everyone's different)--1. music--I made calming CDs that I called my "Breathe mixes" and more upbeat stuff that I called my "Push mixes". 2. tennis balls--I clutched a tennis ball in each hand during each contraction, closed my eyes, and just rode each wave and concentrated on how hard I was gripping the ball. 3. walking--I was told that I wasn't aloud to leave my bed because my water had broken already (total BS). So I told them I had to go to the bathroom WAY more often than I did just so I could walk around.

Just keep an open mind and do what works best for you and how you feel at the time!

Laura McIntyre said...

Oh cannot beleive its all so close , its likely to be in the next 2 weeks or less going by the boys history is't it?

Try answer best as i can, only thinking of Ru's birth as the other 2 were drugs/hospital.

Firstly what you say is true , you have to listen to your body .All the planning in the world will not help you know what to do in advance . Sure make plans but be prepared to go with the flow.

I woke up in labour with Ru , i spent a good part of an hour walking around and bouncing on the birthing ball. I would recommend one of those, spent the last few weeks using it . Don't know how it works there but they are expensive here but we picked up an excersise ball for £5 and used that (birthing ones were like £35) . I watched tv through this. Maybe have a film you love or something on the laptop?

I also used a tens machine, again i think there mostly a uk thing but they can be awesome. Electroid things attatch to your back and when you have a contraction you press a button and they deliver little shocks i guess you call them. Really does help.

I just tried to stay as mobile as possible , the birthing ball was also great to lean on . Also found resting on a table or chair with my arms during a contraction helpful. I listened to various music during this stage , what ever i could find . I had bought some hypnobirthing cds (if i had thought i would of sent you then when i sent the sling) and was trying to use that technique. With each contraction i would visulise a wave building and building with the pain and then crashing as the pain went.

All worked wonders..

All remember during some bad contractions just yelling "it's only pain" . It seemed to help centre me , remind myself that it was just pain and would not last and keep my mind straight.

I remember taken a hot shower at some point that helped a little.
Another thing i done which was very helful was don't think it negativies . Don't yell no,no,no or i can't do this. Yell YES,YES,YES or i can do this. Positive thinking.

I did go in the water and it helped alot. Took some of the strain of the bump.

I thought i would birth upright holiding onto the side of the pool but when it came to it i lay back in the water. This was what i felt i needed to do and it worked , for me it seemed to be the right position for Ru to be in to be born.

Our midwife recommended having some glucose tablets for labour for energy or maybe a glucose drink.

I have mentioned it before but i found having no internals amazing and would recommend that, i understand things are diffrent there but trying not to have to many would be great. Let yourself get into that special space and have noone disturb you.

Have you seen the sight that timed contractions for you? I loved that, when a contraction started i would just give hubby a sign and he would start it then when done tell him. Could easily see how far apart they were and how long they lasted for , made it so much easier than telling the midwife.

Well think i have convered it all, anything else you want to know?

Will you be able to twitter/email from hospital? Im so excited for you

Erin said...

What's interesting about birthing naturally is that your body really does tell you what to do, so what felt right at one point, may not feel right at another. With my older son, I spent most of my labor either walking or in the tub. When it came time to push, I wanted to be on my back, even though I'd envisioned it differently and knew on my back was the worst position. It was just what felt right to me!
With my younger son, I found myself on all fours for most of the contractions, and when he was born, I wound up squatting. So basically, my best advice is to just let your body be your guide. Do what feels right!

In terms of what you need, keep some of your favorite food and drinks on hand. I liked pudding and gatorade while in labor. I get really hot during labor, so a spaghetti strap black, cotton maternity dress was what I wanted to wear, with a sports bra (which is also good to have if you go in water and want to be covered). You may want flip flops or slippers in case you end up walking a lot.

Brittany said...

I got an epidural...But, My epidural wore off 2 hours before I started pushing so I felt a pretty fair amount. The transition phase is when my epi was wearing out and I felt VERY sick the whole time but luckily didnt stay in the stage but for like 30 minutes. I just had to breathe...I wish now I wouldve not gotten the epi at all cause I wanted to walk as I feel I wouldnt have been in labor 23 hours !!! I am not much help cause I didnt do the whole thing natural. But when I was pushing I felt everthing and it wasnt as bad as I thought it was. It was so natural my body just did what it was supposed to. If i didnt push thats when it hurt ! I cant wait till I get to read Siones birth story !!!!!!!!!

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Pregnantly Plump said...

Hi! Wanted to say thanks for visiting my blog. I wish I had some thoughts on natural childbirth, but our first was an emergency C-section, so I had no choice on natural with the second.