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Thread: People scoffing at a drug free/ epidural free birth

  1. #1

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    Default People scoffing at a drug free/ epidural free birth

    Am I really silly for wanting a totally natural or atleast epidural free birth? Everytime people ask and I mention this is my intention (obviously I know I can have an epi if I want or may need a caesarian etc) they look at me like Im nuts and then start the "Ohhhh wait until your actually in labour, then youll be crying for the pain killers."
    Its making me start to doubt that a) its doable and b) that Im making the right decision to try for it.

    On that note, my OB is all for my having the birth I want if its medically doable and what I still want in the end.

    Did you have this kind of birth? Was it really that bad? Do you regret it?


  2. #2

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    People are thinking I'm strange for wanting this too, but I've been assured it can be done - here is my recent thread about it.

    I can't wait to have my drug-free, hospital-free birth!

  3. #3

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    It is very typical, but we live in a day and age where all this is so acessible, the seduction of the epidural great, and we often don't have known, experienced, continuous support. The best outcomes often happen when you do have these things, but not in every case because there are the exceptions who will no doubt post and tell me so! You might like to read these stats: http://bellybelly.com.au/forums/showthread.php?t=16414 and also an article I wrote, Mission: Natural Birth.

    Our own mothers and women earlier than this birthed in a very bad era for birth, they don't come from good experiences most of the time and things still have a long way to go. In the 70's (think Leboyer), the birthing scene was all about baby and the most gentle and comfortable birth experience for the baby - so drug free birth was important. Now it's all about the most comfortable experience possible for the mother.

    I did it with my second and never thought I could after an augmented / epidural birth the first time. But I stayed at home as long as I could cope and when I couldn't cope anymore and started talking drugs, I went in to find I was 9cms and no hope of drugs. So I relied on those around me to coach me through and I was pushing quick smart. It is possible. Get yourself some good support, read some good books - New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas, The Thinking Woman's Guide to A Better Birth by Henci Goer.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; July 8th, 2006 at 12:44 AM.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
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  4. #4
    Melody Guest

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    I say go for it! How can you achieve a goal unless you have it to begin with.... if your desire is strong & commitment is firm you are 90% the way there to having a natural birth. Women do it all the time, why not you? My two sisters did (2 & 3 times respectively) & they are no 'wonder women'. My mother did, your mother probably did. there is no reason why you are excluded from this group. Good luck to you!

  5. #5

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    I say go for it too hun. Never under estmate the power of both your mind and body.
    So many people asked me how I was going to have drugs having a homebirth, the answer was simple I wasn't!!!

    Of course, if when the time comes that you do need some pain relief, don't beat yourself up about it. Your intention was there and as long ad your baby comes out safely and healthily thats the most important of all.

  6. #6

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    Yup, people scoffed at me too. I copped it about not wanting pain relief, and I copped it about wanting to use cloth nappies! LOL. They give you that all knowing look.. oh you wait until you're in labour.. you have no idea what it's like.. oh you'll be so busy with the baby you won't want to wash nappies.. you have no idea how hard it is having a baby. blah blah blah.

    Let me tell you... you CAN do it drug free with the right mindset and the right support. And it's not THAT hard having a baby around.. just a bit time consuming! hehe.

    But those knowing looks that mums threw to each other whenever I spoke of my intentions.. grrrrrr... made me so mad, and I had no grounds to stand on coz I HADN'T been there yet. I learnt to be very selective with who I told coz it's just too discouraging.

  7. #7

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    Of course it is doable!! But that doesn't mean that if you do choose to have an epidural when the time comes then you have somehow failed yourself OK.

    The small country town hospital where I gave birth do not do epidurals anyway so all birthing mothers who go there do not have any choice about the matter, but if circumstances change and you need a c/s then you have to go under a general anaesthetic. Although I do know of women who have decided to go on to the next big town with a base hospital just so they can have an epidural.

    If you know what you want then go for it.

  8. #8

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    It's definatly do-able. I never had an epidural and it never crossed my mind that i wanted one while in labour either.

  9. #9
    lisa-jay Guest

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    I'm in Perth and there are loads of people here that have had fantastic births. Try to surround yourself with people that will give you confidence, go to the Leederville resource Centre in Leederville and have a chat with the community midwives there.
    I've had 3 babies and never had any drugs, (unless you count gas and air, which some people do!) The most important thing wit managing your pain in labour, is STAY OFF YOUR BACK. I would be screaming for an epidural too if I was made to labour on my back, your body has to work 100 times harder to move that baby..and it hurts more! Listen to your body and move in any way you feel comfortable. Good luck.

  10. #10

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    yep same comments here, I had a natural birth with my little angel no drugs no nothing except a heat pad about 5 min before she was born now I know the actual birth part was easier becuase of her size butthe contractions are the same,

    I plan for a totally natural birth, and poohy to anyone who says I can't do it, if I can do it during the worst moment of my life then I can do it during the best

    good on you for wanting this

  11. #11

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    It is definately doable!!!!!! I had an epidural with No#1 and hated the way it restricted me. I had an induced labour with no #2 and no epidural!

    You just need to listen to your body and figure out what is the best way for you to manage the pain, ie: found something to focus on, walk around, have a bath. But if you need the drugs, then take them, no one will think any less of you because of it!

  12. #12

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    Here I am, the voice of contention...lol. No not really, I just wanted to say with my first baby, which is a whole different thing in my experience to subsequent labours, I had an epidural, gas and pethidine. I had an 18 hr labour, but was scared and became almost frantic with the pain. I had read What to Expect.... and all those kind of books, but honestly nothing prepared me for the pain. I have had 6 babies and it never occured to me to do it any other way than the way I was told - on my back. So consequently I have had gas with all my pg, pethidine with No.1 and No.4 and and an epi with No.1 and no.3, so that means just gas with 3 births which I'm planning this time. I found it helped me focus and the rhythmic sucking put me in my own almost trancelike state. My aim is to give birth in an upright position ( I hope ) and only have the gas if I really need it.

    Good luck with whatever you do and I agree - stay as mobile as you can. I hope you have a wonderful birth experience.

  13. #13

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    I never recommend 'what to expect' as a pregnancy / birth preparation book. Not very empowering at all. New Active Birth and The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth will have you roaring with more confidence, having given you facts and figures.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  14. #14
    angelfish Guest

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    Hi Anna, I had similar reactions with my first baby when we mentioned we were planning a natural home birth. (With the second one it was much better, as people knew I must have some idea what I was talking about!) I'd suggest you pretty much avoid discussing it with people who you know will be unsupportive. You're less likely to have the birth you're hoping for if your confidence is beaten out of you by negative comments. On the other hand, please be prepared to use whatever intervention is needed if you end up with an excessively long, difficult or complicated labour. It is wonderful to have a natural birth experience, but don't forget that the main aim is for you and baby to come out of it in good shape, and if that means an epidural, you shouldn't have the extra burden of feeling as though you have failed or done the wrong thing.

  15. #15

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    There's nothing wrong with wanting your birth to go a certain way and really only you can decide how you want this to be. The main thing is that you and your carers need to be in agreement so that you are both working toward the same thing.

    If there is one thing that will become increasingly obvious to you as time goes by it is that no matter what choice you make, someone will have something to say about it. It seems to be par for the course when we're talking about babies!

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  16. #16

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    That reminds me - remember too that often in transition is the time women start talking about going home, having drugs, having caesareans - anything to get the baby out LOL! But with good support, they can remind you that even though transition is the most intense stage, it's also the shortest and you are very close to having your baby I was almost ready to push when I was thinking about drugs with Elijah, and of course upon checking dilation it was a no go. I have seen and heard of Obs giving women pain relief at 9cms and the results are not good. Obviously if the woman is in extreme distress it might be a good idea, especially if she doesn't have that support to get back on track, however if she has those drugs, it can be problematic. Sometimes it's the woman demanding it, sometimes it's the Ob readily giving it - no talk of - you are nearly there - if you have these drugs now your baby may also need drugs to counteract those drugs or the drugs wont have time to kick in etc...
    (not being anti-drugs here, but I am trying to provide a balanced view on things - it's funny how much different it is viewing birth when you aren't the one having the baby )
    Last edited by BellyBelly; July 9th, 2006 at 02:39 PM.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  17. #17

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    Yeah... my OB told me about a woman who had given birth the morning of my appointment, and he said she probably only had about 1/2 hr to go.. but was so distressed and screaming for drugs, he couldn't talk her around.. so they put in the epidural.. 4hrs later, she had a vaccuum delivery He said if only she'd stuck it out that extra bit, she'd have been pushing and had the baby so much quicker.

  18. #18

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    Hey Anna T,
    I completely agree with you. I am 20wks and have said all along I dont want an epidural purely for the reason that i dont want a needle in my spine. I get the same response from people "ohhh just wait..." or "yeah, you say that now". I am wondering if some people just feel a bit threatened that you are so adamant about it that they feel a little guilty for not being as passionate about something during their births? - Just a thought!!

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