thread: Suggestions for reducing stress

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    Suggestions for reducing stress

    Hi all,

    I'm about 24 weeks pg with my first baby, and I am stressing (not constantly, but every now and then it gets worse) about labour... I want to go completely drug-free, but I also have a pretty low pain tolerance, and I am worried I won't handle it all.

    I'm sure I'm not the only person to go through this, so I am wondering how other first-timers (either expecting or when you actually went through it) have dealt with this? 8-[


  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2004
    Inner West, Sydney

    Fenella i strongly suggest hypnobirthing. Not only do you learn meditative and hynotic techniques but during the course you do fear release sessions. You also get affirmations to practise which really change your state of mind. I used the hypnobirthing technique and just gave birth naturally after a very intense 4.5 hour labour. I had such a wonderful birth experience and i really attribute this to the technique.

  3. #3
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

    Fenella, good on you hon! Great stuff for wanting to birth your baby without drugs.

    I strongly recommend you do some reading to help give you more confidence about your body's ability to birth normally, as stress and tension will only slow down labour and that drug free / intervention free birth you want can quickly go out the window in hospitals.

    Active Birth by Janet Balaskas is awesome to read. If you can grab a copy, it's well worth the read and it will change the way you look at birth. There are some great things to know that we aren't told, for example, a squatting position in second stage (pushing) can give your pelvis 28% more space - being on the bed reclining / semi reclining is the worst position for pain and space!

    There are some great articles on the main site here: - read a few of those ones:

    Pain in Labour - Your Hormones Are Your Helpers

    Mission: Natural Birth

    These are great starters. Learning how amazing your body is to help you cope with labour is just awesome, as well as the hormones that do so much work. But once you become stressed, your body starts producing adrenalin, this is what slows the production of oxytocin (which you need for labour to progress) and endorphins (to help with the pain). This is actually a survival mechanism, having adrenalin do this in a time of stress, as once upon a time if a labouring woman was in danger, the adrenalin would stop the birth of the baby right then and there until she was able to find a safe place to birth.

    Find some great support people, those who wont panic when you are having moments of crisis and encourage you to give baby the gift of a drug free birth. Have you thought about finding a professional support person?

    Remember: You CAN do it And you'll find afterwards you'll feel like you can conquer Everest and it will all be worth it. Oh - and you'll forget the pain in five minutes with that babe in your arms
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    In 2015 I went Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2004

    I agree with Kelly, grab as much info as you can about it all.

    Some ladies think that they end up not having a choice about going natural and I am embarassed to think now that simply have forceps delivery via spinal block after being induced with gel and drip and having my waters broken is having bubs naturally. I now realise, thanks mainly to Kelly, that it isn't and that you have the power of choice of you bubs and body.

    Next time I am going to make sure that I thoroughly research this, last time I just went with the flow and I think that contributed to me having negative thoughts about labour. I would love to be drug free next time!

    HERE is a thread that we all talked about how it was for us, that might be handy in your reading also.

  5. #5
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    Hi Fenella,

    I totally agree so far with what the other girls have said.

    And I think it is great that you are looking into this NOW!

    I was "lucky" with Olivia....drug and stitch free natural birth, and the feelings afterwards were fantastic.....I still feel like it is the best thing I have ever done in my life.

    I had a CD that I played to myself throughout my pregnancy with her that I feel did me a lot of good mentally...centred around viualisations and breathing and "welcoming" the pain....sounds a bit new age hippy, but it worked for me! Email me if you want some more details........

  6. #6
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

    But remember not to trap yourself into the mindset that you have to have the 'perfect' birth with no pain relief or intervention.
    Completely agree - there's a great little thing you can remember to help you decide what to do in labour too, which is in the Mission: Natural Birth article:


    B - What are the BENEFITS of this being done?
    R - What are the RISKS of this being done?
    A - What ALTERNATIVES are there?
    N - Does it need to be done NOW?

    Caesarian birth or an intervention isn't at all a 'failed' birth. No matter what way you birth your baby, it is your unique, beautiful birth.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    In 2015 I went Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    Thanks for all your replies!

    I'm reading up on as much as I can, and sometimes it helps... It also helps talking to people or reading birth stories of people who have done it, too (of course ) Thanks for all the links and suggestions Kelly!

    Shannon, I agree about not getting too tied down to the one idea - I have certainly considered that things might not go according to plan, but am hoping to prepare myself. I guess that I am a bit more worried about being able to handle it because until I actually started TTC and found out about all the side effects the drugs can have, I'd always thought that I'd go for them!

    Lucy, thanks heaps for the CD offer, I've emailed you about it already

    Heather, I haven't really looked into hypnobirthing, but I might do a bit of searching and see what I can find out

    Nellbe, thanks for your suggestions too, I'll check out the thread you've mentioned. I might have to be careful not to just go with the flow like you did, but I'm not so great at making my decisions clear sometimes! Think I will have to get DH to stick up for me if I don't say anything myself

  8. #8
    Melody Guest

    Fenella I have struggled with this concept as well. At the heart of it there is so much talk about drugs/intervention & c/s that I actually began to subliminally doubt my ability to even give birth. I also began to question my desire & wonder if I was being 'silly'.

    Needless to say I have come a long way over the past few months. I began to read....EVERYTHING! i also began to concentrate on my intentions rather than doubt my ability. I come from a very large working class family & one thin we all do well is give birth. I look around at my mother, my sisters, my aunties, my cousins & my friends (who have all had natural drug free births) & I ask myself "Are any of them super-hero's? Are any of them amazingly exceptional?" (in the dramatic sense.... every person is exceptional spiritually ) but the answer is "No".

    Every time i feel a negative thought pop into my head (as my time draws closer & closer) I take a deep breath & just push it right back out the door. I KNOW I can do this, I have as good a shot at this as any of the millions of women who have been doing this for millions of years & I am not going to let the medical industry, the pharmaceutical industry or anyone else for that matter convince me that I am unable or ill equiped to go through this process.

    I also talk to DH (my birthing partner) a lot about this & I am confident that he knows of my wishes & supports me in them 100%.

    I understand that some people do not have a choice & I have nothing but love & admiration for them & I also have it firmly in my mind that the most IMPORTANT thing for me is a safe arrival of my baby & my own safety. If there is a genuine complication I will not hesitate to have intervention of any description, based on proffesional advice, in order to maintain our safety.

    In discussion with a midwife recently she said something that really stuck in my mind & gave me strength. I explained my desire for a natural birth, she suggested "As soon as you are admitted to hospital & meet your first mid-wife explain to her that you are really wanting to achieve this & ask for her help. We are trained to deliver babies & in a lot of cases we don't really get to do that any more because of all the intervention. This is what midwives are trained for & if you ask for thier help they should be only too suportive in thier effort to make this happen for you"

    That is exactly what I will be doing when i am admitted. These are just my thoughts & I hope they help

  9. #9
    Platinum Member

    Nov 2004


    I had a birth plan which was that I didn't want any drugs and would use gas as a last resort. How that changed...

    17 1/2 hrs labour to 2cm then augmented with syntocin (sp?) for 6 hrs. Pain was really bad so asked for gas, then an epidural. Only got to 3 cm and baby's HB was dropping to 80 with each contraction. The cord was wrapped around her neck twice so I had an emergency C-sect. Will be doing my birth story soon.

    This was never part of the plan but I coped well with it. Have not felt like I failed or have not really been emotional about it. Baby has to come out and I know that this was the safest way. Whatever happens, when you have a healthy little baby in your arms you shouldn't worry how the labour went if it wasn't to your plans.

    I wish you all the best and hope your labour goes well.