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Thread: For those that had a drug free labour and birth

  1. #1
    Percy Guest

    Default For those that had a drug free labour and birth

    Hi

    I would really like to have a drug free labour if I possibly can. I was wondering if you had no drugs (or maybe just gas) during your labour, if you did anything in preparation for your labour eg yoga, breathing exercises, etc etc.

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    LizzyT Guest

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    I was very keen to have a drug free labour and did everything that I could to make it happen - and it did.

    I did:
    - Active Birth Yoga from about 18 weeks
    - Acupuncture from about 32 weeks
    - Consulted with a Natropath from before conception to labour (and after)
    - Ensured that my nutrition was as good as possible (food and supplements).
    - Read everything that I could on natural birth and on the possible outcomes of medical inventions.
    - Stayed at home for as long as possible before going to hospital when in labour.

    Something that I wish that I had done and didn't was a Breastfeeding course from the ABA. I had read a lot about Breastfeeding and it had been talked about at the hospital prenatal class, but it really wasn't enough for me. Even though I breastfeed my DS for 15 months, I will do the course when I am pregnant with my next child.

    Hope this helps
    Liz

  3. #3

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    Percy,

    I didnt do anything other than have faith in my bodies ability to be able to birth...
    I was prepared to have & take whatever I needed once the time came, but I had one suck on the gas & it did nothing, so I threw it aside, I had an epi & am glad I did it all this time without any drugs, but would in no way shape or form have been upset at all had I have had the drugs, like I did with my first....


    ETA: Staying at home as long as possible is a huge help... I arrived at the hospital having major contractions, but fought my way up the stair instead of the lifts & when I was initially examined about 15 mins after arriving at the hospital, my waters were bulging & about to burst, this was around 10:30pm, Indah was birthed at 12:31am...
    Last edited by Tracey; November 9th, 2006 at 03:09 PM.

  4. #4

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    Percy, I really didn't do alot either. Although if you cound all the reading and research I did then I would say I did heaps

    Believe in your own bodies ability to birth, believe inyourself that you can do it. Nothing in life really comes without any pain. Try to embrace each contraction as bringing you closer to meeting your new baby. One down and time for the next one.

    I did stay at home for as long as I could with my first 2 births. Was 7 cms with both of them when I got to the hospital.

    With Tehya who was my longest labour at around 10 hours, there were times where doubt did sort of creep in but I just pushed it away. Plus, it wasn't like I could have drugs at home

  5. #5

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    I agree good self education is the key. Knowing real reasons WHY you don't want drugs i.e. having a real motivator rather than, just because, and having great support and preparation of how you might feel and what you can do in a 'crisis of confidence'.

    If you don't have a real convincing reason in your own mind why you don't want drugs, when you are in the throws of labour, what is going to hold you to it?
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
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  6. #6

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    I was reading new active birth, read alot of articles on BellyBelly and already had 2 inductions one with epidural one without under my belt. So I was really keen to try a natural labour & birth.

    The only thing un-natural about Ashton's labour and birth was that I asked them to rupture my membranes at 8cm dilation as I was too exhausted from being awake for the last 43hours.

    Love

  7. #7

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    For my first birth two weeks ago, it was all natural because:

    Read 'New Active Birth' a few times....
    Read all the 'Labour and Birth' threads many times over....and all of the 'Birth Stories' on BB.
    Only thought of labour in positive/encouraging terms.
    Stayed at home, in the bath for as long as I could (turned out to be until 10cm!!).
    Made sure the midwife I got read my birth preferences.
    Breathed long and hard (spat/spittled all over midwife!) during later contractions.
    My membranes had to be ruptured as I was 10cm for ages.....and it killed to try to push with them all full.....the darn things refused to break on their own.
    Prayed a whole lot during the pregnancy (very specifically for all sorts of things).....and I really believe it was God who got me though it so well (really!).
    Labour lasted from 4am till 11:54pm same day - but it was all manageable.

    Good luck!!!

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    rotfl about the spitting on the poor midwife ChocolateCatty, that's a classic!

    i'm reading this thread to inspire me to do the same as you all have done. My midwife doesn't even carry gas so i won't have a choice anyway, but it's still encouraging to hear you can do it without drugs. I would love to hold my baby, undrugged (the both of us) and to feed straightaway without her too drugged to suck.

    I keep telling myself, this is the ideal and i shouldn't get too hung up on ideals in case it turns out differently, hard not to focus on it once you have decided what your ideal scenario is though.

    If worst comes to worst and i end up in hospital, i will try and remember what so many of you say, hold off being in hospital as late as you possibly can.

  9. #9

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    I agree with the other ladies about believing that you can do it! That makes a huge difference. The mind, I think, is just about the most powerful thing in labour! I know it made a big difference from my first labour to my second. With my first, I was afraid, and I didn't know how bad it was going to get. (I had a great labour with both my babies - 7 hours from first ctx to baby in my arms, and no tearing, both times!) I found it very helpful to have a quiet room, and when I felt the contraction coming, I pictured it like a wave coming it, washing over me, and then receding. The most important part was to remember as the wave was coming in that it WOULD recede! And then just breathe slowly, picture your body relaxing and opening to let your baby out, and remember that you can do it!
    Changing position is important, don't labour on your back! Walk for as long as you can. And if you can get into the water in some way - do it! Whether it's the bath, or the shower, or a whirlpool tub, I found it to be as good as drugs!
    As far as preparation and reading books goes, be as informed as you can about what your body is doing, so that you will have some idea of what to expect. Your birth support person (DH? Mother? Friend?) should also be informed, so that they will feel prepared and not be afraid and unable to support you if this is their first time coaching a woman in labour.
    That being said, I think that a lot of women get caught up in studying these books almost as if labour was a test that they were preparing for, and studying would help them pass. It's not. Labour is an overwhelming, all consuming, indescribable thing, and reading about it isn't going to change that. So I would recommend that you get to know the fundamentals of what your body is going to do in labour, but don't get caught up in studying book after book on it. And whether you use drugs or not, whether your baby is delivered with or without intervention, whether you have a spontaneous labour or a caesarian, you have succeeded - you birthed your baby.
    Hope all goes well for your delivery!

  10. #10

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    Thanks girls. You've really added a great deal to my confidence. I feel reassured that I'm on the right track and will keep working on that trust in myself. I hope everything goes well for you Percy when the time comes.

  11. #11
    Percy Guest

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    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your advice. I'm really determined to have a natural birth for my own reasons. I know i can do it - I know my body is designed for this and so will be trying my hardest to do it.

    Many thanks for your ideas and thoughts

  12. #12

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    Ah, and perineum massage for a few weeks beforehand - I still had a small tear (no stiches and it healed within 10 days) but the massage helped with the stretching feeling you get when bubs is crowning. And it helped psychologically - knowing that I'd done the massage so I *shouldn't* tear much or at all...

  13. #13

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    Not sure if mine is classes as drug free as I was induced but I didn't have any pain relief. I read a lot about labour and birth esp new active birth and I remember reading in one of the books about understanding why labour hurts and what the contractions are doing ie lifting the muscles of your uterus to pull open your cervix. being able to visualise this action with each contraction helped me to relax immensely.

    i remeber the first two contractions I had hurt a lot as I was lying down hooked up to lots of machines. I knew then that I could not lie down for labour and as soon as I stood up the pain was manageable. In fact I remember saying many times over that labour was not as horrific as I thought it would be. I used some gas during transition but it made me fall over so I just used o2 with the mouth piece to bite on and focus on.

    I had great midwifes that helped with positions and I think you really take yourself off somewhere where you can't feel the pain you just let your body do what it has to do - completely detached IYKWIM. Mind you I had a very quick labour only 4hs and 2 were pushing maybe if my labour was longer and more spaced out I would have found it more difficult to cope with the pain.

    Best of luck with your labour

  14. #14

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    Same here - my labour was augmented with the drip, but was pain relief free. I just did some reading, but really it came down to me not wanting anything passed through to the baby (even gas). I'd avoided caffeine and alcohol and all those other yummyy things for 9 months coz I was looking after my baby.. why would I suddenly allow painkillers through?! DH was a wonderful support and reminded me of why I didn't want drugs, and told the midwives to stop offering me pain relief.

    I guess my 2 tips would be:

    Tell the midwives straightup that you don't want anything, and if you do, you'll ask for it (even then it can be something you scream out and not really mean! LOL) Get them to help with positions and being upright.

    And BEWARE OF TRANSITION! This is where you're most likely to cave and want drugs (it's the last 1/2 hr or so of the 1st stage). Make sure your support partner knows what transition is and get them to keep telling you that it means you're nearly there! The pushing stage wasn't painful at all for me, just tiring, but it was a bit of a buzz getting through to then without any pain relief, so maybe that helped. hehe.

    All the best with your research

  15. #15

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    Self-education and yoga were the key for me.

    I read New Active Birth from cover to cover several times, and did yoga for 30-40 minutes at night before bed around 6 nights per week. I practiced lots of squatting, even in the shower, to get used to letting go of my pelvic floor.

    Worked a treat for me! 8hrs 15 min labour, and a 12 minute stage 2 where my body literally spat my baby out without me having to push at all! I also walked constantly during Stage 1 as it made the contractions much more bearable.

    Believing your body can do it is a key thing.

  16. #16
    kel Guest

    Default believe in your body

    dear percy
    i have had 2 natural births(a couple of sucks of gas i liked biting on the mouth piece for distraction!)no stitches and good breastfeeders.i trained for 2 yrs with apersonal trainer and kept very active i dont have a high pain threshhold except for childbirth strangely.my advice is to do a breastfeeding course it helped a lot tell your ob or midwife your plans but to be openminded if you need to change as the end result is a healthy baby a nd happy mum.keeping active is my key i walk walk!squat as often as you can.i really go into myself and focus as one more contraction is closer to holding that baby.its a hard days work but rewarding.1st labour 12hrs 2nd labour 3hrs.goodluck hope we have all helped.regards kel

  17. #17

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    I read New Active Birth also as well as articles here on BB. I think the most important things for me were knowing what positions worked and being able to breathe through contractions. I had painful BH so used these to find a position that I liked and that helped, and to practise breathing. To me, this and confidence in your ability to do it are the keys.

    Of course my labour was only 3 hours and I didn't have the option of an epi. Also I was already 5cms when I got to hosp and dilating fast, so psycologically I knew I didn't have long to go. But I have to say that I felt so much better after the natural delivery than the first one when I had an epi so I am very glad I did it. It's hard at the time but well worth it afterwards.

  18. #18

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    I went into labour with an open mind, I really didn`t want drugs but you never know until your in labour how you`ll deal with the pain, I`m a very determined person so no drugs is what I really wanted along with my VBAC and I did achieve my labour without drugs even with a Midwife who was getting quite annoyed that I didn`t want drugs.

    So it was just my determination and the support I got from DH, during my labour the thought of wanting drugs never entered my mind but I was getting really annoyed by my midwife telling me to have something LOL

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