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Thread: Birth plans & drug-free birth - how much do you want it?

  1. #55

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    I know how much I want it that nothing will change my mind. If there's a problem, cut it out, otherwise leave me the hell alone. I don't pretend I can prepare for the pain, but I know what inteferring will do to me and my baby and I simply won't do it. I know that's worth all the pain I'll go through.


  2. #56

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    Good one, Azima! Now you just need to work on how to conceptualise the 'pain' so that you can decrease your perception of it For me, the most 'painful' part of the experience were the contractions, but even they ended up being bearable because of the preparation I did.

  3. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by IK View Post
    Now you just need to work on how to conceptualise the 'pain' so that you can decrease your perception of it
    Hmm... thanks. That's given me food for thought.

  4. #58
    Percy Guest

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    I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to say thank you to all who wrote in it!

    Its helped me enormously! I really do want a drug free birth and don't want to be one of "those" women who give up after the first contraction! DH and I have now disucssed it and he is more then well aware of my desires and interests and has promised me to be my sane side druing the birth - ie asking me a number of times over a period of time before accepting drugs etc.

    Anyways just wanted to say thank you!!

  5. #59
    Claire Joy Guest

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    Hi Kelly,

    I also recently attended the "Choices for Childbirth" classes on Friday nights in Brunswick and was present at the class you mention.

    I found all of the classes to be very helpful in that they forced myself and my partner to really think through our expectations and desires for the birth of our baby.

    However, wanted to mention that I was kind of disappointed with the class you're referring to as I felt that it offerred no concrete suggestions for actually coping with the pain of childbirth.

    Although I didn't have any problem with listening to the tape of the woman crying out in pain during childbirth, I was kind of hoping for a few suggestions or strategies for actually dealing with the pain.

    Maybe it might have been useful to have some sort of discussion regarding strategies such as attempting to have the baby in the optimal position for giving birth (for example, a discussion re: anterior vs postier babies) or research regarding the effects of having a birth attendent present (in terms of a reduction in the length of labour and interventions) or the positive impact of hypno birthing for some women.

    It kind of concerns me that maybe playing a tape of a woman crying out in pain might actually serve to achieve nothing more than instilling fear in women that are already feeling anxious. Although I'm not completely convinced that hypno birthing will be a successful strategy for me, I can see that fear can lead to tension which will maybe result in even more pain, or in a situation in which women who have chosen to give birth in hospital end up giving their power away to a well meaning nurse or ob who is pushing for intervention - thereby inadvertently leading to a less than optimal birth.

    I came away from that class acutely aware that childbirth is REALLY going to hurt, and with an understandinging of the effects of intervention of the birthing process, but no real strategies for the sorts of things that i might try to avoid the intervention/drugs with the exception of having a homebirth where such interventions are not really possible.

    Good luck with running the course next year! Hope it goes well!

  6. #60

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    Thanks for the feedback! I am no longer running the Balwyn Choices anymore, there have been some big changes due to many people moving on, I chose to do so also, but there is plenty more happening with Choices and new things coming too.

    The Pink Kit is something you can do in your own home, and addresses all sorts of things like that - if you can get your hands on it, might be helpful and you can do it in your own home
    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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  7. #61

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    I don't know about this class, Claire, however, just know that birth does not have to involve REALLY hurting. Sometimes there's no hurting at all, sometimes it is quite manageable.
    My key advice is to spend the time to visualise the kind of birth you WANT to have. I visualised my calm face as the baby came down, I visualised a quiet environment with me doing 'all the work', I visualised me either singing or just humming gently. I ended up humming as I did my birth breathing (from HypnoBirthing), and everything else happened as visualised.
    For many reasons, you may not have the birth you've visualised, but by making it real in your mind you are that much closer to the birth of your choice than if you don't picture what you want in your mind.
    Also bear in mind that the brain does not process negatives. So, telling yourself what you DON'T want, perversely has the effect of planting the seed of the thing you don't want in your mind. To explain. If you say you don't want pain, your brain does not process the 'don't' bit, and just hears the 'pain' bit. You'll find yourself fixating on the pain factor, which is just going to create that tension, which WILL lead to some sort of pain (not maybe).
    I cannot stress enough that concentrating on what you DO want is absolutely key. Even if the course of events leads to necessary interventions, you will have a far more positive experience if you can eliminate fear as much as possible.

  8. #62

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    I came away from that class acutely aware that childbirth is REALLY going to hurt,
    birth is only as painful as you percieve it. and of course its hard to imagine before you experience it!
    i had pethidene with my first, not really cause i couldnt bear the pain, i was just so agitated and anxious and it did work calm me down (and sleep, LOL).it wore off just before the birth anyways (woke me up! ROFL)
    next birth totally drug free.
    contractions just feel like a bad stomach ache, ive had plently of those in my time. and when the heads crowns you feel a quick, stinging sensation. it really is managable if you want to avoid drugs i just kept repeating to myself that the pain was good, and for a reason - every pain just bought my baby closer to being with me...

  9. #63
    Claire Joy Guest

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    Thanks for your replies IK and johT! The kind of birthing experience that both of you describe is what I'm hoping for! I guess that's what kind of bothered me about the "Pain in Childbirth" class that I recently attended - the whole 2 hour class seemed to be very much focused on the notion that childbirth is/would be incredibly painful. Although Rhea Dempsy (who ran the class) was very entertaining and kind of acted out the kinds of things women say and do when they're in pain, the message seemed to be very much focused on how bad the pain was going to be (yet without providing any concrete strategies to cope with it - or exploring the possibility of minimising pain or discomfort without drugs). However, I'm aware that not all women experience a such a painful labour and that many find the pain managable (am hoping to be one of them)! I found it a bit worrying that hammering home the notion that childbirth was/would be an inherently painful experience could have quite an impact, especially as the class had approximately 40+ women and partners attending. Would love to see the "Choices for Childbirth" sessions incorporate some of the strategies that both of you have mentioned.

    Kelly - thanks for such a quick reply! I've not investigated the "pink kit" as yet, but will look into it!

    CJ.

  10. #64

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    I too think they need to be prepared, but its how they perceive pain, what they do with it and who's around them that matters. I had a gorgeous HypnoBirthing couple, she had some false labour around 26 weeks and she completely freaked out. She said that if labour is like that, I dont know how I would cope and how hypnobirthing could help me - she became instantly skeptical. Now if she went into labour and flipped out, could have been a worse situation.

    I think women need to be more skills and tools so they have more to pull out of their tricks box.

    btw. She had an awesome drug free birth with an almost 10lb baby, no tears.
    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.

  11. #65

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    I agree.. it hurts! That last 1/2hr or so (transition) is awful! THAT's where good support comes in, coz you're ready to crack by then.

    But it's TOTALLY do-able

  12. #66

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    i also will admit that i am a total utter wuss. i thought i would need every d r u g available with my first so didnt want to really know about the effect on the baby:eek: the possible side effects of epidurals (like becoming permanently paralised) did worry me though.
    for me having a tatoo on my shoulder pain was alot worse than childbirth.i bawled like a baby. i guess i could keep stopping/starting the tatooist, which probably made it worse!! it was the most unnatural pain ever..and most people say tattoo's dont hurt at all - not me!

  13. #67

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    I am with Shannon - the pain is extreme, having said that though, I think alot if does still depend on your own goals and how you have mentally prepared yourself.

    I personally found that the experience from No 1, made all of the difference with No 2, and while the pain was still intense I actually managed to embrace it and work with it rather than against it.

    I respect what everyone has said, but I honestly believe you can have NO concept of what childbirth is like until you have been through it yourself.

  14. #68
    Renaee Guest

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    Thanks Kelly and others for a very interesting ramble on the whole 'how to cope with pain' issue.

    I hope that I am well and truly in the 'Highly Motivated for Normal birth (10-15%)' catergory by now. I also heard Rhea give this talk at the choices for childbirth classes. Oddly enough it was one of most powerful concepts for me, as I could see throughout my pregnancy how I had been in a few of all of these groups, I think except for the first one, and how my journey and reading had finally brought me into the highly motivated catergory.

    I have my doula, and am going to a birth centre. I have my partner who is determined to ensure I get the normal physiological childbirth I am after, no matter how much I scream for the pethidine/gas/epidural. He says it will by my punishment for dragging him along to 6 nights of birth classes on top of the hospital ones we did!!

    I really wanted to have the home birth with a pool, but in the end the 'pressure' to perform after forking out so much money for this option kind of put me off. In an ideal world this would be the first and cheapest option that we could all have. Espcially given the Royal Womens Hospital is only about a 15 minutes walk from our house!

    I am due this Wed - 4 days to go - can hardly wait, and everyday I wake up talking to my bub saying I am ready when ever you are, let's do this thing.

    I feel very relaxed and at ease in my body, am sleeping well, and have no work obligations or other children to look after, so I am truly treasuring this special time at home preparing the nest and being with my preggie belly.

    Although I don't post that much, I love reading all the forums, this site has been my number one resource and jumping off point for all other materials resources I have found - well done to the belly belly team for providing such a well informed site.

    Cheers - Renaee.

  15. #69

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    This has really given me some food for thought! I am starting to think about what to put in my birth plan, and Kelly, I like what you have said about not just copying out a birth plan that sounds good, but really thinking about how far you do want to be pushed. I want to be realistic about the whole thing, so am trying to visualise myself in the situation so I can really 'plan' for it.

  16. #70

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    Some advice - make at least 5 copies of the plan and keep them with you. The hospital lost my plan, so I summerised it to "don't offer me drugs and we want to find out the gender ourselves." Drugs were very much pushed, but they were really good with the gender bit! Even though I'd told him drugs would kll the baby, DH was encouraging me to try them and I wasn't in pain at that point!

    We also had a pre-theatre drugs panic because of DH's genetic problem, it took quite a bit of me explaining whilst I was pushing to make people realise that I can have this drug but my baby may have a problem with it. The info was in my birth plan and it would have helped a lot for that not to be lost!

  17. #71

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    I'm going to really have to think about my birth plan this time around, as i know if i write down no drugs, my Dh will make me stick to it, no questions asked!!!! With my second child, he wouldn't let the midwives turn up my gas too high, because he said with my first child i got a little too high lol. (ended up swearing at him to turn the bl#$dy gas up!)

  18. #72
    angelfish Guest

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    I think that the birth plans, if they are to be any use, need to be far more specific. Eg instead of saying "I prefer not to have an epi" it would say that and then continue "if I request epidural anesthesia I would like to be encouraged to use [a change of position, water, heat packs, counter pressure, guided imagery, breathing techniques as practiced previously etc etc whatever the woman prefers to try] I would like to wait 30 minutes/another 10 contractions/whatever before reconsidering having the epi". Or whatever you like. The midwives and other staff should not be put in the position of having to make the decision for the woman.

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