Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 19 to 36 of 52

Thread: What helped you get through labour and have a natural birth?

  1. #19

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,362

    Default

    I'm subscribing so I can come back later and reply properly when I have more time...
    Did i get a vaginal birth? yes.
    Was it induced and assisted? Yes, induced, gas, epi, failed suction & forceps. So certainly not un-assisted nor drug-free
    Would I do it again? in a heartbeat
    What helped me not become a c-section? doula, doula, doula, doula, a million times over I cannot say it enough - words cannot express how truly brilliant she was in a team with my DH.

    Back later with more!


  2. #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    In the jungle.
    Posts
    4,809

    Default

    pre-eclampsia, and nope no sign of it second time around. I was pretty disappointed first time around, but knowing that it was necessary to ensure the safety of my and bub i was at peace with it all, but the second labour was by far better.

  3. #21

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    In the jungle.
    Posts
    4,809

    Default

    i noticed you're in melbourne, i did a fantastic workshop with Rhea Dempsy called transforming pain in labour. It was fantastic, more-so for DH than i. I was pretty well informed, but it really helped bring DH onto the same page and understand my desire for a drug free birth. It made him a rock solid support person.

  4. #22

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Outer South East Melbourne :)
    Posts
    4,346

    Default

    For me, the two main things that got me through my labour, were the skills i put to use after reading Birth Skills (this book was my BIBLE !) - and the 2nd most important thing was that i had Doula. she kept me focused and kept reminding that my body could do this and that all the pain i was feeling was bringing me closer to meeting my DD. I cannot recommend enough that if you can afford it, a Doula makes a huge difference.

    I had a 7 hour induced labour (with gels only) no drugs, no tearing, no further assistance. I pushed for nearly 2 hrs and not once did my ob or any other person in the room mention a CS or assisted delivery and i ASKED about it! - my ob said there was no need for a cs as i was doing well and DD would be here before i knew it

  5. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Junglemum View Post
    i noticed you're in melbourne, i did a fantastic workshop with Rhea Dempsy called transforming pain in labour. It was fantastic, more-so for DH than i. I was pretty well informed, but it really helped bring DH onto the same page and understand my desire for a drug free birth. It made him a rock solid support person.
    Yes I am in Melbourne Thanks Junglemum I will google her, thankyou again for your responses today

  6. #24

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Northcote
    Posts
    8,065

    Default

    I can also HIGHLY recommend attending a calmbirth course. DH and I have done one this pregnancy and we BOTH said how much we wished we had of done one the first time around. it explains the origins of the pain we feel in labour, what the sensations are and how we can work with the contractions, use them as our 'friend' (as opposed to something to anticipate with fear) that is helping to bring our baby into the world.

    the techniques they teach you are amazing for reducing stress and maintaining healthy breathing (= oxygen = minimisation of stress = lessening of pain as muscles are open and working to full capacity itms). went to a great one here in Melb if you are interested.

    simple little things that i used last time that helped me were to have 'reminders' around the room of why i was there...sometimes in the heat of the moment you can really lose focus, so i would fix my gaze on her little nightie during intense moments and on the bassinette that she would soon be lying in. this helped heaps in giving my mind something to think about while my body got on with the job and reminded me of why i was there.

    if it's possible, like the others have mentioned try to labour at home for as long as possible. hospitals are very vigilant about dialation and if you can get there with good dialation (ie already in established labour) you are well on the way to getting less intervention that seeks to 'hurry' the process up.

    also a good idea is to read up on optimal fetal positioning. many long labours that end up with intervention are due to bubby being in an awkward position (ie posterior). it is also something that many hospitals dont place much emphasis on in antenatal classes but is important as it can impact on the way labour progresses. for example it can make labour a more intense experience and also means that dialation is generally slower as bubby doesnt engage as 'neatly' on the cervix. also generally posterior labours (especially in first time labours) have a 'latent' phase around the time one would expect transition (so around the 7-9cm mark). this means that dialation really really slows down as the baby attempts to turn around and come out in a more traditional face down position. this is where hospitals can get a bit worried as you suddenly arent progressing at the same rate so they may offer to break your waters or, give pitocin to speed things back up again. not great when bubby is not in a good position. sometimes just being aware of what position bubby is in is enough of a helping hand to help you cope during labour. There are also some great strategies to help a posterior baby move to a LOA position before birth that i reckon are good to check out when the time comes (they recommend taking notice of posture and lying and sitting positions for this reason from 30 weeks onwards). I *think* spinning babies has some info, but google should come up with some good strategies...basically slouching back with your pelvis tilted back is a no no LOL!

    sorry i have blabbered! but found this all so fascinating when i was doing my calmbirth course and attended an OFP session (i am planning a homebirth so really wanna avoid any extra hours and intense labour pains )

    HTH

  7. #25

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,732

    Default

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but having an OB as your main carer is probably the biggest thing in your way of having anatural birth. I am probably going to be shot down in flames for saying this, but I am only speaking from my experience here, and my journey has certainly been one of discovery.

    When pregnant with my first, I saw an OB because I initially considered birth a life-and-death thing, and thought "If I am prepared to spend $2000 on wine in a year, then I am certainly not going to spend less on mine and my baby's life!" My DH thought I was insane - "Women have been having babies without OBs for years, we wouldn't have made it as a species if it was so dangerous", he said. But he went along with it. Then I read more and more about natural birth and got to know about the stuff on Bellybelly. And I went to a presentation by Rhea Dempsey on natural birth, and how the entire hospital system actually works against women in their quest for a natural birth. So I read and read and thought and thought and prepared myself for doing battle with the "system". At the back of my mind I was still terrified of birth and what it might bring.

    My waters broke the day before my due date. My OB wanted to admit me right away with the promise of an induction in the morning. It took me saying, three times, that I wanted to labour at home, before he "let me" go home. That was a critical moment, because I am convinced if I had've stayed I would have ended up with a c-section. As it was, I laboured at home and didn't come to hospital til I was 9cm dilated (quite an achievement, in hindsight, as my son was in persistent posterior position right to the end). Luckily for me my OB was relatively hands off - after a synto drip after transition, an episiotomy and a managed third stage I pushed out my 3.9kg boy (while lying on my back!) without forceps or vaccum assistance. Sure I had stitches but I felt on top of the world - I could do anything! I dropped my private health insurance within a month - my next birth would be in a birth centre, because I could do it!

    When I was pregnant with my second, I began reassessing my first birth. I distinctly recall getting quite annoyed with our own Bellbelly Kelly for daring to suggest that my first birth was not a "natural" one, but over time I came to see that it wasn't, and that there was a better way to do things. Like in the laxative ads, there is a "better kind of normal" LOL! I did a hypnobirth class and spent a lot of time delaing with my fear around birth, and my developing guilt - how could I have denied my first son good birth? How was it fair that my second child would be born in such a different way? Well, my second was born in a birth centre, with nary a vaginal exam in sight, completely au naturale. THAT was a good birth.

    And now on the precipice of my third birth, I am booked in to the Sunshine Hospital homebirth program. I am planning on this being the "best" in a "good, better, best" progression of births. Sure there are still fears, concerns, worries - but it is oh so different now.

    So after that great long ramble, what am I trying to say? I am not saying ditch your OB and run for the hills, as some would, because I think that a woman needs to approach and accept each birth with whatever is in her heart at that moment. Learn, read, worry, fret, rejoice, and do what you can to make this birth what you want it to be. But do not fear what it will become. It may be the first of many or your one and only. It may be your perfect birth or like my first, only the start of your journey of self discovery as a mother and life-giving goddess. As someone said "birth is about more than having a baby it is about becoming a mother."

  8. #26

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11,633

    Default

    Here are my thoughts, based on my own first experience, and as I face my second birth.
    My first I went private, with an OB. I was induced (unnecessarily I believe) at 42 weeks. Ended up with a forceps delivery as my DS was in distress. I was incredibly lucky to avoid a caesar.

    While we cannot plan for everything, and sometimes life throws us curve balls that no amount of preparation can get us past, I do believe that the choices we make are important.
    I chose an OB. I didn't need one. I agreed to an induction. I didn't need it. I didnt' get the natural birth I wanted, but I pretty much got the birth I chose because nothing really came up to force these choices. If I'd had some complication that necessitated an induction, for example, and my labour & birth had been exactly the same, I don't think I'd feel so disappointed. In fact I'd probably feel pretty good about it all!

    So all I can do now is look forward and make different choices. I'm going through midwifery care this time and plannign for a homebirth. I'm choosing a natural birth this time. I know it still might not happen, but it's probably far more likely this time round.

    Speaking more specifically, things that helped me during labour
    -Understanding the process was critical. It helped me to understand why I didn't want drugs. Why I needed to move and stay upright. And so on.
    -Hypnobirthing techniques to focus my mind and to relax between contractions.
    -Moving and vocalising during contractions.
    -Doula & partner on same page as me

  9. #27

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Werribee, Vic
    Posts
    618

    Default

    Another great book that I highly recommend is New Active Birth. Well worth obtaining a copy

  10. #28

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    I think being informed was what helped me through my natural labour and birth the most. I recommend reading "Creating you birth plan" by Marsden Wagner. Learn about each intervention, why and how it's done and how it will affect you and the baby. Identify what is important to you and go from there. I didn't so much write a birth plan, but birth preferences. If induction was necessary, I decided under what circumstances I was happy to do so and also how I preferred it to be done. In educating myself, I made any decisions before hand rather than having to weigh up benefits and risks etc on the spot while in labour.

    Birth attendants are also important. I gave birth in the delivery suite and got so lucky with the midwife I had (in the delivery suite you get whoever is on when you get there). She read my birth preferences and discussed any points of concern with me. She especially confirmed that I wished for a drug-free birth and warned me that she would hold me to it. If I asked for drugs, she was not going to go running for them straight away. I had a very quick labour (I went from 2cm to delivered in 2 hours 45 minutes) so there probably wasn't time for pain relief anyway. But everytime I said I couldn't do it, my midwife would just say 'yes you can, this is what your body is meant to do'. I kept repeating that to myself and that got me through the worst moments.

    You won't know what it'll be like until it happens. Educating yourself and preparing for many possible scenarios will give you the best chance of having the birth you want. Just remember though that the aim is to walk out of hospital with your baby in your arms, not to have the 'perfect birth'.

    Good luck.

  11. #29

    Default

    Sounds like the best thing I can do is learn as much as I can, lot's of research, have my plan but also be open to changing it if an unexpected emergency arises.
    Sticking to my guns when it comes to intervention if there is no medical necessity for it and having my husband well prepared also so that he can speak up during labour if i'm unable to.
    I am going to do some more research on interventions, inductions etc as I really do want my body to be allowed to labour and birth naturally.
    Can I be pressured by my OB or the Hospy to do something I don't want to do? Are they likely to tell you there is a risk to your baby just to get you to do something?

  12. #30

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    I think "Creating you birth plan" would be a good book for you. It discusses the reasons for interventions, both real and not so real. For example, a 'big baby' is sometimes a reason for a c-section, but it is possible to give birth to a big baby naturally once you understand how birth works and positions to optimise the pelvic outlet.

    I highly doubt your OB and hospital would out and out lie about risks, but if you are well informed then they can't scare you into doing something you don't want to do. Having someone like a doula who can advocate for you might be a good idea too. Husbands aren't necessarily the best people to be doing that.

    Another thing I forgot to mention earlier is to not be frightened of the pain. Pain is the body's way of telling you what is going on.

  13. #31

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11,633

    Default

    Unfortunately Babyluv, yes they can and do.

  14. #32

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middle Victoria
    Posts
    8,924

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Babyluv View Post
    Can I be pressured by my OB or the Hospy to do something I don't want to do? Are they likely to tell you there is a risk to your baby just to get you to do something?
    Yep! That is why it is important to read up and be confident in what you want, what you don't want and why you want these things, and where you are willing to compromise.

  15. #33

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,362

    Default

    i agree, that can definitely happen (being pressured by the hosp/obs that is). I think the other thing that can't be underestimated and this is where a doula or caregiver (carer in an emotional sense, i.e. not your midwife) becomes really important - during labour you're very inwardly focussed, you have to be - amazing things are happening in your body. But this can be really disconcerting for partners. They've been planning and working with you and suddenly you're away (mentally) in this other place. When a hospital/doctor starts to pressure you, well you mightn't pay much attention but your partner sure does. And remember, they haven't been there before - they don't REALLY know what's going to happen/what's normal/what's not. For them, it can seem a very long time seeing their beloved in pain... and what do males often do in this situation? They try to solve (well mine does anyway ). So i'm not saying that your hubby won't stand up for what you want, I'm sure he will - but if he was faced by a dr saying your bub was at risk if he doesn't act? what then? that's a tough place to be. My doula was the one who would slow it down, ask the questions - is this urgent, can we discuss for 5 mins etc.

    One phrase my doula said to me at one stage was "he just looked at me with these puppy dog eyes" - my DH had a moment(s) where he was lost. Yes we'd planned, asked questions, informed ourselves - but it is a huge experience. For us, the fact my doula was strong and positive for both of us was invaluable. a) she'd seen it before (and done it herself before), b) she was there 100% for me - our partners love us SO much that it can be difficult to sit back and let their loved one do all the work - someone who doesn't actually have the same emotional investment brings a different perspective and c) in a 12 hour labour I crossed 3 shifts of midwives (all of whom I'd never met before), we didn't want to have to educate every new one! Yes we had a birth plan, but having two folks there advocating for me was jolly handy - it's a long day in the office for DH and doula/caregiver no matter how long or short your labour, but to have consistent caregivers there who are emotionally engaged with you for you is best gift you can ever give yourself.

    Another story that always made me think was about a lady who went in with a birth plan which said no pain relief. The well-meaning midwife kept coming in and saying "oh I think you need something to help you with the pain". The doula kept saying "I think you're doing great, you can do this, how do you feel?". It makes a big difference the messages we're hearing and I think there are definitely cases where pressure can wear you down (and lets face it, in labour there's already plenty of pressure!).

    I won't go into the details of my birth again (given above) but it's interesting, in reading other posts - i though oh gosh, i guess mine wasn't a natural birth then. But to me, considered/questioned/researched/EMPOWERED... it was the right birth for me. And at the end of the day I think that's the best possible birth to get. I have a friend who "technically" had a very similar birth - but hers was an unexpected induction, she didn't find herself able to use the skills from her hypnobirthing course and she is still very traumatised by it. Some of the other posts have said open yourself to all sorts of options, and I have to say I totally agree. Births are hard to plan, they're not always in your control - but I guess it's the good old change what you can change, accept what you can't change. That way, you will OWN your birth, and whatever that looks like, it will be wonderful.

  16. #34

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by belfie View Post
    i agree, that can definitely happen (being pressured by the hosp/obs that is). I think the other thing that can't be underestimated and this is where a doula or caregiver (carer in an emotional sense, i.e. not your midwife) becomes really important - during labour you're very inwardly focussed, you have to be - amazing things are happening in your body. But this can be really disconcerting for partners. They've been planning and working with you and suddenly you're away (mentally) in this other place. When a hospital/doctor starts to pressure you, well you mightn't pay much attention but your partner sure does. And remember, they haven't been there before - they don't REALLY know what's going to happen/what's normal/what's not. For them, it can seem a very long time seeing their beloved in pain... and what do males often do in this situation? They try to solve (well mine does anyway ). So i'm not saying that your hubby won't stand up for what you want, I'm sure he will - but if he was faced by a dr saying your bub was at risk if he doesn't act? what then? that's a tough place to be. My doula was the one who would slow it down, ask the questions - is this urgent, can we discuss for 5 mins etc.
    :yeahthat:


    And another thing, be sure to discuss any birth plans/options with your OB well in advance. You'll get a feel for how likely they'll be to push you to do something you don't want. If you can't reach agreement, perhaps he/she isn't the right caregiver for you.
    Last edited by Tuesday's Child; July 22nd, 2010 at 10:46 PM.

  17. #35

    Default

    Hi,

    I guess before going in to labour I don't even think of drugs as an option for me, just because I feel better about not having them and we were set up to birth babies, so I try to just go with the flow. In saying that, I do have fairly short labours (under 3 hours) As far as I know, no-one can make you have pethadine or an epidural, so you should feel you have that much control at least.

    If baby or myself were in danger and my Ob/carer said I needed a C-section or something else, I would trust her judgement, because I have complete faith in her. I did a bit of research before I went with her and she is very pro-natural delivery and active labour.

    A calmbirth class is really helpful. I had midwife care first time and Ob 2nd and both have been positive experiences with no drugs or restriction on what positions I could deliver in etc.. Babies were both over 9lb and delivered without forceps or episiotomy etc..

    Learn all that you can and write down any questions to ask your Ob before each appt. but also trust in yourself and be aware that you can get overloaded with info and other peoples negative experiences.

  18. #36

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,621

    Default

    Hi there,

    I was in a similar frame of mind to you when pregnant with DS1 ... I very much wanted a natural, drug-free birth free of intervention. I ultimately came to the conclusion that I had to educate myself about how I could achieve my aim. Fortunately I've had two drug-free, natural births free of intervention. My births weren't overly long and were without complication, with both boys head down, bum up. I'm possibly one of the "lucky" ones to achieve what I wanted, but I think my confidence in my abilities, my determination that I wouldn't have any drugs and my understanding of what my body was doing helped enormously. And TBH ... one of my best mates birthed her bubs drug-free and I thought "if she can do it, I can too ).

    How I did it ...
    * Lots of reading up about the birth process, what happens to your body in all stages
    * Hypnobirthing course - pure gold, as far as I'm concerned
    * Ensured my DH understood totally what I wanted and was supportive (he was)
    * Acupuncture weekly for 2-3 months prior to birth - I'm convinced this helped me during my birthings. DH also gave me pressure-point massage (albeit he's no masseuse - spl?) which complemented acupuncture.
    * Made sure my Ob knew exactly what I wanted for my birth
    * TRUSTED MYSELF and my body 110pc. I just knew I could and would do it. When other mothers pooh-poohed me for saying I wanted to do it drug-free (cos "that's what drugs are for"!!I) I wouldn't get ticked off - I just smiled nicely and said "well, whatever, but I'm going to do this MY way".

    I agree that you have to be a realist about the birthing process though - sometimes there are hiccups and your birth may take a different turn to what you expected. Personally I came to an "understanding" with myself prior to my births that if I didn't have my drug-free, natural births - ie, an unexpected medical emergency - then that would be ok to. I didn't want to set myself up for a mental fall if my natural birth plans came to a spectacular end. Obviously your safety and that of your baby is paramount.

    I had a terrific Ob who supported my birthing intentions - particularly so when I was pg with DS2, I guess because I'd "proved myself". But I do agree that in the throws of birthing, medical staff can have a huge impact on you. For arguments sake, my DS1's heartbeat was dropping off - lower than normal - during the final phases of my contractions. Fortunately by that stage I was 9-10cm and ready to push, and within half an hour he was born. However I guess if I wasn't at that stage, or my pushing phase was considerably slower it could have ended differently. Who knows? Anyway, the midwife (not the best in the word unfortunately) started making comments that the cord could be around the baby's neck (it wasn't). If I wasn't so inward focused and certain that I WOULD have my natural birth (I wasn't in the mood to argue ) then I might've become anxious/afraid etc. Obviously fair comments for her to make, but I'm just highlighting that words etc during your labour can cause a reaction in the birthing parents. We felt she should have kept her remarks to herself, and later my DH actually told her and another midwife to take a conversation outside our birthing room when they started waffling on about another birth in front of us. Won him big brownie points!

    Main thing for me - trust yourself and your body and have a good support partner during your birth. You can do it ... trust me. My boys' births were the most empowered moments of my life.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •