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Old 10-21-2010, 08:27 PM   #1
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Question how to prepare for drug-free birth

I was considering taking a bradley class, but it's 30 minutes from home so not very feasible with all the driving i currently do. Besides, i've given birth 3 times already (with epidurals ) With my last birth, i was 7 cm's when they checked me in at triage and i was not in a lot of pain...the midwife said "you're farther along than you look!" since i was very calm...so i briefly thought about forgoing the epidural, but then decided to get it because i feared it would get painful and i hadn't prepared for a drug-free birth. So i think i could do it this time if i prepare (and don't have pitocin )

Are there any books you recommend getting? Things we could bring to the hospital to help relieve pain naturally? I'm hoping to get a room with a tub to labor in, but i'm not sure if they really let you out of bed at my hospital. Home birth is not an option, so please do not suggest that

TIA

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Old 10-21-2010, 09:06 PM   #2
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

I think it's important to prepare as much as possible. Even if you don't end up needing all the techniques you've learned and practiced, better to know them and not need them than to need them and not know them, KWIM?

There are several Bradley books that might help you: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way is one.

Also, you can do the HypnoBabies home study course. I used HypnoBabies with my DD's birth and will use it again with this babe. It's great.

I think you can refuse to have continuous fetal monitoring that would tie you to the bed in a hospital and ask instead for intermittent monitoring, which is more work for hospital staff, but just as effective. Being able to move around is so helpful.

A birth ball (or yoga ball--same thing) is a great labor tool that you can bring to a hospital. Also, some women really like laboring in the shower, so you can see if that's an option.

I would hire a doula if I were going to birth in the hospital (I hired one for my homebirth and she was very helpful). The very presence of a doula reduces women's requests for pain medication--even if the doula doesn't do anything! If it's not in your budget, you can find a doula-in-training who is very low cost or free, or even assign a sister, mother, or friend to learn some comfort measures and help you with that at the hospital.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

I read Hypnobirthing: the Mongan Method and I feel that it will help me with my upcoming birth. I didn't use any medication with my DD, but I wasn't very focused either. I'm hoping this helps me to focus on breathing and opening instead of gripping the bed in pain I got mine on eBay for about $5. GL with whatever you choose!
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:19 PM   #4
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

I do think some sort of preparation is necessary. I read the original Bradley book back with my first pregnancy, and with this one, and found it to be very helpful. (It's Husband-Coached Childbirth, and a lot of people say it's sexist. I just think it's kind of sad--Dr. Bradley expected obstetrics to go in the opposite direction it took! I'm sure he's spinning in his grave at all the inductions.)

I'm not saying it has to be Bradley, mind you, just that going in unprepared isn't a good idea. I did not prepare during my third pregnancy--I thought I knew it already--and wound up not being able to cope well at all.

The one thing that worked for me for pain relief better than anything else--including the IV narcotic I eventually begged for--was a heating pad. I had very bad back labor, and the heat did me a world of good.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:36 PM   #5
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

I didn't do any specific method but I spent a lot of time learning as much as I could. Mine was my first though so I was completely clueless. Hehe I really enjoyed Dr. Sears' Birth Book a lot. I think a huge part of being able to get through a natural birth was my mindset. I had a friend there (I'm not married nor was the father involved) who was very much like a doula for me and she helped tremendously. So, I'm definitely opting for a doula the next time too! Being in water cut the pain in half for me.
Good luck with your LO's birth and I hope you get exactly the experience that you want! I know that it was amazing for me.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:54 AM   #6
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

I agree with just preparing yourself. Ina May Gaskin's books are great to help your prepare yourself mentally. I also made a stack of flashcards with empowering quotes bible verses, and read through them frequently at the end of my pregnancy. (Also took them to the hospital) We did also take a childbirth class taught by a doula that focused on positions to help you through a natural birth. (Our childbirth class with our first was an absolute joke!) We also did hire a doula. If a class and/or doula are not possible, you could find information online, and just make sure you practice some of the positions with whoever will be in delivery with you. =)
One thing that helped me tremendously, was standing and hugging my DH or doula, and having them chant slowly "I know I can" over and over again. (Kind of funny since I do that with my DS!)
Anyway, good luck, and truly just believe that you CAN do it!
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:19 AM   #7
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

I read and loved "Active Birth" by Janet Balaskas. Highly recommend it!
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:59 AM   #8
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

hire a doula!!
read as much as you can about natural birth, especially birth stories.

ETA: I had my first 2 with epidurals and my last was natural & it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. you can do it!!
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

Hypnobabies or hypnobirthing. I did it with my last. I just borrowed a book and CD's, but take a class with your SO if you can. The relaxation techniques definitely helped. My 9 lb 8 oz DS was born after only 1 hr 15 min of labor.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:07 AM   #10
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

Hypnobabies or hypnobirthing. I did it with my last. I just borrowed a book and CD's, but take a class with your SO if you can. The relaxation techniques definitely helped. My 9 lb 8 oz DS was born after only 1 hr 15 min of labor.
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