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Old 10-22-2010, 07:08 AM   #11
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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, 07:11 AM   #12
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is great, Business of Being Born movie also great. I used hypnobabies, great program. Hire a doula and if you can not afford it, a doula in training. Also using a midwife who supports, intermittent monitoring, no IV, and supports natural birth without time limits. Stay home as long as possible too. I had a natural VBAC with DD in May, a great birth.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:50 AM   #13
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

I had a completely natural homebirth. 3 hours of pushing, with a sunny-side up baby, and stayed calm and managed the pain really easily through breathing and relaxing.

The great thing about Bradley is that it teaches your DH how to be more supportive. I loved Bradley for the calm breathing techniques, and the way it showed DH different birth positions and what natural birth is really like. We'll be doing the bradley class again for this baby, as a refresher, and to keep me focused. (it also focuses on exercise and diet, which was a great help to me) Our Bradley class was an hour away, for two hours every sunday, for 12 weeks, and it was worth every second.

And I totally agree with having a doula- She will make a world of difference in your birth. She'll be a back-up to your husband, keep you calm and focused, and help you to manage your pain and stay calm.

Good luck! Fourth babies just fall out, right?
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:00 AM   #14
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

Read, read, read! Ina May's books are really good. I would say the second one is better than the first, as it's modernized more and she takes into consideration that you may birth in a hospital (she also has some great video lectures on youtube). The bradley book is good too (I bought that at the beginning of my 3rd trimester and had my baby 2 weeks early so I didn't read much of it). I second Birthing from within too. It's great for working through feelings of doubt, which may be something you struggle with because this is your first natural childbirth. Read birth stories too. That was one of the most helpful things for me. It helps to read about how the process works and is especially encouraging when those doubts arise. This is a great site for natural childbirth stories (many of them are hospital births): http://www.birthstories.com/stories/natural-births-36/

I would also suggest having a partner of some kind present, whether or not that is an actual doula isn't important. It just helped me a lot to not be alone in labor. Part of my problem at home (the main reason I think my labor stalled) was that there were TOO MANY people involved and they did not all get along or have the same goals in mind that created major tension. The last thing you want to do is to have to be a ref while you're in labor. One or maybe two supportive people who will calmly and quietly assist you when needed/wanted is all that you really will need.

Relax like crazy. I wish I would have worked harder at that at first. Whatever makes you feel calm and relaxed is what you want to do in labor. That helps you progress better and makes your birth smoother and less stressful. Those things may be music, being talked to softly, watching a movie, walking, sewing, reading, taking a bath, looking at photos of your other children, or any other number of things. Don't expect labor to be pain-free, but do expect to find ways to distract yourself some from the pain and intensity of labor.

You can do it mama!
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

We did a Hypnobirthing course and it helped me tons. If you can't get out to a class yourself, then there is the Hypnobirthing book available at Amazon. Hypnobabies (which is similar, but NOT the same) has courses you can attend or you can do a home study course that you can buy on their website or even here of FSOT. I would recommend either of these two methods. I did Hypnobirthing with my first and loved it. For the heck of it, I'm doing the Hypnobabies home study course this time around just to see what it is like.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:46 PM   #16
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

There aren't any bradley classes around, so we winged it with second-hand books. I would totally recommend reading the husband-coached childbirth one- even if you don't choose to follow Bradley, simply because it is really good at explaining specifically what happens better than all the other preg/birth books I looked at. I loaned it to all my closest friends.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:18 PM   #17
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

We didn't have time for classes, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on books/courses. I just kept reading inspirational stories of women who had gone through it(online), and reminded myself that if they could, I could too.

I also stayed home as long as I could, kept rocking and swaying, breathing through the pain. Got to the hospital at 9cm. When it got really painful near the end, I would visualize my DS1 doing something funny to distract myself. A lot of it is mental, and having faith in yourself.
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:25 AM   #18
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

Quote:
Originally Posted by missdawn25 View Post
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is great, Business of Being Born movie also great. I used hypnobabies, great program. Hire a doula and if you can not afford it, a doula in training. Also using a midwife who supports, intermittent monitoring, no IV, and supports natural birth without time limits. Stay home as long as possible too. I had a natural VBAC with DD in May, a great birth.


Also despite the crazy sounding title Orgasmic Birth is a great movie to watch. Staying home as long as you can works wonders, because there isn't a choice for an epi...then once you get to the hospital it's pretty much too late anyway and you've come so far so you KNOW you can do it.

I agree with PP that a natural birth after an epi birth is AMAZING. Seriously it's the most powerful, crazy, incredible feeling.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:48 AM   #19
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

A great book to read if you want lots of stories by women who had natural labors is Journey Into Motherhood by Sheri Menelli. It has stories by women who birthed in all sorts of locations (hospital, birth center, home, etc.) and used all sorts of methods (Bradley, Hypnobirthing, Lamaze, no method at all, etc.). It is great to read and remind yourself that you are completely capable of having a natural birth wherever.

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Old 10-24-2010, 10:51 AM   #20
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Re: how to prepare for drug-free birth

The main thing for me is just reminding myself and telling myself over and over again that I am strong, I can do it, the Lord is with me, He is my strength.. etc... I believe a lot of it is mental. You have to tell yourself YOU CAN DO IT over and over again until you truly believe it.
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