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Old 02-27-2012, 06:42 AM   #21
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Re: The PRO's (and con's) of Natural Childbirth

I had an epi with my son. My water broke early and I ended up needed a pitocin. They didn't want me off the bed either because everytime a nurse walked in my blood pressure would spike (she really stressed me out). It wasn't an ideal labor at all (the hospital was not that great, the epi didn't make it bad, it was the staff).

However, epi didn't affect me negatively. I could still feel some minor pain on one 1 side because of the way he was riding in me. I progressed really fast, and it wore off when it was time to push so I knew when to push. I still had a rush of oxytocin after, I still felt great, and it didn't affect breastfeeding. What did affect it was the bruise on his head from insisting on having his hand along his face on the way out and riding on my left side, he was very sleepy because of that bruise, but he was healthy and did breastfeed fine, just fell asleep fast (even the lactation consultant said that was why).

So yeah, this time I have access to a labor tub (didn't at the last place) and I have a doula too. I'm going to attempt to go natural and all. However if I get an epi because I decide I want to relax some and find myself so tense from the pain, then so be it. Epidurals have their place. Not all labors slow down because of them and not all woman have bad effects from them. Sometimes they speed up the labor because you can actually relax.

It's hard to know what a person will do until they are in that situation. But don't feel bad if you end up getting one. I had a friend who had a natural labor that lasted 24 hours and has never had a natural one since because the pain was lasted for so long from that one and she has breastfed all her kids wonderfully (even the emergency c-section one that had nothing to do with an epidural, but rather having had the cord wrapped around his neck really tight) and they are all smart. Other woman only have natural births. Each to their own!

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #22
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Re: The PRO's (and con's) of Natural Childbirth

I had DD with an epi, traditional hospital and all that, and DS home water birth. Planning a HB again because there is just no comparison.

I was going to give natural birth a try with DD, but didn't do anything in advance to prepare. I ended up getting an epi just because I was so exhausted. I experienced contractions for an entire weekend and didn't get much sleep so when they offered, I didn't have anything left to resist it. I didn't have any adverse affects from the epi, but I did not like that I couldn't feel anything going on and felt like the birth was happening to me rather than me experiencing it. At one point, my dr told me to push and I honestly had no idea if I was doing anything. She told me to bare down like having a bowel movement and I honestly tried, but the next thing I know she was delivering DD with forceps.

I also did not like the several days of peeing I had to do to get all the fluids they had me hooked up to, out of my system. I had elephant legs and moved around like a slug. Ugh!

I studied the Bradley Method and read through an Ina Mae book prior to my HB for DS. Mentally, I was totally prepared for the pain of the contractions during labor. I visualized a wave coming over me, my body opening and expanding to bring DS into the world, and every contraction getting me closer to holding my baby boy. I was able to go inside myself deeply and breath and moan my way through most contractions. I sort of lost it when I hit transition because I had been going for a few hours, but my doula and midwives did a great job of getting me through.

Once I was in active labor, my body knew just what to do. The contractions didn't hurt near as much and pushing was not that bad. I jumped in the tub, got in a comfortable position and pushed when my body told me too. I don't think I pushed for more than 10 or 20 minutes.

Talk about empowering! I too felt a rush after he was born and was on a high! He was alert and nursed right away. The next morning I felt great and felt pretty close to normal beside a bit of soreness down below.

I too don't begrudge anyone who chooses to get an epi, but like other posters, I just want women to know that they have options.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:49 PM   #23
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Re: The PRO's (and con's) of Natural Childbirth

PROS
very empowering
faster recovery
on average, labors without an epidural are shorter by about 30 minutes.
not hooked up to anything/free to move
ability to move to positions that suit you best
freedom to be in shower/tub
be completely in the moment
feel a connection to women throughout time and culture... this is one of the most basic human experiences and always has been
feel a primal connection to your body
connect deeply with DH or your labor partner
because natural childbirth is not the norm, planning one usually requires some advance preparation in terms of researching birth, picking and communicating with your provider, advocating at the hospital, etc. Doing all of that helped make me smarter and more confident about all my healthcare choices, even years down the line.

CONS to natural birth
pain
slightly shorter labor may not matter if you feel you are in pain for that time.
some people feel you can get many of the benefits (empowerment, connection to partner, etc.) through birth itself, regardless of natural or not.
hard to do without a good partner, advocate, or supportive provider
have to give in to the sensations which can feel like giving up control
some people want to feel like their normal selves throughout labor, but during natural birth, you generally do not look, sound, talk or act like your normal self

For me, the biggest pro was feeling like I was working and responding to my body, in another zone, completely engrossed in the moment. I sometimes compare it to how Olympic athletes might feel.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:09 AM   #24
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Re: The PRO's (and con's) of Natural Childbirth

I think that there while there are a lot of cons to medicated births or epidurals, sometimes it can be a great thing for the baby. With DD1 she flipped two days before being born and was face up - it took over 90 minutes of active pushing to get her out and without the epi I never would have been able to do it, in that case it saved me from a C-section. With DS2 having an epi actually saved his life because I was able to stop pushing when told to. When his head popped out the cord was wrapped around his neck and body very oddly and the doctor just told me really quickly to Stop, Stop! and I did so she could unloop the cord. The doctor told me later that if I hadn't been able to stop the cord would have made DS2 head snap back. With DD2 I had an epi (I really thought about having a no-med birth though) but it didn't kick in at all so there was no way I could stop pushing, my body just took over so I'm grateful there weren't any cord issues with her!
I did read a lot about epidurals and their negative side effects but I totally feel it was the right thing for me but I know many women that wouldn't do it (or do it again) because they want to do it naturally. Also, my second epidural with my son was definitely influenced by the that fact that DH was deployed so he wasn't there to support me and I had lost DS1 in a med-free natural still birth which was horrendous so those things did really influence me.
I think if you have the support and have made an educated decision then go with what feels right for you - isn't that what parenting comes down to anyway? :-) Good luck and blessings on your new LO!
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:06 PM   #25
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Re: The PRO's (and con's) of Natural Childbirth

My first was born in the hospital and I got the epi, the next two were born at home (no epi obviously) and we are planning #4 to be at home in a few weeks too.
All I can say is nothing has impacted me as much as my births at home. It was absolutely amazing. I'm kind of a shy reserved person, but that made me feel like I could tackle anything and like I finally became a woman ( in a way).

After my first home birth I (no joke) looked back on my birth every night as I fell asleep with such joy and fondness for a full year afterwards.

I definitely mourn the fact that I missed out on that amazing experience with my first. Although maybe its good b/c I can definitely compare and see the beauty of having a baby naturally.

In 3 weeks I know the pain is coming but I'm actually excited to have another amazing birth and bonding with my new baby girl.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:21 AM   #26
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Re: The PRO's (and con's) of Natural Childbirth

Just an update....
I was able to have another drug free birth.
For those who have had one and want to have another but are fearful---I have to say I am amazed my second came much quicker than my first....and my first was so so so fast. I was in the hospital for about an hr and 15mins this time. I showered and had dh squeeze my hips. It was very fast. I arrived at the hospital around 8, was at 5.5cms. Baby was born at 9:15...so in the span of about an hr I went from 5.5 to fully dilated (factoring in the few mins it took to push).

There really were no "cons" to either of my natural births. I tore less this time and I think it was largely in part to my holding my own legs as opposed to my first birth where others held my legs (which I now think put too much force on my ahem "down there parts").
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #27
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Re: The PRO's (and con's) of Natural Childbirth

One con I can see is that for a lot of people the natural reaction to pain is to tense up. Which not only can make matters worse painwise, but can actually run counter to the process, making labor take longer. Meds like an epi can help a mama relax so that her body can do what it needs to. If you can accept the pain without tensing up, then the meds may not be necessary for you.

A pro is that an epi can slow or stall labor, which can lead to more interventions. I can't tell you how many times I heard "I was in pain so I got an epidural. Then I wasn't dialating that fast, so they put me on pitocin. Then the baby's heartrate went down for some reason and they HAD to section me." If mama hadn't got the epi, the section might not have happened either, as the labor slowdown was probably because of the epi, and the heartrate problems probably the result of baby not taking pitocin enhanced contractions well. Of course those aren't the only reasons that can happen, but it's a likely turn of events.
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