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Old 10-01-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
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If you chose a natural birth....

What were your reasons? I have been planning on an epidural but I have fast labors so I'm wondering if I should have a contingency plan for a med free birth.

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Old 10-01-2013, 01:09 AM   #2
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

I personally knew I could do it and was made to be able to handle it. I didnt want to have an epidural so I never made it a choice. I had a friend who was induced (with epidural as well) with her first due to pre-e and then went on to have super fast labors with her 2nd and 3rd with no intervention. She wasn't able to get an epidural with them and at the time didn't even think about it or really care...her second was born 10 mins after walking through the hospital doors. Lol. If you have to do it, then your body will know what to do...it was made to. Good luck when the time comes!
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by amyltc
What were your reasons? I have been planning on an epidural but I have fast labors so I'm wondering if I should have a contingency plan for a med free birth.
I had a couple reasons, both with baby and me. I didn't want any drugs interfering with my ability to push. I had heard and read articles about the numbness you can feel with an epidural creating a harder barrier for mom to push. I didn't want any labor inducing drugs to effect the baby's oxygen or blood flow (which can happen). The documentary "The Business of Birthing" sheds some great light on the benefits of drug free labor.

Also, without an epidural moms are more likely to feel better after labor, have energy and are more aware of the process. Labor releases natural adrenaline into the body and drugs, including an epidural can mask this adrenaline. Finally I am really stubborn and wanted to prove to myself that I could! Women have been having natural birth forever so I figured why couldn't I?

I'm 100% happy that I had a drug free, all natural birth! Although I don't knock any moms who don't! You can definitely do it. Especially if your labors have been quick, they'll most likely be the same or even quicker.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:19 AM   #4
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

Why I chose a med free birth:

1) Epidurals freak me out. I don't like needles, so someone stabbing a giant one in my back is a no-go for me. Being numb from the waist down also means that I'm stuck in a hospital bed, which is not my idea of a good time, either.

2) I generally dislike unnecessary medications. Drugs are hard on your body, and I prefer to avoid them unless they're genuinely needed.

3) Any intervention sets the stage for more interventions. High epidural rates correspond with higher c section rates. Being stuck in a bed puts you in a less than optimal birthing position, which also makes more interventions more likely. Not that a med free birth guarantees you won't end up in the OBs preferred position, but if you can still move you at least have a chance of doing something different.

Those were the big ones. There's also some stuff about babies tending to be more alert when mom hasn't had an epidural and other less tangible things. That said, having actually given birth now, I totally get why women do opt for an epidural. I still don't want one in the future for all the reasons listed above, but I'm less opinionated about what other women should choose for themselves. I do think that women should be more aware of all the pros and cons of an epidural so they can make a fully informed decision. Given their prevalence, people talk and act like it's the only way to birth and that it's 100% safe 100% of the time. While I don't think most people suffer long term effects, there is still risk, and spinal headaches are not fun. I also think that everyone should have some coping techniques anyway, because there's always the chance the epidural won't work or that there won't be time for one.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:39 AM   #5
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarnjess View Post
Why I chose a med free birth:

1) Epidurals freak me out. I don't like needles, so someone stabbing a giant one in my back is a no-go for me. Being numb from the waist down also means that I'm stuck in a hospital bed, which is not my idea of a good time, either.

2) I generally dislike unnecessary medications. Drugs are hard on your body, and I prefer to avoid them unless they're genuinely needed.

3) Any intervention sets the stage for more interventions. High epidural rates correspond with higher c section rates. Being stuck in a bed puts you in a less than optimal birthing position, which also makes more interventions more likely. Not that a med free birth guarantees you won't end up in the OBs preferred position, but if you can still move you at least have a chance of doing something different.

Those were the big ones. There's also some stuff about babies tending to be more alert when mom hasn't had an epidural and other less tangible things. That said, having actually given birth now, I totally get why women do opt for an epidural. I still don't want one in the future for all the reasons listed above, but I'm less opinionated about what other women should choose for themselves. I do think that women should be more aware of all the pros and cons of an epidural so they can make a fully informed decision. Given their prevalence, people talk and act like it's the only way to birth and that it's 100% safe 100% of the time. While I don't think most people suffer long term effects, there is still risk, and spinal headaches are not fun. I also think that everyone should have some coping techniques anyway, because there's always the chance the epidural won't work or that there won't be time for one.
This. Exactly. The whole paralysis-from-the-waist-down freaks me out. I'm fine with needles, but not huge needles stuck into my spine.

After going through a med-free delivery, I also see why some people want or need the epidural. The contractions were not "waves" or "surges" of anything except pain! It definitely was NOT magical & orgasmic--Sorry, Ina May. Lol. Maybe next time.

I did a home birth, so I didn't have the option of getting an epidural, but I might have done it had I been in the hospital--even with all my reservations & concerns about it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:53 AM   #6
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I hate the feeling of not being able to move my legs and getting a catheter. My laboratory are super fast so the 'pain' will be over very very soon
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

Ive had 2 with an epidural and 2 without. My 2 with were both induced with pit, my 2 with out there was no time for even an IV. Im in a hurry to have a baby when I do it all on my own. That said I recovered MUCH fasted and had much less pain all together when I went natural.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:15 AM   #8
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I had an epidural with my first and ended up with a spinal headache. I loved the epidural at the time but it was not worth a week-long migraine! I basically had to be on my back in bed. Standing and walking I would usually throw up and start blacking out. I couldn't even go to the bathroom by myself. Luckily my mom came to stay with us and basically did everything and brought me DD to feed at night. So! I will not have an epidural again. I've watched Business of Being Born and read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Birthing from Within and I'm even more committed. Consenting to one intervention usually guarantees another, and another. I just want to have my baby, normally and naturally, without medical help.

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Old 10-01-2013, 09:43 AM   #9
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

I think everyone's labor and birth are very different. You need to decide what is the best for you and your baby.
I chose natural for all three of my babies because:
1) I have an awesome OB who really works with me.
2) I believe that it gives the baby the best start if they can come through it with no drugs and no trauma.
3) I can take anything for 24 hours if it will be best for the baby (thankfully the longest has only been 8 though)

It isn't only about the epi for me though. I don't do checks, don't break water, minimal monitoring, no vaccines... the works..
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:44 AM   #10
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When I was pregnant with ds1 7 years ago there was a dateline episode where a mom had an epidural and died a few days later. It scared the crap out of me and I vowed to not have an epidural. Yes I know that's a one in a million thing.

It actually isn't that bad. All of my labors were pit labors too. And when I started begging for drugs dh knows its time to push this last birth I kept telling dh that I needed some drugs and he said no you are just ready to push. The near cant in and checked and I had gone from a five to ten in less than thirty minutes!

You can totally do it mama.

This is coming from a person that complained at even a paper cut before I had kids.

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