I am a member of the June 2009 BB as well as January 2011, but figured I'd stop in over here because I have some questions specifically relating to natural birth. For this pregnancy, and if all goes well for the birth, I am going to a group of midwives who work out of a birth center. I LOVE it there- they seem really nice and the whole philosophy of the birth center matches mine. I am thrilled about getting to give birth there, but really scared and doubting myself when it comes to getting through the birth. I remember how bad the pain got with my labor with DS, and I had intended to go without drugs but caved and got an epidural because I just couldn't handle it. Unfortunately though I think that epidural contributed to everything I didn't like about how the birth went- unable to change postions/try different pushing positions- they had me flat on my back, and I ended up with an episiotomy from hell! Which is part of my motivation to want to go to the birth center instead and have as little intervention as possible.
But like I said, remembering how bad the pain was with DS I'm just really doubting myself. I guess my question is, what kinds of things did you do during labor to help get through the pain? Especially during transition...which is when I couldn't take it anymore. And would you recommend any specific kind of childbirth classes that focus on natural pain relief? I have looked into Bradley and Hypnobirthing briefly, but am trying to get personal accounts/opinions. I did take a childbirth class last time, but it was more of a general, this is what happens kind of thing. It was very informative, but I feel like I need something that focuses more on natural birth. TIA!
Jessica & Daniel
I did the hypnobirthing and it's was a world of diffence. It was never painful for me just really intense. Most of the women here have done the Hypnobabies method. Funny enough my first birth was a horrible experience as well and only after I got the epidural, which i also planned to go natural. It is something you want to plan on and prepare for your entire pregnancy. I would get studying on a method asap and get as much practice in as possible. I also researched Bradly method but the fact that they were saying child birth was painful just didn't jive with me. IMO child birth doesn't have to be painful unless you expect it to be painful and let fear into your labor and birth.
DS1-7/18/08, DS2-2/23/10, DS3 1/18/12
TTC in fall/winter of 2014
I think a huge part of it is learning to relax, not panic, listen to your body's cues. I didn't do any classes (I was on bedrest), just read TONS of birth stories. I think my sister Lori- just had her baby this morning- summed things up pretty well. She was only to a 5 and things were super intense, then all the suddenly something clicked in her head and she though "wait a minute I know what to do" and she started doing these crazy unearthly moans and just kind of going to another place... when she hit transition she even started dancing because the helped her manage. Reading birth stories, watching videos of natural births... it really helps set the mindset to let you go with the flow.
If you can chase out the fear, you can do it!
Hi Jessica. I did the Hypnobabies homestudy for my son's birth and I loved it. It is a really complete program and goes really in-depth on how to use hypnosis to have a more comfortable birth experience. It teaches you how to relax on cue. I was relaxed and focused my entire first stage, including transition. I had a bit of a hard time with lost focus during pushing, but the techniques from the program were really invaluable to me. I do think that if I hadn't had those techniques and preparation, I would have gotten scared and asked for drugs.
I did Hypnobirthing but didn't actually use it much during my labor (reminds me, I still need to write up my experience with and thoughts on that) but i still found in invaluable in a lot of other ways. My labor was long and I won't lie, it was painful and extremely hard to handle, but I made it through drug free largely because of the choices I'd made in advance to set myself up for success, like choosing a wonderful, supportive birth center where I was never offered drugs (epidurals aren't even an option there, although they do have some IV meds on hand...but they never offered and I didn't ask.) So in that sense you are already doing great! If your DH is not the type to be a strong, supportive birth partner, I recommend looking into doulas, too. Or, if your DH does want to be involved, Hypnobirthing was incredibly valuable for giving the partner tools to be truly helpful. But either way, having a really solid birth partner was another key factor for me in making it through a natural childbirth. Good luck! You are already on the right path, just by thinking and asking about this
I took a Hypnobabies course which was wonderful. It really gave me the confidence and let me get over my fear about birthing BEFORE I even got to the labor stage. I wasn't as good about using it during labor and pushing, but it kept me from feeling fear and gave me confidence to say I can do this without drugs.
My close friend took Bradley. She said the one thing she really didn't like about Bradley was that it is very husband directed and her DH was more afraid and freaked out than she was. Her birth experience was quite quick and she felt like she panicked a bit. She's planning on trying Hypnobabies this time. Hypnobabies does have the element where your "support person" is very invoved, but it also gives you the tools to do everything yourself if need be (at least that is how I use it and understand it).
Oh - one method I really felt helped with the pain I felt was using a birth tub and being able to change positions during labor.
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
My Ovulation Chart
My main tool was hypnosis. I've used HypnoBirthing and Hypnobabies and found the Hypnobabies hypno-anesthesia techniques to be much more effective than the basic relaxation taught in HypnoBirthing. You can read more about my experiences with both here:
In addition to hypnosis, I gave birth at home, which was a more comfortable and supportive environment for me. I also walked, sat on my birth ball, vocalized, listened to music that I like, showered, used a birth tub, had my dh do counterpressure on my lower back, swayed, rocked on a rocking chair, ate, drank, and did whatever the heck I felt like doing at the time. Without the hypnosis I don't think I'd choose to give birth without pain medication. Pain is, well, negative for me (I got an epidural with my first baby). I really appreciated the medical hypno-anesthesia techniques I learned from Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis!
Here's a tool to help you figure out what preparation option might be best for you:
Here are over 250 birth stories of moms using hypnosis (mostly Hypnobabies):
Hi Jessica! Good to see you over here
Did the MW's give you any idea what their class is like there at the center? I kinda wanted to ask them since I took the general class at Mercy last time....and I didn't know if their class would be worth it.
Other than that last time, I read a lot (Ina May's book, Henci Goer's book)...this time around I have checked out Birthing from Within and the Birth partner. Last time I also had the hypnobirthing book...it is not an intensive study like Hypnobabies, but it had some good relaxation tips and 2 relaxation CD tracks. Despite all the different techniques taught during class and in books, I just did what felt right when I was in the thick of it.
Although I have no experience with it, all the ladies who have done hypnobabies seem to have found it very useful.
I absolutely LOVED my Bradley classes for the education aspect (even as a BTDT mom). My DH and I got SO MUCH from it, and I am really glad we did them. For the relaxation part, I have done the Hypnobabies home-study program faithfully. For me, it has given me the ability to sleep well through the pregnancy, even right here at the end, and that alone was worth the cost!! Also, the fear-clearing sessions are WELL WORTH it. Hypnobabies has restored a lot of my broken confidence. There is a very strong relationship between fear and pain, the fear-pain cycle. I've done some reading on that as well, and it makes a lot of sense to me about some of the things I experienced in my previous birth.
I will have to let you know how my HBAC goes thanks to both methods.
Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006
Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12, Surprise Baby: Guess Date 11/5/13