When my wife was pregnant with our first son, she was totally determined to have an ‘unmedicated’ birth. She accepted the fact that millions of women all over the world use medicines and what not for pain relief during childbirth and everything turns out just as well for them, but she is the sort of person who wouldn’t want to deal with the uncertainty of the side-effects triggered by epidurals and the likes – she’d rather go for the certainty of pain, and that was just what she did.
As her pregnancy progressed, little did we know that our son would make such a dramatic entrance into the world four weeks prior to the given due date. This obviously means that she didn’t have time for an epidural even if she wanted one. Once the delivery was done with, I realized two things: there is no way on Earth that you can fully plan out things with any amount of certainty pertaining to childbirth, and she was right – she made it through completely drug-free. Yes, natural and unmedicated vaginal birth is totally possible and research shows that about 85% women in this world aim to have one.
Now if you hope to go au natural too, make sure that you follow the tips given below:
7 Mentally prepare yourself for labor pain
Honestly speaking, getting adequately prepared for natural labor is a marathon – not a sprint. What I mean to say is that you can’t show up to a marathon and expect to finish if you have just been jogging once or twice. You actually have to put in an effort to train for it both mentally and physically – and you can’t train for it in a week; it takes months!
Apart from that, you can’t expect showing up for a marathon thinking, ‘Hey, I’ll run as far as I can manage to, and then get myself a ride to complete the race’. For this reason, if you have the notion that you will go drug-free through as long as possible in your labor and then get an epidural, it’s best to stop those thoughts NOW. If you really want to take the drug-free route, it is necessary for you to commit to it as whole-heartedly as possible.
To help yourself get through labor without any medications, start imagining it NOW as the worst pain of your life – as if someone is pulling your arms out of the sockets. After that, start practicing your natural pain management techniques to that you can cope with it mentally. The best thing to do is to imagine a part of your body and imagine how you would feel if someone pulled it off – then come to learn how to manage the pain that it will trigger. If truth be told, this is one of the best methods that will assist you in coping with labor pain without using any drugs or medicines.
6 Pay attention to your prenatal education
If you truly want to have an unmedicated birth, it is highly recommended for you to seek out classes that include information on how labor and birth work. Apart from that, your chosen classes should also cover natural pain management techniques including relaxation, self-hypnosis and breathing etc. In case you are interested, there is a good chance that your hospital offers a course, but this might not be a feasible option in case the hospital has a high C-section or epidural rate. A better option would be for you to find out about independent educators.
The thing with childbirth classes is that these can work wonders in terms of delivering your baby no matter if it is your first or fourth. With the information that you will acquire from these classes, it will be much easily possible for you to meet the challenges posed during labor and delivery. Through childbirth classes, you will be in the position to learn things that you previously didn’t have any idea whatsoever about pertaining to labor and postpartum care. You will learn about the earliest signs of labor and what your body goes through as your baby makes her arrival in this world.
Let go of your misconceptions
As your childbirth classes continue, you will be able to talk to other women about the fears and misconceptions you have about labor, delivery and postpartum care. Any myths and misconceptions that you may have in your mind will easily be dispelled by your instructor, thereby putting your mind at ease. So all in all, if you want to put up with labor drug
5 Getting primal is the way to go
The fact of the matter is that you are going to make some of the funniest, most irritating sounds ever during labor. If anything, you will sound like a cross between the grunts of a constipated gorilla and the mating call of a lonely whale. As you progress through labor, you may end up hurling insults at your doctor, partner, baby, and your vagina and are guaranteed to exclaim that you will NEVER EVER HAVE SEX AGAIN.
Seriously speaking, there isn’t much chance that you won’t make outrageous noises during labor and refrain from saying some of the worst filthy possible – you can’t avoid it. When you think about it during pregnancy, there is a good chance that you will fear losing your manner and humanity in such a fashion. However, the one thing that you can be assured of is that when labor takes over your body, you are not going to give a damn about what comes out of your mouth. So instead of fretting over it, except it for a fact and be prepared to ask a lot of people for forgiveness later on.
Accept that birth is a spiritual yet primal journey
Yes, birth is definitely a very spiritual journey – but it is also an extremely emotionally and physically demanding experience. No matter how spiritual it is, you can’t expect it to be all about candles and incense. You will naturally call upon your primal instincts, make the weirdest of noises and even assume positions that you may never have deemed possible. Accept this fact if you truly want to have raw strength and power the day you give birth.
4 Say goodbye to your fears and relax
At times women think that they can just ‘tough out’ through labor – that getting through it is just a matter of gritting your teeth and getting done with it. It isn’t anywhere close to that; trust me. The thing is that it is necessary for you to stay as relaxed as possible for your labor to progress. If you’ve heard a few labor stories, you’ll surely notice women who get an epidural and go from 4-10 cm (dilation) in just an hour. How is that possible? It’s possible because they start relaxing after getting the epidural. So if you truly want to make it through without the medication, relaxed is what you need to be.
In order to fight your fears and stay relaxed as labor progresses, it is highly recommended for you to conduct extensive research on pregnancy, labor and delivery so you know what to expect all through it. You need to bear in mind the fact that fear makes labor tougher, so any fears that you may have need to be worked through so that you can relax during crunch time. Also, you need to accept the fact that birth is a painful experience, but this is something that your body is made to get through – and it will go away right after your little one’s birth!
Work things out beforehand
To prevent yourself from panicking at the last moment, it is highly recommended for you to make a plan and pass it on to your birth team too. All through pregnancy, you should also practice your relaxation techniques and during labor, just keep telling yourself that this pain is temporary and you will be rewarded for it with your baby’s love!
3 Stop thinking about the effects of this birth on your vagina
Oh yes, the last thing on your mind should be the post-delivery state of your vagina. I mean alright, I understand that it would be easier for you to not think about it when you have an epidural – you don’t get to feel anything so you barely know what your reproductive system is going through, let alone your vagina. However, the pain is very real when you don’t have the epidural and you are constantly aware of the various ways in which your body is twisting and stretching so that your baby can make her way out. Of course, this means that you will be aware of the state of your vagina and it is just logical for you think of how your goods can be protected against destruction so they don’t look like a hippo’s and will scare your partner for life.
What’s most disturbing about these thoughts is that they may want you to just cross your legs and try to keep your baby inside. Of course this is pointless and any resistance that you may pit up is only going to make things even harder for you – you need to let that baby come out. Your privates were made to go through this and will of course heal after delivery – and they won’t always look like they belong to a hippo, so stop thinking about it!
As a woman, you are a very strong person because you can birth babies – it is not the sort of experience that a man would want to go through. Yes your body is not going to maintain its original form and you may end up with a saggy belly and a bit of back fat but having a healthy diet and exercising can easily help you cope with it.
2 Make sure that your birthing partner is prepared to face it
During your pregnancy, it is highly recommended for you to prepare your birthing partner for the everything that s/he is going to face. Tell them that you will probably end up going berserk and throw the worst verbal assaults at them while making supernatural noises so they can prepare themselves mentally for the experience that awaits them – so they can get through it while going ‘awwww’ at your birthing experience.
Yes, even though you won’t give a fiddlers fart about your verbal assaults and unnatural sound effects, you will care A LOT if your birthing partner does not appear completely in awe of the miracle of childbirth. Any unsupportive or frightened looks will not be appreciated and you need to tell them about it. Expressions other than those of complete admiration will only lead to even more abuses and scary noises directed at them.
Tell them not to take things personally
Women in labor are typically in their own world. We need to remember that giving birth is a long and hard job and most women reach deep inside themselves to be able to cope with it. The pain makes it completely natural for laboring women to become rather irritable and this is something that you need to make your birthing partner understand. For example, if you love getting a massage during early labor, there is always the chance that you will find being touch completely intolerable. Due to this change in behavior, it is necessary for your partner to understand that your words and actions are a result of labor pain and you don’t hold anything against him.
1 Have a low intervention pregnancy
Women who have a low intervention pregnancy basically set themselves a precedent for making sure that they follow the route during labor as well. So what you need to do is to opt for fewer rather than more tests, interventions and treatments during pregnancy if you don’t suffer from any serious health problems. Yes, a few tests are rather important for every pregnant woman, but many are optional too.
Each time that your health care provider recommends getting tests and procedures done, make sure that you question him/her on why you need it, if you will be fine without it or will it somehow contribute to improving your health. Get them done only if you acquire compelling reasons from your doctor as to why these are so important for you. Yes, they serve a good purpose, but not every patient out there needs all of them done. If it is not necessary, there is no reason at all for you to get a certain test or procedure done, but you will only get to know about it if you question your doctor or midwife about it.
Don’t rush to the hospital – spend early labor at home
There are many benefits to spending early labor at home. You get to stay in the tub, move around, go for a walk and eat and drink whatever you want. For the relaxation that it offers, only move to the hospital and check in with your provider when your contractions start getting less than five minutes apart and stronger for at least a few hours. Remember, if you rush off to the hospital without being fairly dilated, they will send you home for sure.