Two years ago, if you’d asked me my opinion on whether or not I’d opt for an epidural, I would have said heck yes without thinking twice. In fact, I didn’t even know a natural childbirth existed, or that homebirth, doulas or midwives were even options to consider until a few months before we started trying to conceive. Now here I am, just shy of 30 days until my due date and I’m practicing things that I can do during labor to help ease the pain of an unmedicated vaginal delivery.
The first time I heard of someone having an unmedicated birthing experience, I thought to myself that they must be some kind of bad ass with a super high tolerance for pain. As far as I could tell from tv or media, childbirth was supposed to hurt. A LOT. And who in their right mind would even consider dealing with the pain when you could have an epidural and be blissfully pain free?
Then I got pregnant.
And my entire outlook began to change. I thought, I could do this if I felt prepared and educated. As women, our bodies were made to make babies and if having a natural childbirth would give me the experience of using my body to it’s fullest capacity, then by all means, I wanted to try it. I watched documentaries where women opted to go pain free during labor and sure, they were in a lot of pain, but the look and emotion they had on their faces right after pushing the baby out completely won me over. They were smiling, peaceful and most importantly, not groggy and ready to care for their newborn.
Here’s what I plan to focus on for dealing with the pain during labor:
Slow, steady breathing during contractions.
Counter massage on the lower back and deep into hips.
Positions like kneeling on all fours or squatting to help with pain and move baby into birth canal.
Use of warm water, a birthing ball or stool.
Connecting with my husband for labor support and encouragement.
Trusting my body, my doctor and my doula.
Remembering that contractions mean progress.
I’m not saying it’ll be an easy task. Who knows how I’ll react to the waves of contractions once I’m well in my way into labor? Who knows if a situation will arise where medical interventions become life-saving necessities? All I know is that I’m planning to give it my all and most importantly, deliver a happy healthy baby!
If you had or are planning to have a natural childbirth, what helped you focus and deal with the pain?
image: google images