Trying for a natural unmedicated birth? Survive it with these easy tips!
Thinking about going into labour and actually delivering your baby is a source of worry and anxiety for many moms. I was actually terrified of the entire birthing process.
When I started to plan for my labor and write my birth plan, I was often going back and forth on whether or not I should have a natural unmedicated childbirth.
Why I wanted A Natural Birth
I just couldn’t get out of my head how women are designed to grow and then birth their baby. My body was supposed to do this, it is a natural process, so I figured why not give it a try and see how it goes?
That’s the thing, labour and childbirth are a normal body function for women. It isn’t some disease or medical condition that we need treatment for. Of course there might be complications, but that is more of a speed bump to the entire process.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a medicated birth and I actually had an epidural myself in the end. But I couldn’t help but think if my body was literally made to be able to do this, shouldn’t I give it the chance before accepting any interventions?
Check out my 31 hour birth story to see why I ended up getting an epidural – it wasn’t because of the pain!
How to Have a natural childbirth
Childbirth IS painful. There I said it, that’s the raw truth, having a baby HURTS. Anyone that tells you otherwise has either forgotten or is trying not to scare you. Even though it is a painful process the pain can be managed or lessened without any medications.
Want to know how labor contractions felt like for REAL MOMS? Check out my post here!
Take a Prenatal Class to learn natural birth pain relief techniques
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. The classes will cover the stages of labor, how your body will progress through each stage, what to expect during childbirth and postpartum and the types of pain management techniques available to you.
Having all this knowledge is a huge way to not only be prepared for your labor, but it might lesson some of the anxiety surrounding it too. It was a huge help for me during my labor.
There are some great online labor classes too if you don’t want to travel. Lets face it, at the end of your pregnancy, everything is exhausting.
Birth Boot Camp
Birth Boot Camp is one of many online prenatal classes, but they are my personal favorite. There is just such a wide variety of classes including prenatal, newborn care and even a breastfeeding class. Don’t just take my word for it though. Check out their reviews and find out why myself and other women love them so much!
Use Water as Natural Pain Reliever during Labor
Have you ever had a nice relaxing bath where you start drifting off to sleep? Seriously, this was me in between my contractions. I was able to RELAX and that was such a huge thing for me.
That one to two minutes of calm before the next contraction came made it so much easier for me to cope with the pain of the contractions.
The heat of the water also dulled some of the pain during the contractions. The only way I can sort of describe this is that it is similar to placing a heating pad on your abdomen to relieve period cramps. Only with the relaxing effect of a warm bubble bath.
I know it sounds absolutely crazy, but I don’t think I could have survived my labor without using it. I switched between laboring in a hot shower and sitting in a hot bath.
Depending where you plan on delivering, you may be able to give birth in the water as well!
Create your ideal atmosphere to distract you from the pain of a natural birth
This will be different for everyone because the things that calm you down and help you to relax will not be the same for each person.
I had my husband create a “push it” playlist. He put all sorts of songs on there that somehow related to childbirth, even if it was loosely based. I didn’t listen to the playlist before hand so at times I found myself singing to the songs or laughing at what he had added to the playlist. Regardless, it was an awesome distraction for me.
Here are some things you should consider to create a relaxing environment. If you are delivering at the hospital or a birth center you may need to check out their policies first.
- Lighting: dim, bright or somewhere in between
- Sound: Music or quiet
- Visitors: Do you want them? Family, friends, doula, etc.
- Smell: essential oils, candles, other scents
- Comforts from home: your own pillow, clothes, blankets, etc.
- Temperature: Heating pad, fans, cool cloths
Not sure what else you need to pack? Check out my realistic guide to packing your bags for childbirth!
Keep Moving To Speed Up your Natural Birth
This wont necessarily take away the pain of the contractions, but research shows that staying active before and during your labour can actually speed up the process.
This means that you might have a shorter labor than you would have otherwise! You can try bouncing or rocking on a birthing ball, walking, or leaning on your spouse or the wall with your arms rocking back and forth in a dancing motion.
Labor in different positions to ease Labor Pains
Before getting pregnant, I thought that giving birth was just like in the movies! A woman laying on her back, legs in the air and getting ready to deliver that baby! While many women do labor like this, there are actually other positions that may ease your pain and speed up the delivery of your baby.
Think about it like this, if you are trying to push a baby out while laying on your back you are actually fighting AGAINST gravity. Personally, just that thought alone made me want to try more of an upright position and use the power of gravity to help me get that
watermelon baby out.
You can learn all the different laboring and childbirth positions in a prenatal class.
Breathe through your contractions to relieve the pain of childbirth
Everyone says this, and to be completely honest, I was skeptical. Before I went into labor I was told that breathing in deeply through your nose and slowly out your mouth would relax me.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find it very relaxing. But, I did find that I was so focused on trying to breathe how I was taught to that I stopped focusing on how much my contractions were hurting me. So it worked!
Figure out your “why” for a natural birth
This is a huge one because as I have already said, birthing a child is hard and painful.
If you don’t know WHY you are trying for an unmedicated birth you will be much more likely to accept pain medication or interventions. Again there is nothing wrong with that, but if not having medication is something you want, make sure you know the why.
Talk to your spouse about having a natural birth
Your support system NEEDS to know your wishes. It was so helpful to have my husband there to support what I wanted during my labor.
When my pain was so intense, and I started to waiver he reminded me why I wanted to have an unmedicated birth. This helped me to stay strong and focused when I was starting to waiver.
It also allowed my husband to advocate for me when I was unable to do so myself. During contractions it was so hard to think and speak at times. Letting my husband do the talking was just one less thing I had to worry aboout!
Massage and Pressure to Naturally Relieve pain during labor
There are so many good massage techniques out there. My husband learned some in our prenatal classes. But there are also a ton of videos on YouTube that can show you how. You will just need to do some research here.
If you are using YouTube or any other methods to learn massage techniques, please check with your healthcare provider to make sure they are safe for pregnant women.
Listen to your body and speak up during your natural birth experience
Remember YOU are the one in labor. You are the one who is feeling all the changes, progress and pain.
Move if something is uncomfortable. Yell if you it helps. Listen to your body and your instincts – it wont steer you wrong!
Speak up if you have concerns or need help. It is your labor, so advocate for your needs. Your healthcare team is there to support you through it. They will their very best to do that, so don’t be shy if you need something!
There you Have it, All my tips to have a natural birth!
I hope you find these tips helpful. You’ve got this Mama!
Planning to breastfeed? Check out these tips on how you can prepare to breastfeed during pregnancy!