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  1. #11
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    I had a birth plan and I also think its important to have medical staff who share your philosophy if possible.

    The making of a birth plan is the most important step rather than getting medical staff to read it. It helps to sit down with your partner and anyone attending the birth and going through all your specific wishes. During labour it's your support person who will most likely need to advocate for you if necessary. I would consider hiring a doula.

    A drug free birth is definitely possible. I was very determined to have a drug free birth provided there weren't any medical reasons not too. I'm definitely not a go with a flow person and I think that can be counterproductive if it stops you fully researching your birth options. I found calm birthing useful as well as labouring in water (that was amazing!). Calm birth didn't stop the pain but helped me focus as well as taking it one contraction at a time.

    Unfortunately there is a lot of negativity surrounding labour...and a lot of fear. I think this is why you find a lot of people are negative about your choice.

  2. #12
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    Also, include preferences for after birth:

    Third stage manangement or not
    Artificial feeds or not
    Immediate skin to skin or not
    Heel prick test, hep B, vit K

    Also include c section preferences in case of emergency - there are some options that may be possible even if you need a cs:
    Father/partner to stay with baby
    Lower sheild so you can see baby being born
    Immediate skin to skin
    Physiological third stage

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    I was aiming for a drug free labour & did so 3 times. I like to call it my birth preferences, rather than birth plan, because I thinkit's important to remember we cant always plan it. That being said, my birth preferences were simple and to the point -

    - Preference for water for pain relef: 1. Bath or 2. Shower if bath isn't possible
    - Don't offer epidural, peth or gas, I will ask for it if I need, but would prefer to try other methods of pain relief first.
    I like your wording here, it is more a preference than a plan as such and that's exactly how I see it. Thanks for the helpful tips

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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsVZ View Post
    Hoping for some opinions/advice on how to communicate in my birth plan that I want to avoid epidural and pain medication where possible.

    I find myself getting very annoyed at some people's responses to my desire to go without an epidural and other pain medications during labour. I have done so much reading up and feel it's the best option for me but every time I mention that to someone who asks, they smirk and say 'just see how you go when you're actually in labour because you'll probably change your mind'. They seem to assume that I am underestimating labour, which is not the case. I just believe that it can be done without drugs and that it will likely be very very painful but that I can get through it with the right preparation. Another comment I get is that you can't truly prepare for labour, which I strongly disagree with. I'm not saying I can do anything to make it a breeze, but there are proven techniques to help get through it.

    My OB said that although it's good to be flexible on my birth plan because things don't always go the way you want, it's important to communicate my wishes while in a sound frame of mind because you don't really want to be making these decisions in the peak of labour. Basically, I don't like the idea of putting it in my birth plan with a disclaimer as such, like 'unless I ask for it' or 'unless labour is slow in progressing'. Everyone says you kind of forget the pain once it's all over and some of my friends who put on their birth plan that they wanted to avoid epidural but ended up opting for one and were told it was too late, were actually glad it worked out that way and they think it was actually deliberate delaying from the midwife because of their birth plan wishes.

    I cannot stand when someone says 'don't be a hero' because that implies those who choose pain medication are weak. I'm trying really hard not to pay attention to people's responses as if I'm naive and like they're waiting for me to come out of labour saying 'ok you were right I needed an epidural'. I have no shame in getting one, but I'm feeling a bit confused if I should just commit to no drugs or if I should prepare for any exceptions and how to communicate this clearly.

    Thanks!
    I haven't read the other replies so I'm sorry if this has already been said..

    Firstly I suggest you ignore everyone else. Just absolutely ignore snide remarks, "knowing" looks, and any sort of negative feedback. In fact don't even discuss your birth plan or preferences with anyone aside from your birth support person and your health care provider prior to going into labour.

    Once you're in labour, whether it spontaneous or induced, give a copy of your plan to the midwife who is on duty. Bring an extra copy of the plan for the next shift nurse if it's a long labour. You won't need to repeat yourself if they have a copy of the plan. Your partner will know all your preferences by then, so if you can't speak, they can do if for you.

    You might find it difficult to stick to a plan when you're in labour. Labour can be extremely overwhelming. And you could lose your senses at times. But if your birth support partner knows exactly what your preferences (or if you want to call it a plan, that's totally fine!), they are the ones who are your advocate when a midwife might suggest you need "x,y,z" to help you along.

    I had very pushy midwives in both of my labours and bless my lovely husband, he was very vocal on my behalf when they tried insisting on drips, drugs and extra monitoring.

    Having an epidural doesn't make a woman weak, and refusing an epidural doesn't make you a hero. It's just completely about what you need at the time.

    I 100% agree with you that a lot has to do with preparation. That's not to say that women who aren't prepared can't get through a drug free "natural" labour & birth but being prepared and having techniques up your sleeve will help.

    Personally for me, I found meditation & visualisation and positive reinforcement to be a huge help in getting through it. Both my labours were induced and they both lasted about 16 hours from waters breaking to baby being born. Both labours only required gas during transition (I'll just add for those who haven't had the gas before - it doesn't actually take the pain away, it just makes you feel extremely loopy like you've had one too many glasses of wine).

    My preparation involved a lot of reading, like what you're doing now. I especially found "gentle birth, gentle mothering" by Sarah Buckley to be extremely helpful. It was very empowering and gave really practical tools to use for labour which helped me.

    I focused a lot on what the contractions meant, about the "sensations" rather than the pain, and reminding myself all through the labour that each contraction is only going to last 60 seconds and then I'll have relief.. Breaking up the labour into 60 second increments with breaks really helped me. I also spent a lot of time playing candy crush! Hahah! Also knowing that the sensations were a GOOD pain turned it into something different for me. It wasn't like having a broken bone that needed fixing. Every sensation was a step closer to meeting my baby.

    Anyway, However you end up doing it, you will have a baby at the end of it. Good luck Hun

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    Default 'Natural' birth - communicating in your birth plan

    I've had two girls, both without pain relief. For me, labour was not painful. I didn't want, nor need, any pain relief. It wasn't painful.

    I clearly explained my wishes to the midwife I had during labour. I told her I didn't want, nor felt like I needed, drugs. Therefore, none were ever offered..

    However your labour ends up, be it intervention free, drug free, or every drug and intervention under the sun.. It's not a big deal. Just communicate your wishes, and be prepared to go with the flow.. Hope for the best though!!
    Last edited by preggasaurus; 30-09-2016 at 20:29.

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    I'd call it "birth preferences" rather than birth plan. It makes it sound a lot more flexible and I think will put you on the right foot with the medical team.

    Also I'd stop discussing your plans/preferences with people unless you know they are supportive of a no drug plans.

    It can be done, most of my friends did it with their first. I honestly didn't think labour hurts that much... So much that I was looking forward to my second labour!! And would love to do it a 3rd time.

    So surround yourself with positive stories, ignore the nay Sayers and perfect the smile and nod technique

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    Oh also, I only put on my birth preferences
    Please do not offer or mention epidural - however please DO offer a bath, a shower, a massage, another position etc
    Anything you believe that might help except no epidural or gas (nothing against gas but it just makes me feel awful...)

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    Bloody hell, I must be the odd one out here. For me, labour was the most pain I have ever experienced. Both times.

    Sent from my SM-N910G using The Bub Hub mobile app

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    ha! I aimed for drug free, intervention free. I got the opposite. to my credit I laboured for a long time drug free but it got to a point where I had to be induced and the contractions were coming too thick and fast and I just gave up. it hurt too much. perhaps if I'd not needed the induction (my labour stalled) I might have gone longer and/or finished the job drug free?

    who knows, I can only comment on what happened. my advice is to be flexible and have no expectations. I remember feeling really upset for a while after that I was "cheated" out of my dream birth.

    I remember reading an article by bec judd actually that I quite like...she's pro-pain meds in labour but she put it this way and I think she makes a great point: I don't go to the dentist and get a filling without pain meds, I wouldn't get any other medical procedure done without an anaesthetic, so why the hell would I go through labour without drugs?

    I think she makes a cracking point. women have this granola idea that unless we go through labour drug free, somehow we haven't done it properly and aren't real women. f.ck that.

    if you get through drug free, great. but there's no shame in asking for relief.

    I ended up with an emergency cs anyway so I'm bloody glad I asked for the epi when I did. the relief was magical and when it came time to go to theatre, they just topped me up to a spinal block.

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    Default 'Natural' birth - communicating in your birth plan

    One thing I will say regarding drugs is that like any other intervention, it increases your chance of ending up with a c-sec. An epidural forces you to be stationary and prohibits active labor, which is often (not always) necessary to actually birth your baby.

    So with all due respect, I don't think you can compare it to a dental procedure at all.

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