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.
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30-09-2016 14:20 #11
30-09-2016 14:29 #12
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
30-09-2016 16:51 #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2016
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30-09-2016 18:59 #14
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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30-09-2016 19:25 #15
'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 19:29.
30-09-2016 19:27 #16
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
30-09-2016 19:30 #17
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...)
30-09-2016 19:31 #18Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
Bloody hell, I must be the odd one out here. For me, labour was the most pain I have ever experienced. Both times.
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30-09-2016 19:40 #19
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.
30-09-2016 19:44 #20
'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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