How to Have a Peaceful Natural Birth
The Dangers of Epidurals
I have had two Epidurals. The first one was annoying and I could not feel anything. That may sound like a good thing but it was so annoying not knowing when to push. Also, you are stuck in bed. You can not feel your legs. I could not even move mine.
The second one I developed a spinal headache after, which is an awful headache and is caused a leak in spinal fluid which messes with the pressure around your brain. This was an awful experience! It was not like an everyday headache, It was excruciating! I am not going to go into all the details of the horrors I went through but you can read more about it in my other article Why to Say No to an Epidural for Childbirth. This happens in up to 40% of those receiving Epidurals and similar procedures!
The other possible side effects of an epidural include.
- low blood pressure (which could effect the baby)
- Nerve Damage
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble urinating (you might have to have a catheter too)
- Nausea and vomiting
and yet women praise the benefits of it because it takes away the pain. Pain that has a purpose. Pain that you can learn to deal with and work with.
Relax and Breath
The most important thing when it comes to giving birth naturally is to relax and breath. Relax every muscle and breath through every contraction.
Relaxation Techniques for Natural Childbirth
The inability to cope with the pain of childbirth comes from fear and tension. I know this because with my third child I did not have epidural. I also did not research how to deal with natural childbirth. I went in it just as scared as ever and once my contractions started getting bad I balled up and cleanched the rails of the beds and cried in pain.
It does not have to be like that. The key is to relax. I know this is a hard thing to do when you feel pain but if you can achieve a relaxed state through your contractions they are so much easier to handle. My main research tool I used while preparing for my forth child was in the form of a book call Hypnobirthing The Mongan Method. This book was so helpful. I learned how to relax, and so much about birth. It was empowering and I encourage you to read it. If you take the time to learn to relax and breath through your contractions things will happen much easier and your contractions can do what they are trying to do. If you are tensed up you are litterally fighting against your contractions. The contractions will most likely win but you could make labour last much longer or even stall out.
- Relax. Learn to relax every muscle in your body. Start with you your head... make sure all your facial muscles are relaxed. Especially the jaw as tension there is correlated with tension in the pelvic region. To start lay in a comfortable position and really focus on letting tension go from every muscle all the way down to your toes.
- Breath. A good breathing technique to help you relax is to breath in and let it out slowly. Try a breath in to the count of four and let it out to the count of eight.
- Find a comfortable position. I stood during most of my labor. Not having an epidural allows you to move around as you please. I also sat up in my bed and noticed that laying down, especially in advanced labour, was the worse position for me.
- Read a book or books on natural childbirth and hypnobirthing.
- Watch youtube videos
- Do guided meditations to help you learn how to meditate your way through labour.
- You can labour at home if its more relaxing, or even have a home birth
- Get in water. Water helps so much to take the pain away and somehow seems to help your contractions work better. I think this has to do with how much more relaxed you are in the water. If I was able to birth in water I would have, but if you go to a hospital some do not allow water births.
One more thing that I think is important to mention. Births are unpredictable. Remember this as you plan your birth. Take into consideration that everything might not go as you would like. If something comes up that you cant control like for me... it was the acceptance of Pitocin to help with the contractions that did not want to stay strong and consistant. I tried others methods of getting them going. Walking, using a breast pump, getting in water all helped but did not keep them going. Also my doctor was not able to be there. That was okay. I took a deep breath and let it be. I truly believe relaxation techniques and mindful breathing will help you have a natural childbirth but if say you must have a C-section be thankful there is that option and do not throw your relaxation techniques out the door, you still need them. I wish you all the best of luck!