Natural labor and delivery
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Having a natural labor and delivery was something I had only toyed.With my daughter my water broke before labor started and being a first-time mom I headed straight to the hospital. They immediately put me on Pitocin to get labor going. Pitocin makes contractions very painful, so I got the epidural shortly after. While my labor and delivery wasn’t horrible, I did have complications afterward. I wanted something different this time.
Now I didn’t go into my second pregnancy wanting to go natural but I knew I wanted to something different. On October 19th at 37 weeks pregnant, I went into my doctor’s office and found out I was at a 4.
Being a second-time mom I could have stayed at a four for a few more weeks. She offered to a sweep since I would be 38 weeks the following day, so I agreed. I felt some contractions, but they didn’t feel the same as with my first. I walked around the store doing out weekly shopping for about an hour and a half.
After finishing I told my husband we may want to go in. We got everything ready and headed to the hospital. We almost turned around once because the contractions were spreading out. Luckily we kept going and I got checked. I was already 8 cm. Everyone thought I could deliver him very soon, so I decided to not even bother with an epidural.
I actually labored for 4 more hours and they broke my water. Though as soon as they broke my water he came out in less than a minute. I had never felt more powerful and accomplished, then at the moment. Here is how I made it through a natural labor and delivery.
Make a birth plan
I knew as a second-time mom that birth plans don’t always go as planned. Surprisingly, I was able to get everything I wanted on my birth plan.
Even if not everything goes as you’d like it gives you’re doctor and nurses an idea of what you want, so they can stick to it as closely as possible. Make your plan short in wording that way it’s easier for your team to remember what you want.
Think about what you want during labor, right after labor, what you want done for (or not done) for your newborn and your stay at the hospital.
Here’s an example of what I put on my birth plan
- No pain meds unless requested
- labor in bath
- allowed to eat and drink
- hep lock
- allow the placenta to naturally deliver, no pulling
- be allowed to wear my own clothes ( you can purchase cute hospital gowns)
after labor and baby care
- immediate skin to skin
- allowed to nurse as soon as possible
- no circumcision
- delayed cord clamping
- delayed bath for baby
If you’d like a more detailed guide, check out this book: Your Birth Plan: A Step by Step Guide to Creating and Writing Your Birth Plan
Stay home as long as possible
I’m so glad I did most of my laboring while getting things ready for the house. It took my mind off the pain and I felt more comfortable. I dilated 4 cm in 3 hours while walking around the store getting my shopping done and didn’t realize I was in labor. Once I got to the hospital the intensity went up and I stalled at 8 cm for four more hours.
Having a home birth may even be a good option if you’re not high risk. Make sure you have a proper team with you and easy access to the hospital though. I hemorrhaged with my first and would have been in trouble if I had been home. This time was smooth sailing thankfully.
try relaxing with some lavender essential oil and a bath or finish up any last minute details.
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- 5 things every pregnant woman needs in the summer
Have a birthing partner
This doesn’t necessarily mean your husband. My husband was amazing this labor and delivery. Getting me everything I needed and doing what I ask, but my best support was my mother and mother in law.
I kind of had a team instead of just one person. They reminded me to breathe, kept me laughing, reminded me how strong I am. They walked the hall with me and advocated for me.
You need someone who will be the voice of reason when you feel like you can’t do it anymore. Anyone you trust can be your birth partner or you can even hire a Douala to support you through it.
Find the best position and place to labor for you
I loved to be able to move around this time. I walked the hall quit a bit, labored in the bath, bounced on the ball and finally wanted to lay in the bed. Being able to move around and deliver in the position I wanted helped me get through the pain.
One position didn’t keep me comfortable for long, so I labored in one place as long as it helped and then tried something else. Nothing takes all the pain away but can defiantly decrease it.
remember to BREATH
You don’t realize how hard it is to remember this when you’re in pain. I kept holding my breath once the contractions got bad making me light headed. Eventually, I started groaning through every contraction but I was at least taking breaths while doing this.
Also, make whatever noise you want, no one is going to care. Breathing also gives you something to concentrate on instead of the pain.
Consider using gas and air
Now I personally didn’t like gas and air, but I know it helps many women deal with the pain. I didn’t like it because it made my face hot and I was already having issues with hot flashes. The way it helps in by taking your focus off the pain, almost like a high feeling. It doesn’t completely numb the pain but does help. The feeling goes away as soon as you stop breathing the gas.
I was able to experience both a medicated and unmedicated birth and both were extremely special. While I am so proud of having a natural labor and delivery, I’m also proud of how I gave birth to my first. If you are determined to have a natural birth follow the steps above, but remember if you decided that you rather have pain medication that’s okay too. Either way, you’re going to be an amazing mom! Tell me about your labor and delivery below!