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hey Im new here and have questions =)

Posted by on Dec. 24, 2007 at 9:41 AM
  • 11 Replies
So im 32 weeks preggo today and Im getting a little nervous. I dont plan to have any drugs whatsoever with my first baby. I have not taken any lamaze classes because we cannot afford them. I need guidence on how to handle labor pains because I have no Idea what to expect when that time gets here.


by on Dec. 24, 2007 at 9:41 AM
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by on Dec. 24, 2007 at 10:35 AM
I would suggest going to the library and picking up a few books.  The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin is great because it breaks down labor stage by stage and gives you techniques to cope for each stage.  It is written as a guide primarily for a labor companion, but like I said, the break downs are SUPERB.  There are diagrams for techniques to make them easier to understand and perform properly, too.

I would also recommend The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer.  EXCELLENT for any mother wishing to have an unmedicated birth.

I would also ask the hospital you are delivering at if they offer free classes for mothers to be.  Many of them do, or if they do charge a fee, the fees are based on sliding scales.  While most hospital classes tend to focus on the medical aspects of birth, they are still a great source for of information for understanding the process of birth.

See if you can find a doula.  DONA keeps a list of uncertified members that you can request via their website (  Students must perform at a minimum of 3 births and they cannot charge for thier services while they are certification candidates. 

Start preparing now.  Birth is an athletic event!  Start doing kegel exercises, drink plenty of water (most of us aren't drinking as much as we think, so it's a good idea to get a bottle with the ounces marked on it!), and be sure to have enough protein in your diet to help sustain your muscles.  Tailor sit (indian style, with your knees as close to the floor as possible) as often as you can.  Lay on your side and work on relaxation techniques (you will find a wealth of them in The Birth Partner).  Use peaceful visualizations, soothing music, dim lighting, ritual-like phrases, whatever works for you.  Practice it - it sounds silly, but seriously - so that it is second-nature when you go into labor. 

I hope this helps you gear up and feel more prepared!  Anxiety is counter-active to the beginning stages of labor, so the more comfortable and relaxed you are, the easier things will be.  Knowledge is usually your best defense, so read and practice as much as you can over the last few weeks.

Heather Edwards, CD(DONA)

"If you don't know your options, you don't have any."  R. Scaer

by on Dec. 24, 2007 at 12:20 PM
Wow thank you so muc. My hubby and I have went to a couple classes like what to expect when your done expecting and the birth process. So we know a little about that =). I think we will go to the library and get some books like you said! I really appretiate the time you spent =) thank you


by on Dec. 24, 2007 at 1:46 PM
ive gone through four non-medicated labors and assisted my oldest daughter through one.  the thing that helped me most and what helped her most was knowing and trusting and believing that  your body knows what to do.  this is what it was designed to do, whether you belive its by god, or nature or goddess or whatever.   i agree books can be a good heads- up... but in the moment, the best way to deal with contractions...  is to just breathe.  best of luck to your whole family... you'll do great, im sure!!!!! my blog! .....
by on Dec. 24, 2007 at 2:21 PM
I would NEVER reccommend lamaze classes to begin with.  Lamaze teaches breathing techniques that the mother will concentrate too hard on, while you should be breathing deeply, not in rhythms.  Also, as they are hospital-based, they teach you to go with the hospital routines and procedures, but if you want a NATURAL birth, you should not go with the hospital ANYTHING!  My husband and I took Bradley Method classes, and I attribute that to my success at natural birth (although I'm sure it can be done without them).  Our instructor was really helpful and let us pay a little each time.  The website is
and you can locate an instructor, and read up on the method and birth stories.  There are a couple Bradley books that I read, "Husband-Coached Childbirth" by Dr. Robert Bradley and "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" by Susan McCutcheon.  I would highly reccomend reading at least the last one, if not both.  If they aren't at the library, try or something, I'm sure you could get them cheap.  Lastly, do not count on "what to expect" as a natural birth manual.  Most of what is in there is like Lamaze, hospital-based.  I wish you luck and health, feel free to private message me with anymore questions.  I had a natural birth in a hospital, and there are a lot of things you have to educate yourself about to avoid.  Also, make sure to have a birth plan, essential in a hospital that is used to the routine of epidurals! 

I would highly reccomend joining this natural birth group as it has nearly 800 members (many of whom are in this group) but I think it is more active, so you may get a better variation of responses when asking questions!

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by on Dec. 25, 2007 at 6:38 PM
I think the best thing to do when getting ready for birth (especially natural) is to get informed. By reading about natural childbirth, taking classes, support groups/meetings, having a midwife at a birth center/home, and having a doula, you'll help prepare yourself for a wonderful birth experience. I love birth classes because I love connecting with other mamas and learning about the physiological aspects of delivering. Reading reinforces that information and further strengthens the understanding. *I do not expect women to use the pain-coping skills, necessarily. But having these techniques as Tools in the Toolbag is reassuring! ;) Midwives are Natural Birthing Experts. They follow the "Trust in the Body/Trust in Birth" model of care. Having a doula is like having a sister who's a professional support person (without sisterly baggage attached, LOL!).
by on Dec. 25, 2007 at 6:43 PM
Regarding handling the pain: Trust, Confidence, Respect for your body, Surrender. When you can appreciate that your contractions have a purpose you can give them permission to do their work. Changing your perspective to think that labor is intense, but not painful is helpful! Using water for laboring and/or birthing reduced pain. Staying home as long as possible/entirely helps labor to be smoother. Inviting only those family/friends you are more comfortable with is important, too.
by on Dec. 25, 2007 at 6:49 PM
Comfort Measures For Labor:

The Instinct Of Birth:

Labor Encouragement and Luv:
by on Dec. 25, 2007 at 6:50 PM
From My Journal:
Nervous about birth?? Focus on the FACT that women give birth NATURALLY all-day everyday, all over the world and have been since the beginning of humans. Most births have been/are natural births. Women's bodies were designed to do this. Birth is hard, VERY hard, but stay in-tune with this connection to other mamas. Keep it in mind: others before you and others after you do this. You can too. If you can appreciate WHY it's hard work, you can work WITH the contractions. The intensity is YOUR OWN body, your own energy, opening in a new & unique way. Release your tension & fears, surrender to this intensity. Work WITH it. Even meditate on it's strength, will it to be strong!
by on Dec. 25, 2007 at 6:52 PM
From My Journal:
My "theme" or "motto" is that all over the world now--and throughout history--women have been homebirthing. Hospital birthing is new and modern and western. There are lots of places--LOTS--in the world today where women birth in their own homes. Birth is NORMAL. A woman's body is designed to give birth. All those hormones, a uterus, creation of a placenta, wide space in the pelvis.... It's all normal, perfectly normal to give birth. Also, giving birth in the hospital actually introduces the possibilty for interventions (including birth by cesarean). I urge you to READ READ READ. Learn the rates of interventions for your local hospital. Know that homebirth midwives are VERY well trained and experienced. Usually more experienced in helping a normal birth than an OB because OBs train and specialize in intervention and surgery. Many OBs have not seen a natural birth. There are tons of reasons why it's better to be in your own home environment, too. Please read all you can. Try Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. Go from there. Oh, and get a doula! ;)
by on Dec. 25, 2007 at 6:59 PM
Thank you so much for the replies everyone. I really appretiate the help!


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