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Decided not to get an epidural. Any tips for delivery?

My name is Samantha, I am currently 26 weeks pregnant.  I am sixteen this is my first child, and I am having a boy. In the beginging of my pregnancy I said that I was getting an epidural. But on second thoughts I have decided not to. I want to have an ALL natural birth, without any medicine or needles or anything. I am just terriefied of needles, and for my family that did get them, they had bad expirences. I just don't want to do it. I'll probably regret it during labor, but it will be worth it. I know the pain will end eventually. But do you have any tips for me? Anything! haha Thanks!:)

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 9:51 PM
Replies (51-60):
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:53 PM

I've had three babies naturally, and by the third I learned to have an almost pain free labor.

The first thing you need is a good 4/4 rhythmic sway, which you need to begin as soon as you start contracting.  You will have greater success if sitting or standing.  Don't be embarassed, even hum a little, and as soon as the contractions start begin letting your arms float, roll your head around your shoulder, and sway back and forth like a religious lunatic or interpretive dancing hippie.  The purpose of this is to keep your body from giving into the almost unbearable urge to contract everywhere. Only your womb needs to tense up, the horrible pain come when you allow the rest of your body to follow and crunch in instinctively to surround the pain.

Another thing that helps tremendously if you get back labor is to have someone gently and slowly lift up from under your arms then slowly release in time with the contraction.  This also saves you from back and side spasms by gently pulling those muscles.

Tell yourself as you get closer that the pain has a purpose, that the pain has an end, and that you control the pain. because you DO. Once you dance through a few contractions (gently rock the baby in the womb) you'll catch on and it becomes more natural.  You can not stop labor once it has begun, remember when it hurts that there is no point in being scared or upset so just take smooth breaths in and out and dance and sway, and feel it melt away.

And I know some people just have their epidural paperwork signed in case they want it.  You have not failed at anything if you get one!

Best of Luck =)

by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:19 PM

I wasn't even offered a epidural with my two kids, and I was induced with both for medical reasons, not by choice. I suggest asking your Dr. or hosp. if they have a prepared child birth class teaches breathing techniques, etc. That will help.

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:59 AM

Congratulations on becoming a mommy and best of luck with everything!

I went in to my first pregnancy completely open-minded. I said if I needed drugs, I'd take them. I never needed them. Thank God I had a doctor/hospital that didn't require me to be montiored constantly. That was really the only time I was so uncomfortable I thought I might want drugs. I spent a lot of time in the bathtub, walked around, got on hands and knees and eventually had her standing up leaning over the hospital bed. 9 1/2 lb. The only thing they did at the very end was numb the direct area a little (yes, that required a needle). After that, I knew I wanted to have my other two naturally and knew I could do it. 

Most important thing is to follow your instincts and relax into it. The more you tense up the worse it is. Get the weight off your spinal chord (i.e. don't lie down if you can avoid it!).

As my OB/GYN said, nobody had to tell you how to make that baby or grow it inside your belly, and nobody has to tell you how to birth him either. :)


by Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:30 AM

I never wanted one and didn't get one.  My tip are if you really do not want an epidural:

1. Figure out how you manage pain and do not be afraid to use any method you are comfortable with.  My teacher in my prenatal class said that they've seen everything, and even if you need to scream, scream.  I screamed through the whole thing and it made the pain less horrible in my opinion.  Other people I've talked to said silence or music made them feel better.  It's all about you.

2. Stay strong.  If you really don't want an epidural don't let anyone bully you into one.  I didn't want one even when I was a ten, but nurses asked me up until I was a 9 (probably to shut me up) and my mom finally yelled at them.

3. Make sure your birth coach is someone you trust to be there for you.  My mom had three natural births, but she had never been the coach.  She did pretty good except for at one point she walked across the room and refused to hold my hand for 5 minutes because she said she couldn't handle seeing me in that kind of pain.  Then she was back making jokes again.

4.  Realize that it was end eventually. The pain increases (obviously) the more dilated you get until the baby is born but as soon as that baby is out, the pain is completely gone.  I mean literally.  You are pain free.  It's amazing really.  Keep that in mind.

5. Know you can do it.  Your body was made for this, and if you believe in yourself, you can do it without any drugs.  There is no embarrassment in wanting medication or an epidural, but MOST women do not need it.

6. Talk to someone who has had a natural birth before and have them go through the entire experience with you.  It will make you feel better.  Promise.  :)  Good luck.

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm a needle-phobe too.  After 4 hours of hard, HARD contractions, I was exhausted and finally opted for an epidural.  (I was induced and I've heard that contractions can be harder with induction... don't know if that's true though).  It was amazing how much better I felt afterwards.  I was able to relax finally and looked forward to the rest of labor.  (I ended up c-section). 

Don't close your mind to pain control completely.  Doctors and nurses are there to help you through it.  Having a baby without pain meds does not make you any more of a woman than having a baby with pain meds makes you less of one.  Go with the flow.  It's up to you on how you want to handle your pain.  But definitely take tips on breathing, focus and relaxation methods.  Bottom line is that EVERYONE wants your baby to get here safely. 

by Barb on Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Being informed about what is happening during the birth will help. And knowing that the pain will soon be over. Good luck!

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I got one and didn't have any issues with it (other than it taking 8 trys to put it in the right place, I guess).  So I don't have any tips for you, but good luck!

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:12 PM
I was just like you, I was 17 when my oldest was born and after reading everything I could get my hands on about it.decided I was gonna go natural. My body however had other plans. I was in labor for so long with very very little progress not only was my dd distressed but my heart and blood pressure were scary. My Dr told me I could get the epi and try to push or I could wait and have an emergency c section. I had the epidural and in 30 min my dd was born and was healthy.

7 years later I had my fourth baby all natural no complications and plan to do.the same with baby #5.

My advice is to be open to the idea incase it becomes necessary and if for some reason you do need one don't feel like you gave up.

If your able to do all natural I suggest ice and sipping on gingerale, it helped me with the nausea that came with the pain, also take a lamaz class, the techniques I learned came in very handy.
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by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM
I was 17 with my first and decided to get an epidural as well. I didn't even give my self another option. But when Labor Day came I decided to just walk out my labor as much as possible. This really helped! It progressed things vey quickly and by the time I went to the hospital I was already 8cm. No IVs or anything.

With my second I did the same! My body just felt like it was in a transe. Yes, it hurt like hell. Not going to lie but all the endorphins just took over I guess and got me through. The pain pretty much sent away for me as soon as they came out. I would never even consider epidurals, pitocin ect. After doing my research I am confident my body is fully capable of giving birth naturally. Unnessary procedures just bring on unnecessary interventions.
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by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 3:06 PM
  • Well, you will love this!  In 1971, I had my first child in New York city, and I used Lamaze which none of the doctors had ever seen before, and were taking bets to see if my husband would FAINT!  They were passing money around, but what they did not know is that the partner  has a job as well and is too busy to to faint.  Most hospitals offer Lamaze classes,  but have cut them back to 4 weeks,  . when it is a 6 week trainining seasion.  You can purchase a book called 6 Practical Lessens for an Easier Childbirth by Elizabeth Bing.  You can pick a friend,  or even your Mom, to to read with you and be your coach.  IT REALLYWORKS! Best of good fortune to you and your new son.
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