Here are some tried and true tips from a home birth mama about getting through an unmedicated birth with ease.
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I’ve been reading through Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth for the second time with my second pregnancy and I have a COMPLETELY different perspective than when I read it my first pregnancy.
I’ve now done this whole home birth thing, and there are little things that stand out in the book now that I naively didn’t see the first time. A big thing is that a lot of the women in their birth stories don’t necessarily say that birth isn’t “painful”, and some even blatantly say they had back labor and that it was painful. I just didn’t notice that when I read it before!
I think I didn’t want to see these signs because I didn’t want to think that labor was painful. But the fact that you’re pushing a baby out of your body makes the whole experience a little… uncomfortable… especially if you have back labor or a breech birth or other things you weren’t prepared for.
But it’s all about how you handle the pressure of your uterus and the opening of your body. I didn’t have a good attitude with my labor with Annabelle, and I can make a whole list of excuses as to why:
- I was losing sleep, it was an overnight labor.
- I had a head cold.
- I had bad back labor, but to be honest, my lack of exercise and good posture didn’t help.
- I was scared… It may be hard for any mother to admit, or at least it’s hard for me, but I was. I was scared to become a mom for the first time and that I would have no idea what I was doing. No matter how many rough and tough self-talks I gave myself, I was not “ready” to be a mom, yet. (are any of us, really?)
- I thought I was burdening anyone who was there to help me. My husband and doula were there coaching and loving me through the pain and I was trying to keep in my feelings cause I didn’t want to burden them any more than I already was. My sweet husband told me with this next baby, “Even if it’s a burden that we are taking on as your birth support, it’s ok that it is.”
RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Reasons Why I chose a Home Birth!
My emotional advice to first-time mothers out there attempting an unmedicated birth like me: just let go. Let go of your insecurities, let go of negativity and just give in to the will of nature and your body.
I didn’t do this until the end of my labor, and I could tell the difference in my demeanor in videos that were taken. Towards the end, I calmed down a LOT more and breathed my baby down better. Do this, and plan these four things I’m about to list, and your labor will be a breeze.
Four things made my back labor and home birth easier:
This was something my husband and doula did that absolutely saved the hurt and the pressure I was feeling in the beginnings of labor, and I’ve never asked, but I’m sure they were pretty sore the next day.
I was given counter pressure on both sides of my hips, my support team would put a hand on each side and squeeze inward as I was having a pressure wave or contraction. I’ve seen it done on the knees as well. And the best way I can describe is that it helped me know that my body wasn’t going to explode from all the incredible things that were happening to me.
Nature’s medication, water…
Being in the water while in labor felt SO good, ladies. Having a birthing tub or pool is amazing, and let me tell it to you straight… You don’t have to buy the very expensive tubs labeled “birth pool” (upwards of $200!). Just get a fishy pool or even this family lounge pool that I found on Amazon for $50. My first pool didn’t have a seat like the family lounge pool, but it was at least deep enough, and so the seat will be an added bonus this next time around! Totally worth it…
Movement and Heat
You may not feel like moving around, but the more that you walk and sway and change positions, the more that baby moves their way down your birth canal. So give in to what your body is saying, put on the songs you like to jam out to and move, mama!
Also, know where your heat pad is. My doula was heaven sent and brought this huge heatable bean bag that she and my hubby kept warm from the microwave and it felt oh so good on my shoulders.
If you want to go the extra mile, what truly helped me in coaching myself to move with my body and breathe and meditate was training my mind with Hypnobabies tracks. I listened to them pretty consistently throughout my pregnancy and the pushing and breathing
Have a good Support System in Place!
This could mean your husband, your mother, your midwife, your grandma, your sister, your doula any anyone you’d like to be there for you during your birth. Just make it a rule that if any family is present that their primary role is to be a positive help! No putting down or worrying!
If there is worry to be had, the medical professionals present will know what to do and if there is any need for emergency action. Everyone else is there to support and bring happiness and enjoyment to this exciting birthing time! Because you want this to be the most magical experience for you and the father of your baby!
Looking back on our birth, it was pretty magical, and there are the things I’ve listed in this article as well as other things that will make this next birth even more magical.
I’m hyping myself up to be more positive and healthy this time around, and I’m so excited for the support system that will be there to lift me up as well! Be excited, mamas, it’s an incredible thing you get to do and an empowering experience that lasts a lifetime.