I'm 22 weeks pregnant and striving for a natural childbirth. This is my first baby and I'm surprised at how important having a natural birth has become for me.

So far, I'm learning everything that I can. My husband and I are driving an hour and half one way once a week to take a Bradley Method class, but we are loving it so far and doing our assignments religiously. I've also been reading up on hypnobirthing and I'm thinking about working on some of those techniques.

We also just switched to a midwife when we found out our doc would not be supportive of our choices, and we hired a doula.

*I was wondering what other tips you might have for achieving natural childbirth? Also, what road bumps did you hit on the way (either during childbirth or while preparing)? How did you deal with them?

Looking forward to hearing about everyone's experiences! :)


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We are pretty close in due dates Sara, I am due Feb 12! We are going into our third med-free birth... all have been in hospital but my OB is wonderful and supportive, and has swapped nurses out to find someone that can work with us. I go fast, 5.5 hours with #1 and 3 hours with #2. I am a little nervous to see how long (err short?) this one will be! lol

This time we are doing a private Lamaze workshop since we needed something more advanced than what most doulas teach. It took me until last week to find someone that could help us out! Each time we go in knowing that the pain is workable, that I can trust my body and my instincts, and that following what my body tells me is what works best. The first time I birthed and pushed like the tv shows and was on my back, and I needed an episiotomy AND I still tore/stretched in my labia. ouch. Second time I birthed on my side and pushed as my body told me and it was faster and no tearing or anything. This time I definitley know that I will be following my body first and foremost.

I agree that transition is hardest, but when you get to that point, believe that you are in transition and your baby will be here soon! Have hubby coach or encourage you through "just one more contraction, just one more minute etc" one by one. and one by one they are behind you and you are one closer to baby. :-)

And don't give too much credit to how many centimetres you are. It can change depending on who measures you and how good they are at it. I was told I was 5 cm even though I felt I was in transition and it floored me! But my body said "its ok, you will be pushing in 5 contractions". I was, and our second was born about 15 minutes after I was told I was "only 5cm". Now I know that I will trust my body, not the measurement.

I think important too is to know that what is most important is having a healthy baby, even if it means that in the end things didnt go exactly as you'd imagined.

You're already doing the number one thing that you should - educating yourself in all the options! So kudos to you. I think it's wonderful that you're exploring many methods, because I do think it can become easy to put all your hopes and faith into one method and when it fails in the middle of labor, it's often too late to think up a secondary strategy.

I think you're doing wonderfully on your own and so I suppose my advice would be to be firm in your mind as well your body. It's wonderful to condition your body, but sometimes it's the mind that gives out first and hardest. Go into birth as firm in your choice as you were in your childbirth education.

I'm sure your midwife or doula has already spoken to you about a birth plan - even if the hospital or place you intend to give birth does not officially accept them, they can really help your midwife, doula and birthing partner to understand your wishes.



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