In this blog post I will tell you the secrets to “going drug-free” when you have a baby.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if it was that easy?
Well, it’s not. It’s really, really, really hard.
But I do have some suggestions that might help you in achieving natural childbirth.
Here we go.
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P R E P A R E
Whenever I hear women say:
"I want to try to go natural but we'll see how it goes when we get there."
I want to reply: "Want it more.”
Trust me, just the desire to go drug-free is not enough to get you through labor.
No one can appropriately describe how challenging labor is
on your body AND on your mind.
Your body will be screaming for relief and we all know that drugs are an option
and a readily available one at that.
All you need to do is simply request that the anesthesiologist pay you a quick visit.
Heck, you don’t even have to request it…
in my case, he just came in to cheerfully introduce himself as I writhed in pain.
If you want to have a drug free birth, prepare for it.
Train your mind to send that anesthesiologist on his way.
Train your mind to be able to say “Nice to meet you but no thanks,”
even if you yell it at him. It’s harder than you think.
Preparing doesn’t mean reading (but that helps too).
When I say “prepare,” I mean, go to a class where they will help you achieve the birth you want.
They can't guarantee it but the right teacher will work with you
to make that birth as likely as possible.
Yes, good classes can be pricey but, again, if it’s something you really want then they're worth it.
H A V E A C O A C H
Train your husband. There are some people who think it is better
to have a woman to help you through your labor. I don’t.
Your husband had a big part in the making of this little being that’s trying to rip his or her way out of your body… not to mention that that baby has half of your husband’s DNA.
As corny and sappy as it sounds, childbirth is emotional and very much so a bonding experience.
I think your husband is the person that it should be shared with.
For me, my husband is the only person who I feel 100% comfortable telling exactly how I feel and being totally vulnerable with and that level of trust is what you need when you’re in labor.
He won’t regret being a part of it... he might be scarred for a couple of days (or weeks)
following the experience but he won’t regret it.
Giving him an active part in the birth means that he’ll too have to prepare along with you.
He needs to know what to expect, how to help you, what to say to encourage you,
what to do in tough situations, what to say to medical staff, etc.
If you don’t think your hub can’t handle it (and it’s not for wusses, I’ll tell you that much)
then have a support person who can basically act as your husband.
Like I said, I don’t think it’s “best” to have a woman helping you during labor…
but you need a coach who will be able to keep the goal in mind.
Watching someone in pain isn't easy so who ever your coach is needs to be able to look beyond it
and continue encouraging you to not ask for drugs.
Some people choose to hire a doula since they are trained in this sort of thing.
Their services are pricey… but worth it.
In the end, you need a coach and an advocate during labor if you’re trying to refuse drugs.
At some point they’ll have to speak for you and you want them to say exactly what you’d say.
Whoever you choose that to be, just make sure you’re entirely comfortable and trusting of them.
T R U S T Y O U R D O C T O R
Actually, love your doctor.
Make sure you’re comfortable letting them know that you’re trying to go drug free
and make sure they’re supportive of that.
My doctor is not known as a popularly known “drug free enthusiast” but his attitude towards childbirth is that it’s a normal function in the life cycle of a woman.
He is willing to let the body do what it does and help it along the way.
That's why I go to him... and I love him.
R E M E M B E R
These are just a few things that helped me get through my long labor.
*The pain you feel is purposeful. Your body is actually doing something good.
There is a difference between the pain from breaking an arm and the pain from labor.
Your body isn't using the contraction pain to tell you that something is wrong... the pain from a contraction means that a baby is moving on out!
*You will never be allowed to make a choice when it’s a matter of life and death.
If your doctor assesses that you need a c-section,
he won’t ask you if you want a c-section, he’ll just do it. that would be insane.
Knowing this little tid bit helped me to ask for things like
taking fetal monitors off (they are so annoying)
or being able to walk around (I didn’t labor on the bed at all).
*Remember that it will be over. You will think that it won’t be.
But it will be. That baby will come out. At some point you’ll want to give up—
that’s what they call the transition stage— and right when you think that…
it’s almost over. Remember that.
Note to self: remember that.
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See? Easy, right? Riiiiiight.
There is nothing easy about a drug free birth but being ready for it helps.
I personally think of it as a goal not as something that will just happen.
Like with any goal, there are steps to take to make it a reality.