If you’re like I was when I was pregnant and you’re reading this post, you probably want to know how to have a natural unmedicated birth.
When I was in the early stages of pregnancy I came across so many women who would offer up their birth stories to me. More often than not, these stories would end with them assuring me that no matter how much I wanted a natural birth, I would end up getting the epidural. “It’s just too painful” they would say.
I was determined to prove everyone wrong. Not only so that they could see that it was possible but also to stay true to my convictions. I’m happy to say I had two natural and unmedicated births that I am very proud of.
Before I give you my 10 tips for how to have a natural unmedicated birth, I want to clarify a few things. This post is in no way to shame anyone who has had a medicated birth. It’s actually to give the mother who wants a natural birth the confidence to do so after they’ve been shamed for wanting one.
Not having a natural birth doesn’t make you less of a mother and in many cases, intervention is needed. No mother should feel ashamed for how their child was born. Every baby is a blessing, no matter how they got here.
Without further ado, here are the things that helped me get through two natural unmedicated births.
Make a List of Why
Why do you want a natural birth? Knowing why will help you feel confident in your decision. Make a list of the reasons why you want this and stick it on your fridge! Having this constant reminder will help set you up for success. It’s crazy the type of determination and motivation a list can give you.
Here was my list:
- Epidurals are known to cause long term back pain
- There is a risk involved in getting an epidural
- My body was created for this
- Women have been giving birth naturally for thousands of years
- It’s natural to give birth naturally
- I don’t personally like medication if I can avoid it
Choose Your Team Wisely
Before I got pregnant I knew I wanted a Midwife. I knew that with a midwife, I would have the same person caring for me from the beginning to the delivery. In most cases, this isn’t true for an OB. While their care may be great, they are not usually present at birth. This was important to me.
Not only this, but I knew a Midwife would cheer me on in my decision to have a natural birth. This was most important to me. They knew what my body was capable of and had the tools I needed to help me access that.
Besides Midwifery care, I was also careful to choose who would be at the birth. From the beginning, I made it clear to my husband who was and was not allowed into the room. Apart from my midwife I had three people in the room for both births; my husband, my mother and my cousin. All three knew my decision to have an unmedicated birth was serious and not to suggest otherwise.
Watch or Read about Natural Birth Stories
I can’t tell you how encouraging and inspirational these types of stories are! When everyone around me was scoffing at my confidence in what my body would be able to do, these women were encouraging me!
Everyone’s journey is different, that’s why it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who will cheer you on, even if they’re YouTubers and bloggers!
You can check out my birth story here
Stay Active from the Beginning
One thing that you will need during birth is ENDURANCE. Being in serious pain for a long time is exhausting! Keeping active during pregnancy will help to keep you strong for the upcoming delivery and keep you focused.
Consider a Water Birth
Having a water birth was one of those things I wanted to have. Due to a few reasons, I wasn’t able to have one. But it would have been my first choice if possible!
Water births have been known to help with pain management. I believe this because when I was in labour, just being in the shower helped with the pain.
To find out more about water births check out this resource here.
Find Your Focus
Besides preparing a birth bag of all the essentials that you will need, it’s also important to make a list of things that may help you keep focus during labour.
Whether it’s music, prayer, a white noise machine, etc. Having these things prepared in advance is key to persevering.
Keep telling yourself that It WILL be painful
This seems counterintuitive, but trust me! This probably prepared me the most. Mental preparation is key and lying to yourself won’t set you up for success. It will hurt and as the pain increases it will only get worse until the baby arrives.
Mentally preparing yourself for this will increase your chances of not giving in to receiving medication.
Remember you DO get breaks!
During labour, as the pain increases, it may get overwhelming. But when you go into labour, knowing that you do get breaks in between contractions makes it easier to endure the pain.
This Mantra Will Become Your Best Friend
“I can do anything for one minute”.
This was my mantra and what got me through labour, especially with my second child.
The pain was so intense and if I didn’t have this focus, I probably would have given in. But knowing what my body was capable of and believing that I was able to do absolutely anything for one minute, I was able to push through.
Be Your Own Advocate
You know your body best. Everyone else is there to help YOU. The only one in charge there is YOU. Don’t allow anyone to bully you into making unnecessary decisions.
This isn’t a call to dismiss life-saving medical advice if it ever came to that. But under normal circumstances, nothing or no one should steer you away from what you know is best for you and your baby.
Use your voice and stand firm in your choices.