Monday, January 9, 2012

how did you do it natural?

I wish everyone could be a doula before they have their own babies.

Or at least have more experience with birth ... I guess in the olden days family and friends helped out in each others' births, but now that's pretty hard to come by.  If you ever get the opportunity, go to a birth!

The birth of my little girl was wonderful.  I've had a few people ask how in the world did I do it without anything??  Well honestly, anyone can.  Your body knows how.  You just go with it.

After contemplating things a little more, I've come up with a few tips that worked great for me:
  • First and foremost:  birth is 100% do-able.  Our bodies were made to do it, and we as women do know how.  We know better than doctors do.  Don't ignore their experienced advice, but do not doubt yourself.
  • Hire a doula.
  • Make sure your birth partner is positive and confident.  If he/she is not, definitely hire a doula.
  • Ignore labor until you can't ignore it any more.
  • Find some way to relax.  Either fork out some dough to do a hypnobirthing or bradley method class, or just figure it out on your own.  For me, it was moving and deep, slow breathing.  The stronger the contraction, the deeper the breath I took.  I decided if I could still breathe, then I was doing just fine.
  • With each contraction, do some sort of downward motion with your body, and whisper outloud or in your head, "Open open open open!"  The thought translates physically ... give it a try.
  • Don't pay attention to the clock.  Everyone else in the room will do it for you.  Just get through the contraction, and rest or joke around between them.
  • Try to smile.  It will make you and everyone else in the room feel better.  Set the exapmle for how you want everyone else to behave ... I promise, you're not dying.
  • Underestimate your progress.  It's always better to be pleasantly surprised.
  • Worried your baby will just fall out?  You'll feel it before it comes.  That urge to push is something else!
  • Worried about the ring of fire?  Yes, it's intense.  So try to back off on the pushing, give your skin a chance to stretch out a bit.  But if you're like me and the urge to push completely overrides that burning sensation, then don't worry about it ... a couple of stitches are fine.
  • I'm sure you've heard this over and over again, but it's true ... once that little on is lying on top of your belly, all the pain will be completely forgotten.  And if you did it without drugs, you'll be amazed at how you feel like normal almost instantly.  Besides a slight case of the shakes.  :)
Above all, have a good idea of what you expect from the experience, do all you can to make it happen, and then just let everything go and enjoy the ride.  I promise it will be one you will never forget!


  1. I love this list. I agree with it all, especially the breathing part. That was the hardest thing for me--I kept starting to hyperventilate, and because of that, Kent was super helpful with simply telling me to slow down and breathe! And that's all I needed--just someone to tell me to slow down those breaths.

    And with the last point--now that I know how great it is to recover from a drug-free birth, I'm going to avoid an epidural when I have the next ones. It's SO wonderful to just have the baby and be done!

    I remember after Ellie was born I just kept saying "I did it. I can't believe that I just did that!" It was incredible, and ever since that moment I feel like a more powerful version of myself.

  2. Great info and advice Allie! I'm taking notes. :)

  3. Becca isn't it amazing? Geez it's the most incredible, empowering thing. I understand that most ladies prefer to dodge the bullet on that one, but to actually experience it ... it's quite indescribable.

    Lauren ... you'd better write a detailed story of your birth and let me post it on here!