I’m thinking about having a natural birth for my first baby (but not opposed to pain relief) when I suggest it most people have horror stories about emergency sections due to exhaustion etc etc and the advice is ‘take all the drugs you can get’! Looking for a more balanced view and some positive stories, thanks
Educate yourself on natural birth, arm yourself with tools to use (hypnobirthing, active labour positions, birth ball, water, heat pack, massage, tens machine, music, a great birth partner and or doula, as well as a midwife who will support you). The contractions were intense but I was relaxed and went with it. Were made to do this and have been doing it for thousands of years. Ignore the naysayers, you can do whatever you put your mind to. Laine
I had both of my babies fully natural (no drugs) and yes it hurt and yes it doesn’t make me feel like I have to rush back for the pain but everything was 100% fine no stitches no emergency csection no medical intervention my midwife was there and just talked me through and helped me out wherever possible smile emoticon everything was perfect. Heidi
With my first I was pretty unprepared and had pain relief early on. With number two I used a TENS machine from early Labour and it helped a lot. Then hot showers then pain meds later. Talk to your midwife about what you want to do, research different natural ways and always be flexible because nothing always goes to plan. One moment at a time. Sharon
I had a natural birth, only used heat packs and had a shower for relief. I never went in not wanting any drugs, was happy to take them, but I was able to manage the pain by breathing deeply thru my contractions. I never ended up with a horror story birth either. He came out after roughly 1.5hrs of pushing. The pain is intense but you cope and forget it in seconds once you meet your baby. Mel
Ive had 2. Both naturally, no drugs. We had an agreement pre labour that if I asked for pain relief 3 times then I would get it. So glad we did because i did mention it once with my first and it felt better just to say it. The most painful part for me was the labour right before getting ready to push. It differs for everyone and as said above you cant always plan. Larissa
My first I was only at the hospital for 5 hours before dd was born I did use gas and pethadine but both were my choice so probably could have not used them but was so scared of what was happening. With my second I was at hospital for 4 hours and only used gas. I wasn’t as scared and knew I could trust my body to do what it had to do. I used music low lights and a lot of visualization to get me through. Kate
Everyone likes to share their horror stories! Each and every birth is different and what happened for someone else is unlikely to happen to you. I would definitely recommend a natural birth, a C-section is a major surgery and should only be considered if it’s a requirement, not just because you’ve heard horror birth stories and they’ve scared you. At the end of the day, I did have a reasonably traumatic birth but I don’t remember the pain anymore (9 months ago) and I would definitely go back and do it again! All I can remember is getting to hold my beautiful daughter for the first time. Monique
I went in as a blank slate with both of my births with the positive affirmations in my head and ended up with two beautiful natural births only using a little gas it can be done just mind over matter is my belief xx all the best. Sue
I had an epidural with both my kids, personal choice but I don’t cope well with pain and found I could totally relax until the pushing stage, then enjoy bub without any pain from necessary repairs down there (2nd degree tear both times, big head bubs!). My SIL used a TENS machine which she found great. The best birth plan is one you are comfortable with, is flexible to change and gets the baby out safely! Rhiannon
I had my daughter natural in the water. Had some gas but that’s all. If you don’t need the drugs don’t take them ! Your body is made to do it, it’s hard but totally achievable and you’ll be so proud afterwards. If intervention is needed that’s different but I wouldn’t take drugs just by choice. Amanda
I had a natural birth (a little gas at the end to help). Was induced at 5pm Tuesday laboured comfortably until 3 pm Wednesday when they broke my waters and then baby was born at 5pm. I used the bath and shower to help with pain relief which worked brilliantly. My labour was straightforward, No horror stories here! Just go in with a positive attitude, I did and it got me through! You can do it! Ellen
I had gas and thats it and did have much as made my light headed best thing was being in the shower on a gym ball and my labour was 6.5 hours long. I did say to my husband when i was in lsbour that i thought i needed the drugs but it was too latei was slready 8cms i didnt tear so had no stitches i went at 37 weeks and my daughter was 7p 4o just see how you go you will know. Good luck. Jamiee
I did a calm birthing class. It prepares you for the natural process that your body goes through. I am a first time mum and my labour, even though it wasn’t a walk in the park, was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again!!
Don’t listen to anyone that says you can’t do it, you can, and if medical intervention is needed, that’s ok too… Believe in your body, it knows what it is doing! Celia
Not every labour is bad. I was induced after my waters broke. I had my DD within 3 hours 48 mins from the time the drip went in. I asked for gas but after a couple of breaths I gave it up. It made me feel funny and I didn’t like it. So I did it with no drugs. It hurt but breathing and the right position helped. I only had a minor tear so only three stitches. When I’m asked how was my labour my answer is ‘good’. Everyone is different and it is nerve racking thinking about what can happen. At the end of the day you can’t really control what happens. The Drs and nurses will look after you and soon you will have your own story to tell. Good Luc. Holly
I had c section for both my children due to emergencies. For me that meant I have never experienced Labour I didn’t get the surprise of nature choosing their birthdays, I’ve never experienced contractions. By advice is choose a decision you are happy with as you may never have opportunity again. Both ways of birth have difficulties but that’s normal. If I could go back and things were perfect I would choose natural. Many first time parents want a drug free birth bit don’t let ignorance be your guide. It is offered for a reason. And just because you have asked for it to be available doesn’t mean you have to have it. It just means it’s available when needed. You need to make your decision and not let others persuade you. Kaitlyn
Oh my people don’t help at times. I have had 4 children and no drugs. It can be done. Just kind of go with the flow. If you are willing to just go with the flow you will and don’t get stuck on one thing you will be right. Having a healthy mum n bub is what matters most. Good luck. MichelleI also had a natural birth! Wasn’t opposed to drugs just is something you can’t possibly decide until you are actually going through it! Go in with an open mind! No one can tell you how long your labour will be nor how painful! It can’t be described! Try not to over think things now there is seriously no point in stressing! Deal with everything as it comes! Goodluck, Sarah
I’ve had 5 natural, drug free births & with my 1st I was also told a lot of horror stories. I chose to ignore them and try anyway – if you mentally prepare yourself and there are no complications, then it’s not as bad as most people make it out to be. I Won’t lie, it hurts like hell & you can start to doubt if you can do it BUT what helped me through was concentrating on each contraction as they came & getting through. (Contractions was the worst part for me).
When it came time to push I was relieved, that part was easier and less painful than I expected. Hellz
I had a natural birth it was awesome,, painfull yes but it was not unbearable pain,, sooooo glad I did it,,
2nd one was Emergency ceaser and I had so much pain for weeks after,,
If I had to do it over again I would still go natural. Andrea
If you want to go natural, steer clear of the horror stories, and tell people not to tell you any negative birth stories. If you want to read a whole bunch of positive birth stories, I’d suggest you read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide To Childbirth. That was the first thing that gave me alot of confidence in myself! After alot of mental prep and learning some visualisation and relaxation techniques, I was able to have a very bearable labour, drug free. A couple of hiccups during the birth, but I stayed relaxed and calm. Hope you find something that works for you, drugs or drug free. Good luck! Jessie
I gave birth naturally and it was the best I did. Weird and strange huh? Well u can actually feel the bby coming out. Like u can feel where exactly he/she is. Its amazing yes it’s painful but totally worth it. BC its natural and surreal. Its all part of nature and u feel accomplish knowing u did it the old fashion way. Don’t get me wrong some women aren’t meant to give birth like that. Due to different things. But if u can go for it. If u feel u can’t take the pain. Then go for the pain killers. Erika
Don’t listen to people’s horror stories – no 2 births are the same. Just do what you feel you want to do and what you can cope with. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in your labour so try not to stress too much about it. I’m due with number 2 next week and I’m just going in with an open mind. Brooke
I had a 19 hour labour with no pain relief did 10 hours and 5cm by myself on the couch and a further 9 in hospital i mostly just stood in the shower at the hospital its pain full but i really enjoyed my whole labour. If its something you really want to do you can. Beauly
My 2 natural births were the most amazing experiences. One was harder than the other but still wonderful. I’m grateful for the ability to have 100% natural delivery and was not opposed to intervention if it was needed. Read the book Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. Good luck. Sabina
I had a long but natural labour. Started monday morning and delivered wednesday afternoon. Just trusted my body and rocked side to side with the contractions. Used gas in the late stages of labour and had bub naturally. Although long, wouldn’t do it any other way. Think about it, millions of other women do this daily and in reality, the birth and labour process is only a couple of days of your whole life, don’t sweat it. Kate
I have a similar story to many of the posters here, natural birth, some gas. It definitely can be done, I wasn’t anti drugs at all, just had an order in my birth plan of what I would do next if something stopped working eg tens machine, gas, pethadine, epidural, I didn’t get past gas.
I also highly recommend reading juju sunjin’s book Birth Skills, really helped with natural pain management techniques and loads of positive birth stories. Louise
ive had 3 naturals. With my first i had gas and a shot of pethadine but that just madd me ill. 2nd they offered my water injections but they were more painful than giving birth. 3rd i wanted an epi just so i could experience my last child pain free…unfotunately shd was too quick so only had gas. But fortunately i recovered very well almost instantly with no pain. Megan
I have had 3 completely natural births, my last being a natural drug free breech delivery! If you have your mind set on trying to have a natural delivery then please go with it as I had every desire to my children the way I wanted to birth them and I had as you did people telling me I was crazy and that I needed to have ever drug I could get! I didn’t have any pain relief with any of my births and that’s the way I wanted! As long as the people close to you support your choices and your midwife does as well then you should be able to have the birth you want! Good luck with it all and I hope that your birth goes the way you want it too! Naomi
With my first i had the same feedback. ‘Take the pain relief go the drugs etc etc’ but i got my mindset to be, yes its going to be painful but I’ve never been through it before why not try without jumping straight to drugs. So i did. I was lucky in the sense he was a 7 and half hour labour all up. Thats from waters breaking til delivery. My 2nd i then went on to do the same ended up with a pethidine shot right before i delivered because they didn’t check my dilation so it started to work after she was out. Third was in induced but no drugs at all. All my babys have slowly stayed inside longer. First 35+3, second 37+6 last induced at 39. But they’ve also gotten bigger. 8 pounds, 9 pound 1, 10 pound 10.
Also consider your pain tolerance and remember that labour is a different kind of pain because although it could be 2 hours or could be 24+hours the pain does end and you end up with the most amazing gift from that pain. good luck mumma. Jennifer
I wanted a natural birth for my first. I say don’t go into labour being close minded about these things. At the 19 hour mark of my natural labour, I couldn’t take it anymore (I was still at 3cm) and asked for the epi. I felt bad at the time for giving in but it was something I don’t regret doing now.
I will say learn good breathing techniques. Without them, I think I would have caved a lot earlier. Also look into different positions to help with each contraction.
Write out a birth plan so your midwives know what you want and can help give you the experience you want.
Just keep an open mind. Dont let people talk you into getting the drugs. What worked for one woman, might not work for another. Sara
I had all 3 of my children drug free. It hurts and it’s hard work but you can do it, your body is designed for it! Best thing you can do is not put too high expectations on yourself. Don’t go in completely opposed to drugs. Keep an open mind and try it without but if it gets too much you won’t have “failed” by taking the drugs. The duration, pain threshold and individual circumstances will all play a role in how it pans out. Good luck! Bree
Seriously, as soon as you let people know you’re pregnant the horror stories start rolling in! Everyone is different, but I was adament about having whatever pain relief I could get. At the end if the day the choice was taken out of my hands (quick labours with no time for pain relief). I never would have imagined my labours going this way, but it was what was right for MY body at the time. My only advice would be to keep an open mind and just see what happens. Drugs, no drugs, natural, caesar…all that matters is that mum & bub are healthy in the end. It’s ok to have a “plan” but try not to let this be the “be all & end all” in case your body has other plans. Haylee
Intervention begets intervention. If you want a natural birth try and go drug free, try alternative methods like tense machine, massage, hot water and have a good support person and/or consider a doula. I’m not saying say no to drugs but please know that pethadine for instance can alter your consciousness, epidurals confine you to bed and alter your ability to feel your bodies natural urges to help labor thus slowing labor and increasing your chance of assisted delivery. A natural birth, unassisted is the best for you and bub if you can manage it. Tania
I went into labour wanting a natural birth using as little drugs as possible. I was induced, contracting but not dilated enough, went to the bathroom, when the midwife went to monitor bubs heart rate, and couldn’t find it, all MY ideals went out the window. Emergency Caesar it was. Just go in with an open mind, if you need pain relief, ask, if not, solider on. I know I would’ve gone natural, if I could’ve. Best of luck! Felicity
Gave birth for the first time 9 months ago naturally to my beautiful boy , best advice I could lend is go in with a positive attitude and see the pain as productive and don’t be afraid !!!!! Your bodies made for it trust in your will power keep calm and go for it girl !!! Karissa
All labours are different, my first I swore I wast having a pethidine shot but I did as well as gas. My 2nd and 3rd I just had gas and my fourth who is now 8 months old. I did it naturally and he was 9pd 3. I did however take evening primrose and raspberry leaf tablets towards the end of my last pregnancy and I found I was a lot more relaxed. I never tore and yes I was more tired afterwards and a bit achy afterwards. We’re done having babies but would definitely go natural again.
I did get them to have the gas ready in case I changed my mind which they were happy to do. Emma
That’s a shame other mums say that to first time mums really. Everyone has a story and making others feel anxious and scared about birth is a practice that is not necessary. I went into my first wanting a natural pain med free birth and did it with a 12 hour labour and felt wonderful after. Empowering and forgot the pain when I laid my eyes on her. Second the same only 6 hours. My third however decided to take me into an emergency c-section after thinking I was going to have the best birth yet lol. But I would never make another woman feel she couldn’t do it. I would support my friends whatever the road they wanted to take. All I can say is make it clear to your partner and midwives at the time of going in that your plan is to go pain med free. There might be a time you re-think it I will say that but keep visualising what you wanted. From there it is up to you. Believe you can do it, but don’t be upset if you have to take another road. And maybe stop talking to those with horror stories with nothing better to do than scare a woman out of her wishes. Good luck and power to the woman. Karen
Went to hospital to get induced but was already 3cm dilated (had no idea I was in labour). Happened to be a birthing suite free so went straight down. By the time I got there (20mins later) was 5cm dilated and had only felt sort of light cramps. I still didn’t think I was in labour lol. Had my waters broken. Had epidural in and drip in to start contractions. 2.5 hrs of cramps and watching tv. Then the pain started getting bad and realised epidural wasn’t working. Was too late to do anything because I was ready to push. Half hour pushing and baby was born:)
Midwife told me after, that the epidural hadn’t worked at all but she didn’t want to frighten me so didn’t say anything lol. Really grateful because it would have stressed me out. Pain was totally tolerable and didn’t have any other pain relief. Got up 25 mins later for shower and back to room. Felt great and could have left straight away but hospital wanted to keep me in for a day because he was my first. No tearing or anything and didn’t need any pain relief afterwards.
I had an amazing midwife and my partner was a great birthing partner so I was lucky x Jennifer
Both my boys i had natural #2 was induced. Baby #1 i had gas only, if you have a great support around you can honestly do it, he was out on 6 pushes. Baby #2 was induced because of gestational diabetes, i had the gas and water injections. I regret the water injections wish i had gone to pethadine instead, but couldn’t have it due to far along dilated. I was so tired and he was posterior, with baby #2 i was ready for an epidural but my midwife and mum kept me going, did have a mishap losing my baby’s heartbeat and when they found it agaim it was low so they did get me ready for surgery. After half an hour the midwife said if i don’t progress doctors were going to step in with either forceps/c-section, that was it put my mind to it, midwife took my gas away so i could really concentrate on my body and listen to the pain.. from my first push until my baby was out, 5 pushes.
Go in with an open mind, tell your support person/s what you would like because sometimes you may find it hard to make decisions for yourself when it comes to pain relief. If something does happen and they recommend you go for a emergency c-section its not that bad. My friend had a emergency c-section and she said it was because she wasn’t expecting or really thought of it but it was all a rush which really got to her, her second was a planned c-section and she said it was a breeze. Ashlea
I had a natural/vaginal birth with an epidural. I was induced so hard, fast contractions from the get go. I used the gas to get through a good chunk of it but was exhausted and the gas was a great focus for my breathing but it actually made me feel drunk and horrid. So I asked for the epi and it was amazing in the fact that I could then relax and had a sleep!!! Before I had two hours of pushing to get bub out. Everyone’s different and you might surprise yourself with just how strong you are, my husband said he was totally amazed at how I just went into ‘mum’ mode during labour. Good luck, you will be great! Chloe
The best thing about a drug free birth is that as soon as it’s over the pain is gone and you’re not under the effect of any drugs. Your recovery is so fast and you remember everything (the good and bad). Not to mention how proud and satisfied you are afterwards. Such an amazing achievement. Trust your body and listen to what it’s telling you but if you need pain relief then you need it. There’s no medal for going drug free. Brooke
I was lucky had a pretty stress free pregnancy and a straight forward labour. I didn’t use drugs cause it was quick (only 10 hours from established labour) I also had planned to have a water birth but got too uncomfortable ended up giving born on the ground on all fours… All I would suggest is using the tens machine was great for me and kept hubby busy pressing the buttons lol so gave him something to do to help and keep moving around yourself…. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and by no means easy but the feeling after is euphoric and also with no drugs meant i could walk around straight after and was completely lucid throughout…. mind you like I said I was lucky and had a straight forward labour…. If things had gone pear shaped I would have used whatever was needed to get Bubba out…. at the end of the day you just want you and your little one safe at the end of the journey good luck. Kath
I never went into my labour saying I wanted this or that I went in open minded and all was going well until they broke my waters then the pain went through the roof! So then I had an epi. If the pain wasn’t that bad I would have just had gas and that’s it. Not everyone has pain relief but anything can happen and we are lucky enough to have the choice of pain relief or not. I think some people forget women have been giving birth for hundreds of years with no pain relief! I suggest be open minded and if you feel at the time you need the extra help use it otherwise natural is normal…. Just don’t feel like you have failed if you do opt for pain relief it’s there to be used! I wish you all the best Victoria
i went into my 1st with the aim of just taking it as it comes. Other then one panadeine forte at 8am to help me rest through early labour i had nothing was back at hospital at 1230 (woke up at 330 with cramps) i got straight into the hot shower and my son was born at 303pm on the shower floor after 14mins of pushing. once i was in the shower i didn’t feel the contractions i could only tell by my knees buckling. With my second it was much faster! went to bed at 1030 (after doing the deed with baby daddy) woke up at 1130 definately in labour! Woke my partner up to get our son ready and jumped into the shower. Arrived at the hospital with 40 mins to spare. Had to get out of the shower because there was meconium or however you spell it when my waters broke. It all went to quick i dont think my muscles were quite as ready as they were with my first cuz it hurt more but all i had was a couple of puffs of gas right before last push. He was born at 153am i always tell pregnant women too ignore everyone elses birth experiences every woman,labour and baby are different and there is no point worrying yourself silly about something your body was made to do. trust in yourself and don’t expect everything to go as planned. Chanelle
I had both my babies 100% natural – I hate needles so the thought of having an epidural freaked me out even more than having a baby drug free. Yes it hurts but the pain doesn’t last forever… I needed a few stitches with both babies but I healed really quickly! (Pump water bottle by the toilet with salty water in it for a “wash” after every wee helped keep it clean – also using the hair dryer on cool after my showers dried the stitches well)
My advice is to find a good midwife who will work with you – I was lucky enough to have great midwives both times who saw the signs of panic when they started to creep in and were able to calm me down and talk me through it. Natural birth is totally doable!!! No long term recovery needed – I was home within a few hoes of having both my bubs and was even able to pick up my older son from daycare 18 hours after having my daughter!!!! You can do it!!!!! Annemaree
You are entitled to try for a natural, drug free birth if you want. Don’t let other peoples experiences or “horror” stories influence you – this is your pregnancy & your baby’s birth, not theirs. Look into other alternatives like TENS machines, hypno-birthing etc. However, keep an open mind & don’t berate yourself if you feel like you do want to take something for pain or need intervetion when you are birthing. I did hypnosis for my first but he was posterior & i ended up having gas. I still managed to have him naturally. I felt slightly disappointed at the time that I needed analgesia, but in hindsight that is just ridiculous. We are 4 weeks off our guess date for our second & I am still aiming for a natural, intervention free birth. But I’m definately more relaxed about the potential of requiring assistance if I need it. Regardless of how the baby comes into the world, we all give birth. No birth is better or more valid than another. Circumstances may dictate otherwise, but for now, feel happy & positive about the way you want to give birth to your child. Karlie
There is nothing wrong with natural labour and birth. Everyone is different and each experience is different. Some people handle pain better than others. There is pain relief options for those who want it. You don’t have to use them but know that they are there if you need. With both of my pregnancies I planned for a labour and birth that was as natural as possible. With my first I laboured at home for most of my labour. I used panadeine forte in the early stages to get some relief and allow me to doze between contractions. I actually slept between contractions for about 2 hours. I used the shower and the bath and when I went into hospital at 7cm dilated I continued to use the bath. I used some gas during the second stage in between pushing to try and relax my back muscles as it felt they were cramping. I had a vaginal birth with no intervention or complications. My second pregnancy I planned a home water birth. No pain relief at all. Was a wonderful experience and I feel very fortunate that things went well and as planned.
I wasn’t opposed to an epidural with either of my labours if I or my midwife felt it necessary. Sometimes they have a place and can actually help facilitate a vaginal birth. If a labour is stalling and progress is slow, having an epidural can allow the woman to rest and her body to relax. I’m a midwife and I’ve looked after women who have progressed slowly. It may have been a long haul for her up to that point and she is tired. She gets the epidural, is able to get some rest and more often than not they wake up fully dilated and ready to have a baby. An epidural can also help with increasing blood pressure and avoid other interventions to lower it. I made it clear to my midwife that I wanted to avoid an epidural but if she thought that at any point it was in my best interest then I would probably consider it. Karina