I’m a ticking time bomb over here at 37.5 wks. pregnant with Baby Two.
The first time I gave birth I had to learn a lot about my body. It was a topic that I had avoided for many years (thirty-three to be exact). So when I started to even think about natural childbirth, it felt like a bit of an ignorant pipe dream.
Could I? Should I? Why would I want to endure that? Do modern women really chose such a barbaric option, or is that just for gypsy women with no health insurance?
If you find yourself asking any of these questions, but are still intrigued whether you could achieve your own natural childbirth, we are going to first start by opening your mind to the possibility.
This post is part of a multi-post series on my experience with natural childbirth (Sign up to follow the blog and you will get an alert when the rest of the series is added): resources I found to open my mind to the possibility, the benefits I found in favor of it, actually experiencing it with Baby One, and trying to wrap my mind around the idea of doing it again with Baby Two.
Your mind is incredibly powerful. It will greatly help or hinder you during childbirth. For that reason, we will start there.
Here is a list of the best resources I found to help consider a natural childbirth, and if the possibility was really for me.
- Book – Expecting Better – This book is a great place to start, natural birth or not. It helps you to better understand all the “advice” (like “Don’t eat cold cuts”, “Don’t sleep on your back”, “You need a c-section if you had one before”, etc.) we receive as pregnant women, so that you can make educated decisions for yourself based on actual statistics.
- Movie – The Business of Being Born – you can find it for free on YouTube. The documentary shares the opinions of doctors that are for and against births by midwife. You get to see what natural childbirth looks like, something most women have never seen: minimal intervention, not hooked up to an I.V., fetal monitor, catheter, and epidural. Painful, intense, beautiful, and empowering, There is even a story of one woman that planned to have a natural birth but ended up in the hospital because of complications with her baby. It reminded me that I feel blessed to have the option of western medicine, when necessary, to support my birth wishes.
- Hire a Midwife – I liked my OB-GYN, but at 32 wks. pregnant I finally decided that if I wanted to try for a natural birth, a midwife was my best bet. OB-GYN’s are trained in all the ways to intervene during childbirth. Most have had minimal experience with a natural childbirth. I thought, if it it foreign to them, how are they going to keep me calm and reassure me that everything is normal? I found a midwife that was approved to deliver at the hospital I planned to deliver at. I decided to meet with her, and was impressed how much we discussed the mental side of childbirth and what kind of experience I wanted. There were far fewer rules about how things had to progress. It was about letting my baby and body do their job, and my midwife would be there to coach me through it all.
- Book – Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – This book is divided in to two parts. The first part is natural birth stories. The second part is observations from Midwives that live on a farm in Tennessee and have attended thousands of natural births. I didn’t have you start here, because the book is pretty hippy, but awesome, once your mind is ready for it. Please do not skip this resource if you are considering natural birth. You will gain an entirely new perspective on birth from what our western culture teaches. Plus, Ina has a bit of a sense of humor, “There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ, they would brag about it. So should we.”
- Positive Affirmations – Birth will be an experience like no other. Give yourself the best possible chance of dealing with it by having a phrase or two that you can repeat when you start to doubt yourself. For the first birth, mine was something along the lines of: You are strong, capable, and safe. Your body was meant for this. A similar one that I found for birth two is: Your body is not a lemon. The Creator is not careless. Your body was made to give birth.
That’s a lot of homework right there. But you’ve got time. Start with one or two of resources and see if you are still interested. Or just come back to this blog for part two: The Cliff Notes Version of Why I Decided on a Natural Birth (Sign up to follow the blog and you will get an alert when the rest of the series is added).
Have you checked out the recent release of my second children’s book? My Mom is the Worst is available now!
If you have a positive affirmation you plan to use for childbirth, please share it in the comments.