Is It Possible To Have A Painless Childbirth? This is How To Prepare

Everyone says childbirth won’t be easy and painful. And you don’t know when. Perhaps your mother’s or family’s experiences can give you an idea of how it might feel. It feels like you are totally in control of the entire process.

Birth Story

My first labor was 30+ hours long. My entire birth plan covered everything from the beginning of labor to delivery. My friends discussed epidurals, uneventful delivery and I wanted to have an unmedicated baby. An epidural may increase the likelihood of needing other medical intervention. You might end up having to go under a C-section.

I wondered what the hell it would be like for women to have endured childbirth since centuries. I wanted to get pain relief without the use of drugs.

To be ready and informed, I started work. We took a course on childbirth preparation at our hospital. I borrowed a lot books on childbirth at the library, including Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth. My husband looked at me with concern when I brought home the books, but did not show any interest in adding to his book collection. Maybe I thought my husband would figure it out by himself, or that at the very least I could teach him. I did have a written birth plan.

It was so stupid. During contractions, you just want to get through them one by one. At the 20th minute, my husband whispered into my ear that I could still have an epidural. I was ready for it. This could have been a sign that the baby was on its way.

Unfortunately, having the epidural done at the last moment seemed to have increased my labor duration. For me, the pushing stage, which is the final and most important step, took 6 hours. This stage often lasts half hour to an hour for most women. My baby eventually required vacuum extraction. It is easier with epidurals.

Things I Learned from My First Childbirth

If I could, I would definitely have hired a Doula. It can be costly, but I would have hired someone to coach me.

  • Check your vaginal health before getting an epidural. I was told to limit your vaginal checking so that you don’t get distracted by the number. (This indicates how far you have dilated). I didn’t get checked immediately before the epidural. Turns out, I was already at transition, 8cm dilated. It’s no wonder that I finally gave in to the epidural.
  • My partner should be clear about what I want. This was not something we could predict beforehand. However, he did wait until about 20 minutes to watch me in pain before recommending the epidural. However, women tend to be more open to suggestions during labor and he certainly made that happen.
  • Change your position. I had forgotten how to change positions so I didn’t know to tell my husband. I was in bed most of the time during labor.

You Want to Do It Again?

It’s quite remarkable that women decide after the first attempt that they will repeat it. But, the body is able to learn from the first experience.

I wanted to be able refresh my understanding of the process, and do what I could to help my husband. He wouldn’t be able to read books.

Online courses have grown exponentially since my first period.

I highly recommend online courses for couples who are looking to have an unmedicated, intervention-free birth. I’ve tried many and these are my favorites. They are perfect for both partners as well as pregnant women.

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