11

votes

Giving birth: experiences and advice

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM

I'm about 5-1/2 months pregnant now, and am starting to think about giving birth.

Does eating a Paleo diet during and before pregnancy (but from adulthood, not from the womb) make delivery easier?

Is it possible to have a positive, natural birth experience in a modern hospital? Is it really important to give birth naturally (assuming you have no complications that prevent this), or is it more important to feed yourself and baby well before and after birth, and medications/medical techniques during birth aren't that important? How can I get over the fear of a natural birth? How do you know if a midwife is good or not?

Birth might not have a lot to do with eating, but it is something that our culture tends to do very differently than our ancestors!

9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

(105)

on August 10, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Guess Im baconbitch #2 lol .. I had my son 100 percent naturally in the water 4 hours flat. Honestly it wasn't too bad lol. I'll do it again but it will probably fly out in 2 hours so i better plan for home birth. No offense to women who choose otherwise but I can't imagine doing it any other way. I wrote above at 37 weeks and I'm glad I went through. The idea of an epidural or whatever never crossed my mind you really have to have your mind set. The mind is a powerful thing.

9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

(105)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:50 AM

Haha! You sound like me! I'm definitely going to be tuning out the world with my ipod.. but I doubt the "chill" mix I made will do it for long... Thats cool I didn't get the chance to do a dance class but yes I've come to realize pain is part of life and if you hold onto the fear It only makes things harder.. Of course it will be hard but you don't need to fight your body and make it harder! Thanks for the comments!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 23, 2012
at 02:15 PM

This is great, thank you! Flagged as a "favorite" :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:10 AM

...and just dancing, dancing, dancing, punctuated every so often by doing air punches ala Rocky getting all psyched up for pushing the kiddo out. The biggest thing for me getting over the fear of labor, was letting go of my fear of pain. I did "practice contractions" by putting my hands in bowls of ice water for the length of a contraction for as many reps as I could handle and figuring out to distract myself. I finally came up with a mantra of, "It is just pain." and that seemed to zap my resisting or fearing the contractions.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:59 AM

I danced my butt off during labor, and it was really fun! I've studied belly dance off and on, and took a prenatal belly dance class thinking I'd use some of those moves. I didn't realize until I was actually in labor though that all the new agey meditative stuff and tribal belly dance mixes on my ipod just pissed me off. I ended up scrolling through my other playlists and ended up with loud and thumpy dance music working much better for me. I remember being out on the back deck in my nightgown and wearing big DJ headphones, just as the sun was rising after laboring in the tub all night...

9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

(105)

on February 23, 2012
at 08:49 AM

Cool my mom had me naturally at Santa Monica hospital that was about 25 years ago. Everyone thought she was nutty going 24 hour without a thing! I'm 37 weeks myself and at a "freestanding" birth clinic in Laguna Hills I highly recommend them their the Beach Cities Midwifery and I've received all my care through their midwives and will be going to the birthing center soon! However, I didn't do the Bradley classes so I'm a little nervous but since I've been so physically active the head midwife has reassured me that I will be fine.. dunno but I'm excited! Kuddos to you for doing it back than!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 06, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Yeah, I am not planning to get pregnant soon, but my mom and all her sisters (8 sisters total) all have a genetic disorder that did not allow them to dilate at all. Both my mom and her 2 older sisters almost died during their first labour, and then the doctors caught on and looked for the same problems in all the following births/sisters birthing. I have talked to my OB/GYN about it (for the future), and she thinks there is a good chance I might have the same problems with dilating. It is good to know about the possibility in advance, I can look for other women that experienced c-sections!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 06, 2012
at 02:27 AM

The ADD/ADHD cannot be related to antibiotics (physically, that would not work), so what other medications did you have to take? I am interested in this because my mom and all her sisters have a genetic "error" that does not allow them dilate, so every single one had to have C-sections and all almost died in their first labour. I've talked to my OB/GYN about the future, and she thinks there is a good possibility that I will have the same genetic disorder. I am not planning to get pregnant now, but I'm looking at the possibility of having to have C-sections in the future, so it interests me.

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on August 01, 2011
at 05:14 AM

My favorite song by probably my favorite band. Great info too. Plus 5!

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on August 01, 2011
at 05:12 AM

I should add I also experienced my own kid's birth and while I was terrified before it happened, the birth was a truly amazing experience. I don't really want a second child but I frequently want to experience childbirth again! That's what good hormones will do for you.

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on August 01, 2011
at 05:10 AM

-1 as a female (part-time doula) who has witnessed a lot of births. Thomas, I usually love your comments but this one not only makes birth sound terrifying (which pregnant women don't need) but is also bad advice. Getting the drugs increases the chances of having a C-section, and interupts the hormone cascade (oxytocin! endorphins! so much good stuff) that actually helps mother and child bond. So much has been written about this. The evidence is strong for intervention-free birth when it's appropriate (which is the great majority of the time). (Read Michel Odent's "The Caesarian." He's great.

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on June 23, 2011
at 09:41 AM

Yeah they said he *could* stay behind. However we would have had to buy the plane ticket to wherever the ship was located =\ It just wasn't worth the money for him to stay for 10 days. How exciting he will be there though!! Where are you guys moving to?

5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on June 23, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Congratulations on the birth of your son!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 23, 2011
at 01:21 AM

What a great story and a beautiful baby!

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:27 PM

Can't believe he had to leave 2 days after the birth!

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:27 PM

My husband's in the military too, deployed now but back before I'm due. We'll be moving one month before my due date, so obviously that complicates things :(

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:17 PM

Thanks for this comprehensive information!

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Thanks for the advice! Had a really hard time eating paleo the first few months... and admit I ate a lot of oatmeal. But now I'm back into 100% no problem!

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:04 PM

I actually just went to my first crossfit class. Maybe it's a little crazy to start while I'm pregnant, but one of the main reasons I'm doing it is because I think it will make the labor easier (and its the first time I've lived in an area with a xfit gym)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 22, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Wow, great information!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 22, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Thanks for sharing your stories!

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 22, 2011
at 04:47 PM

The rule is, you can't get in the tub after your water breaks. That's when I think you need it the most. A shower massager whould also be incredible. Too bad no hospitals have one...

6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

(293)

on June 22, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Another vote for saying no to having your water broken. Not only does breaking the water create an avenue for infection to the baby (especially if you're having frequent vaginal exams), it no longer allows the amniotic fluid to equalize pressure on the baby and umbilical cord during contractions. More pressure on the baby can lead to distress and/or the appearance of distress, leading to further interventions.

6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

(293)

on June 22, 2011
at 04:26 PM

Awesome advice.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:27 PM

I'm not sure to what extent pushing is really voluntary, though. I don't think I can take full credit for the effectiveness of my pushing. I focused on relaxing and visualized opening, fwiw.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:16 PM

Control is the aim, true. Maybe what he's saying is that if her contractions (rather than the pushing itself) were very strong, that could have contributed to the fast exit time. My third birth was my fastest: 1.5 hours from entering hospital to birth, and it did seem that the contractions were "harder" or somehow more acute from the beginning. On the other hand, that was my first baby that took more than a single contraction's worth of pushing. I was horrified to learn that many women spend hours with the baby in the actual birth canal.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:08 AM

The gig with pushing is *control* not necessarily being more "forceful." :)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:05 AM

+1 for great advice and encourgement to remain FLEXIBLE and to consider a DOULA. Yes!

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:18 AM

I agree with all the doula, etc advice so I only have a small contribution. Bring a couple of boxes of Coconut water with you to the hospital or make sure there's plenty in your fridge. It'll keep you hydrated so you don't have to be hooked up to the IV. It tastes like liquid gold while you're in labor. No lie.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:07 AM

Some hospitals have birth pools (including the one where I had my second). Even more have tubs that can be used during labor, though not for the birth itself (unless you dig in your heels and refuse to get out, I suppose :)). Definitely something to look at when choosing a hospital.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:11 AM

Great advice to be flexible +1, sometimes planning and mother nature don't mix :)

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:48 PM

good points. +1 for emphatic doula recommendation. also we did hypnobirthing too but it was not a conscious factor when labor started since we ended up in a late stage so fast, no time to work on those scripts : P

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:47 PM

btw, i LOVE your post. youre so right on.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:46 PM

haa!! i totally agree about the pool! nothing felt as good as being in that pool (except eating my super spicy cheese enchiladas) but i swear getting out is like dragging sandbags behind you! its THE WORST!

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on June 21, 2011
at 11:39 PM

Also, I forgot to mention when I had had an epidural, i wasn't allowed to get up and walk around afterwards, I had to wait until the medicine wore off and both times I was in so much pain. After a natural birth, I was up within minutes of giving birth and going to the bathroom and NO pain at all.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:38 PM

I'm guessing you've seen medicated hospital births? How many LIVE animal births have you seen?

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:32 PM

+1 on the doula!! Doula's are incredible resources and will support you and your partner. I believe they will save money in the long run.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:32 PM

bradley methos is awesome, yoga is amazing, hypnobirth is great, doulas are a MUST if you have the cash.

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:30 PM

How to get over the fear? Read, educate, over-educate yourself. A great book is Giving Birth by Catherine Taylor.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:59 PM

I must have been commenting when you wrote this! Sadly, no studies - just personal experiencing squeezing two humans from my body.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Where is Baconbitch and her studies. So far, we've got Miked, Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser weighing in on this subject. I have this sneaking suspicion that none of us knows what the f*ck we're talking about.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:52 PM

All I can say to you is cheers for trying to have a natural child birth. I know the politics can be tough. My sister in law was harangued by other sister in law time and time again for even wanting to have a nat birth.

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24 Answers

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14
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:56 PM

I've had three kids - two natural hospital births, and one homebirth. I'm also a doula.

I can't answer about the Paleo part, as we didn't start that until my youngest was several months old (partially because she had a ton of food sensitivities).

You can definitely have a good natural birth in a modern hospital - my second birth was an absolutely wonderful hospital birth (the first was a not-so-wonderful, though unmedicated, one), and, given free choice, I'd likely choose to have future babies there over a homebirth. However, not all hospitals are created equal. Some have policies very supportive of natural birth (and associated concepts, such as rooming-in and breastfeeding). Others, not so much. While you're legally allowed to refuse any procedure, some hospital's policies definitely facilitate natural birth more than others. You don't want to be fighting the hospital's policies while you're in labor! It's so much nicer to feel safe and supported.

Seriously, I cannot emphasize enough that hospital choice matters, especially if natural birth is your goal. My first birth would likely have been a much nicer experience if I'd paid attention to recommendations and the hospitals' own websites rather than going with the closest hospital.

Medications: Natural birth is, under normal circumstances, the healthiest way for both you and the baby. Medications can have side effects, subtle and major. Natural birth can also be a really empowering, amazing experience. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it, or that it isn't worth it.

That said... if you do end up using medication, you're not screwing up your kid or undermining all your nutrition! People are resilient, and many many kids overcome a less than perfectly ideal start.

What I've observed (and studies support) is that mothers are happiest after births where they feel fully in control of and supported in their choices, whatever they may be. And a happy, functional mother is more important for a baby's physical and emotional health than an unmedicated birth.

Know the pain relief options available to you, medication and non-medical. An epidural isn't the only option.

Reducing fear: It is normal and ok to have fears. I had fears going into my third birth, despite having had two previous births of my own, a lot of training, and a fair amount of experience with birth. The key IMO is not to eliminate the fear, but to acknowledge and accept it, but not dwell on it.

I found reading birth stories of all sorts to be helpful. Good natural birth stories were inspiring. Stories of medicated births generally reinforced my desire to have a natural birth. Stories with bad outcomes helped me address my fears. Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent is one book that I felt really helped in that respect - the stories really run the gamut.

A lot of people find hypnobirthing (usually better with an instructor rather than just the book) or hypnobabies to be helpful. I tried hypnobabies during my last birth, and can't unreservedly recommend it because there were some tracks I found unhelpful and even disturbing, but I do think it was helpful for reducing my fears overall and a lot of people have really good experiences with it.

Midwives: There's really no way to know for sure. Some of it comes down to personality match and circumstances of the birth. But you can tell a lot from the prenatals. Does she take adequate time and attention to listen to and address your concerns? Are you and the midwife generally on the same page? When you're not, does she express her opinion but respect your wishes, or are you having to fight? If you feel like you're fighting every step of the way, labor will probably be the same. What is your gut feeling? Do you "click" well? What is her reputation in the community? What happens if she isn't available at the time of the birth, or you're risked out of midwifery care?

If you have natural parenting groups (online or in-person) and LLL groups are good sources of other people's experiences with midwives and hospitals (LLL can't provide recommendations, but individual meeting attendees can). Mothering.com has a "Finding Your Tribe" forum where you can post asking for recommendations in your area. And your midwife probably knows which hospitals are going to be best for natural birth.

Good luck, and I hope things go well for you!

13
Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:43 PM

I did the hypnobirthing course - and it was great for the pregnancy - not super great for me for delivery.

I was active during pregnancy - loads of walking, twice a week yoga and a lot of swimming. I totally recommend swimming - it feels great when you are a whale becasue you are weightless - the only bad thing about swimming is getting out of the pool at the end.

DEFINITELY GET A DOULA if you can afford it. There should be one person in the room that is there for YOU. I wish I had a doula for the birth of my son - I think that it would have gone better had someone been advocating my wishes after 4.5 hours of pushing.

Inductions are a total bummer - but I can say after going 16 days overdue - man I was ready to have that little person. My son was born with aid of forceps (he was stuck sideways) and I was so happy to have him finally - but the actually birth was not as we had planned it at all.

BE FLEXIBLE and roll with the punches. AND don't get fixated on the birth - all the fun stuff happens after anyways ;)

CONGRATS and good luck - and no matter what happens - you will do great and you will have such a gift at the end!!

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:48 PM

good points. +1 for emphatic doula recommendation. also we did hypnobirthing too but it was not a conscious factor when labor started since we ended up in a late stage so fast, no time to work on those scripts : P

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:46 PM

haa!! i totally agree about the pool! nothing felt as good as being in that pool (except eating my super spicy cheese enchiladas) but i swear getting out is like dragging sandbags behind you! its THE WORST!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:47 PM

btw, i LOVE your post. youre so right on.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:11 AM

Great advice to be flexible +1, sometimes planning and mother nature don't mix :)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:05 AM

+1 for great advice and encourgement to remain FLEXIBLE and to consider a DOULA. Yes!

8
Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:23 AM

Here's some advice that I gave to a friend. It is a bit rambling, so I apologize in advance.

This is based on my education as a Hypnobirthing instructor and being a member of their forum for +10 years. Although I have not birthed, I have seen many (human and animal) and IMHO natural, home births are the way to go for both the health of the baby and mom.

Take a Hypno birthing course. It is less about hypnosis, more about meditative states, relaxation, and getting around the hospital policies that cause a cascading effect leading to CSections and other medicalized births. Not all instructors are great, so do your research and find someone who is very involved in the birthing community and is either a doula or midwife as well as HB instructor.

Reading the HypnoBirthing textbook is not enough and a good instructor will teach you how to follow your body's needs and to maneuver in the medical system: http://www.hypnobirthing.com/.

{I never taught the courses, as I was just interested in the hypnosis and pain control aspects, but it was a GREAT class to learn the history of birthing and all the completely unnecessary policies in today's childbirth practices. I've stayed involved in the online forum and get daily updates w/r/t what is happening in medicine and birthing with an eye on natural childbirth.{

Things to remember during your birth: - THE BIGGIE - you need to trust your body and you have the RIGHT to refuse service. If you don't want the doctor to do something, or if they are trying to get you to do something, it is your right to say no. Make sure you have a birthing plan and know the things RNs and Drs do to get you "off your plan". Also know that your baby might make a decision during the birth, so be prepared to go with what your body and your baby needs.

Listen to your instincts as they are there to protect you. You'll have surges of Oxytocin which will encourage the birth, raise your discomfort threshold, and allow you to bond with the baby. There is a reason people get addicted to Oxy, it is a great, warm, loving high, so try to let your body provide it rather than the synthetic chemicals that don't quite work exactly the same way.

Make sure you have the family/friend/spouse/lover support that you want and that they know in advance of your wishes. Go over your birthing plan with them, with the knowledge that all births are individual and that the baby may make some decisions that veer from the plan.

Births make a lot of money for the hospitals and the MBAs at the top place pressure on the Drs, RNs, and staff to remain "productive". Many hospitals have a 10 hour "turnover" strategy for birthing, similar to a restaurant wanting the tables to turn to produce higher profits. This is why many women are pushed into receiving Pitocin, rather than other methods to encourage birth. (Sperm is a great ripening agent, but when was the last time you heard about any couple being encouraged to fool around in the hospital when their baby's delivery stalled?)

Read the link below regarding Pit. It is scary to know how it is being used. ABSOLUTELY say no to Pitocin or any "ripening agents". There are many FUN ways to do the same thing and don't involve meds NOT CURRENTLY APPROVED BY THE FDA for speeding birth. http://www.theunnecesarean.com/blog/2009/7/6/pit-to-distress-your-ticket-to-an-emergency-cesarean.html

-Don't birth on your back, it decreases the space the baby has by up to 30%. http://midwifethinking.com/2010/12/03/shoulder-dystocia-the-real-story/

-You don't need vaginal exams as they'll slow your progress and hurt. Vaginal exams yield no statistically reliable data as you are an individual, not a group. When you start ripping off your clothes and wanting to push, you'll be having your baby soon. Just chill, EAT, drink (hydrate!), take a shower, make out with your man...these are all good things for a good birth. Birthing is natural and not a medical procedure.

  • Don't "push" until your body says push. I don't care what the nurse or midwife is telling you, your body knows the truth and won't want you to push too early as you'll likely tear.

  • keep moving, you don't need to be attached to a fetal heart monitor 7/24, despite what the hospital says is their policy. Movement and rocking your hips is very important to ease the baby through your hip bones.(Play some good Latin music in the background and plan to keep moving.) By keeping women on their backs and still, it impedes this process and increases the pain, especially during transition when your hips need to open. It is best to be have your upper body supported during transition by a sling or person. Here's a photo: http://www.alternative-mama.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/nora2.jpg http://www.childbirthconnection.org/images/labor/supported_squat_birth_sling.gif

  • water births and birthing centers are GREAT --- be in control of the experience you want. Personally I think home births with a doula are best, w/r/t the health and safety of the baby and allowing the family to bond peacefully.

Check out this wonderful unassisted home birth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoIiVszj1EU&feature=related

  • say NO to episiotomies. It is safer if you tear than to be cut and there are many ways to make sure you won't tear. Think about how easy it is to tear a piece of paper once the initial cut is made. Your skin is the same way. Once it is cut, the tear grows quickly.

  • Say NO to cord clamping until the baby has been out of your body for at least 3 minutes. http://midwifethinking.com/2010/08/26/the-placenta-essential-resuscitation-equipment/

Read Ina Mae's works: http://www.amazon.com/Ina-May-Gaskin/e/B000APVTXM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

COMPLETELY IGNORE THE "What to expect when you are expecting" books....they are crap and are provided by the medical establishment....Read this instead: http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Womans-Guide-Better-Birth/dp/0399525173

And don't watch those Birthing related shows on TV. They are about ENTERTAINMENT, not reality. Boring births aren't included in the season and those that are less than traumatic are encouraged to be...traumatic. :(

And this: http://www.amazon.com/Whos-Having-This-Baby-Anyway/dp/097512644X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Watch these movies:

http://www.orgasmicbirth.com/

http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/

Watch this to understand why it is important for you to move during delivery: http://www.medicallegalart.com/displayanimation.php?&A=delivery

Big Baby BS: http://enjoybirth.com/blog/2009/06/29/big-baby-bull/

Stats: http://www.marchofdimes.com/peristats/ (Always get the stats for the specific Dr.)

OH, found one more good one:http://www.hulu.com/watch/235715/pregnant-in-america?c=News-and-Information/Documentary-and-Biography

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 22, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Wow, great information!

6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

(293)

on June 22, 2011
at 04:26 PM

Awesome advice.

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:17 PM

Thanks for this comprehensive information!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 23, 2012
at 02:15 PM

This is great, thank you! Flagged as a "favorite" :)

6
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:27 PM

i wasnt on a paleo diet when i was pregnant either time (no one was going to take my cheese enchiladas with hot old el paso sauce and flour tortillas away from me), but i went for natural births.

with my first, i had placenta previa so i couldnt/didnt want to attempt a home birth. found my doc just by asking my girlfriends. i went with an OB because of the placenta previa, and because i did fertility treatments to become pregnant. by the time i was no longer risky, it was so far along in my pregnancy that i didnt feel like switching. my OB was ok with a natural birth up until the very end of things. in my 39 week appointment (on a wednesday), he said that because i had not dropped that he was going to schedule a c-section for that friday. i was really upset and felt betrayed. i left there refusing the c-section and in tears. that next morning my water broke and i sort of went into labor. our hospital allows you to choose whether you want to work with the midwife or the OB when you arrive, so i chose the midwife (terri). really glad i did. policy was that 24 hours after membrane rupture if youre not in labor, its pitocin for you. i also had my doula walking me around like crazy, and trying all the tricks. i was having maybe one mild contraction every 20 minutes or so. long story short, my midwife let me go 28 hours before she had to start the pitocin, but just as they were getting the IV ready, i went into labor so she held off. i dont know if there are words to describe how exhausted i was at this point. contractions take a lot out of you, and this is 28+ hours of them with no sleep. so now im in labor, but not progressing at all. i took the epidural, and immediately crashed into the deepest sleep ever. let me tell you, and this is why i say to keep your mind open, i slept for 3.5 hours- best sleep of my life- and when i woke up, my daughters head was RIGHT THERE. i had been so tired and so CLENCHED UP that my body couldnt do what it needed to do. thank god i had terri and not my OB or i would have been railroaded into the OR so fast, but terri and i trusted both in my body, the process and the little nudge from the epi and it worked out beautifully. when i woke up, terri turned the epi totally off. after it was all worn off and i could feel again, i started pushing. i was in labor for 34 hours, and i had to push for 2.5 hours. i gotta say, it was pretty awful but obviously totally worth is and obviously totally doable.

with my son, i started working with terri again from the start and she followed my whole pregnancy. i was 39 weeks pregnant and measuring at FORTY THREE weeks. i was MISERABLE. i had sciatica and pubis symphasis dysfunction and was just in an extraordinary amount of pain. not to mention huge. i was bigger than my cousin was with her twins. i was getting really depressed and crying all the time. i got bursitis in my left knee from spending so much time draped over the stability ball. i begged terri to induce me, and she did. i went in and got the prosoglandin gel on my cervix and went home. two hours later, contractions started and i went in with my doula. i packed my whole bag of music, eye pillows, massage oil, hot pads, cool pads, etc. two hours later i was giving birth on my hands on knees like a cow in a field. totally raw and screaming and crazy. it was wild. i pushed for ten minutes. this time my water never broke and they had to break it for me as he was on the way out. as with my daughter, i had requested that the cord be left attached until it stopped pulsating, but it was wrapped a couple of times around his neck, so it had to be cut. to be honest, i think THAT is one of the most important things. leaving the cord attached until it drains.

anyhoo, my point is that no matter how you imagine your birth is going to be, its likely to throw you a few curve balls so really i think the most important thing is to relax, stay healthy as best you can, and be open to all sorts of crazy shit. as different as both births were, i was so blessed to have two healthy kiddos and i have NEVER, EVER felt more powerful as i did then. its the most beautiful and trans-formative experience you will ever have no matter how it goes, and thats really the only thing you can bank on.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:32 PM

bradley methos is awesome, yoga is amazing, hypnobirth is great, doulas are a MUST if you have the cash.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 22, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Thanks for sharing your stories!

6
0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:15 PM

I've had 3 births. 2 inductions. 1, I went into labor on my own. Yes, eating a healthy diet helps. A lot. I personally include a lot of carbs. I also practice yoga and I know that helped. With my inductions, I got epidurals. In retrospect, I wish I hadn't. My 3rd birth was completely natural. My water even broke as I was pushing him out. The recovery is SO much easier without an epidural. I was up and ready to walk around literally minutes after I had him. With my first 2, I had to wait til I had feeling back in my legs.

Does it hurt? Hell yes. Do you forget it? Yes. It's very empowering to deliver naturally, too. It also makes breastfeeding easier, cuz baby is less sleepy.

In summary, don't let them induce you. Unless it is abso-friggin-lutely medically necessary. Have a midwife (mine was a hospital, midwife delivered birth). Research and know your rights. Get a doula!!!!

For my next birth, I plan on a homebirth. Just to give you an idea of how wonderful the whole experience is. It's just great.

No judgement if you DO have an epidural, though.

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:32 PM

+1 on the doula!! Doula's are incredible resources and will support you and your partner. I believe they will save money in the long run.

5
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 02:55 AM

Thirty-plus years ago I gave birth at home with a Nurse Midwife. I was living in Santa Monica, CA and received all my prenatal care (which was stunningly good!) through the Los Angeles Childbirth Center in Venice. It was one of the best decisions of my life.

We lived 5 min from Saint John's hospital and set up a backup plan with them and gave them our ins info upfront, toured the birthing suites, etc, in the event of unforseen complications. This was required of all clients of the birthing center.

Before we made our decision, we went to the LACC and talked with one of the Nurse Midwives and toured the center. At that time, they didn't have a free-standing birthing center and all births were home births. At the time, alternative birthing of any kind was such a foreign concept to the culture at large, that people in the neighborhood around the house in which the center was located sometimes picketed the center( religious right types) believing that "home birthing" was some kind of "cover" for them actually doing abortions!

I attended Bradley Method childbirth coaching classes, along with my H. We made wonderful friendships with other birthing couples and with a number of these couples, formed a Mom and babes group that met at our homes once a week for months and for some, years afte our births. Bradley was wonderful for me and I actually took Bradley training and was a Bradley teacher and coach for a few years.

If you are interested in having birth at a free standing birthing center with nurse midwives, you need to be looking at this option NOW as well as choosing some type of childbirth education. There are also excellent breastfeeding classes available now, and some are well integrated into childbirth ed classes. The most optimal situation is that you begin to receive your prenatal care asap from the midwives through a freestanding birthing center, IF that is what you think you want to do. By the time I gave birth, I knew both midwives very well and was very comfortable with them. This is a HUGE asset both from your perspective, as well as theirs.

In my opinion and experience, the way to find out what will work best for you is to know yourself, and to be very honest about your needs, fears and concerns as well as hopes, and to do good research AND, to go and visit/interview in any birthing center/prenatal care situation you are looking at. This also goes for hospital birthing. Go and take a tour.

Here's a link that might be helpful to you:

http://www.birthcenters.org/

http://www.bradleybirth.com/

You have been given much info by others. I would suggest that you read for yourself and get information for yourself. And you should feel very comfortable in thoroughly interviewing ANY provider for your care/birth.

One thing I will say from experiece in today's hospital births both as a supporting older woman friend and as a Motherinlaw is: BEWARE of pressure to rapidly place epidurals. The single greatest criticism I have of hospital care in this time is the very rapid placement of epidurals and the subtle and not so subtle pressure to get one placed practically as soon as you settle in the bed! "The anesthesiologist is on the floor right now and he's got time. We get really busy and when you want it, you may have to wait because of how busy he gets. You'll be really huring by then...blah,blah,blah..."

An epidural may be a choice you want to make and it might be a very good choice for you. But having an epidural placed so early also carries risks, some of which lead not rarely, to c-sections...low BP in Mom...depressed HR in baby...

These are things that when you tour a hospital birthing center you may want to ask about. "Will I be able to wait untill I am in transition to get an epidural placed?"

Remember, whatever your choices, that there will be many good people trying to help you.

The philosophy of your provider and of the institution or free standing birthing center has everything to do with how/in what form that care/help will be offered.

So, the first thing is: do your research and figure out what your needs are. And don't be shy about it. This is your life and your baby. Don't let anyone pressure you into making a choice that isn't yours. Don't allow anyone else's opinions to make you feel "less than" or bad about your needs and your choices.

Oh! And the suggestion to get a doula if you can is dynamite! Do it if you can!

And congratulations!!!!

9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

(105)

on February 23, 2012
at 08:49 AM

Cool my mom had me naturally at Santa Monica hospital that was about 25 years ago. Everyone thought she was nutty going 24 hour without a thing! I'm 37 weeks myself and at a "freestanding" birth clinic in Laguna Hills I highly recommend them their the Beach Cities Midwifery and I've received all my care through their midwives and will be going to the birthing center soon! However, I didn't do the Bradley classes so I'm a little nervous but since I've been so physically active the head midwife has reassured me that I will be fine.. dunno but I'm excited! Kuddos to you for doing it back than!

4
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Well I'm not a woman, but my wife is about a month ahead of you so we've been thinking about this stuff lately. My thoughts:

Giving birth has happened about 12 billion times in the history of the world. We (humans) are pretty good at it, so it doesn't need to be overly medicalized

We started using a typical obgyn at our hospital, but they were not receptive to us refusing a bunch of meaningless (and I'd argue dangerous) tests, so we switched to midwives last month. They're used to dealing with hippies, so dealing with yet another fringe groups of weirdos (paleo people) isn't a big deal for them.

Nutrition is the single most important thing. Check out Robb Wolf's last podcast with Chris Kresser as the guest, they spent the whole hour talking about nutrition and pregnancy

The only other paleo woman I knew of who gave birth said it was no problem, she said that the hospital said she set a record for shortest time in labor. Of course she's also a crossfitter and really strong, so I'm guessing the pushing was more forceful typical.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:08 AM

The gig with pushing is *control* not necessarily being more "forceful." :)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:16 PM

Control is the aim, true. Maybe what he's saying is that if her contractions (rather than the pushing itself) were very strong, that could have contributed to the fast exit time. My third birth was my fastest: 1.5 hours from entering hospital to birth, and it did seem that the contractions were "harder" or somehow more acute from the beginning. On the other hand, that was my first baby that took more than a single contraction's worth of pushing. I was horrified to learn that many women spend hours with the baby in the actual birth canal.

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:04 PM

I actually just went to my first crossfit class. Maybe it's a little crazy to start while I'm pregnant, but one of the main reasons I'm doing it is because I think it will make the labor easier (and its the first time I've lived in an area with a xfit gym)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:27 PM

I'm not sure to what extent pushing is really voluntary, though. I don't think I can take full credit for the effectiveness of my pushing. I focused on relaxing and visualized opening, fwiw.

3
C23ec4b85f3cbeb9ddf6bf78317d56e3

on June 22, 2011
at 01:08 AM

I've had two kids and both of them were delivered naturally. I'm much too chicken to get that thing in my spine... ugh, just thinking about it makes me light headed.

My first time around I was 18 and very scared. it showed... I cried and whimpered, but I didn't yell or lose my temper or anything... I just think that my fear enhanced the pain of the experience.

My second time around I was almost 27 and I slept up until time to push. I mean, I'd wake up every time someone came in the room to check this or that, but then I'd drift back off to sleep. I'd done some martial arts training and learned some meditation concepts by then. So, I had learned that relaxation (mental and muscular) often helps to reduce pain, and (more importantly perhaps) our perception of pain. There happened to be medical students observing and after I delivered the doctor and nurse on duty commented to the students that they just witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime delivery, so I know that this is not the norm... but it is possible.

Now, I'm not trying to say that there is no pain in childbirth; I'm trying to say that the pain is very manageable based on my experience.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:58 PM

When I gave birth I was paleo but didn't know it at the time :) I was very active and worked out. I had both babies in the hospital because their dad thought it was too scary for a home birth. But we had a total hippie midwife we chose for the hospital. I had no drugs and the hospital had no issue with it and in fact, it was a really natural and comfortable setting. It wasn't hospital-y at all.

Keep active and you'll be fine.

Forgot to say - I popped those kids out in 10 minutes. My mom was pissed because I made it look so easy :)

2
86e631c6164bfdf4221434e2d38125b3

(414)

on June 23, 2011
at 12:21 PM

There's a ton of great advice here!

The only thing I want to add is that regardless of how you have your baby - at home, in a bath, in a hospital, by C-section - the MOST IMPORTANT part is that at the end of the day you and your baby are healthy when it's all over.

I had an unexpected emergency C-section with my daughter after 12 hours of labor and 2 hours of horrible pushing. For a while after I had a lot of guilt and bad feelings about my daughter's birth. I was jealous of women who had "easy" labors and births.

Now I realize that my healthy, happy 5 year old doesn't care how she was born, and I don't either!

Good luck with whichever method you choose!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 06, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Yeah, I am not planning to get pregnant soon, but my mom and all her sisters (8 sisters total) all have a genetic disorder that did not allow them to dilate at all. Both my mom and her 2 older sisters almost died during their first labour, and then the doctors caught on and looked for the same problems in all the following births/sisters birthing. I have talked to my OB/GYN about it (for the future), and she thinks there is a good chance I might have the same problems with dilating. It is good to know about the possibility in advance, I can look for other women that experienced c-sections!

2
362018e6c4958214d99e76a485deff72

(130)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:44 PM

Every woman is different however as you ask. My wife gave birth to our son yesterday. She had an easy birth in a pool. Yoga is the primary reason she gives for the relative lack of pain. She said the dep controlled breathing she did worked wonders. It must have as when she went into labour she was initially checked out by the midwife she was told she was in the very early stages of labour. That was until she checked on her dilation and she was 2/3 rds of the way through. At which point she was still doing yoga exercisee. Not only that our boy was almost 9lbs, yet she had no tears and had no pain relief at all either before, during or after giving birth. The midwife was astonished at how easy she found it. In the 5 hour labour she was in real pain for about 20 minutes but it wasn't at anytime unbearable.

5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on June 23, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Congratulations on the birth of your son!

2
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:39 AM

I was induced both times, which led to epidurals. First induction was because she was late, second because of gestational diabetes. Avoid inducing. It seems to hurt more, I think.

Talk to people in your area who have babies! Some hospitals are MUCH better than others in many different ways.

A good midwife should listen to what you have to say, but not be afraid to recommend what's medically necessary. There are a surprising amount of medical practitioner review sites. Sadly, many are for the OB they reside under, but still. Are you from San Jose by chance? Haha.

IF your insurance will allow it, I would just go for the home birth. It's hard to find (and harder to not get crazy looks) but if your hospital is less than wonderful, I recommend the comforts of home. Also, nurses have protocol they have to follow, and that is often not especially natural.

Holy moly I wish I could have afforded a Doula. I might have survived my first without drugs with one. The second, because of the way my induction was handled, I doubt would have made much difference. I was also with a better midwife in a better hospital with better nurses. Anyhow, if you've got the green, throw it here.

As for getting over the fear: Women have been doing this for thousands of years and been fine.

DO NOT be completely against drugs and such. You must have flexibility. Remember that during those thousands of years, many women also died during childbirth. (scared you more, but the medical professionals operate under preventing harm to mother and child). A little pitocin is better than a c-section, you know?

If you want advice on what you need to have once your baby comes home, let me know!

2
967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:08 AM

Best advice is to have a doula or midwife who understands your wishes.

When I was pregnant I had a semi crappy diet. Sugary cereals, 7-11 nachos, and salads were my staples. As much as I want to say diet is makes an impact during birth...it didn't for me.

What made a huge difference is activity level. I was always walking, working in the yard etc. By my 6 month I was on bed rest because I was already dilating. Now here is where the doula comes in....I told my doctor I wanted a natural birth, she laughed at me and said "no, you really don't " when I insisted she said "we'll see". When I finally did go into labor it happened so fast that they couldn't give me anything even if I had wanted it.

I'm grateful because being my first child I was all over the place with emotions and wouldnt have been able to make well thought out choices in the panic of hard labor. Heck i thought I was dying! If my doctor had been around and if there would have been time I have no doubt she would have been pressuring me to get an epidural. If there ever is a next time I would want someone who's been around the block and could be there to support me in whatever I wanted.

Whatever you decide natural, medicated having that support and guidance from a third party will be invaluable.

2
35b6ce9b7f9dda8d40d3e6a1812ab0a9

on June 21, 2011
at 11:43 PM

I've had 3 babies, first a c-section, then a hospital birth with pitocin, epidural and all the other interventions, and finally, 3rd, another completely natural hospital VBAC where my water didn't break till about 5 minutes before birth. Water broke long before labor with the first two. Bellaruth Naparstek's audio program is kindof like Hypnobirthing, but not totally Hypno. I didn't have the time or money for Hypno, but someone gave me Bellaruth and I wound up using her during the 3rd labor. I borrowed HypnoBirthing from a friend and gave up in the first few pages of the manual.

I consider that 3rd one a "Homebirth in a Hospital." If you google that term you'll get lots of stories of natural hospital births and it will really convince you that it's possible. A birthplan, discussed early and signed off on by your doctor (and put into your record so that when your midwife is out of town when you go into labor, the doc on call can't say "we don't do it that way.") is key.

High protein diets are good because all the protein makes your Amniotic Sac really strong so that your water doesn't break early. If your waters remain intact, labor is easier and docs are less likely to hook you up to all the interventions that will rob you of a natural birth. Broken water isn't a scary thing but docs are trained to worry about it (and everything else).

Having had all 3 kinds of births, I can say without a doubt, I preferred the completely natural birth and if an attended homebirth were legal in Nebraska, I would have had one.

If you want to read my Homebirth in a Hospital story: (not trying to be a blog whore, but hey, it's easier than typing it all here)

6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

(293)

on June 22, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Another vote for saying no to having your water broken. Not only does breaking the water create an avenue for infection to the baby (especially if you're having frequent vaginal exams), it no longer allows the amniotic fluid to equalize pressure on the baby and umbilical cord during contractions. More pressure on the baby can lead to distress and/or the appearance of distress, leading to further interventions.

2
A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

on June 21, 2011
at 11:36 PM

If this is of any help at all, here is my wife's "journal from the trenches" blog post on our home birth experience.

Siena's home birth

I think the approach to diet and general upkeep (activity levels etc) will determine how well prepared one may be for a natural childbirth, assuming there are no pre-existing conditions prone to cause birth complications.

Some more background: My wife was somewhat paleo-ish, of a higher carb variety of course. I actually adopted the paleo diet myself right before conception (hm...). She also believes that making regular use of a pregnant yoga DVD (the one by the Cirque du Soleil acrobat) contributed a lot in terms of flexibility mobility and so on to make for a fairly short (though intense) labor. Also we kept moderate activity level going in general up to the day before labor. (hiking/walking on irregular terrains and beaches, etc)

Another key for her was making use of deep relaxation CDs (not quite Bradley, google hypnobirthing). Not that the techniques were consciously recalled during the labor, but we think just a nightly routine of deliberate relaxation made for an overall advantage in general mindset going into the labor.

Birthing pool was a godsend for her, but as I understand it, not every mom in labor seems to think it helps. And I doubt that's an option in any hospital, anyways.

As scary as the homebirth route seems, we were so glad to already be home to settle down immediately after the birth. That alone was a huge plus.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:07 AM

Some hospitals have birth pools (including the one where I had my second). Even more have tubs that can be used during labor, though not for the birth itself (unless you dig in your heels and refuse to get out, I suppose :)). Definitely something to look at when choosing a hospital.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 23, 2011
at 01:21 AM

What a great story and a beautiful baby!

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 22, 2011
at 04:47 PM

The rule is, you can't get in the tub after your water breaks. That's when I think you need it the most. A shower massager whould also be incredible. Too bad no hospitals have one...

2
D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on June 21, 2011
at 11:34 PM

I've had 3 births, and all three were different.

First one I was induced and had an epidural.

Second one was my FAVORITE birth. I had a great midwife who coached me through birthing and I had no pain medicine. I think the most intervention I had was with the lady breaking my bag of waters as it was coming out because she was worried it was going to get stuck around my sons head.

Third birth, I was induced AGAIN. I wanted to wait it out just another week, but apparently military doctors don't like waiting. I couldn't take the pain of the pitocin this time, I had been on the highest dose for about 9 hours at this point and no one had any idea how much longer it would take, I feel like a fool though because once I got the epi an hour later I was at the pushing phase and he was out in four minutes. Not only that but because my first epidural didn't work [I had moved] the scar tissue was still there making it impossible for a perfect placement of the catheter.

I wish I could just repeat my second birth, over and over. The pain was totally worth it, as I forgot how badly it hurt right after he was out. Honestly though, I really wish I would have found paleo before all the babies, and that I would have watched my diet better. My past diets have always been high grain based carbs and I felt like a slug =\

I got over my fear of natural birth because during my first birthing experience I had to spend three days in the hospital. For my second birth I was determined to make it without any medicine, since my husband was going to be leaving in two days for deployment. Maybe if you just get in that mindset of "I can do this, and I am going to do this" it will make it easier?

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on June 21, 2011
at 11:39 PM

Also, I forgot to mention when I had had an epidural, i wasn't allowed to get up and walk around afterwards, I had to wait until the medicine wore off and both times I was in so much pain. After a natural birth, I was up within minutes of giving birth and going to the bathroom and NO pain at all.

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:27 PM

Can't believe he had to leave 2 days after the birth!

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:27 PM

My husband's in the military too, deployed now but back before I'm due. We'll be moving one month before my due date, so obviously that complicates things :(

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on June 23, 2011
at 09:41 AM

Yeah they said he *could* stay behind. However we would have had to buy the plane ticket to wherever the ship was located =\ It just wasn't worth the money for him to stay for 10 days. How exciting he will be there though!! Where are you guys moving to?

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on June 21, 2011
at 11:14 PM

Does eating a Paleo diet during and before pregnancy (but from adulthood, not from the womb) make delivery easier?

I would say yes, for reasons like inflammation and such. If you are having a hard time eating at all though, eat what your body wants for now.

Is it possible to have a positive, natural birth experience in a modern hospital?

Yes! Mine sucked, but my sister gave birth to one daughter in a pool and one on a birthing ball, both without drugs, but in a hospital.

Is it really important to give birth naturally (assuming you have no complications that prevent this), or is it more important to feed yourself and baby well before and after birth?

No, it's not "important". The most important thing is having a healthy baby and momma. If you want natural, go for it as long as you have no complications.

How can I get over the fear of a natural birth?

I don't think you do, it IS scary. If your hospital offers any classes you should go.

How do you know if a midwife is good or not?

Here is a link about midwife credentials: http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/giving-birth/midwife/midwives-credentials/

Besides that, you should like her and trust her. She should listen to you and your wishes. You are hiring her, not the other way around.

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:30 PM

How to get over the fear? Read, educate, over-educate yourself. A great book is Giving Birth by Catherine Taylor.

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Thanks for the advice! Had a really hard time eating paleo the first few months... and admit I ate a lot of oatmeal. But now I'm back into 100% no problem!

2
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I have had two babies without medication while "paleo" and doing intense exercise.

The first time around I had a home birth which was awesome. I wanted to replicate that experience the second time around, but my insurance would only cover in hospital. My family practice DR. who is my age, gender, and like mindedness delivered my second in a hospital. I went in with a plan which outlined no drugs and there was no problem with that. The hospital was a little irksome in that I had to stay overnight.

It is natural to be a little nervous about birth. It's intense. I tried to think of it like a workout. That's my personal craziness, but it worked for me. I can't say if eating a paleo diet while pregnant helped me during birth. I can't say definitively if working out hard during pregnancy helped me either. I did the same things both times and had two healthy boys, fast labors and deliveries.

I suspect that the interval exercise and weight training I did while pregnant helped with delivery. I think it trained me to breathe through the "sets" of labor contractions.

I read natural birth books like "THe Bradley Method" I lso watched a show called House of Babies. Those midwives are awesome!

You'll do great.

1
9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

on February 23, 2012
at 09:10 AM

Hi, This was awhile back so I'm guessing you had your baby already. I'm 37 weeks and at a midwife lead birth center in California. I haven't been strictly paleo because well I'm weak sometimes- don't ask why but Subway has been my top pregnancy craving that and green apples?... Otherwise to me its all BS on the "craving" front. I'm hardly big at all too but I maintained a lower carb diet through most of this pregnancy and my weight lifting. I wake up daily and always try and start the day with fruit and eggs or eggs and bacon.. Anyways haven't done the Bradley classes like I should have but not too worried. The head midwife/owner has much confidence in me (she complains when she can't feel the baby because my abs are so tight/hard LOL). She said most likely from being an athlete- and I've lifted through out this whole pregnancy that I will probably be just fine plus I have the breathing concepts down from doing yoga etc... I have read part of the book however and I've watched many youtube videos on doing dance, yes belly dancing during labor and it makes sense.. As well their is the concept of orgasmic birth but I'm not banking on it since I didn't prepare myself and this pregnancy has been emotionally stressful. I can't give you my full opinion yet since I'm due anytime between now and March 12 (my technical due date) and up to the 26th (with midwives they give you up till 42 weeks) but I will hopefully be able to go through with this life changing experience. My mother also delivered me 100 percent naturally in a hospital though but I've always felt like we both have the same will. I think that confidence and belief in your physical abilities as well as your mental abilities are whats going to make this work, for me at least. I believe this is what my body was meant to do and I'm taking it on with the same will I use in lifting a new PR or going to battle on the mat! Best of luck to you and your little one!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:59 AM

I danced my butt off during labor, and it was really fun! I've studied belly dance off and on, and took a prenatal belly dance class thinking I'd use some of those moves. I didn't realize until I was actually in labor though that all the new agey meditative stuff and tribal belly dance mixes on my ipod just pissed me off. I ended up scrolling through my other playlists and ended up with loud and thumpy dance music working much better for me. I remember being out on the back deck in my nightgown and wearing big DJ headphones, just as the sun was rising after laboring in the tub all night...

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:10 AM

...and just dancing, dancing, dancing, punctuated every so often by doing air punches ala Rocky getting all psyched up for pushing the kiddo out. The biggest thing for me getting over the fear of labor, was letting go of my fear of pain. I did "practice contractions" by putting my hands in bowls of ice water for the length of a contraction for as many reps as I could handle and figuring out to distract myself. I finally came up with a mantra of, "It is just pain." and that seemed to zap my resisting or fearing the contractions.

9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

(105)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:50 AM

Haha! You sound like me! I'm definitely going to be tuning out the world with my ipod.. but I doubt the "chill" mix I made will do it for long... Thats cool I didn't get the chance to do a dance class but yes I've come to realize pain is part of life and if you hold onto the fear It only makes things harder.. Of course it will be hard but you don't need to fight your body and make it harder! Thanks for the comments!

1
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on June 22, 2011
at 08:14 PM

I've had 2 - one forceps delivery and one totally natural - both in hospital. My advice - don't look at the clock, throw away your watch, don't time anything, just go with the flow. (Queens of the Stone Age song reference lol) You have no idea how slowly time goes when you are just waiting for the next contraction. When they start - get up and get busy. The other point is - whatever happens, happens - don't beat yourself up over it. My two had very different births but were then both breastfed for 2 years, carried everywhere until they were crawling, etc. Those are the experiences that really matter and starting out paleo has got to be good.

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on August 01, 2011
at 05:14 AM

My favorite song by probably my favorite band. Great info too. Plus 5!

1
6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

on June 22, 2011
at 04:30 AM

Another vote for the Bradley method. It's great information and preparation for childbirth. Dr. Bradley was actually inspired by watching animals give birth, and noticed how differently they do things. The diet the Bradley method recommends is the Brewer Diet (google Dr. Tom Brewer), which is high in protein and healthy fats. The Brewer diet does include whole grains, but you could leave those out. I used the Bradley method and Brewer diet, and delivered a healthy 8 lb 15 oz daughter naturally at age 40, with no meds or other interventions except an IV. I also weighed 325 lbs at the time. My preparation for the birth and choice of physician made a huge difference.

Good nutrition is always going to make for a better birth. You will have more energy and stamina and you and your baby will be healthier. You'll also have a better birth if you specifically train the muscles you will use during delivery.

You might find the book "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer to be very valuable. She has a wonderful, evidence-based approach to birth.

One caution: you don't just want a midwife, you want the midwifery model of care. There are OB/GYNs who follow the midwifery model, and midwives who are all about medication and interventions.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and best wishes for a healthy baby and easy delivery.

1
6a11bd17d85c6267127b0c9694bf7517

on June 21, 2011
at 11:23 PM

I second "The Bradley Method!" Great read!

I have labored 4 times and given birth to 5 babies. (First was twin girls) I gave birth to them naturally (no drugs) with pitocin. My son, I had some "problems" I was induced with and was given a crap-load of pitcoin. I ended up getting an epidural. I was also group B positive and had a ton of antibotics during the labor. My 4th was with a midwife at the hospital. Totally natural. We almost didn't make it and the labor was great. My 5th was at home again, with no drugs. it was AWESOME! I was group b postive with him also, but my midwife has my do an antibotic rinse vs oral antibotics and everthing was fine.

I was not paleo during any of this however.

I do want to mention that my son (#3) who had all the interventions has some ADD/ADHD type issues. My husband and I firmly believe that this is a result from the antibotics and other drugs given to us both during labor. There was no "Life or death" issue with him, but yet they went with the most invasive (save c-section) way possible to get him out.

Stay away from the drugs. Seriously... your body was MADE to do this. Having a healthy body through paleo will only help. Learn to center yourself and meditate. PRACTICE. You can do it.

As far as a midwife - ask around. You will quickly learn if you've got a good one or not. Find out her beliefs re: drugs and interventions.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 06, 2012
at 02:27 AM

The ADD/ADHD cannot be related to antibiotics (physically, that would not work), so what other medications did you have to take? I am interested in this because my mom and all her sisters have a genetic "error" that does not allow them dilate, so every single one had to have C-sections and all almost died in their first labour. I've talked to my OB/GYN about the future, and she thinks there is a good possibility that I will have the same genetic disorder. I am not planning to get pregnant now, but I'm looking at the possibility of having to have C-sections in the future, so it interests me.

0
215d3126214343a5760316f195a06b97

on June 23, 2011
at 12:55 AM

I've had 6 kids. For my 5th baby I fell into the natural childbirth cult (I mean community) and decided on a home water birth. I studied hypnobirthing and was really excited to have this blissful spiritual loving dream birth. It was Hell. Now, everyone is different. But I should've known having had 4 previous labors that made me beg for an epidural- that this would not be any different. But I totally fell for all the hippy spiritual woo and believed that my natural home waterbirth would be different. That hurt. I never want to feel pain like that again. My dream moment of lifting my baby out of the water was overshadowed with shaking pain and repeating "Never again, I'm never doing that again." Yeah, no empowerment here! For baby #6 I planned a hospital birth and stressed to my doctor that I want an epidural asap!
I did eat paleo during my last pregnancy and had a 9lb 3oz baby (I am 5 feet tall 105 pounds when not pregnant). Not sure if that had to do with the diet but ouch! lol

I don't want to sound negative on the natural birth world- my experience just has me a bit jaded. I've known women who could smile during crowning- that is amazing and great for them! I'll take my epidural thanks.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:52 PM

<>

Male speaking here, but a male who has witnessed a few births. This is the one time to GO FOR ANY DAMN DRUG THEY GIVE YOU GIRL! I'm serious.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Where is Baconbitch and her studies. So far, we've got Miked, Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser weighing in on this subject. I have this sneaking suspicion that none of us knows what the f*ck we're talking about.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 10:59 PM

I must have been commenting when you wrote this! Sadly, no studies - just personal experiencing squeezing two humans from my body.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:38 PM

I'm guessing you've seen medicated hospital births? How many LIVE animal births have you seen?

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on August 01, 2011
at 05:10 AM

-1 as a female (part-time doula) who has witnessed a lot of births. Thomas, I usually love your comments but this one not only makes birth sound terrifying (which pregnant women don't need) but is also bad advice. Getting the drugs increases the chances of having a C-section, and interupts the hormone cascade (oxytocin! endorphins! so much good stuff) that actually helps mother and child bond. So much has been written about this. The evidence is strong for intervention-free birth when it's appropriate (which is the great majority of the time). (Read Michel Odent's "The Caesarian." He's great.

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on August 01, 2011
at 05:12 AM

I should add I also experienced my own kid's birth and while I was terrified before it happened, the birth was a truly amazing experience. I don't really want a second child but I frequently want to experience childbirth again! That's what good hormones will do for you.

9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

(105)

on August 10, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Guess Im baconbitch #2 lol .. I had my son 100 percent naturally in the water 4 hours flat. Honestly it wasn't too bad lol. I'll do it again but it will probably fly out in 2 hours so i better plan for home birth. No offense to women who choose otherwise but I can't imagine doing it any other way. I wrote above at 37 weeks and I'm glad I went through. The idea of an epidural or whatever never crossed my mind you really have to have your mind set. The mind is a powerful thing.

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