I am not so great when it comes to pain so how on earth was I able to survive natural childbirth???
At some point, I want to share my birth story in its entirety! The short version is that I gave birth to my daughter at the Aurora Birth Center. If you are in the Portland area you should definitely look them up!
I labored for about 18 hours, 6 of which were hard labor. Most of my laboring was done at home. My husband was my birthing coach. I did not have any cervical checks. The midwife was mainly in the room only to periodically check babies heartbeat and for the pushing phase. Pulling my baby out from my body was a totally surreal experience that I can not put into words.
The birth of my daughter went better than I could have hoped and I was able to do it all drug-free. Many people have asked me how this was possible.
My favorite resources.
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The Bradley Method
This form of birthing is different from any other I have researched. Its focus is on teaching the mother how to relax during labor and allow the body to do what it was made for. The Bradley Method teaches you what your body should be doing during labor eliminating a lot of the fear that can occur. I went into labor with an understanding of what my body was doing and was able to trust it.
Another thing that sets this method apart is the training of the mother as well as the training of a chosen birth coach. My husband did an awesome job as my birth coach!
One of the other things I appreciated was learning about your options when it comes to giving birth. Many women feel like they have to do everything they are told without question, but this is not true! This method of training was very empowering for me as a pregnant woman.
I can not recommend the Bradley Method enough! If you hope to have a natural birth I highly encourage you to look into taking a Bradley Method class. A great book on this subject is Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. Susan McCutcheon, the author, has been teaching this method for over 20 years and really knows her stuff. We were lucky enough to have her as our Bradley Method instructor. In fact, our birth story is featured in the latest edition of the book!
Susan also has a youtube channel with very informative videos. They are definitely worth checking out.
I am very thankful that I was able to take a prenatal yoga class once a week as well as do yoga on my own at home. Prenatal yoga has many benefits. Such as it’s helpful to stretch and build the muscles, relieve back pain, and build up endurance in preparation for giving birth. I encourage taking a prenatal yoga class with an instructor to help avoid injury. Some exercises are done differently depending on the stage of pregnancy you are in. My favorite part was the relaxation at the end of class.
I had regular adjustments from a chiropractor that I love! If you have a chiropractor that you trust and has experience with pregnant woman, getting adjusted feels amazing. Chiropractic care can help nausea, back, and body pain as well as headaches. Did you know that when your pelvis is out of alignment it can prolong your labor? The pelvis may be hindering babies pathway out of the body. This reason alone is enough for me as well as these other benefits.
Though I myself have not done acupuncture during pregnancy I had it done regularly leading up to my pregnancy. I personally know friends who’s nausea was eased through the use of acupuncture. As well as a friend that saw her baby turn during her acupuncture session. They had been trying all sorts of things to have baby turn, but acupuncture is what ended up working. Here is more info on Acupuncture during pregnancy.
Here are a few more resources that were helpful on my natural childbirth journey.
Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth
This woman is amazing and is one of the pioneers of midwifery in the U.S.
Husband Coached Childbirth
This book is part of the Bradley Method training and is full of helpful information!
The Business of Being Born
Very informative and thought provoking. This can also be found on Netflix.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
While not fully about birth this book was a huge help on my breastfeeding journey which began moments after my daughter was born. It is good to read before the baby comes.
I am not a medical professional and I am not offering medical advice,
I am simply sharing resources that were helpful to me and others I know personally. Every birth is different and while I encourage a natural childbirth whenever possible I know that things can go wrong and when they do I am very thankful for the tools our medical system can provide.
Do you have any questions regarding the Bradley Method?
Have you experienced natural childbirth? Did you use a specific birthing technique?
My husband and I will be sharing our birth story at MommyCon in Vancouver BC on July 22, 2017.