I had a wonderful experience giving birth to my son without pain medication after preparing myself with a 12-week Bradley class.
I think three factors contributed to make my natural birth experience enjoyable compared to other women’s “laborious” deliveries:
- positive attitude
- and a little bit of luck.
Secondly, I think the Bradley recommendations about eating certain foods and the daily exercises readied my body for the marathon of birth. I felt a bit like an athlete getting ready for a great feat, including the high-protein-and-lots-of-good-fats diet.
I also was advised to stay away from the hospital as long as possible to avoid all the checkups and interventions.
Instead of being hooked up to a monitor, I labored at home, walking around as much as possible.
I was able to eat what I wanted and able to get into positions that felt most comfortable from minute to minute, like Anna. She ended up having a home birth, something I would have had if I would have stayed home another half an hour.
Clearly, the last factor was a bit of luck.
I was only in labor for nine hours and had my son twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital.
All the preparation in the world couldn’t have guaranteed that I would have a natural birth. Maybe I was fortunate with how my body was build and how my son happened to maneuver himself into the world. Not every woman is that lucky and things can go wrong and require intervention.
I also have to say that I didn’t end up using the Bradley relaxation techniques. My husband had so dutifully studied to be my coach yet in the end I didn’t even want a foot rub; I was so busy with tuning into my body.
Watching that “19 Kids and Counting” episode, I was so proud of Anna Duggar for giving birth to her baby at home, so proud that this young woman had educated herself by attending classes for weeks and mentally prepared herself for that special day of her child’s birth. She is a great role model for other women, young and old, about empowering yourself with the information you need about labor.
If you want to be more in command of your wishes and choices while giving birth, I recommend you believe in your own strength, chose your support team wisely (I had a doula), and educate yourself about the best options for you.
There are many other classes available beside the Bradley method. If more women would take charge of their life like Anna, I believe many could avoid epidurals and C-sections and have a more positive birthing experience.
What do you think, do you feel — like me — that more women could achieve a natural birth if they had educated themselves more about how the hospital is set up to push you into c-sections and believed more strongly in their ability to give birth naturally?
I did it, and I am no superwoman.
Did you have an epidural or a C-section? What was your experience?
Were you happy with your birth experience? Would you do anything differently the next time?
I appreciate your input, because I want all of us to learn from each other. Knowledge is power!
You can find birth resources I compiled on my Birth page.