Author: Dr. Jena Bradley.
Are you pregnant and want to have a natural childbirth, but are afraid of the pain? Today you will learn why I decided to deliver all 4 of my baby girls naturally without one drop of pain medicine.
As you continue reading, I hope to encourage you and support you in whatever you decide to do as you near your due date. I also want to empower you to conquer your fears when it comes to childbirth. You are strong and capable!
My entire adult life I had always thought I would have an epidural when it came time to deliver my children. It’s funny how we have a plan, and we think we are going to stick to it like glue, but sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned.
You can probably tell where I am going with this. I thought when I became pregnant with my first child that I would have written in my birth plan, “I want an epidural”; however, I didn’t. Instead I wrote, “I want to deliver my baby naturally without any anesthesia or pain medication”
Why natural childbirth was for me
For some this may sound crazy and absolutely unthinkable, but for other women this might be your goal. To have a natural childbirth without any medications whatsoever.
Why did I decide to change my mind after years of planning? Well, to be honest, I was diagnosed with a rare medical condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenia.
This condition is what lead me to make the decision to have a natural childbirth because I was at a higher risk of having out of control bleeding if an epidural was administered.
To quickly give you an idea of what idiopathic thrombocytopenia is – it’s a blood disorder of an unknown cause that puts me at risk of excessive bleeding.
With that said, I did not want to take my chances, and I followed my doctor’s recommendation of avoiding epidurals.
Mind over matter
Now that my mind was made up, I had to make a decision about one more thing. Was I going to be afraid, or was I going to be strong during natural childbirth?
I’ll be honest, I initially was afraid. I was afraid of the severity of pain that could come and the length of time it could last.
DId you know that fear can make your pain worse? If you come into childbirth afraid of the pain, you are more likely to experience longer lasting pain.
Leading up to my delivery date, I spent days retraining my mind to be fearless and worry free. I convinced myself that I was strong and I was capable. I believed I would not experience pain, and I had faith in my God-given ability to conquer childbirth.
Find your support
It’s a shame that so many movies depict childbirth as a horrible and painful experience. It is rare to witness a woman give birth to a baby with very minimal to no pain. But it does happen. I have encountered many women who have told me they went through childbirth with little to no pain at all. I am one of them!
If you are considering committing to a natural childbirth experience, I encourage you to stick to your plan, despite what other women, nurses or doctors might tell you to do. It is your body, your baby and your birthing experience.
If someone is pressuring you to use an epidural against your wishes, here’s what you can say.
“I have decided to go forward with a natural childbirth and avoid using an epidural. This is a special experience for me. Please support me in this decision.”
Managing the pain
Here are some of my best tips to help you endure the process of childbirth:
- Get comfortable and change positions according to your needs. If able, try lying on your side with pillows between your knees, change the angle of the bed, sit up, lean over or stand. It might be harder at first to change positions but once you are there, you will be glad you switched!
- Find a distraction. Music is a great choice or maybe you might enjoy looking at family photos or videos on your iPad.
- Massage is a game changer. Have your partner massage you the way you like it. Practice this ahead of time so you can tell him exactly what kind of massage is comfortable for you and your needs.
- Sitting and bouncing on a therapy ball. The therapy ball provides counter pressure which is relieving for most women during childbirth.
- Walk as much as possible during time when you are most comfortable. This will help the baby to drop and it will speed up the birthing process.
- Have your partner speak words of affirmation over you during the times when you need it the most.
Us women were built to do this and to do it well.
Spend the weeks leading up to your due date focused on the most beautiful and comfortable birthing experience. Role play in your mind what you hope to happen. Pray for a pain-free delivery and have faith in your body and what it’s capable of doing.
I praise you for your courage and determination, and I pray that you are blessed with the most precious baby. I pray over you and your baby to be healthy and that your delivery is pain-free and quick!
If you ever have questions about my experiences enduring natural childbirth, you can always contact me directly here or visit me on my blog at Live Core Strong. I would love to share with you more helpful tips on how to have a more comfortable childbirth experience.
Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT
About the Author
Dr. Jena Bradley is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey. She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena and check out her blog here.