I wasn't too focused on a particular vision of childbirth. I hoped initially to deliver in a birthing center, but knew I wouldn't be disappointed if things went another way. And I'm glad, because they did. I had to be induced when I was two weeks late, which meant the birthing center wasn't an option.
Some moms do have specific ideas about what they want, though, assuming the baby and circumstances cooperate. cafemama shared her plans for a home birth last week, and I know many other moms who hope to deliver without pain medications, too, regardless of the setting.
I came across a post from bulldogb in the Pregnancy group asking moms for tips on a "natural," or drug-free birth. She's already prepping -- she's read HypnoBirthing, Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, and Supernatural Childbirth -- but she wanted to hear what helped other moms, too. Here's what some CafeMoms had to say.
Have NO FEAR! That's really the best method. Know that childbirth is a natural process and if you allow your body to work in the way it should, it will produce the "chemicals' you need to get you through it. -- livewell
If you feel fear, your body goes into a fight or flight response and blood rushes away from your uterus, causing labor not to flow as quickly or easily. -- lily0163E
I held this in my thoughts: "I'm doing this for my baby and my family." Honestly, it's not that bad! It does hurt, but once the baby is out, the pain stops. And it doesn't take that long for the baby to come out, either. Do your Kegel exercises to help strengthen your muscles for when it's time to push. -- TigerBaby69
Make sure your doctor knows your preferences -- that you don't want any meds at all. And make sure they stick to it. A warm shower or sitting in a tub until it's time to push helps a lot! -- babybluemama22
Deliver with a midwife and a doula. Watch "The Business of Being Born" and read Born in the USA. If you're delivering with a doctor in a hospital, find out his rates for C-sections, inductions, and episiotomies. -- cali4niachef
Doula, doula, doula. Make sure you have good support. And don't be afraid to question things and say no. -- MegHPand3
To connect with other moms who are planning a drug-free birth or who have had one, check out these groups (some are private):
Are you hoping for a drug-free delivery? How are you preparing for it and what strategies will you use to deal with the pain?
Did you deliver without drugs? What helped you get through it?