At some stage you will be asked if you’re doing it naturally or with an epidural. Here are some tips for having a baby without an epidural.
- Stay at home as long as possible – this gives you the freedom move around and be in a safe known environment
- Have your birthing partner put pressure on your lower back during surges
- Keep moving, change positions often and listen to your body
- Use music, affirmations and dim lighting to help get you into the mood
- During early stages use a tens machine to stimulate endorphin’s
- Go to the bathroom often- keep peeing!
- Suck ice cubes to keep hydrated
- Eat whilst you can there will be a point where you can’t eat – have food ready take a nice snack for afterwards
- Be sure to rest between surges and relax your muscles as during transition (actual birth) you won’t be able to rest
- Have a wet wash cloth ready for your brow during transition
- Keep your face relaxed during surges this keeps your birthing muscles soft
- Use hypnobirthing breathing techniques
- Get into a birthing pool
- Use gas and air to help keep you relaxed and to reduce discomfort
- During transition breathe rather than push as much as possible, too much pushing can be exhausting
Practice, practice, practice!! Get to know your body; take a weekly class to prepare your body for birth with the right stretches and exercises, and learn how to hypno-breathe and relax. Get your birthing partner involved take them to a natural birth workshop where they can learn how to support you. And please know that if you start out with natural and end up going for an epidural there’s no shame in that.