Posted: Mar 29, 2013 9:00 AM
 
For these real moms, it took more than one baby to get to natural childbirth. Discover how real moms went from epidurals to unmedicated labors and how the process wasn't always easy. From hurdles to triumphs, these real baby stories will inspire you.

When you're pregnant, labor and delivery are a huge focus. How will it go? How will it feel? Once you've had a baby, it's easier to plan for the next delivery. For these moms, the first one or two deliveries became a source of inspiration to try unmedicated childbirth in the future.

Brenda's story

Brenda natural childbirth

When Brenda had her first child, she used an OB/GYN and had a hospital birth. She was hoping to be able to move around during labor but ended up confined to a bed for 12 hours with an epidural. "I didn't like the lack of control after I gave birth," says Brenda. "I couldn't feel my legs for a really long time and I didn't feel like myself at all for at least a day or two." With her second daughter, Brenda changed hospitals entirely and worked with a midwife who helped her with a birth plan and assisted her with natural childbirth. "For me the most positive aspect was being able to get up and walk around prior to giving birth and very soon after giving birth. I felt really great, energized and would have been very happy to have gone home rather than be sent to a postpartum room."

Jessica natural childbirthJessica's story

I've never felt so empowered as a human being, as a mother, and as corny as it sounds, as in touch with myself and the universe.

Though she had always wanted to have an unmedicated birth, Jessica's first two children were delivered with Pitocin and epidurals. Moving to NYC introduced Jessica to a new doctor who supported natural childbirth. She labored at home with her third child before heading to the hospital. "After I delivered Beau without any medication, I've never felt so empowered as a human being, as a mother, and as corny as it sounds, as in touch with myself and the universe. It was an absolutely spiritual experience (and I'm really not into all of that at all). I have never felt so much pride for myself," says Jessica. "The biggest difference between medicated childbirth and natural childbirth was the mental awareness during the laboring. While unmedicated, I was very much in tune with things that were going on around me and being able to have conversations, and the recovery was so much easier."

Idoia natural childbirth

Idoia's story

I can say that by far the most positive aspect of my natural births FOR ME was the natural and immediate emotional bonding I felt with the children of my unmedicated births.

From her first children to her fourth, Idoia went from delivering in an operating room to delivering in a birthing tub. "My first pregnancy was with identical twins," Idoia says. "It was nothing like I'd hoped. I wanted an out-of-hospital birth but, when we found out I was carrying twins, I had to switch to an OB and do a hospital birth. Though I did give birth vaginally to twins (which was extremely important to me), the fact that the birth was so medically managed and highly intervened is still difficult to accept." With her third child, she delivered naturally at the hospital. Idoia delivered her fourth at a birthing center in a birthing tub. "Having experienced both a traditional hospital birth/highly intervened birth (epidural, induced labor, Pitocin, internal and external monitoring, artificial rupture of membranes, etc.) as well as completely unmedicated births, I can say that by far the most positive aspect of my natural births for me was the natural and immediate emotional bonding I felt with the children of my unmedicated births. With my twins, I simply did not feel any emotional bond to them for weeks and weeks."

Tips for unmedicated childbirth^

  • Make sure you work with a doctor or midwife who supports your birth plan.
  • Tour your hospital or birthing center and get a feel for the facility.
  • Consider using a birth doula to assist you with pain management and patient advocacy.
  • Be aware that you can always change doctors if you don't feel supported.

More on birth

Doctors and midwives: Is there really a difference?
What if my birth plan didn't pan out?
Do I need a C-section with twins?

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