Thursday, May 05, 2011

birthing classes?

The time when Liam will make his appearance in the world is getting closer and closer! Since I'm hoping for an unmedicated childbirth experience I thought it would be wise to take a birthing class (especially with this being my first one!). I checked on some options and finally settled on a class that is offered by our hospital that specializes in natural pain coping strategies (we start June 2nd!). I originally wanted to do a Bradley Method class or maybe a Hypnobirthing class, but they're just too expensive for us. So I'm hoping that this class will give us some basics and maybe we can read books on more specific methods to help us out.

I know you can't exactly plan out your birth and any number of unexpected things can happen...and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with not having a specific birth plan and being flexible. But I believe in my body and I believe that it is capable of birthing a child without the use of medical interventions. So I wanted to ask any mamas out there what advice you have? Did you find a specific method helpful for you? Did you just take bits and pieces of different methods to help you cope with the pain? Help me out, mamas! And thanks in advance. :-)


Megan Barley said...

can i still comment if i am not a Mom? : )

i have total confidence in you and i know you will encourage others by being able to give birth to Liam naturally and how you choose.

Jenni Hennemann said...

Congratulations Kristel!! You definitely can do it! I had Ayla without anything, and it was so beautiful! The doctor even stood in the doorway while my doula and my sister caught her. I won't lie, it hurt a lot, but the pain was forgotten within minutes after the birth. Remembering that there was a definite end when the pain was going to be over instantly was a big thing for me, otherwise it got pretty overwhelming. I walked a lot and took relaxing soaks in the warm tub, I moved around and tried different positions to sit or stand, and my team was so helpful in reminding me to breath deep and drink a lot of water, and everything went very well. I highly recommend a great team! I had my mom, sister and good friend and my doula was also a good friend, and they made all the difference in the world. I was totally comfortable with them and they happily tended to my every need so I could just concentrate on the task at hand. I know you'll do great and I'm so excited for you and Alex and your new little one!

Alex the Husband said...

Can I be on you tea?. Pick me please!

Jessica Girado said...

I took bits and pieces from hypnobirthing. There are some weird things they tell you to do, but what I found really helpful was the breathing technique. That helped me out A LOT! I just concentrated on breathing through the contractions and relaxed my muscles. It's easier said than done because during pain, your first instinct is to tense up. Try NOT to tense up! The pain feels so much worse. I practiced the last few weeks of pregnancy every night. I started by relaxing the muscles on my face and worked down to the rest of my body. I also practiced breathing in for 10 seconds, and breathing out for 10 seconds.

You'll do great girl!

Michelle said...

I have no real opinion, since none of the techniques work if you have to be induced. Contractions via pitocin are not the same as contraction au natural. So...good luck! I wish you an unmedicated birth, since it was what I wanted and I didn't get one. =)

Mom said...

I'm old school but I have a proven recommendation that worked twice. I did the Lamaze method of childbirthing developed in the 50s. If you commit to the daily simple breathing excercises and practice the relaxation techniques you will be in control during labor. The key is to have your brain in control of the process even when the moment turns a little tough. Be positive and keep your mind focusing on the end. I know you can do it. Pick the method you like the most and stick to it. Don't skip any detail. Prepare yourself and you'll be fine. Love ya.

Anonymous said...

I never took any class or practice anything and I was able to give birth without any problem at all.

Maybe you should take some breathing classes to help you during the contractions.

With faith, self control and good coaches (us ;-)) you can do it!

I can wait to hold Liam in my arms and there are no words to thank you for it.

ILY Patty


I did have Pitocin, and it is said that contractions are worse WITH it - but I have nothing to compare to.... I still managed to do it without drugs, though.
My advice rings in harmony with the other ladies here:

1) Breathe deeply and completely through each contraction.

2) Also visualizations may help. Imagine shapes that grow and change throughout the contraction.

3) Also, contractions last almost perfectly 20 seconds long each time, so I counted backwards from 20 in English, French or Spanish, or whatever language I could get my hands on ... to help me through.

4) When they started to get really bad toward the end, I sort of groaned through them and what my Doula told me was to keep the groan a low-pitched groan, because when the pain comes - the first reaction is to sort of scream in high pitch, so she reminded me each time to stay low pitch, and although it was hard to do, it helped a lot.

5) A funny thing I did was sit on the toilet often becasue it releived the pressure in that area a lot. I also walked around and squated a lot to help it keep moving. A birthing ball should be used too- either bring it or find out if the midwife has one on site.

6) Always remember the most important part is that Liam comes safely and in good health. If for whatever reason circumstances are against your desired natural birth, it's OKAY. You will stil have Liam in your arms ( and out of your body!!!)

By the way, did you get a Doula?


I forgot to mention...
also, write your suggestions out into a notebook that you pack into your birthing bag that you take to the hospital with you during labor. so Alex can bring it out and read them and you can try them out, bc in the moments of labor we tend to forget and act out of pain and emotion not from our heads.

And listen to your body. Sometimes it will show you how to deal best. Each contraction can be unique....

Ok, I'm done! : )

PammyK said...


I just stumbled on your blog. I love your pictures.

I made it about halfway without an epidural. I was the first in my family and the first of my friends to have a baby. I only had my husband in the room with me. He and the nurse chatted while I huffed, puffed and paced.

I got scared. Scared of the pain, scared of the length of time it would last, just scared and alone. There was a point where a nurse told me it could be 8 more hours (she was really overestimating, but I couldn't handle that thought by myself, so I ordered the epidural.

Everything turned out wonderful and I had my baby (still with quite a bit of pain actually), but I was definitely disappointed the moment I got the epidural.

I think things that would have helped me make it all the way would have been:

-better preparation on how to deal with the pain.
-a team of people like some of the other women mentioned in these comments - my husband did what he could, but it was his first time too. The nurse seemed only to know about medicated births. I should have had a doula, a midwife...anyone else in the room who has done it or been through it with someone.

Oh and when I got the epidural, there were two people who came in to give it to me...and they actually coached me through a couple contractions better than anyone else in the room - I was able to breath and sit perfectly still to get the epidural with their help. Makes me feel a little silly now (but only a very little).