You're Having a Natural Birth ... Are You Crazy?
Myth 4: Birth won’t be an enjoyable experience.
Many women feel that birth is a horrible curse women must endure before they can experience the joy of holding their babies. In fact, there is a lot of joy built into the labor and birth experience itself that some medicated mothers don’t know they’ve missed. The hormones released during birthing cause a new mother to be elated, excited, energetic, and happy. To add to these emotions, some mothers even experience a “birth climax” as the baby is being born!
So many of my students call me within a few hours after their births to tell their whole story and express how amazing it was. They just have too much energy. I did, too—after my second birth I felt as if I could have run a marathon! Everyone present shares in the joy of the event. Husbands often call to tell me it was truly an awesome experience that they were glad to have been a part of.
Myth 5: I can’t have a natural birth.
More than 85 percent of Bradley Method trained couples having vaginal births do so without medication. If a doctor or midwife is also cheering them on, as many as 95 percent of women can give birth naturally—with their first baby! But you also need good training, helpful labor support, and a supportive birth attendant. Enroll in a comprehensive birth class in your fourth or fifth month. Make sure to bring your husband or someone else who will be your coach during labor so he can get trained, too. You may also want to consider having an experienced labor support person (doula) as an assistant coach. Your coach and doula cannot replace your doctor or midwife, though, so be sure that you also communicate well with them and respect their recommendations. Their support is absolutely essential.
No matter what you’ve thought about natural birth in the past, I urge you to take a second look. Investigate by asking around. Find women who have given birth naturally as well as those who have had a medicated birth and ask them what it was like. Would they do it again? What would they have done differently? Discover the trends for yourself. Perhaps wanting to have a natural birth isn’t so crazy after all.
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