I'm planning to have the baby in a hospital but unmedicated. I'm curious what the best book and/or birthing strategy (Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing, etc) is? What are the main differences between these techniques? I'm open to all opinions and suggestions here. Thanks!
I like Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth
However, I went to the hospital planning to go unmedicated and that didn't work out for me (I eventually just got the epidural). I'm sure I could have done it if it wasn't for all the interference, even if a hospital says they support unmedicated birth they are full of lies I'm not sure if homebirth is an option for you but thats what I wish I would have done and what I will do next time without hesitation.
Sorry to be negative, I know some women do have great unmedicated hospital births. I don't think anyof the strategies helped me at all since the pain itself wasnt't the problem, it was the combination of pain and being unable to focus because I was constantly interrupted and arguing with the nurses (no I don't HAVE to have an IV, no I don't want constant monitoring!)
I agree with Oread that natural birth in a hospital setting is most often a battle due to the classic "cascade of intervention". Even refusing all interventions and monitoring still won't let you off the hook because once you enter the hospital you will be "on the clock" and it's very difficult to resist pressure from hospital staff who like to manage their patients rather than being patient themselves.
Also, just the travelling and the change of venue to one less familiar and private than your home has it's affect - Michel Odent talks about this a lot and no vet or farmer would ever suggest moving an animal once labour has set in because they understand that such activity creates chemicals that work against the birth.
I've heard too many time of shocking lies being fed to women as to why they "need" interventions and in the thick of labour you just aren't in a position to research what they are telling you and reason rationally under pressure.
I can recommend:
Unassisted Childbirth by Laura Shanley very good and not just for freebirthers but for anybody wanting an empowered birth.
I found the techniques for pain management in the book Face to Face with Childbirth by Julia Sundin excellent although with with my hospital birth I caved under pressure and fear mongering but I did get to use it with my subsequent 3 births and it was great.
The Pink Kit is wonderful and comes highly recommended by all I know who have used it but I haven't personally used it.
Spiritual Midwifery by Inna May Gaskin is very dated but that only makes it more entertaining and it's a personal favourite of mine and I read it before each of my homebirths.
Birth and Breastfeeding by Michel Odent.
Also Birthing Normally by GaylePeterson
The natural Way to Better Birth and Bonding by Francesca Naish and Janette Roberts
An Easier Childbirth by Gayle Peterson has loads of visualisations.
Probably fear, that's why I didn't do it the first time. Well, that and our insurance covered 100% of a hospital birth and I would have had to pay for a home birth out of pocket (which we were in no position to do). But mostly, fear. I briefly thought about it but I don't know anyone else who has ever done it so all I could think about is the what ifs
Now after going through it once at the hospital I can't wait to have a home birth. It is an experience that can and should be empowering, and I feel like they took that away from me. But at the same time I feel guilty for "giving in" though I know its not really my fault, I wasn't in a comfortable supportive environment and I think that is MUCH more important than your breathing technique
I try never to let finances deterin my birth choices. We sold our only car to afford our first homebirth. Dh caught busses to work and I walked everywhere for a couple of years until we saved up for another car but it was totally worth it. It's around AUD$4,000 for homebirth midwives here.
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