If you follow this blog, you'll quickly discover that I am a huge proponent of Natural Birth. However, you will also learn that I am an even bigger proponent of being educated and knowing exactly what kind of birth you want, whether medicated or natural. I think it is so important that you go into your birthing experience knowing what to expect and how you want to handle every stage of the process. If you want a natural birth, how will you manage the pain? If you want a medicated birth, what medications do you want to use? Which do you not want? Are you okay using medication to induce labor, or would you prefer to let nature takes its course? Theses things (and many more) are things that you would address in your birth plan (see last week's post), but how can you make your birth plan if you don't know your options.
There are so many different things to decide for your labor (pain management techniques, your view on induction, your view on episiotomy, pushing position, will you save the cord blood, when to clamp the cord, will you save your placenta, what will you wear, who will be in the room, and on and on and on ...). Once you are in labor it isn't going to be easy to make decisions, so make them before you are in the middle of all the madness that is childbirth It is important to remember that even if you do opt for the epidural, you will experience pain at some point in labor, it woukd be a good idea to have a plan for how to handle it. Here is the outline from The Bump that I used to create my birth plan: http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-tools/articles/tool-birth-plan.aspx
You'll see when you go over the list just how many things there are to think about when planning for the exact experience you want. Start researching everything now and by the time you are ready to have that baby you will ready to handle any situation that comes your way.
Here are some great resources for Natural Birth methods:
American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth 1-800-423-2397
Here are some articles from Mayo Clinic that help to explain the different medicinal options to manage pain:
Now, your homework is to go out and prepare your birth plans!