Don’t get me wrong – natural childbirth hurts. However, I felt prepared for labor. I found that there were several benefits to getting an epidural.
It was the ability to move during labor and after delivery that was the most important benefit. My epidural delivery left me confined to my bed, as I was numb from my waist down. My discomfort was relieved by this time. I was able to walk again. After delivery, I was able to stand and pick up my baby. (This is something that I haven’t been able do since, as I have three children at home!) .
This experience has helped me to be better prepared to assist and advise my patients during and after delivery.
There is no wrong way to have a baby. Many women feel pressured into giving birth in one way or another. Sometimes, medical pain relief and a C-section may be necessary. Every person experiences pain differently and labor and delivery can be unpredictable.
Whatever your choice, the goal is the same: a happy, healthy mom and baby. Call 214-645-8300 to make an appointment with an Ob/Gyn/midwife or book online.
Learn natural pain management techniques
There are many options for pain relief other than medication. Discuss with your doctor what options are available and allowed in the area where you will give birth. Also, you’ll want to practice your techniques so that they become second nature when you really need them.
Natural pain relief methods include:
- Techniques for breathing, such as those taught by Lamaze
- Aromatherapy or essential oils
- Music therapy
- Take a warm shower or bath
- Walking around
- Virtual reality
- Use positions like squatting and sitting on a birthing ball.
You might also consider nitrous oxide if you don’t desire an epidural but still want medical pain relief. This non-flammable, colorless gas doesn’t reduce pain or remove the sensation of a contraction like an epidural. It relieves anxiety and helps to tolerate pain.
My doula gave me a piece of advice that I truly appreciated: Focus on other things. My husband and me were supposed to go looking at houses on the same day that I gave birth. We did it, even though it made our realtor nervous!
We then went home, and I sat in the warm, soothing tub until my husband, who is also a doctor, convinced me that it was time for us to go to Clements University Hospital. After checking in, I walked around the hospital and chatted to some of my colleagues. My water broke just minutes after I arrived.