Either you’re all for a natural birth or you think that women who go
that route are crazy. Really, why would any woman want to go through
that much pain when they don’t have to? Well, I was one such woman. In
fact, my epidural was planned way before I was even thinking of
getting pregnant. For me, pain has always been the enemy. However, once I
did get pregnant and discovered the benefits of birthing naturally,
(less chance of interventions that can lead to more interventions, the baby is born more alert, and a faster recovery time), I was hooked, and had two births sans medication. But it was a process, and it couldn’t have happened without my girlfriends who held me down. So if you’re
thinking of having a natural birth, or you plan to give birth one day,
consider this information when you’re making your decision.
On the first thing a woman can do…
Daphne Wayans (5 births;
no medication): I’d look at the timeline history of childbirth
techniques, notice when pain medication was introduced (early 1900’s),
and ask yourself, ‘How did women have babies up until that point?’ I’d
urge you to look at the birthing techniques of other mammals.
Find a supportive doctor…
Ailia Coley (2 births; no medication): Decide whether you want to
have a natural birth at home or in a hospital. If you go to a doctor
make sure she delivers naturally- not every doctor will do it. She’ll
tell you what hospital supports it, and then you do a tour. You plan it
as if you would a wedding.
Do your research…
Erickka Sy Savané (2 births; no medication): Watch ‘The Business Of
Being Born,’ read up on epidurals, learn everything you can about giving
birth so you can make an informed decision.
Daphne: It would be important to hear from a variety of women on
their personal experiences, especially those who had both styles of
Get a support team…
Ailia: Whatever peace, sanctuary, or person supporting you is your
Dream Team. Even while pregnant. You can’t wait until you’re 30 days
out. You have to prepare for this.
Erickka: The first time I had a doula coaching me throughout my
pregnancy and then in the delivery room. They have their bag of tricks.
The second time, I more or less, knew what to expect so I got my best
friend. Both worked.
Dealing With The Pain…
Daphne Wayans: What kept me focused on delivering with no pain
medication during the most excruciating times was, ‘there is an end to
this. My foremothers lived through this.’
Erickka: I prayed.
Expect the unexpected…
Ailia: You can do everything you can to prepare for it, and then
anything can happen. It’s impossible to prepare for every scenario.
Nicole (2 births, C-Section): I did set out to have a natural birth, but my daughter wasn’t
progressing so I was induced (at the highest dose), and sent home. Still
no contractions, and I didn’t dilate, even though I was almost 41
weeks. I went back to the hospital and was given an epidural that
finally put me to sleep and I dilated, but when they woke me up to tell
me it was time to deliver I was incredibly tired. I pushed but nothing
was happening. My daughter’s heartbeat started dropping because she was
in distress. Then she got stuck. The doctor asked my mother what she
wanted to do and she screamed, ‘Get that baby out of there!’ so they
wheeled me to the operating room and I had a C-Section. It was
disappointing. I thought, maybe I shouldn’t have had the epidural. But
then again, I’m glad the C-Section was an option because it saved my baby’s life.
This article first appeared on Essence.com