Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help!!! Natural Birth Method Advice PLEASE! :)

I don't believe I have mentioned this on my blog yet, but I really would like to deliver my baby naturally - sans epidural or other interventions. This is something I have always felt very strongly about for myself. But I also feel that to be successful, I will need lots of preparation. I have to sign up for birthing classes very soon!! And so. . .


I'm calling all friends who have delivered babies naturally: What were your experiences with the different methods?

I was originally leaning more towards the Hypnobirthing/Hypnobabies route because I have heard so much positive feedback about the method. However, I have more recently been thinking the Bradley method would give me more of the birth experience I would like to have because Squire would be much more involved in my coping throughout the birth. But I'm wondering about the effectiveness of each.
  • What kind of person fits best with each method?
  • What helped you to make your final decision?
  • Pros and Cons for whichever method you chose?
  • Any articles I should read before deciding for sure?
  • AND, do you recommend any instructor(s) in the area?
  • Suggestion/Things I should consider that I didn't think to ask?
Other bits of info: I will be delivering in a hospital. The birthing rooms are very nice and even have tubs I will be able to use for laboring, but not delivering. I am seeing several CNM's (Certified Nurse Midwives) and if all goes well, one of them will deliver me. If not, there are doctors on call that work in the same practice that could perform an emergency c-section, etc. I'm debating very much on whether or not to hire a doula - not sure if we can afford one though, so we would have to settle for an unpaid doula-in-training. (Is it worth it do you think?)

I would love to hear any/all of your feedback!


  1. Ok so I know we haven't talked in forever, but I occasionally stalk your blog because well... I'm a blog stalker. :) I actually have something to comment this time though. I just had my son 9 months ago (feels like yesterday though). We did home study Bradley aka we checked all the books out of the library and read them together. We went to one class but all the did was read the book so we figured we'd save ourselves some time and money and do it ourselves.
    That said we liked Bradley it helped my husband have an idea of how to help me and not feel so helpless himself. Unfortunately, nothing went as planned towards the end of my pregnancy I got preeclamsia ended up being induced and the 32 hours of labor was a little too much for me and I was very happy to get an epidural.
    My doctor used hypnobirthing when she had he kids, and the nurse said that Hypnobirthing is the new Bradley. That's one thing we noticed with the Bradley method. Dr. Bradley died quite a few years back so the method hasn't been updated very much. Thus, some of their medical advise is no longer relevant.
    If I we're to do it again I would borrow the bradley books and skim them but go hypnobirthing. I plan to you hypno for the next kid. My midwife put it this way. Anyone can give birth when everything goes perfectly, but it's when it doesn't that you start reaching for things from your toolbox. All these methods are is giving you things to put in your toolbox and try. You'll decide when it comes what is working and when you need to try something else.
    On the Doula I would say use this time to rely on your husband and let him know how much your going to need him. Let him be the one to comfort you and use it as a time to grow closer

  2. Well, I've never even been pregnant but just wanted to let you know I think that's totally awesome, I'm definitely interested in natural birth as well when I have kids. So, way to go. And I have heard good things about hypnobirth. I wouldn't say I've heard bad things about Bradley, but just not as much, you know? Good luck, I'm excited for you! and to hear how it goes.

  3. Hey! I think it's great that you are making it a goal to go natural for your birthing experience. I had an epidural for my first child and went natural for my second and I can definitely say that going natural was sooooo soooo much better for me. Anyway, I didn't use the Bradley or hypno birthing. I did some lamaze, which I think is close to Bradley. I actually took the lamaze classes with my first but actually used it with my second child hahaha. But what really got me through it all was having my husband there and supporting my decision to go natural. He was behind me 100% and when my resolve started to falter and I thought about using drugs, he was there to remind me how I was more than capable for a natural birth. I don't think I would have made it on my own....I really relied on his hugs and support. With that said, I had a really good nurse who was a lamaze coach and when I needed some relief she coached my husband on how to help me with that. My doctor was also really supportive as well. I think the best thing is to make sure you have the support system there with you. It is kind of weird to say this but giving birth to my second child (naturally) was such a spiritual experience. Being able to feel what is going on and struggling along with my baby. I wish I could have had that with my first as well. Oh well. But I think sometime women have complications and then you need to intervene medically, but if at all possible, natural is the way to go.

    so I guess whatever you choose to do, make sure your husband and those around you are there to support you 100%.

  4. Ok, good thing I read your post, now I understand your actual question. With my first I studied and prepared with the Bradley Method, which I loved! I was sad I didn't get to use it, because of my c-section. BUT Im so glad I read it. It gives you details on the birthing process and what you and baby are doing.
    With my second I did hypnobirthing. Which I LOVED as well, but for different reasons. Hypnobirthing I felt prepared me for actual birth itself. Your book should come with a disk to help with relaxation! DO IT!! Holy cow it helped. I was falling asleep during my labor :)
    SO to actully answer your question, I say read both. I felt Bradley was more informative on the actual process where hypno helped me relax thru the process :)
    Hope that helped. Like I said earlier if you are coming home come find me :) Good luck Mamma!!

  5. We used hypnobirthing and I plan on doing it again for my next child(ren). We took a class and it really helped me feel not the least bit scared about giving birth naturally. Unfortunately, labor/delivery can be very unpredictable and we had to go a different route. BUT with the methods learned in hypnobirthing I was able to remain calm, focused, and sure of myself. Bobby's help was 100% necessary and he was the main person doing all the hypno affirmations to me. So if you want to go natural, but if something happens and you have to go medicated or C-section, hypno is the best way to go b/c it's more than just having a natrual birth, it's a whole change in your mindset about birth.

  6. Heya Neighbor! Good post and good questions too. I've done both Bradley and Hypno and, for your actual birth experience I'd recommend Hypnobirthing. That being said the Bradley method provides a lot of good info on the birth process (very good stuff for the husband to know. good for you to know too, but you aren't going to care about any of it or remember any of it when you are actually in labor). They give some relaxation methods and stuff, but it seemed like they just took some hypnobirthing ideas and sort of threw them at you without really teaching you how to do it.
    When I learned hypnobirthing I just borrowed Heather's book and CDs and read through it and listened to the CDs on my own. I started about 4 weeks before I was due and practiced (this practice usually turned into a nap :) for 30 min each day. When I was actually in labor most of the hypnobirthing stuff was so effective and was simple enough that I could remember it during contractions.
    I'd recommend getting a book on Bradley Method from the library or a friend and doing hypnobirthing.
    Oh, and to top it all off one of the things that helped me not give in during labor was having my sister there who acted as a doula (non-husband birth coach). We have a certified doula who lives the next block down from us.
    ....and that's my 5 cents...cause it was too long to be just 2.

  7. Hey Jami - -
    I took natural childbirth classes before I had Wyatt, she was a 2nd attendant for my midwife who came to our home for the classes, that was awesome. I don't have any personal knowledge if Bradley or Hypnosos is better! BUT read these 2 books, they are THE BEST!!!

    1. Spiritual Midwifery
    2. Ina MAy's Guide to Childbirth
    They are both by Ina May Gaskin

    And just a little FYI, "most" 1st time moms have their babies 10 days after their calendar due date so please DO NOT get induced! It will ruin all your natural childbirth dreams!

  8. I did hypnobirthing and will do it again. I would spring for a doula. You need a non-emotionally involved advocate there for you. I know I was too strung out on hormones to make logical decisions and Greg was emotional. I wish we had had someone there to tell the nurses to slow down and relax. The lady across the street from me is either a doula or a doula in training and I think provides her services for free, or at least for very little. For our next child I'm using Catherine Reed. She also taught the hypnobirthing class I took. Her number is (801)763-9753. She works with the CNM that you are going to a lot and is an RN, but does the doula thing full time. I 100% trust her because she has the medical background mixed with my view of birthing. Her classes are $175 and to have her as a doula isn't too much more--like $200 or something. Jenny Phillips, Suzanne whose last night I forgot and Mikelle Shea all used her too.

  9. Also, I ditto Amy on the Bradley method. Read the book, but I wouldn't use it in birth.

  10. Hey it's me Josiah. I just wanted to let you know that Katie and I used neither method, yet the way we do things is pretty much Bradley anyway. I would like to offer two bits of advice: 1. Make sure your doctor is cool with delivering you standing up, sitting down, lying down, or in any position. Some soca are real jerks about that. 2. Whatever you do do NOT tell the nurses that you are a bradley method person. They will immediately take an attitude with you. I would estimate that 90% of nurses are just jerks like that. Don't let them boss you around, but be cool because they're just trying to do their job. I think you'll encounter problems if you walk in the door saying that you're Bradley and get away from me. You're going to have fun! Squire will be great! Let him whisper supporting things in your ear from time to time and you'll be great! Good luck guys,


  11. I read some books and researched some of the hypnobirthing stuff because my Cousin did it and really loved it. I don't really have advice on what you should do because I didn't do either of those. My biggest advice is to be open to what ever is necessary for the sweet baby in you. I HAD to have an epidural because my body wouldn't relax and 6 days of labor is too long for the baby. Her heart rate was dropping too much and the doctors had to intervene. Like a lot of people have said, it's great if everything goings well, but it doesn't always. Along with Emma's heart rate dropping, she had meconium, and she was facing the wrong direction. At that point I was very grateful to have had an epidural because they had to get her out very quickly with a vacuum and episiotomy. After having had an epidural, I don't know what I will do next time, but it was very nice to not be in pain after 6 long days of labor. I didn't have any negative effects from the epidural and will most likely have it again. But good for you in wanting to go natural!

  12. Hi Jami,
    As Heather said, I did hypnobirthing and LOVED it. I would recommend Katherine Reed 200% as an instructor. I went with her on Jenny Phillips' recommendation. Something I loved about it was that the class didn't just talk about some weird hypnosis stuff the whole time. In addition to hypnosis (I prefer to say deep relaxation), it covered all the physiology and amazing, miraculous stuff about your body and the process of childbirth. So I felt totally prepared for birth, both with knowledge (I felt like I completely understood the process of birth and what was going to be happening) and skill (I had the incredible tool of deep relaxation--the body's natural anesthetic for pain) I talked to Amy, Lesly, Heather, Jenny, Katrina Larsen, and Allison Richards about the two methods before choosing. Amy and Steve pointed out that with hypnobirthing you can use the skill of relaxation no matter what happens (c-section, ending up having to be hooked up to machines, etc.) whereas with Bradley, once she had to get hooked up to a machine she couldn't even get into the positions Bradley taught and, like she said, a lot of the other information about nutrition and exercise during pregnancy, etc., you don't care about while you're giving birth and can just get by borrowing the book.
    In terms of Squire being very involved, I shared your concern. And hypnobirthing was actually AWESOME in this regard. Quinn did relaxation exercises with me every day before Caitlyn was born. When I was in labor, he read the relaxation scripts I got so incredibly relaxed that we both fell asleep between contractions all the way up til I delivered. The nurses didn't realize I was already at a 9 because we were so calm and relaxed. Anyway, it was awesome. It helped that both our doctor and our nurse were 100% supportive of our decision to give birth naturally. I can't say enough about my hypnobirthing experience.
    Ok, and I know this is already the longest post known to man, but we chose not to have a doula because we wanted that experience to just be Quinn and me. He was excited to do all he could to help and support me. That said, I have heard other people say that both they and their husbands REALLY loved and appreciated having a doula.
    Good luck! I'd love to hear what you decide! If you do choose hypnobirthing, again I'd say Katherine is THE way to go.

  13. Hey Jami! My friend Ailinh is amazing and did Hypnosis. I wanted to send your her blog post about it
    Let me know if you have any trouble pulling it up. Hope it helps!


  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvkz9Rqzcs0&feature=related



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