Book recommendations for natural labour

More little BLWers in the making... <rubs hands>

Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby RedRum » 26 Nov 2014, 12:57

Not 100% sure what I'm after here, but some background....

When I had R I was 21, single, terrified and very alone. I was induced in hospital at 41+5, I had an epidural that didn't work, a great deal of monitoring as R's heart rate kept dropping, had an episiotomy and very narrowly avoided a ventouse/forceps delivery. I did not have any birth plan as such, I more or less did as I was told, and my overwhelming memories are feelings of being overwhelmed, afraid, alone and in pain. I don't actually remember holding R for the first time, I struggled to bond with her, and suffered from PND which resulted in me being on ADs for a couple of years.

I want this time to be different. I am (assuming all goes to plan) going to be at home, I will have DH with me, and I am not afraid. Sounds corny, but I know that he will be incredible and I know if he is there I will feel safe. I do want to be as prepared as I can though as overwhelmingly I really want to feel that I am in control. I'm interested in book recommendations (or any other medium?) that will help me have a calm natural labour, but I'm lacking direction so I'm not sure where to go. There are hypnobirthing classes at our local hospital but the are £250 which I think is a lot.

Any hints, tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Also any nice reassuring anecdotes from anyone who had a shitty first labour and turned it around second time :)
Mama to R (2007) and J (2015)
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby pimento » 26 Nov 2014, 13:06

I love the Natal Hypnotherapy book - even before she gets to the hypno-y bit, there's a brilliant section on birth, how you're made to do this, and all that stuff. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Effective-Birth ... erapy+book
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby pimento » 26 Nov 2014, 13:07

PS: in general, any of the books on this list will prepare you, but I still think the NH book to be brilliant:

http://homebirthersandhopefuls.com/prep ... book-list/

:)
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby Lioncub's mama » 26 Nov 2014, 13:43

I have the hypnobirthing book by Katherine Graves - I'm happy to put it in the post for you if you PM me your address. I had a CD which came with it but I'm not sure what happened to it. I did a hypnobirthing course as well, which was quite closely based on the book.

I had a hard first labour. Nothing terrible, but very far from what I had hoped for. It was long - I had an epidural after about 30 hours, I think it was about 36 or so hours in total - and my overwhelming memory of it is feeling exhausted and pretty inadequate. My second was so different. It was a lovely homebirth. 5-6 hours in total, and I felt really strong and in control all the way through (even though I had a whooping 11lb baby!). I think using the hypnobirthing techniques really helped. So did just knowing that I was at home, having a midwife I was familiar with etc.
Lioncub (P) - August 2011
Baby brother (E) - December 2013
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby pimento » 26 Nov 2014, 14:50

Lioncub's mama wrote:It was a lovely homebirth. 5-6 hours in total, and I felt really strong and in control all the way through (even though I had a whooping 11lb baby!). I think using the hypnobirthing techniques really helped. So did just knowing that I was at home, having a midwife I was familiar with etc.


Gotta love that birthing pool ;)
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby Lioncub's mama » 26 Nov 2014, 15:01

pimento wrote:
Lioncub's mama wrote:It was a lovely homebirth. 5-6 hours in total, and I felt really strong and in control all the way through (even though I had a whooping 11lb baby!). I think using the hypnobirthing techniques really helped. So did just knowing that I was at home, having a midwife I was familiar with etc.


Gotta love that birthing pool ;)


:D The birth pool was amazing!
Lioncub (P) - August 2011
Baby brother (E) - December 2013
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby NorthernKitten » 26 Nov 2014, 15:19

I second the natal hypnotherapy (maggie howell) ones. The book is great for reaffirming that we're made to do this. I did the birthing cd from 32 weeks with munchkin, and it really helped in the early hours of a stressful induction that was as far from birth plan as is possible. Even consultant was impressed when I told her I was skiing through contractions - her actual words were 'you should look like you're in more pain than you do!'

Useless later on, mind you, but every little helps!!

This time have done the pregnancy relaxation cd from the start, and am about to reread te book and start the birthing cd. If it only gets me through the early stages again, I'm fine with that.and if it doesn't even do that this time, the 30 minutes chill out is always welcome...
Mummy to a munchkin (Dec 12) and a mini munchkin (due Jan 15) and part-time teacher of teenaged terrors.
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby nearlymumtobabyfk » 26 Nov 2014, 15:36

I'm very similar RR, going for a vbac this time after a shitty first birth... I've been reading a bit of Ina May, following positive birth stories on Facebook and just generally telling myself I can do it. I am hopefully that every mum I've spoken to describes a much easier labour 2nd time...
Mum to A, 2010, and R, 2015
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby mindy » 26 Nov 2014, 17:06

Will reply in more detail when not on phone, but my experiences echo yours - every drug under sun with Roo, v traumatised for about a year after. Determined it would be diff with Min and it was - read up on nct , also a very good Lamaze book. Did yoga , although limited with severe spd. Used tens at home, went to hosp and was only there for long enough to fill birthing pool (still using tens ), then had Min within 20 mins of bring in water. It was amazing , and not at all frightening - we have a photo of me holding her, cord still inside me, in my bikini top in the pool, and it looks for all the world like I'm on holiday rather than just given birth!! Use your ball lots too for the second half of pregnancy, really helps with baby's position, your core strength, and it feels nice - and R will love it too !! Good luck, things will be do much better for you this time.
Two adorable, headstrong daughters: Roo born Sept 2008, Min born April 2011, and small boy who arrived Summer 2015
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby Brigitte » 27 Nov 2014, 08:19

I really liked Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Childbirth". It's not a complete method of birthing or anything, but it was great at giving a few little tips in the context of the bigger picture of how childbirth works. Plus, it's about half birth stories, which I really appreciated. In fact, for my second birth all I did to prepare was read every single birth story I could get my hands on. It really helps me to have an idea of a wide variety of things that might happen and things that might be done to help, so that when my own labour happens I feel less surprised by the twists and turns, and I also feel like I understand what the caregivers are talking about without having to ask for explanations mid-labour.

My personal birthing philosophy (roughly based on what I learned from Ina May Gaskin's book) is that there is a relationship between pain and fear and physical tension. Each one can cause or be caused by the others. Anything you can do to lessen any one of those can in turn lessen the others. So when I'm birthing, I focus on keeping my body relaxed (hands open, face relaxed, shoulders down, vocal pitch low), all my knowledge and encouragement from reading birth stories (as well as faith in my caregivers) lessens my fear, and then the pain kind of takes care of itself.

For my first birth it was also helpful to have a few visualizations to focus on. I had a few prepared, but I ended up focusing on thoughts that just came to me in the moment. I imagined myself in a canoe, and just lifting up my paddle and waiting calmly as the wake of a motorboat rocks my canoe, until it passes and then I can keep paddling. I also reminded myself of that youtube video of an elephant giving birth, and telling myself that if entire elephants can be born out of vaginas, then surely my little baby could be born out of mine! That's right folks, I focused on huge elephant vaginas. My second birth was 1 hour and 45 minutes of pure insanity (getting my eldest shipped off to the grandparents, getting the doula to come over, and then frantically driving to the hospital while trying not to have the baby in the car) so I didn't have time to focus on anything at all. I think all I managed during that birth was to keep my vocalizations low. But both births were basically healthy and positive experiences!
I love my kiddos! Two April girls (2011 and 2013) and a May boy (2016). I guess we have spring babies in this family.
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby Brigitte » 27 Nov 2014, 08:38

RedRum wrote: I don't actually remember holding R for the first time


I don't remember the part of my first birth where my daughter was actually born. All I remember is pushing (which I had been doing for 3 hours, and I was exhausted) and then suddenly I was holding a baby. I felt a bit confused, actually. And then she didn't look familiar, which I had somehow assumed she would. Thankfully this was not a negative experience, but it was absolutely emotionally neutral. I did not feel the overwhelming love people talk about. I sort of felt like, "Hello, pleased to meet you. I look forward to working with you." Ah well. And also, I was so exhausted that I wasn't able to figure out what sex she was. The midwife prompted me to look, and I did, and I got as far as, "I've seen that anatomy before...." and then I completely blanked and the midwife had to tell me she was a girl.

Sorry, that's a bit off topic :) All the best with your second birth! Sounds like you're already in a positive mindset about it.
I love my kiddos! Two April girls (2011 and 2013) and a May boy (2016). I guess we have spring babies in this family.
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby sabrina fair » 27 Nov 2014, 08:41

I had two wonderful, straightforward home births. Did lots of hypnobirthing practice. For me it was important that dh had also done the practice with me because he knew what I was trying to achieve and how to support me (mainly through lots of light touch massage and the occasional gentle reminder to stay relaxed). He also knew how to act as my advocate if anything needed deciding on - though in the end both births were extremely straightforward. Like you, I knew I could totally get through the birth as long as he was there with me. The midwives were a reassuring presence, but it was him I needed to keep me calm and help me let my body and baby get on with what they needed to do.
Mum to monkeyboy (Spring 2011) and squidge (August 2013)
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 27 Nov 2014, 12:25

pimento wrote:I love the Natal Hypnotherapy book - even before she gets to the hypno-y bit, there's a brilliant section on birth, how you're made to do this, and all that stuff. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Effective-Birth ... erapy+book


Absolutely this one!! I have a copy if you would like to borrow - it's been around a few forumites!!! I also have a Hypnobirthing CD which I can copy for you. It is a homebirthing one and it is definitely relaxing! Let me know if you would like either or both!

Do you do pre-natal yoga?? I found it fabulous for not only getting a bit of quiet time but also focusing the mind on birthing positions, breathing techniques, focus and being surrounded by like minded positive lovely birthing hopefuls. I know of of a brilliant class in Petersfield but I'm not sure if that is a bit far away. There is one near Chichester which I've heard is also good. I can find the details for you if you are interested.
Mummy to my two miracle baby girls - The Thunder Fairies. Munchie born May 2010 and Ickle Pickle born July 2012.

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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby RedRum » 27 Nov 2014, 12:31

Thank you all so much for the recommendation and the birth stories. I knew I could rely on the forum :D

Brigitte - can identify with lots of your second post. I remember the feeling of being cut when the mw did my episiotomy, but I don't remember actually giving birth, it's all very blurry.

HF - that would be amazing, although I'm not due till May so although I'd be keen to start reading now I'd feel bad about borrowing for too long if you see what I mean!

Thank you all, keep it coming with the stories and tips!
Mama to R (2007) and J (2015)
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Re: Book recommendations for natural labour

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 27 Nov 2014, 13:15

RedRum wrote:
HF - that would be amazing, although I'm not due till May so although I'd be keen to start reading now I'd feel bad about borrowing for too long if you see what I mean!



Not at all - the longer you have to prep, the more happy/relaxed/focused you'll be! I started yoga at 12 weeks with Pickle and I found it completely wonderful!!!!

Do you want to PM your address or perhaps we could meet for a cuppa one day?
Mummy to my two miracle baby girls - The Thunder Fairies. Munchie born May 2010 and Ickle Pickle born July 2012.

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