3 Singapore women open up about their 'intense' natural birth experience

Singapore mums bare it all about their natural birth experiences, the pain, and the fear which they went through during labour.
PHOTO: Pexels

Natural birth refers to an unmedicated vaginal delivery with minimal intervention. Do note, this type of childbirth is not for everyone, but ditching drugs might have some advantages for pregnant women.

For instance, recovery can be faster if you deliver without drugs or any form of anaesthesia.

Now, if you are anxious about giving birth and going through painful labour in the natural birth process, you are not alone. A pregnant mum sailing in the same boat posted her query on the TAP community.

She asked other mums to share their natural birth experience with her and how would they rate their pain level. And the other mums in the community came to her rescue.

Singaporean mums open up about their natural birth experience

PHOTO: Unsplash

Mums who opted for natural childbirth during delivery shared their real life stories. They assured the expecting mother that all the intense pain during labour is "worth it" when you see the baby for the first time. 

1. Mum with five natural births still experiences extreme fear of labour

The user shared that even though she is an experienced mum, she still experiences an "extreme fear of labour." She has had five natural births, all with epidural, except the last one.

Sharing details about her last delivery, the mum said that she was induced and the doctor did a membrane sweep on her cervix to quicken the labour process. She struggled with pain for three hours before giving birth. 

The mum gave birth to two premature babies where she was given two thigh jabs (steroid injections). She recalls that these were the most painful jabs ever for her but were necessary to strengthen the lungs of her babies. 

For her first baby, she had an episiotomy. Thankfully, there was no vaginal incision required for the rest of her deliveries. 

The mum shares that it's very important to listen to your body because each body works differently. Here are some important lessons she shared:

  • Take the epidural when you can't tolerate the pain
  • Don't lift your butt if you don't want a big tear
  • Don't scream when you are pushing
  • You need your spouse's support during labour

2. Went through waves of pain for seven hours

Another mum shared that she was at home when her contractions started and she went through seven hours of pain.

"I called the ambulance when I felt like pushing and the water bag broke inside the ambulance," she said.

The mum reached the hospital at 9.30am and the baby came out at 9.40am. She says, "It's okay to be scared, we all are, but once you see your baby, it will all be worth it."

ALSO READ: 'I had to poop in front of a stranger': 4 Singapore mums share their most memorable labour experiences

3. Laughing gas came to the rescue of these mums

There were some mums who took the laughing gas and decided to skip the epidural even though the pain was through the roof. Nevertheless, the mums successfully delivered their babies. 

Another user shared that she opted for delivery without an epidural. She took the laughing gas when her cervix dilated to 6cm but gave up on it after a while. The mum eventually took an epidural at 7cm, which made things easier. 

These experiences show that every pregnancy is different. Birthing your child without drugs is obviously the best option but it isn't an easy decision. 

Remember, no method of delivery is superior to others. You may go through a C-section, a vaginal or a natural birth experience. The choice is completely yours. Your gynaecologist will take the final call depending on your health and how the baby is doing. 

If you decide to have a natural birth, here are some tips to help you.

5 tips to help you have a natural birth experience

PHOTO: Pexels

1. Enrol in childbirth classes

If you are wondering how to prepare for a "natural birth", start by getting prenatal education with classes that include how labour and birth work.

This also includes natural labour pain management techniques like breathing, relaxation and self-hypnosis.

2. Pick up a provider who assists with natural birth

Once you have made up your mind that for a natural birth process, it's important to look for a midwife or a doctor, who is equally invested in the process.

You can also consider hiring a doula, who will be there with you, supporting you before, during and after labour. 

3. Start an exercise routine

Childbirth calls for energy and stamina, so start your exercise routine early. Dr Ryan Dickerson, an obstetrician, says in an article by The Parents, "Consider the nine months of pregnancy your training period, and start preparing for labour early on by exercising regularly."

Here's his prescription:

  • 30 minutes of movement, seven days a week.
  • Hit the elliptical machine or stationary bike, which can get your heart rate up.
  • Try to walk wherever you can.
  • Flexibility, especially in your hips, is important and comes into use at the time of pushing your baby out.
  • Try 30 minutes of prenatal yoga one or two days a week.

Note: Your body produces relaxin during pregnancy, which makes you naturally flexible, so be careful not to overstretch yourself at any point.

ALSO READ: 11 best ways to avoid premature labour naturally

4. Move around during labour

When your labour starts, try to keep moving to stay comfortable. Walking, squatting, sitting, swaying and switching sides can help your body work with your contractions. Also, movement eases tension and gives your mind something else to focus on other than pain. 

Try to relax by following some of these techniques like meditation, rhythmic breathing, self-hypnosis and others. When you are in the hospital, your nurse will monitor your vital signs, draw blood and this may interrupt your zen.

If you start to have your initial labour at home, create an environment to promote relaxation. 

5. Decide when to take the epidural

If you can't focus on your contractions and relax in between them, it is best to ask for pain medicines. Remember, your pelvic muscles can go into spasm mode if you are not able to catch a breath in the middle of the contractions.

This will make it difficult for the baby to descend. An epidural will come to your rescue, it will relieve your pain and will let the pelvis do its job.

Always have an open mind and accept what the doctor is suggesting because the end goal is to have a healthy baby.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.