If you're wondering if birth is as painful as the movies make it out to be I'm happy to report NO! In fact, after having two pain free births, there are loads of ways to prepare your mind and body for an unmedicated birth that is practically pain free or totally painless!
- WATCH BEST UNMEDICATED PAIN FREE BIRTH TIPS | No epidural. No water. Just a real mom of 2's experience!
- Is a pain free birth possible?
- But isn't birth painful?!?
- Tip #1: Know your body was BUILT for this
- Tip #2: Protect + prepare your mind/energy
- Tip #3: Work through MOMENTS of pain
- Tip #4: Work with your subconscious mind
- Tip #5: Create a daily practice
- Final thoughts…
Is a pain free birth possible?
Yes!! It's 100% possible to have a pain free birth.
One of my favorite natural childbirth techniques is to take a hypnobirthing class where you'll watch birth after birth of women calming breathing their babies out.
In fact, in that class I remember them sharing that pregnant women in comas have even given birth so peacefully that people didn't realize the person was giving birth until the baby was out and crying!
But isn't birth painful?!?
Yes and no.
I 1000000% believe birth is not painful on its own. I think our mind and fear conditioning are ultimately what make it painful.
I KNOW women’s bodies are perfectly designed to give birth. I KNOW that this natural process inherently isn’t painful.
I mean when we have a painful poop it’s our bodies way of telling us something is off.
If we have difficulty breathing, again our bodies way of telling us something is off.
But these natural biological processes happen and they don’t hurt when nothing is off.
Why would childbirth be any different?
I think birth, unlike other physiological processes, has a lot of conditioning around it from the time we are born and generationally.
Think about it: movies, tv, even well meaning friends share birth “war stories” all continuously reinforcing the idea that birth is painful.
But what if we didn't do this? What if we actually learned the history of birth and how it changed? What if we practiced Mother's Blessing Ceremonies instead of silly baby shower games?
Tip #1: Know your body was BUILT for this
Seriously, your body was built to give birth painlessly without medication. Remember the coma patient story I shared earlier?
I think for me personally, it was easier to let go of the tv/movie portrayals and war stories and step into the idea that birth isn’t painful because I was told – literally my entire life – that I have “child bearing hips” and that I my body was “built for having babies.”
I always wonder, if more women heard messages like those – that their bodies are designed for this – would the narrative around giving birth and people’s experiences change?
Tip #2: Protect + prepare your mind/energy
Then of course, while I was pregnant I’ve always been very diligent about watching unmedicated births. My first time around I watched only the blissful birth stories, which I actually don’t recommend. I think part of the unresolved stuff I needed to reclaim this second birth was that I felt like a “failure” for roaring my first baby out instead of blissfully breathing baby down in this romanticized way.
Since then I’ve watched many women roar their babies out and there’s beauty in both. This baby I got to breathe down and I loved it. But if my next baby I’m roaring out, I’ll love that too.
I look back at my first and am so proud I roared her out today, even though I didn't feel like that initially. In trying to breathe her down, I think I actually created more discomfort in my body.
It wasn’t until my doula said to me “release from your mouth” that I really felt this miraculous out of body experience. With my second I didn’t feel that out of body experience in the same way. Both were truly amazing and different.
I also tried my best to have stress free pregnancies. Even though I did struggle with pregnancy anxiety this second time.
I also use the last month of pregnancy (both times) to go inward and prepare for a fast labor and delivery. I wasn't rushing to see friends or be in energies that didn't feel fully supportive. I spent hours upon hours in nature, reading and rereading my hypnobirthing book, and going over what I wanted life as a new mom to look like.
Tip #3: Work through MOMENTS of pain
That's right MOMENTS. In my personal experience with two unmedicated births, they are not entirely painful or pain free; instead there were moments of pain with each and it's important to separate the two so you can move out of any pain if it even comes up at all for you (because it may not!)
With my first baby at the hospital…
With my first, the moments of pain felt completely surrounded by just not knowing what was going on.
I remember getting to the hospital and going back and forth about whether or not I wanted an epidural. I had them do a cervical check because I just didn’t know how far along I was. Like if it was another hour or 2 I was fine. But if I had 12+ hours ahead of me, I wanted an epidural.
As soon as my water broke and baby’s hair was there I felt better, but then I couldn’t figure out a position that felt natural.
And there were SO MANY PEOPLE around and my husband felt so far away, my midwife wasn’t there yet. I just felt very all over the place and out of control with how quickly things were happening.
With my second baby at home…
With my second, I remember getting up to go pee – or I thought I was going to pee, it turns out it was my water starting to break, when I sat on the toilet and felt a giant gush and looked down and saw blood I freaked out.
And things felt VERY INTENSE in that moment of feeling unsure and chaotic. I went to take a step away from the toilet and reached down and felt babies head. Once I realized what was happening and we all got into position, husband there holding me, midwives around me, doula supporting me, all the pain left again.
I also think I manifested back labor early on. If you watched my overdue vlog, I was in prodromal labor so I think I just wanted to know so badly if what I was feeling was real or fake (Braxton Hicks) that I ended up with back labor and it wasn’t until I exhausted myself physically trying to set up that dang hose that I finally released all the tension I was holding onto and had a truly painless laboring experience.
And then it’s just so amazing. How involved my husband got to be while I gave birth. Postpartum already being home, my toddler getting to just walk into our bedroom after her nap when she felt ready to meet her baby brother. My own nourishing foods. No one coming to check me every hour or whatever it is.
Tip #4: Work with your subconscious mind
The majority of our “operating system” (how we respond to things) can be found in our subscious mind.
There lies all those movie scenes, and random stories we've heard over the years.
Thankfully we can reprogram our subconscious mind with hypnosis, psych-k, and other energy work. I talk a lot about how I prepared for labor with my first in this post; including some unusual things that I think really helped.
With that said, I don't think they necessary by any means. I think a strong connection to your faith and a simple awareness of the subconscious can be enough to shift things at times.
Tip #5: Create a daily practice
In the hypnobirthing book, they recommend you do their meditations daily leading up to giving birth.
I think those can totally be helpful but can also be unrealistic for some schedules.
Instead I recommend creating a realistic daily practice of flooding your mind with supportive birthing resources.
For me that meant listening to the Freely Rooted Podcast, following @painfreebirth and @essentiallyerin_ on Instagram. This way, I was getting a few touch points each day as I checked Instagram with things that helped me realize the power of my body and beauty of birth.
I still meditated, practiced birth affirmations, and journaled in that final month with my second baby, but it wasn't necessarily daily like I did with my first. I think that long term approach with more casual daily touch points was more beneficial for me personally.
I truly believe it is possible to give birth without pain! I hope these tips for birth without an epidural seriously help first time moms or moms looking to have have a normal delivery and avoid a cesarean.
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