Friday, January 27, 2006

Pain-free Child Birth...

...sounds like an oxymoron, right? My friend is a registered Doula (birthing assistant). She swore to me that both her natural births performed at home were pain-free. Her technique was a mixture of meditation and the ancient sound of "AH." (As in God, Allah, etc) Now before you make any judgments, read on. I had never in my life performed any sort of meditation. As I listened to my friend, I was skeptical. But, I knew I was having a natural, non-epidural birth. (I had no choice. In May of 2000, I had surgery for a herniated disk. A tiny bit of my spine is missing rendering an epidural useless.) I continued to listen to my friend with an open mind. She gave me a meditation tape to practice uttering the ancient sound of "ah." The trick is to use your diaphragm when expressing this sound. By using the diaphragm, you're making it impossible to tense up. Our natural reaction to pain is to tense up, therefore we actually increase the pain. During the phase of labor when your cervix is opening up, the contractions are very strong and the most painful. When the contraction begins, relax and using your diaphragm say "aaaaahhh." I started off the contractions chanting "ah" and ended up yelling "AH" through most of it, yet all the while I used my diaphragm. I couldn't tense up and the sound coming from deep in my gut helped me tremendously during each contraction. The process made labor pains bearable (no pun intended). Plus, I lost myself during the chanting or yelling and stopped focusing on the pain. This technique worked for both my births because I practiced it for several months. My friend also gave me her Joy in Birthing CD* which I listened to at bedtime. Several times, I fell asleep while listening to the tape-it's that relaxing. I also followed my friend's other suggestions to better prepare for birth; including perineal massage and Kegel exercises. Perineal massage helps to stretch the birth canal and prevent tearing or need for an episiotomy. Kegel exercises condition the muscles to ease the birthing process.
I'm forever grateful to my friend although I can't say my labor was pain-free. It was pain-tolerable.
Aedan 8lbs 10oz
*I highly recommend purchasing the CD for yourself or someone expecting-Check out my friend's website-(she's also listed in my links) Joy In Birthing

5 comments:

Allygator said...

Wow!!! I think that's all I can say...I'm *that* impressed!!! :D

Kelley said...

I know most anyone who reads this will think it's a bunch of hoo-ha. But, I honestly don't know how I would have tolerated the pain otherwise. I'm sure a lot has to do with how much you believe in the technique you choose. I started off with my doubts, but I'm a firm believer now!

C. said...

I really do believe it. With my first natural birth experience (second child, had an epidural w/number one), I was able to "get on top" of the pain (for those who haven't gone natural, it's almost like riding a wave...you want to stay on top, not get crushed under it) with a wonderful breathing pattern my doula had taught me.

With the second experience (third baby), I was never able to get on top of the pain. I had a different doula (who was wonderful, but just didn't believe in breathing patterns) and I'm still in shock over the whole thing, it was so bad. I never *looked* like I was out of control or in pain, so nobody would believe me that it was as bad as it was...but it was just horrible. I wish I had known about this then! : )

Kami said...

Aw, sweet baby! I'm impressed, girl. I tried, but I couldn't catch my breath enough to say, "AH." OMG!!

:)

Jen said...

I think that is great. I will pass that information along. Anything natural is probably always better.

I had an epidural with my first.. Very scary. Nothing with #2, just because I got to the hospital too late. He came really fast!