I'm 16, 35 weeks pregnant, and I want to go all natural during labour. But I do have a low tolerance for pain and I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. Can you give me some tips maybe even stories about natural birth experiences?
There are many, many women who feel they have a low pain tolerance who go on to have a successful natural birth. There are also many young moms who have wonderful natural births – I was one of them, having my first baby at home as a teen.
I recommend you spend time reading birth stories. I have quite a few posted for you to read – mums in hospitals, birth centers, and at home:
Birth Stories – mine are the first on the page and there are many, many others to read through.
If you can get a copy of the book Spiritual Midwifery and/or Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, they are excellent. Many of the moms in Spiritual Midwifery were very young when they had their babies.
First and foremost, know that you can have a natural birth if you want one. You can do it!
Studying breathing and relaxation will help you – take some time every day to close your eyes and relax and take deep breaths. This will help you teach your body to relax when you want it to – that's very helpful during labour. If you can relax your body, you “get it out of the way” of your uterus. It probably won't take the pain away, but it's much easier to deal with if you're relaxed.
Find out if you can use water during your birth. Can you get in a tub, or even the shower? Water helps a lot during labour. It provides pain relief and can help you distract yourself.
Move, walk, and rock as you feel like you should. All of this movement helps you move your baby down and out, and it can bring relief of pain.
If you have a birth partner it's good to talk to him or her. Let them know that you want to have a natural birth, and that you'd like them to encourage you.
Do remember that often when you feel like you can't take anymore pain, you're very close to having your baby.
For more tips and practical hints, check out my natural childbirth article series. I also have a checklist of natural pain relief ideas that may be helpful to you.
Best of luck with your baby and let me know if I can help with anything else!