Every woman’s pregnancy and delivery is a special, unique and sometimes unpredictable experience. You may have made plans to deliver at home without medication, but ultimately had to deliver in a hospital via c-section. Maybe you were planning on going through labor naturally, without an epidural, but found that ultimately you needed one. The best birthing plans are flexible ones where the goal is for both mom and baby to stay safe and healthy. If giving birth without an epidural is something you are considering, read the following guide to get an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that when making medical decisions, to always seek the advice of your medical provider.
Intense But Productive Pain
When birthing without an epidural, you feel everything from those initial Braxton Hicks cramps in early labor to the immense pressure of pushing baby’s head out, the largest part of their body. Once the baby is out, a pleasing sense of relief overwhelms your body as endorphins and oxytocin are released. The contractions you feel throughout labor are all very useful in helping to signal which stage of labor you are in. Early labor is when you feel those Braxton Hicks cramps which become stronger. Active labor consists of intense and increasingly painful contractions that are longer in duration. These productive contractions allow your cervix to open making way for baby. Transition is the most intense and painful stage of labor that signals for your body to push the baby out.