Birth Experience

Introduction to Creating a Peaceful Birth Experience

9 Comments 08 March 2010

Natural Childbirth Can Be Peaceful

I’d like you to think about what a peaceful labor and birth could look like.

More often than not, the natural process of childbirth is uncomplicated. Labor can be arduous, challenging and long. It can be painful and have stressful moments. But the oh-so-famous saying is true: hard work results in the deepest of rewards.

In the second half of this series, we’ll explore creating a peaceful birth environment- how you can set yourself up to achieve a positive birth experience no matter where you are, or what happens.

Natural childbirth is like a marathon.

Have you ever watched a professional runner? They make running look easy – effortless. Each step is taken in stride. They find their rhythm and get to know it inside and out. They moderate their breathing with training.

You wouldn’t run a marathon without training first or surveying the trek you’re about to embark on. Childbirth should be thought of the same way – as an event to prepare for.

Contractions Are Beautiful

So here’s the scoop about contractions for first time moms:

Some would describe contractions as intense menstrual cramps. I didn’t think of them that way.

Each time I had a contraction, I imagined my uterus as a big muscle that was tightening around my baby, urging her body downward. My stomach got hard and tense, but it was important to remember to keep the rest of my body from getting tense too.

Relax with all of your being between contractions, even at the beginning. Lay down – close your eyes – let go. This will significantly retain your strength for increased stamina. You’re going to need that energy when it comes time to push.

The strength of contractions may feel like the most incredible pain you’ve ever felt, but know this: the pain of contractions is the only time you will ever feel hurt when something ISN’T wrong with you. Contractions are constructive and productive. Each contraction brings your baby closer to you.

Love Hormones

Labor is hard. And natural birth – the delivery part especially, is incredibly challenging. But don’t be afraid. Accept this as part of the process and be one with the experience.

Being fully present with your childbirth (naturally) will deliver such a fantastic reward, and I don’t just mean your baby…

The rewards of natural childbirth are life-long lasting.

The moment you see your child and hold them in your arms is the moment when all recollection of “challenge” or “pain” completely disappears.

You may have heard that before, but it’s true! During labor you could be screaming at your birth team, “I never want to do this again – EVER!” but after you’ve given birth you will gladly admit you’d do it all over again.

This is the rush of the “love hormone,” oxytocin running through your veins. You are in a state of pure elation better than anything you’ve ever lived through or imaged in your wildest dreams. Pure joy. Pure love.

And you just don’t get that exact type of experience with an epidural. It’s the pain and pleasure of natural childbirth to feel everything.

Natural Birth Anywhere

I firmly believe you can have a natural childbirth anywhere. It just so happens certain locations and providers are “easier” to give birth naturally than others.

(I’ll be discussing the types of care providers with whom you’ll have the best chance at achieving a natural, peaceful birth later in this series)

There are pros and cons of birthing in an environment where medical access is immediately available. One of the several reasons why I gave birth at home was to distance myself from the temptation of pain medication.

As a first time expectant mother, I had no idea what I was in for, but I wholeheartedly believed I could birth naturally.

Continue reading and learn about the first step to owning your birth by Choosing a Care Provider Who Cares (sometimes that means firing your current doctor).

Your Comments

9 Comments so far

  1. Erica Grande says:

    Wow. I’m due March 20th with my first and am having a home birth. No one but my husband (and 2yr old dog) will be present. It’s articles like these that help reassure me. Thank you. <3

  2. Sarah says:

    I love the part about the love hormones. I was so very fuzzy throughout most of my labor, I don’t remember it. But I do remember the exact second that Emma Jayne was born and I got that rush of Oxytocin. How wonderful. It makes me sad that some women go through the pain of birth and do not get to experience the high of the Oxytocin because they’ve chosen to have an unnatural birth.

  3. Great post! I definitely would give birth again, in fact I love the experience of birthing. I love how you’ve described the uterus doing its thing. And I do believe that natural birth is possible any where, but definitely some places are easier to have a natural birth – a free-standing birth center and home, especially. :)

  4. Sarah Ericson says:

    i have had twins born at home and a singleton born at a birth center, two of the three births were in water. With the first twin there was no pain what so ever! Seriously the contractions were milder than any of my 15 plus years of period cramps, i didn’t even think I was in labor because they were so mild. I have decided that I will never birth anywhere other than my home. Thank you for giving such a positive platform for women.


  5. I love the part about contraction. I remembered my student told me that she actually enjoyed the contraction. How wonderful if every women can overcome the fear of pain. Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Helen brand says:

    Im pregnant w twins. I would love to talk to sarah ecrickson about ur twin births at home. Im planning one too n it would be nice to talk.


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