Here are our 5 best tips to avoiding an epidural. If this is your birth goal, we know how to get you there.
Most people get the epidural based on exhaustion, not pain. We are all perfectly designed to handle the pain. With the right preparation, expectations and plan you can optimize rest in early labour to save your energy for the end. You CAN handle the pain, and you can plan for exhaustion.
2: Coping practice
It is not a good strategy to get to BIRTH day and not have thought about, or practiced coping positions and plans. Having a breath practice is key. Knowing how your partner can support you will help immensely in getting you through the harder points of labour. Know what tools are available to you, water, motion, etc.
I've spoken with many midwives about this, and they say for a first birth, if you are planning on avoiding an epidural, then you need a prenatal class and a doula. This is one of the BEST tools you can have to help accomplish your goals.
Plan a home birth. I said it. If you are a 10 out of 10, I do not want an epidural, and you are low risk, then a home birth and a midwife are the right choice for you. Set yourself up for success in the places that matter.
If you must birth at the hospital, wait as long as you can to go in. Again, education is power, and a doula is an amazing tool to help with this process and determining when you should go to the hospital. If you get there too early and they send you home, consider it an opportunity, not a disappointment!