• Decide what your reasons are for wanting to go natural. Have a mental list or a written list of the reasons you want to do this. Knowing your purpose makes you more determined. 
  • Be prepared: You can't expect to go in there without any prior knowledge and expect to do things naturally--especially in the event of a long labor. 
  • If there are classes offered by your birthing center or hospital, then take those classes. But also know that everything you learn in the class may not be utilized or right for you. When you're in labor, you'll know how to apply the things you learned. 
  • In your classes you'll likely learn breathing techniques, but don't always stress about knowing exactly how to do them. You may find that when in labor you'll apply your own breathing techniques that work for you. 
  • Read, Read, Read. Reading other natural birth stories particularly those in Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth will likely motivate you even more. Hearing other people discuss the beauty in it and ability to suffer a little bit of pain for a short period of time makes you realize that it really is doable. 
  • Remember that the pain will go away. The second your baby is born that's it. Sure you may sting a little or need a few stitches, but the pain is all gone once that baby arrives.
  • Realize that you're not going to die. It's not the end of the world. You won't be in pain forever. 
  • Practice massage techniques ahead of time so that way you may know what you prefer. You may not want anyone to touch your feet or you may want them to massage only your feet. 
  • If you don't want visitors or don't want to talk, don't feel the pressure to entertain. This is your moment. Get in a zone and a mindset and stay there.
  • Motivate yourself. Talking to yourself whether out loud or mentally and praying helps a lot. 
  • Have a backup plan. In the event that you can't handle the pain perhaps you'll try a drip of pain meds first or maybe you'll go straight to the epidural. 
  • Have knowledge about all of the pain medications, c-sections, monitors, inductions and more. Know the affects of all of these things on you and your baby.
  • Each time you consider giving in, tell yourself you'll go just a little bit longer. 
  • Don't labor the whole time in the bed. In fact get out of bed. Laboring in bed makes the pain more intense -- walking, rocking, and more helps. 
  • Try all of the amenities the hospital or center offers such as tubs, showers, birthing balls, birthing stools, massage balls, rocking chair and so on. 
  • Have a coach. Or a doula. Or a midwife. Either way you need someone to motivate you and continually tell you how good you're doing and to lift you up when you're close to giving in.
  • KNOW YOUR BIRTH PLAN AND BE FIRM ABOUT YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS. 
  • Never let others think you can't do this. In fact use their snotty comments, little smirks and laughter be all the more determination for you. Remember that they think you can't do this because they never could -- you can prove them wrong and come out looking like one damn powerful woman. 
  • Remember that your baby is worth it and your body was made for this. If God didn't think we could handle it he would have given men the privilege of carrying babies -- but he didn't because he knew that women were much more capable and men were pansies. ;)
My two guides for my natural labor. 
More to come on them soon!

What's your tip for handling pain?

xoxo, Sasha