It seemed only fitting that, as we prepare for the arrival of Baby Boy 3.0, I should share with you about my blogging friend, Jenny‘s new ebook about…childbirth!

Unbound Birth: How to Have a Natural Birth in the Hospital is Jenny’s wonderful collection of birthing stories and vital information to help women make their own birthing choices in a hospital setting.

I was immediately drawn to Jenny’s book because there are not many resources out there that empower women to try a natural birth in a hospital. It IS possible and Jenny shares her own stories to back this up!

I, personally, have not experienced a 100% natural birth, but we have gone into each with that goal and used intervention only when necessary. With Big J, that meant an emergency c-section. With Little J, fentanyl was needed to help me relax when I wasn’t progressing at all. Believe me when I say the pain was still very much there!

I can’t guarantee we will end up with a natural birth this time around either, but it is a goal. Of course, the most important goal is, and always should be, a healthy baby and mama!

Today, I wanted to share with you my ten favorite tips from Unbound Birth for working towards a natural birth, with some of my own experiences thrown in. I think these tips are great for any woman in childbirth, whether she plans on an epidural, other pain meds, or nothing!

And, just to clarify…

My post about this book today says NOTHING about how I feel about a woman’s choice to use pain medications or not, have a scheduled c-section, or any other personal decision related to childbirth. I just wanted to share a helpful resource by a friend for anyone who might be interested!

So here are my…

Top Ten Favorite Childbirth Tips from Unbound Birth

1. MUSIC. I’m listing this #1 because it is the most memorable and personal thing for me. I loved having music that we specifically picked out playing throughout labor and delivery. I know exactly what song was playing when Little J was born. I know exactly what music was playing just before we went back for Big J’s c-section. Each time, we have made a relaxing playlist and a more upbeat playlist so we’re ready for whatever the mood may need to be!

2. Hire a doula. We had no idea how wonderful this would be until we had doula there throughout labor and delivery with Little J. So helpful, so knowledgable, another cheerleader in the room, and someone to rub my back while I focus on my sweet hubby’s face or hang on him during the hard contractions. And so much more than that! You better believe she will be there this time around as well!

3. Changing positions. This was huge for me. I could not stand laying in the bed. Even at almost ten centimeters, I wanted to be standing – or more accurately, hanging on the hubby. Do what works best for you and don’t be afraid to move and try something else to help you get through!

4. Birthing ball. Another helpful tool IF it is comfortable for you!

5. Whirlpool. I wasn’t able to utilize this as much as I would have liked with either boy, but even the little bit I used it with Big J was wonderful. Many hospitals have this option now, which wasn’t true several years ago!

6. Getting baby in the right position. I have never had a breech baby, but Jenny offers MANY ideas for getting baby into the most ideal birthing position on your own. I had never thought of most of her ideas, but they are brilliant! And they are not just for breech babies – this will help for several positional challenges.

7. Having a list of “birth desires” instead of a birth plan. This may be one of my favorite sections of the whole book…

To me “birth plan” implies that there is a strict plan to be followed, and if the woman strays for any reason, she has somehow “failed”… What I would like to offer up to you is the idea of bringing with you a document that explains your desires for your birth. This is not a set-in-stone plan, but rather a list of things that you would prefer to happen (or not happen as the case may be) during your labor and delivery. Be realistic and flexible with this list. After all, you are under the care of the hospital staff and they are doing their job. They know a thing or two about delivering babies. {emphasis my own}

I just want to shout “Amen!” to all of that! Setting your plans/expectations too firmly will almost always end in a feeling of failure, but making your desires and preferences known is very important!

8. Good smells. This may sound weird, but having my favorite smelling lotion there at both labors was very comforting. A massage usually feels better with lotion and having a lotion that smells good may be relaxing to you as it was to me!

9. Stories to encourage you. This isn’t specifically one of Jenny’s tips in the book, but she certainly does provide encouragement through her own stories in the book. I know that stories of friends’ birth experiences are empowering to me, especially right in the middle of things! I can think to those stories and say, “She did it and so can I!”

10. Take care of yourself ahead of time! Jenny can speak to this much better than I can, but what you eat and your exercise level during pregnancy can help significantly with your endurance and pain management during labor. She has great tips for pregnancy nutrition and exercise in the ebook!

There is so much more encouragement, information, and advice in Unbound Birth – well worth the $4.99 it sells for on Amazon {for Kindle} or in PDF form!

Thank you to Jenny for sharing your experiences and wisdom with us! It is wonderful to hear a voice sharing positive natural birth stories from the hospital setting!


Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this ebook to review for this post. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. This post also contains affiliate links.