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Increase Your Odds of Having a Natural Childbirth with these 5 Tips

If you desire to have a natural childbirth, you’ve got to prepare your body and mind early on in your pregnancy. Here are 5 tips for a natural childbirth from a mom who did it successfully. #pregnancy #naturalbirth #labor #birth #womenshealth #birthteam #doula #midwife #unmedicatedbirth

Why Choose Natural Childbirth?

Revealing your desire to have a natural childbirth may elicit reactions of horror, shock, and awe from your family and friends. Some people can’t understand why a woman would want to endure the rigors of labor without the aid of modern medicine. Others are so strongly opposed to natural birth that they accuse women who choose an unmedicated birth of being selfish, irresponsible, and anti-science.

In truth, there are several excellent reasons to choose a natural childbirth:

  • Birthing a child is a normal function for a woman’s body

  • Managing the pains of labor can be done without modern medicine

  • Drugs used during labor can affect the baby

  • For some women the side effects of epidurals can last months after giving birth

  • Planned hospital births for low risk women are not necessarily safer than birthing at home or in a birth center

  • The U.S. is considered one of the most dangerous places on earth to give birth due to poor hospital practices when it comes to managing hemorrhaging and hypertension

  • There is increasing concern that the alarming discrepancy between the maternal death rates of Black American women and other American women has to do with biases of medical staff

  • Women of all races, socioeconomic standing, religions, health statuses, and religions have died as the result of giving birth in the U.S. There is evidence that as many as 60% of these maternal deaths are preventable.

Whatever your reasons for choosing a natural childbirth, it’s your right to make that decision despite what anyone thinks. However, deciding you want to have an unmedicated birth is not enough. You’ve got to prepare yourself in order to increase your chances of having a successful natural birth experience.

Pitfalls to Avoid in Order to Have a Natural Childbirth

I was unable to have the natural birth I so desperately desired the first time around. But I thank G-d both my baby girl and I survived. I also successfully had an unmedicated birth with my second child, which was a redemptive and healing experience for my family and me.

My birth story with my first born is a very painful one that still brings me to tears over 6 years later, but I learned a lot of lessons about advocating for myself and protecting my rights since then.

I am passionate about helping women have the birth experiences they desire by sharing my stories and resources I’ve discovered along the way. I hope when I no longer have children at home to care for that I can take more of an active role in helping women birth their way.

Here are a few pitfalls I encourage women to avoid if they want a natural birth experience:

  • Failing to plan – giving birth is natural, but you’ve still got to prepare yourself

  • Failing to get a prenatal education – the more you know, the more empowered you will be

  • Failing to choose health care staff that will support your goals – your team makes the difference

  • Failing to prepare physically – labor is an endurance activity that you can and should train for

  • Failing to properly fuel your body – during pregnancy all the way through labor, what you eat and drink matters

Of course, this tiny list is a fraction of concerns to keep in mind, but since I am not yet a trained birth professional, I won’t dive into some of the more controversial pitfalls that some believe can steer a woman into a medicated birth against her desires.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, I highly recommend this documentary. The experiences of some of the subjects mirrors my own medicated birth experience.

If your goal is to have a natural childbirth, here are 5 of the best tips I know to increase the odds of that happening.

Remember, I am not a medical professional and I am not responsible for the choices you make regarding your health. Seek the advice of your family doctor before following any of these tips.

“Birthing a child is a normal function for a woman’s body.

From Bread Baker to Bread Maker

In this free course, I’ll show you how to jumpstart your transition from stay at home mom to work at home mom. You’ll receive valuable insights and resources right in your inbox. Get started now!

Natural Childbirth Tip #1 – Create Your Birth Plan

A birth plan is a document that you create and share with your birth team in order to promote a more positive birth experience. Any woman can make a birth plan and birth plans are useful whether a woman opts to birth naturally or have a c-section.

Your birth plan should include your wishes concerning:

  • Who is allowed to be present

  • Environmental comforts (music, incense, candles, etc.)

  • Pain management

  • Fetal monitoring

  • Labor positions and mobility

  • Breastfeeding

  • Skin-to-skin contact

  • Responding to emergencies

It’s important to note that your birth team will in no way be bound to everything you outline in your birth plan, but they will do their best to accommodate your wishes while prioritizing a safe birth experience during and after labor for you and your child.

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Preparing to welcome a new baby is a surreal time of eager anticipation and dreaming of a beautiful future with your precious little one. It's also a real drain on your finances. Most of us don’t have unlimited funds to funnel towards baby goods, so it's important to figure out when to fork over the big bucks and when to pinch pennies. This guide is a big picture look at how to confidently stock up for your baby without spending more than necessary.

Natural Childbirth Tip #2 – Cultivate the Right Mindset

You can and should prepare mentally for childbirth. One of the best ways to do that is by signing up for a childbirth class. There are several types of prenatal classes available based on different birth philosophies. You can find a list of available classes in your community by calling local hospitals and birth centers.

Spend time reading positive birth stories and studying how your amazing body prepares itself to deliver a child. Accept that it will be intense and even painful. Be ready to work through it because you won’t be able to escape nor avoid the feelings of labor once you’re in transition.

Use affirmations to reassure yourself and build confidence in your abilities. Pray for yourself, your spouse, your baby, and your team to have a harmonious birth experience. Ask G-d to give you freedom from the debilitating effects of anxiety so that you are free from fear when your time comes.

Natural Childbirth Tip #3 – Assemble Your Team

We all know it takes a village to raise a child, but few of us consider that is takes a village to support the mother who as she brings that child into the world.

The idea of having a birth team may feel uncomfortable for you. Giving birth is beautiful, but it’s also messy and raw. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re surrounded by spectators.

Nevertheless, there are some key individuals you ought to have in your corner to support you during this process.

Your Childbirth Team Lineup

  • Your spouse – The two of you made this baby, now your husband has the honor of being your chief supporter as your give birth. A childbirth class will prepare him to act as your coach, support you as your move, catch the baby, cut the cord, and anything else you need.

 

  • Your midwife or doctor – If you want a natural birth, a midwife is your best bet, but there are obstetricians who are supportive of low-intervention and unmedicated births. Once you know you are pregnant, get to work interview prospective birth professionals to find one who is supportive of your goals.

 

  • Your doula – Labor is a marathon experience. Provide backup to your dear husband with a doula. A doula is a birth assistant trained to provide physical and emotional support to the laboring mother and her spouse. She assists by nurturing, providing natural pain management, and acting as an advocate for the mother to communicate her wishes to the rest of the medical team. The presence of a doula has been shown to improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies.

 

  • Trusted friends or relatives – Giving birth requires focus. While your parents, in-laws, extended relatives, and best friends may want to be present, you don’t have to let anyone be in the room with you. If you don’t feel you can relax with your family or friends around, don’t allow them in the room. There may be some hurt feelings, but that’s not your concern. Being in labor is a vulnerable time for a woman. You will be partially or fully nude at some point, you will moan, sweat, and there will be an abundance of bodily fluids. Only allow friends or relatives in the room who can handle those things without making you feel discomfort. For those who you’d rather not be present in the delivery room, invite them to be present during the weeks following the birth. Your need for support will continue long after your baby has arrived safely into the world.

 

  • Your children – Whether you allow your children to be present is a very personal choice. It may be alarming for them to see you in pain or it may be a treasured experience. How your children react will depend on a number of factors including their age and maturity level. If you do decide to have your children present, make plans in case they need to leave the room (for example, if it becomes too intense or if an emergency arises.) My daughter was present when I labored with my son, but she fell asleep the last 2-3 hours. This was a blessing since that was the most intense part of my labor experience. I am grateful that my good friend K., who was present as an unofficial doula, brought her precious teen daughter Y. along. My little girl slept peacefully in the next room under the supervision of Y. while her mother, my husband, and the rest of our birth team helped me to finish the last leg of my natural childbirth experience.

Whoever you decide to have on your team, ensure that everyone has been briefed regarding your birth plan. It’s important to have unity in order for your team to operate successfully.

Natural Childbirth Tip #4 – Stay Active

Pregnancy can leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained, but it’s important to keep moving.

It doesn’t hurt to check in with your doctor to make sure you’re clear to workout, but most women are able to do low impact exercise like walking and swimming with no problems.

Depending on your fitness level before conception, you may be able to handle more vigorous exercise.

Whatever exercise you choose to do, make sure you stick with it as long as you safely can. Regular exercise will help you to avoid unnecessary weight gain, lower your stress, improve your sleep, and prepare your body for labor.

Contrary to what we see in the movies, lying on your back is far from an ideal position in which to give birth. It’s better to walk around, squat, sway, and bounce on a birthing ball.

Staying active during the 40 weeks leading up to your baby’s birthday will give you the stamina to move during labor. You can keep yourself motivated with wearable fitness tech that will track your progress each day and allow you to engage in a little friendly competition.

Natural Childbirth Tip #5 – Stay Hydrated and Sated

Your body needs fuel to run properly. Pregnancy and labor are no exception to this fact.

Dehydration can lead to a host of problems for a pregnant woman. Since your blood volume has increased and your are growing another human, your fluid intake has increased significantly. Keep your fluid levels at an appropriate level by consuming 12 cups of water each day. This is 50% more than your fluid needs prior to conception.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits with daily servings of lean protein and whole grains will provide you with the nutrients you need to grow your child and have a healthy pregnancy. However, you will still need to take a prenatal vitamin in order to cover your bases. It’s also wise to get your blood checked to find out whether you need any additional supplements to support your health.

On the day of your labor, you may be confronted with advice to fast your way through it. Many doctors warn against or outright forbid a laboring woman to eat because of the risk of aspiration. However, more birth professionals are reevaluating this stance.

If you are low risk, enjoying light meals as your labor will be helpful for keeping your energy up, if you feel you can stomach food. Do what makes your body feel good in the moment. For ideas of what snacks are safe to consume during labor, you can consult with your birth professionals.

Natural Birth is Doable!

However you end up giving birth, what’s most important is that you and your child are healthy. If you’d like to have a natural childbirth, prepare yourself ahead of time to ensure you have the birth experience you desire.

How are you preparing for natural childbirth? Share your thoughts below!

If you desire to have a natural childbirth, you’ve got to prepare your body and mind early on in your pregnancy. Here are 5 tips for a natural childbirth from a mom who did it successfully. #pregnancy #naturalbirth #labor #birth #womenshealth #birthteam #doula #midwife #unmedicatedbirth

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