How to Prepare for A Natural Birth
Introduction: What is a natural birth and why is it important?
A natural birth can mean different things to different people. I think for most people, it means that there are no interventions by doctors, no medication to speed up the process, and no immediate cutting of the umbilical cord. The mother is supported by her loved ones and has time to relax during labour. It can happen in a hospital, at home, or in a birthing center. Some people suggest a natural birth is one without any pain relief at all, whereas to others, a natural birth is simply a vaginal birth with no assistance, for example forceps, or ventouse. They may have had gas and air and even an epidural and still count it as a natural birth.
The natural childbirth movement began in the 1950s when hospitals started to use drugs for pain relief instead of allowing women to give birth naturally. This movement was started as a response to this change because it felt like a violation of women’s rights. In this article, we’re going to look at how to best prepare for a natural birth. Of course, you should be guided by your doctor or midwife as to what is best for you and your baby during the birthing process, but there are ways to help prepare yourself and your body for a natural birth. If you do all of these things, there are no guarantees, but you will be giving yourself the best chance for one. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out, sometimes you can do everything right, but the baby has different ideas!
Motivation & Education
Childbirth education classes are an excellent way to prepare for the birth of your baby. These classes teach you about the stages of pregnancy, labour, delivery, and newborn care.
The benefits of childbirth education are many. One of them is that it can help you feel more confident about your ability to give birth and take care of a newborn. You'll also learn how to use breathing techniques and other pain management tactics that can make labor easier for you.
Some people might worry that these classes cost money but they don't always cost anything - some hospitals will offer free childbirth education and you can even do them online these days at a time to suit you.
Preparing Your Home for Birth
If you want to give birth at home, make a checklist for everything you may need practically and to support you.
Some of the things on this list may be:
- A comfortable place to give birth
- Clean sheets, towels, and washcloths
- waterproof sheets
- Cleaning supplies
- A safe place for your baby to sleep after the birth (such as a bassinet or cradle)
- Breastfeeding supplies (breast pump, bottles, nipple cream)
- Baby care items (diapers, wipes)
- Bag packed for hospital in case of transfer
-Clothes for the baby (including socks and hats)
The decision to have a natural birth can be made by a woman and her partner. In this case, there are some things that she should prepare for and keep in mind.
These include the following:
-Research on what is available at the maternity ward (in terms of equipment).
-Find out if there are any complications that might arise during the pregnancy.
-Find out if she is high risk for any problems
-Find out what kind of pain relief is available at the maternity ward.
Pregnancy Health Practices that Support a Natural Birth
Pregnancy health practices that support a natural birth are not always well-known to pregnant women. Natural birth is the best way to deliver a baby, but it is not for everyone. Natural birth has a greater chance of being achieved by following these practices:
-Have a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy balanced diet.
-Exercise during pregnancy.
-Practice yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
-Find an experienced midwife or doctor who supports natural births.
-Avoid interventions such as epidurals and C-sections unless medically necessary.
Prenatal Care & Nutrition that Support a Natural Birth
Prenatal care during pregnancy is important to support natural birth.
The following are some prenatal care and nutrition that can help with a natural birth.
- Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
- Taking prenatal vitamins and minerals to provide the necessary nutrients for the baby’s development.
- Avoiding alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy as they can have harmful effects on the baby's development.
- Eating small meals throughout the day rather than eating three large meals per day. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable which can help avoid gestational diabetes or gestational hypertension.
- Maintaining a healthy weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds for women of average height (5 feet 4 inches) during pregnancy by eating a healthy and balanced diet. There is no need to eat for two.
Birthing Centers Compared To Hospitals
A birthing center is an alternative to a hospital for giving birth. Birthing centers are usually located in private homes or in a facility that is not attached to a hospital.
Birthing centers are designed to be as natural and homey as possible, with less medical intervention than hospitals. They are usually Midwife led and are a home from home. The benefit of a birthing center is that you have all the pros of a home birth but you don’t have it in your own home. The birthing center staff will have more training in childbirth and labor than the staff at most hospitals. They may use different methods of pain relief, such as water immersion, massage therapy, or acupuncture.
While birthing centers do not offer the same level of medical care as a hospital, they offer many benefits that hospitals cannot provide. Birthing centers allow mothers and fathers more privacy during childbirth and recovery periods because they are often located away from other people. They also provide more space for family members to stay after the birth and have more time to support you with breastfeeding and aftercare.
Labor Techniques that Support a Natural Birth Experience
The natural birth experience is an empowering process that has been documented as a more positive, and less stressful, way to give birth.
The following are labor techniques that can be utilized to make the birthing process easier:
-Pushing in a squatting position rather than in a sitting or lying down position can help shorten the second stage of labor and provides optimal positioning. It will reduce the likelihood of the need for interventions.
-A doula can assist with pushing, breathing and provide emotional support during labor, and using a doula or having a dedicated supportive birth partner reduces the need for medical intervention.
-It is important to avoid interventions like unnecessary induction, epidurals and continuous fetal monitoring during labor which may increase the chance of having an emergency cesarean section.
Conclusion- What You Need To Know To Prepare For A Safe & Happy Natural Birth
The conclusion of this article is that you can prepare for a safe and happy natural birth. To do this, you need to know more about the process. This article has provided you with some of the information that you will need in order to have a natural birth.
Here is a gift to welcome the baby and make him/her safe - Vacos Baby Monitor.
About the contributor:
Jenny, a Mum of 3 school aged children and a Nurse in a GP practice. When she has any free time which is not very often, she enjoys amateur dramatics, crafting and curling up on her sofa with a blanket and her cocker spaniel Archie.