9 Ways to Birth Naturally
In May, 2013, ACOG announced a study that finds adverse effects of pitocin in newborns. Less and less women are undergoing early-term Caesarean deliveries, largely due to risks, dangers and complications associated with them. There’s been an upswing in natural birthing with midwives and doulas. Birthing centers are cropping up across the country. Clearly, trends in childbirth are leaning towards a more holistic approach.
If YOUR approach is trending towards natural birthing, there is so much you can do to prepare and stack the odds in your favor. Read on:
- It all starts with the right caregiver. If your birth philosophy and wishes don’t align with your doctor, you’re in for some trouble. Interview several caregivers. Ask your friends and peers for recommendations. Scour the internet. Find out answers to your questions for each caregiver. For example, what is their C-Section rate? What is his or her philosophy on labor support? What hospital are they affiliated with? What are that hospital’s policies?
- Exercise often. Building up stamina for labor is key to natural birthing. Prepare with long, leisurely walks several times per week. Strength train at least twice weekly – a strong body means a strong mind and will build confidence as your labor progresses.
- Eat a balanced and nutritious diet and hydrate throughout the day. Make health your #1 priority. Your smart baby will thank you someday.
- Meditate, do yoga and visualize your ideal birth. Don’t focus on how painful it will be – instead, visualize seeing your baby for the first time. Realize it’s just “a day in the life” and that your body was made to go through labor!
- Hire a doula or someone that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Keep in mind she might be your mother, sister or best friend. Sit down and discuss all the little details. Practice poses and various ways to cope with labor pains. Buy a birth ball. Delegate tasks between your partner and doula.
- Feed your hungry mind with as much information as you can. Take a childbirth education class through your caregiver or someone aligned with your wishes. Read books. Talk to other moms who’ve had natural births. Watch natural birthing videos.
- Ask a lot of questions. If your caregiver recommends an intervention, ask why and what the consequences for that intervention are. Do not sit silently and “hope for the best”. Open your mouth often. Take charge of your birthing experience.
- Opt out of unnecessary pelvic exams and routine procedures that could result in premature rupture of membranes. Allow your body and baby to work together naturally.
- Finally, on your labor day, relax. Let your body do what it’s made to do. Breathe. Listen to your favorite music. Or noise canceling headphones. Take a bath. Have a snack. Move about. Lie on your side. Dance. Chill on the birth ball. Let your doula, partner and caregiver handle the rest!