Natural birth is not a walk in the park. It’s something that takes a lot of devotion and love. The best strategy for experiencing a wonderful natural birth is to be prepared and have a plan. I’m not an expert in birth. Until Google starts handing out medical degrees I do not have one.
However after experiencing three natural births, I thought I could share with you some tips for an easier natural delivery without using medications.
So here’s a few tips that have helped me over my different natural births, with each one being totally different than the others, and hopefully will help you as well.
Tips for an Easier Natural Birth Labor and Delivery:
1. Accept the fact that there’s probably going to be some pain. (All the women that have had natural births are laughing to themselves now) Alright.. chances are there’s going to be a lot of pain. But the best way to prepare is not to run and hide from it. Accept it and know what you’re going to do when that time hits. Being educated and having an idea of what to expect will help you!
2. Read, read, read. Read every single book you can get your hands on about labor. The biggest difference to me in natural labor with a midwife vs. regular care by an OBGYN is knowledge. Not meaning what they know but about what they want YOU to know. Many women that birth with an OBGYN in a big hospital don’t understand what’s happening with their bodies or why because the OBGYN doesn’t ask them to read or prepare. They just go to the hospital and do what they’re told. I’m all for obeying (ask my kids) but it’s your body, don’t ask anyone else to be prepared for you. Read every book and blog post that you can about labor.
3. Show your husband BEFORE labor how he can help you. There’s a book called, The Birth Partner, that is great along with many classes that you can find through a midwife. If it’s your first time labor and you just don’t know then ask your midwife to give him some hints at one of your visits. Then practice the different actions like lower back pressure and swaying before labor. My husband was a much bigger help to me during our last labor because he was more comfortable and knew more of what to do after doing it two other times. Practice makes perfect on the first time. Go over your birth kit and any calming supplies you want on hand ahead of time. Let him know what each thing is for and how to prepare it for you.
4. Drink (not alcohol). When you’re in labor drink a lot of fluids. It helps you feel refreshed and is a great way to keep energy up if you drink more than just water. My favorite was Sweet Leaf Tea’s Mint and Honey Tea but that’s always my favorite. Enjoying something that I already love so much made it easier to stay hydrated and healthy during labor.
5. Hide the clocks. Every time I looked at the clock I would count how many hours I had been in labor and get more and more discouraged. Discouragement leads to doubt which leads to pain. Just hide them and go with the flow. If it’s two hours or 20 than you will get the same wonderful pink squirming baby in the end.
6. Remember the end result. Hopefully after labor is over you will have a healthy pink baby to hold and love. During the hardest moments you can think on that fact. Try to keep joy in your heart and then you won’t hurt your husband when he’s making jokes about how you look in labor. (remember that little scar on your hand honey?) Labor is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Natural labor is hard but it’s worth it. Remember why you’re doing it and write it down and tape it to your wall beforehand along with other encouragements or scriptures that you want to read during labor. Once you hold that baby the labor will be the last thing on your mind.
Now you have the tools to go forth and birth! But hopefully only if you’re pregnant (and due). Natural birth is wonderful and I urge you to check it out before you mentally just check it off your list. Be informed. No matter where you birth…or how… just be informed of your choices.
Sometimes no matter how hard we try, an unmedicated natural birth is simply not what’s best for us or for our baby. Most importantly, we as women need to follow our hearts and let go of plans when it’s time to take a different route.
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