There is much more to having a natural birth than hoping for it and it happening.
I found this out the hard way. My first birth I just planned on avoiding drugs and hoped for the best. My experience was far from what I expected or wanted. When it came to my second birth I did some extra reading, and exercised more this helped me 100% during early labour. However I still did not end up with the “natural” labour I wanted.
This time I pulled out all the stops. Not only did I do more reading, I also did some research and watched the proper movies. I felt prepared this time. I made many choices that got me to the outcome I wanted. What exactly have I done? Continue reading to find out.
Get a midwife!!
I can’t say enough good things about having a midwife handle your prenatal care. They spend more time with you and make sure you understand your options. They are there for you no matter what type of birth you want, home or hospital. Where I live you have the choice of midwife or doctor. When you go the route of a doctor you never know who will be delivering your baby, or whether they will help you achive the birth you want to have. You get the doctor that is on call and hope for nurses who will listen to your wishes. When you have a midwife you know who will be delivering your baby, and you will have sorted out your plans for your birth with them before the event happens.
Research and learn more about birth and labour.
I did lots of research to decide what kind of birth I wanted and how to achieve it.
I did this by checking out movies, books and info online. I found that once I knew the history behind birth and what is really happening during the process I was able to let go of my fears and handle labour. No matter what it threw my way.
I was able to find these books in my midwife’s library. You could also maybe find them at your local public library as well. I found them all helpful in their own way. I have also heard that any book by Ina May Gaskin are very good. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my hands on a copy to read in time.
Birthing From Within
Movies were also a great source. The visual was very helpful, and seeing birth in a positive way helped a lot.
The Business of Being Born
BIRTH STORY: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives
Another great resource has been the Internet.
There are a great number of groups on Facebook. They post positive birth messages, stories and most will post your questions too, giving you the chance to have tons of help from other moms and moms too be. Here is a list of some of my favorites. I have included links to their Facebook page and/or website (as Facebook sometimes removes the best posts)
Birth Without Fear – Website
(Yes a few are more towards breast feeding, but they also provide birthing “support” too)
Stop watching the “scary” births.
The baby stories and movies with negative birth scenes are not going to give you the right views on birth. This type of show only adds drama that is not needed for birth (they are looking for rating and drama sells). Yes birth can be painful but seeing it constantly in a negative way will only get you scared and think that the pain is worse. If you expect pain you will get pain.
Prepare yourself for the natural birth you have planned.
This may be by taking a prenatal course that is based on natural birth. It could be going to prenatal yoga. It could be working on the ideas & techniques you found in one of the books. Whatever you have chosen you need to prepare and in some cases practice. It may seem silly but if you have been practicing the positions, or breathing techniques or other coping strategy they will be much easier to remember and act upon during labour. A big thing to remember if you start doing these thing early is to continue them close to the end. I wish I would have re-read some of the books in the last month, as there where things I forgot in the “heat” of labour that I had read 3 months before.
Have a support team that understands your goal.
You want the people who are with you during labour to understand and support your choices. The people who are with you can affect the way your labour goes. A great support person to have is a doula. They are there just for you and your partner for labour and postpartum support. There is proof that a doula can help shorten labour, and help avoid medical interventions.
I know if at any point during my horrible back labour if someone would have mentioned having drugs I might have said yes. This would have changed my birth completely and I would have regreted it. A support team who will help you reach your goals can make a world of difference on how you labour, and in turn give birth.
Look into having a home birth.
It may seem scary, but if you are having a “normal” low risk pregnancy and have a qualified midwife you can do it! When you are at home you don’t have easy access to drugs. This makes it easier to not turn to them when you think you can’t handle the pain. (for me when I was ready to ask for drugs I was at 10cm :))
It’s also very important to remember if for any reason you don’t have the birth you planed it’s ok. You can’t plan every thing out, life will do what it needs to. Don’t feel cheated if your plans change.
What was the thing that helped you achieve a natural birth?