If you’re having an uncomplicated low-risk pregnancy, a natural unmedicated vaginal birth is completely achievable. You know you want one – but do you know to make it happen? We often hear women say ‘I’m a woman, and my body knows exactly what to do’. But that is just not good enough. By simple analogy, your body knows how to jog – but that doesn’t mean you’ll head out tomorrow and run a marathon. You need to have the right information and technique, and you need to have practiced.
So, how do you make sure that you will have the birth you want and have always dreamed of? Well, when it comes to having the birth you want knowledge is key. Here are our top tips for preparing for the birth of your dreams.
1. Comprehensive birthing classes
Seek out a birthing class that is going to help you prepare by teaching you how labour and birth works. And how to use your body for an efficient and effective labour and birth. The course you take should also equip you with a toolbox of natural labour pain management techniques. And teach you how to practice these at home in preparation for your birth. It should also realise that there is no one solution for everyone, and teach you the skills to finding and exploring other techniques that will work for you. It’s great to have one particular skill under your belt like self-hypnosis, but what if you find that it doesn’t work on the day and you’ve not practiced anything else then you’re in trouble.
There are lots of childbirth classes out there, from hospitals to private courses. Hospital courses are great but are often bias toward explaining how things work in the hospital rather than how you can work with your own body for an efficient and effective labour and birth. Make sure you investigate your chosen hospital before you commit and what their protocol is if your labour is going slow or if it seems like you’re not coping. Do they have a dedicated midwife who is going to support you and work with you to get you through?
2. Research your health care provider
Some health care providers say they are pro natural birth but if you investigate their intervention rate, it’s quite high. Make sure you investigate what percentages of your preferred carer’s labours end up with some form of intervention, either by artificially stimulating contractions, to the use of forceps or vacuum, to episiotomies, to an actively managed third stage to their c-section rate. This includes if you have chosen an obstetrician to assist in your birth. They may be telling you that they are happy for you to labour and birth naturally, but if their intervention or c-section rate is high, you may want to investigate further.
Why not get a professional on your side and hire yourself a private Midwife or Doula.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Your chosen prenatal class is not just for the length of your course. You need to take what you have learned and practice, practice, practice. That’s the only way it’s going to come as second nature to you on the day.
4. Stay at home as long as you can
We all know that your body produces amazing hormones during labour and birth. The flow of oxytocin and endorphins are at their best when you feel safe and secure. And in an environment you know and feel undisturbed in – is a great way to ensure you have an efficient and effective labour. So stay at home as long as you can. How do you know when to go to the hospital? It’s generally, that point where you can’t remember or don’t care what your phone number is. Your contractions will have been less than five minutes apart for at least 1 hour and they will keep getting stronger even if you change positions.
5. Water is an amazing pain relief technique
Start easy with a hot compress and a shower. Once your labour is kicking into gear then opt for a bath or birthing pool. The deeper water will provide amazing relief – but if you use it too soon you’ll have nothing later when your labour is in full swing. Mother nature provides amazing pain relief tools.
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