Ten Tips to Achieve an Easy, Natural Birth
Natural birth is a life changing experience. However, many girls today grow up thinking that natural birth is very difficult to achieve. We are now beginning to understand that natural birth is not only important for the mother, but is extremely important for the baby as well. Babies birthed without medication tend to be more alert at birth, have fewer complications and have an
easier time bonding and breastfeeding. When nature is allowed to takeover, it almost always accomplishes the task successfully. We would never think to help a baby bird out of it’s egg by breaking open the shell. Nature always has a plan when it comes to birth.
So if natural birth seems like a good choice, why does it rarely happen? Well, some mothers need a lot more preparation than they thought. You wouldn’t think of running a marathon without training, and birth is no different. You have to be prepared mentally and physically, as well as trusting the innate ability your body already has!
I had two amazing home birth experiences with my daughters Ava and Lily that changed my life forever. Because of my girls, I dedicate my chiropractic practice and my life to helping women achieve the best births they possibly can. Since traumatic birth experiences have lifelong effects on mothers and their babies it is important for mothers to make informed decisions when it comes to giving birth.
Here are 10 tips to achieve success:
1. See your chiropractor! Your chiropractor can be an excellent addition to your prenatal care team. When the pelvis is balanced throughout pregnancy it will be well prepared for birth. It can also help the baby to assume the most optimal position during pregnancy and labour. Not only is chiropractic a safe way to help with the aches and pains that pregnancy brings, it may actually allow for an easier, more comfortable birth!
2. Relax! When a mother is in a relaxed state during pregnancy and birth, all her birthing muscles and organs function properly. Stress and fear cause unnecessary pain during birth, therefore relaxation is crucial. Prenatal massage, yoga and participating in calm, enjoyable activities eliminate stress and promote relaxation.
3. Be healthy! It is imperative that mother and baby are healthy during pregnancy to achieve a natural birth. Everything the mother puts in her body goes to the baby, so the healthier mom is before and during pregnancy, the less likely she will have complications during birth. Seeing a naturopathic doctor can be very helpful to optimize health and prepare for birth.
4. Take childbirth classes that focus on natural birth. Courses such as HypnoBirthing® are a great way to prepare the mother mentally and physically by teaching her breathing, visualization and relaxation techniques. It is important to equip the mind and body with skills you will need to call upon in labour.
5. Have an understanding and supportive caregiver. If your doctor or midwife are not supportive in your choice to have a natural childbirth it will be difficult to accomplish the birth you desire. Establish this relationship early on in your pregnancy.
6. Make sure your birth companion is like minded and confident to support you during the birth process. Otherwise, consider hiring a doula. A doula is a support person that helps the mother physically and emotionally as she is giving birth. Studies have shown that women who hire doulas have less complications and interventions during birth, a lower chance of c-section and an overall higher satisfaction with their birth experience.
7. Have a specific birth plan beforehand. Know what kind of birth you want from the beginning! There are detailed birth plans online that you can download and print off. They can be discussed during your prenatal visits and placed in your file so all birth care providers are aware of your wishes.
8. Read and listen to positive birth stories. Many women love to scare pregnant mothers by telling them their terrible birth experiences. It is so important that before and during pregnancy, mothers wishing to have natural birth fill their minds with positive feelings toward birth.
9. Educate yourself on natural childbirth. The more you understand how important natural birth can be, the easier it is to achieve! There are many great books, websites and movies available on natural birth.
10. Finally, you must have unwavering faith in yourself, your body and your baby! Women have the innate ability to give birth. Just like breathing, your body knows how.
Dr. Jenn is a chiropractor in Hamilton, Ontario with a special interest in pediatric and pregnancy care. She is a certified HypnoBirthing® practitioner and doula. She has many speaking engagements and workshops in the Hamilton area on birth, pregnancy and pediatric health. To contact Dr. Jenn you can visit her website at www.innatebeginnings.ca.