6 Tips For Natural Birth
Throughout my years as a doula, I have had clients give birth in many different ways.
- Totally un-medicated vaginal birth at home, birth center, and hospital – in water and in bed
- Inductions in the hospital with and without pain relief
- Planned and unplanned epidural in the hospital
- Planned and unplanned cesareans in the hospital
I believe that all women can have an amazing birth experience with any of the above types of births, but for those who are planning to go natural, here are some tips that may help you have the natural birth you desire.
- Exercise regularly during pregnancy. Whatever you were doing before pregnancy, continue doing it, but with modifications – no deep backbends, give your baby space if you fold forward and avoid laying down on your stomach, be careful with anything that requires a lot of balance (your center of gravity is changing daily), avoid twisting, and don’t overdo it. The increased strength and stamina gained through exercising during pregnancy can be very helpful during birth.
- Take a childbirth education class to prepare and learn methods of coping during labor. Starting in early 2016, Music City Doulas will be offering childbirth education in the comfort of your own home.
- Hire a labor doula. Doulas have special training on childbirth and our labor doulas are trained on how to attune to your individual needs. They work with the rest of your birth team and encourage your partner on ways to get involved in supporting you.
- Labor at home for a while. This is also where a doula can come in handy. If you go to the hospital or birth center too soon, you can be sent back home. If you leave too late, you may have a stressful time trying to get there before they baby is born unexpectedly at home or in the car (although not very common). A doula can help you at home and let you know when it may be time to leave. Your home is also usually the most comfortable place to be during labor. You are surrounded by all of your own things – your bed, your children and pets, food, bathtub, etc.
- Have a birth plan and have a plan B. Your doula will be able to help you prepare your birth plan by discussing the options at your specific birth location. By discussing all the options, you will have an opportunity to decide which things you prefer most and then which things you would choose as a plan B. At Music City Doulas, all of our doulas are experts in the procedures and protocols for all of the local birthing locations. This benefits you because in the birth planning process, she will be able to tell you what things you do and do not need to have in your birth plan. Since she knows what is already general procedure, you can save some space in your birth plan by leaving certain things out.
- Be flexible if or when things need to change. Just because one thing goes differently than you hoped, does not mean you can’t still have a great experience. The key to having a good experience is knowing what options you have and being involved in the decision making. A doula can be especially helpful in keeping you positive about the changes as they happen.