There are many reasons to opt for a natural birth. You can avoid pain medications and the potential risk that they pose. Going natural can offer the mother more control. One of the greatest benefits is simply feeling connected to the entire experience. Giving birth without the aid of pain medication is, however, extremely difficult. There are, however, things you can do to prepare for this very special motherhood challenge?
Take a class
Educate yourself. Take a childbirth class to learn about what may happen during the different stages of labor. Knowing what to expect is a powerful tool for reducing anxiety and being able to stay calm during labor. To get ready for a natural birth, a Lamaze class is a great option. With a class you will learn breathing techniques that can be used during labor to cope with the pain. Contact your local hospital about childbirth classes. To learn about Lamaze birth practices use the Lamaze International directory or talk to your doctor or midwife about options.
Get in shape
To prepare yourself physically, get in shape! As long as your doctor says it is alright, follow a moderate exercise program during pregnancy. Walk or swim several days a week. Spend 10 to 20 minutes a day stretching and toning your muscles. Do Kegel exercises to tone the pelvic floor. Put your hands on your hips and do a set of simple squats to strengthen your thighs while you are cooking dinner or folding laundry. If you have the time, sign-up for a prenatal yoga class to get in shape and to practice your deep breathing.
Talk with your birthing team
Let everyone on your birthing team know that you are planning on giving birth without taking pain medication. Make sure your husband, your doctor, your midwife, and anyone else who is planning on being present for the birth is aware of your wishes. To deal with the difficulties of natural childbirth, many women ask for the services of a doula. A doula is someone that you can develop a relationship with months before the baby is due. As a trained professional, she can offer guidance with things like breathing, relaxation techniques, and birthing positions.
Having a natural birth can be an amazing experience. Do everything that you can to prepare for it to help the process go as smoothly as possible. No matter how well prepared you are, or how firm your intentions are, always keep an open mind. Don’t be disappointed if you do decide to take medication or if your doctor recommends a cesarean birth. Know that you are ready and that however your labor and childbirth go, it will be a rewarding experience!