Preparing for a natural birth is so important. After my two deliveries, first being a medically filled induction and my second, a very fast, natural delivery…I have personally realized the benefits of preparing for a natural birth and not just hoping for one. After lots of research, reading natural birth stories, and coming to understand the birth process more, I have put these top tips together. Here are 10 secrets I want to share with all the mamas out there preparing for a natural birth themselves.
If you are planning to go natural, I am sure you know that preparing for a natural birth is the first step to achieving the birth you and your baby want and deserve.
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Here are 10 secrets to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Secret #1 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Find the Right Provider
Choosing the right provider is the first step in preparing for a natural birth. If you don’t have the right care provider to support you and allow you to make decisions for your labor and delivery process that will help you achieve the birth you want, then you are setting yourself up for failure from the beginning. Interview your provider and ask them questions about when they like to induce, how they manage pregnancy, and how they view and aid in the birthing process. If this isn’t your first baby and you did not feel supported by your first provider, it is ok to change. If you are currently pregnant and are not feeling supported in how you are preparing for your natural birth, it is ok to change. This is your birth.
Secret #2 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Doulas are like birthing angels. Their sole purpose is to be there for you, be your support, understand the birthing process, and help you achieve the birth you are hoping for. Statistics are on the side of doulas when it comes to helping mamas like you and me achieve natural birth and births with fewer medical interventions. This is one of the biggest secrets to preparing for a natural birth. If you hire a doula, you are well on your way to the birth you want.
When looking to hire a doula, there are some questions to ask your potential doula before hiring them. After all, that is a huge honor and you want to make sure you get along, they are qualified, and you are on the same page when it comes to your birth plan.
Get a list of interview questions to ask your potential doula, below!
RELATED: Doula for Birth: Why you NEED one
Secret #3 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Choose your Birth Location Carefully
Just like choosing the right provider is crucial to your success in the birthing room, choosing your birth location is too. Whether you plan to give birth at home, at a birthing center, or in a hospital, it’s important to choose the right location for you. It is certainly possible to give birth naturally at a hospital, however, having a well-written birth plan, a supportive provider, doula, and birthing partner will help your natural birth become more possible and help fewer medical interventions happen in the birthing room. I am someone who actually does prefer to give birth in a hospital setting. The extra medical staff and capabilities in case of emergency put me at ease. But, it is important to do your research. Not every hospital is the same and some cater to more natural deliveries than others.
Secret #4 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Educate yourself about Natural Birth
Educating yourself is huge. Knowing WHY you are choosing a natural birth for you and baby, how your body works during the birthing process, and how to manage contractions without medical interventions are all apart of preparing for a natural birth. I would recommend reading these two books that changed how I viewed birth. These books took me from, “my body doesn’t know how to give birth” to, “my body was made do this and with the right support, I can have the birth I want.”
Secret #5 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Have a Supportive Birth Partner
If your birthing partner, whether that be your husband, mom, sister, or best friend is constantly telling you to get some meds during each contraction…you are going to give in 😉 Having your birth partner know what you are working for and realizing how you are preparing for a natural birth throughout pregnancy will allow them to help you achieve the birth you want. Have your birthing partner educate themselves on natural birth and make sure they understand what you are wanting and why. They are there to help you achieve the birth you desire.
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Secret #6 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Get a Chiropractor
This is one you may not find on other “preparing for a natural birth” lists. While this may not be on everyone’s list, it is on mine because I felt the effects of having a natural chiropractor through my second pregnancy. After not having one with my first, I credit a lot of my easy, natural delivery to the natural chiropractic care I received throughout my pregnancy.
Chiropractic care (if you find a natural one), helps to relieve tension caused by daily tasks throughout life, plus the added strain of pregnancy. This allows your body to heal itself naturally, as it is intended to do. I truly believe my chiropractic care eased my nasty pregnancy symptoms with my second baby and helped my body to be healthy throughout pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. Find one in your area and at least do a consultation. You won’t be disappointed.
RELATED: How to Find the Best Diaper for Baby
Secret #7 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Drinking lots of water, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight throughout pregnancy, taking a good prenatal (these are the BEST) and having good prenatal care are all extremely necessary in preparing for a natural birth. Without staying healthy and in turn keeping baby healthy, you set yourself up for medical intervention earlier rather than later. Besides, your health passes on to your unborn child and what’s more important than that?
Secret #8 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Create a Birth Plan
Not only is creating a birth plan important for your birthing team to have but it also allows you and your partner to look up and research things you may have not thought about before. This is a great tool and resource to use as a road map on your journey to the birth you want. You would not be preparing for a natural birth without creating a birth plan for you and your birthing team!
Get this FREE Printable of Everything You Need to Pack in your Hospital Bag for you, dad and baby! Everything you need to bring and nothing you don’t!
Secret #9 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Hold off Induction
Holding off induction was possibly the single most important factor in me achieving the natural birth I wanted. While I had done all of the above while preparing for a natural birth, I still did not go into labor until 41 weeks 3 days. After being induced at 41 weeks 0 days with my first, my doula recommended we hold off induction till 41 weeks 6 days. This would allow my body the time it may need to start laboring on its own. A huge factor in achieving a natural birth.
Since due dates are just estimates, and everyone’s bodies are different, sometimes it just takes a few more days for some of us to go into labor on our own (me being one of them). If I had decided to be induced at 41 weeks 0 days as I had with my first, I would have been medically induced with my second and definitely would not have had the fast, natural delivery I ended up having. Talk to your doula, spouse, and care provider about holding off induction till 41 weeks 6 days if everything is healthy and does not put you or the baby at risk in any way!
Secret #10 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Know non-medical ways to Manage Pain
While preparing for a natural birth, it is important to find non-medical ways to help you manage pain. Contractions suck. I am a HUGE advocate for having a natural birth (hence this post) however, I am not the type to say, “contractions are just waves of pressure.” Hell no.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Hypnobirthing: the Mongan Method I mentioned above are excellent resources for learning non-medical ways to manage pain. Your doula will also have excellent insight into this too. Another way to find non-medical ways to manage pain? Know yourself. If you love music, bring a relaxing playlist. Maybe you are into essential oils, I like to diffuse lavender in my birthing room. Do your research, know yourself.
Non-medical Pain Management Ideas:
- Birthing Ball (this one is great)
- Lavender Essential Oil and Diffuser (these are what I use)
- Ice Packs (your hospital or birthing center should have these)
- Warm Bath (check to see if your hospital or birthing center has baths available)
- Relaxing Playlist
- Audio Birth Affirmations etc.
Bonus Secret #11 to Preparing for a Natural Birth:
Expect the Unexpected
Wanting a natural birth is amazing and noble and best for you and baby. However…we are not always in control, no matter how much we prepare. If your natural birth does not end up happening, that is OK. You need to know that if you end up needing medical intervention, you did not fail at birth, you did not fail yourself, or your baby! Making it home healthy, with a healthy baby is really the ultimate goal for all of us, as it should be.
Share how you are preparing for a natural birth or your natural birth story below! I would love to hear what worked best for you throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Congrats on the baby mama, I cannot wait for you to have the birth you deserve.
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