How To Prepare For A Natural Birth?
Natural methods of childbirth empower you! You are in control of your body throughout the birth process.
The feeling of accomplishment after the birth of your baby will remain with you long after the pain and discomfort have been forgotten. In fact many mums opt for natural methods of childbirth for their second and even third babies.
If you’re partner has decided that they want to be a part in the birth process, you can both be involved in the process which will create a stronger bond between you.
You’ll be alert and able to witness your baby’s arrival in the world without being in a drug-induced haze.
You’ll also be able to co-operate fully with your doctor or midwife when they instruct you in your breathing and when to push during delivery.
One of the most important advantages of natural childbirth is you’ll be totally drug free.
Some medications used during the birth process for example opioids may cause side effects like vomiting while epidurals may cause an extended labour and may also produce a need for intervention during delivery.
However, do find out about these options before time as you may change your mind and require pain relief (many mums do).
This is important especially if the labor is a prolonged one. Knowing about birth medications in advance will simplify your choice and give you peace of mind.
Epidural vs natural childbirth
Now natural childbirth may not suit everyone. If you have a low pain threshold or you feel you won’t be able to cope in any way, don’t feel guilty about opting for an epidural.
There won’t be any advantages of natural childbirth if you’re struggling with the pain, not prepared properly, or if you’re doing it because you feel it’s expected of you. It’s your body and only you can decide which method of childbirth you want to experience.
There may also be medical reasons why natural methods of childbirth are not suitable for you. Always listen to your doctor.
Natural childbirth breathing techniques
Probably the most important of all, natural childbirth breathing techniques need to be learned and practiced long before your baby is due.
Make them second nature and you’ll be able to perform them almost without thinking. These wonderful relaxation tools will also come in handy after your baby is born, to cope with any post partum discomfort and any stress you’ll be sure to encounter after your baby arrives
Abdominal breathing – This breathing exercise concentrates on using the diaphragm muscle instead of the chest muscles to increase the size of the lung cavity thus providing more oxygen with each breath.
It’s best practiced slowly while sitting on a reclining chair or propped up with pillows. Breathe deeply and slowly, placing your hands on your abdomen so you can feel it rise and fall.
Relax all your muscles and concentrate on only the abdominal muscle to control your breath.
There is another relatively new pain management method called ‘HypnoBirthing’ which is wonderful for relaxation.
Natural childbirth classes
Natural childbirth classes are a great idea so find a class in your area and start attending. You’ll learn invaluable tips for natural childbirth as well as meeting mums like yourself.
Who knows? You could make a few friends in the process! Childbirth classes are available in hospitals which can teach you pain management techniques or you may prefer to learn about the Lamaze or Bradley method, both of which stress the advantages of natural childbirth.
For those mums unable to access a class, there are online childbirth classes available too.
Is natural childbirth easier with the second baby?
Happily the answer is “yes it is” This is because you know exactly what to expect and can prepare better.
Also your body has already experienced this once and will be physically able to deal with it better the second time around.
Unassisted natural childbirth
It’s much better to have a labour coach or labour partner helping you.
If any complications occur, they will be able to summon medical aid quickly.
If you’re giving birth in a hospital you may call on a ‘doula’ who will help you through the process by supporting you through relaxation and breathing techniques.
Doulas don’t intervene in the actual birth process, but can be very supportive.
There are many advantages to natural childbirth but make sure you have a plan and medical assistance nearby in case the process becomes too arduous.
If your finding the pain getting out of control, it’s not too late to change your mind.