Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth

Written by NPN Guest on May 14th, 2013

Birth, Family Safety, Preparing for Parenting
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Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Mom and dad with Gray - brand

When you are having a homebirth or attempting to birth unassisted, things need to be in place to ensure a safe birthing experience. It’s important to be prepared, not expecting that anything will happen, but more to make sure you know what needs to be done if the unexpected does happen. It’s also important that your birth partner knows as well — as he or she will be the one who has to act quickly on yours and the baby’s behalf.

I think of birth the way I think of life. It’s so beautiful and works so perfectly in most situations. Unfortunately in life, sometimes people get sick, and unfortunately in birth, sometimes things don’t go quite as planned. Like life, as in birth, often times these things cannot be predicted. During your pregnancy, it is so important to keep a positive frame of mind. It’s important to visualize your birth as a beautiful experience. However, I think it’s important to be well educated — especially when birthing unassisted.

Birth Emergencies

The first step is to educate yourself about the three or four things that actually constitute a real birthing emergency. You do that by reading … reading … reading … and more reading. It’s the first step in arming yourself.

Here are a few “real” emergencies I can think of. Just as a note, most of these are not unique to unassisted childbirth (UC) or homebirth. They can very well happen in the hospital or while on your way to the hospital. If you are at home, you need to make sure you are prepared to deal with any situation.

  • Cord prolapse
  • Excessive postpartum bleeding
  • Baby not breathing

Cord Prolapse

This is when the cord exits your vagina before the baby does. There is a higher incidence of this when there is a pre-rupture of membranes while your baby is still floating. If the cord prolapses and becomes pinched, it cuts off blood flow and oxygen to your baby.

What to do: Have your partner push the cord back in (I have seen stories of women waiting for ambulances upside down) and call 911. This is a situation where you would need immediate help. Call 911 immediately. The midwife can be contacted later.

Excessive Bleeding

There is a lot that can be done pre-labor to significantly reduce the likelihood of this occurring.

  1. Start your pregnancy tea/red raspberry leaf at 18 weeks until the time of delivery.
  2. Take alfalfa pills and liquid chlorophyll starting at 32 weeks.
  3. Prepare the ingredients to mix placenta smoothies. Put them in the freezer so they are ready (this is good to have postpartum in general).
  4. Have Shepherd’s Purse on hand.
  5. Educate yourself on the benefits of consuming your own placenta, if necessary, to significantly slow bleeding and reduce the risk of shock.

Baby Not Breathing

  1. An infant CPR course is a necessity. This is important for any expectant parent.
  2. Lots of skin-to-skin contact while rubbing the baby’s back.
  3. Perform CPR.
  4. Look into the possibilities and directions of administering arnica and carbo veg.

Good prenatal health

Here are some things that any expectant mother should do in order to help prevent emergency situations:

  1. Eat a healthy diet for you and the baby. A healthy baby grows from the inside out.
  2. Remain active. Continue to exercise during pregnancy.
  3. Drink tons of water.
  4. Good prenatal care — whether you do it yourself (unassisted pregnancy) or go to a midwife or doctor.

Extra birthing supplies

Here are some things UCers and homebirthers need to have on hand (in addition to the regular homebirth supplies):

  1. All records from prenatals in case of transfer. That would include blood pressure measurements (even if you went to CVS to get them, they should all be written down), urinalysis, blood tests, and a positive pregnancy test. Duh, you would think medical professionals would know that you were pregnant since you are now pushing a baby out — but whatever. They can give you problems, so just have it on hand.
  2. Blood-pressure cuff for the birth (UC-specific)
  3. Fetoscope or doppler (UC-specific)
  4. Antimonium tartaricum for wet lung (baby) — I had this problem. I wanted it to be over, so I pushed him out too fast. It doesn’t give time for the water to be pushed out of the lungs. A surefire way to avoid this problem is to push slowly once the head is birthed.
  5. Pulsitilla for malpresentation

This is not a scare post. I have had three beautiful home births. You don’t want to go into your birth scared about what’s going to go wrong. It’s about being prepared and educated so that you and your partner can have a safe and beautiful birth.

Best of luck!

Homeopathic info from www.sagemama.net

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About the Author:

lisanphotocolor
Lisa is a three-time homebirther. You will most often find her homeschooling her children, blogging about different ways of strengthening the family unit, and hand dyeing and sewing wool and bamboo pants for babies. You can connect with Lisa at www.squishablebaby.com.

Photo Credits: Author

 
Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, are nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medication, please consult your physician. Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis, or courses of treatment. NPN does not recommend or endorse any particular method of birthing and advises readers to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their healthcare provider.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)

11 Responses to Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth

  1. robbie @ going green mama

    I admit I am impressed with doing home births. My medical condition did not allow for that but I am thankful women here have options!

    • Lisa Nelson  

      Hey Robbie,

      Yes, options are important. You know, one woman looked at me and said

      “I didn’t know we had a choice”

      Wow, in this day and age. Why shouldn’t women have choices in birth? I don’t get that.

      I can’t imagine birthing any other way.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. Dionna  

    Love this list and will revisit it if we ever get pregnant again. We happened to have an unexpected UC with Ailia, thankfully it was a safe, normal birth, as are most :) But it is always good to be prepared!

  3. Kellie

    What a great list! I am expecting my fourth child and my third homebirth, and with fast labors and far away midwives, I’m glad to have a great reference for what to do if we birth alone and there is a problem. Thank you!

  4. Lisa Nelson  

    Congratulations on the UC! Yes, it’s amazing how Nature works, isn’t it? Our body’s work perfectly. Typically, it’s the interventions that make birth go wrong. However, it’s always best to be prepared. It’s better not to need it.

  5. Jana

    What a great list.

    I’m all for reading everything I can get my hands on. It makes me feel much more prepared. I’m glad that other people do the same thing.

    And the bed thing about doing all that reading is being able to share the information with other people :)

    • Lisa Nelson  

      Thank you Jana,

      Yeah, reading is so important. I try to stay away from the negativity online – as it is not helpful to read about negative birth stories, kwim? But reading books and websites from experts – especially in the area of UC – I found that tremendously helpful – and very calming.

  6. Lauren  

    This is such a good list even for people who don’t plan a homebirth or unassisted birth since you never know — I have friends who had an unplanned homebirth complete with EMTs. We had a planned homebirth that turned into a surprise UC, and while it was transcendent, I was glad that both my partner and I had thought through and prepared for (as well as we could) the emergency scenarios in advance. My midwife will even coach UCers on neonatal rescucitation and other emergency procedures, so it’s worth asking for some mentorship if you’re thinking UC.

  7. Becky  

    Definitely a good list of things to know even if you were planning a hospital birth. Thanks for sharing!

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