Tips For Preparing For A Natural Childbirth

Written by Luschka on March 4th, 2011

Birth, Pregnancy, Preparing for Parenting
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Everyone’s experience of childbirth differs, and whether fortunate or unfortunate, there is no one-size-fits-all, step by step guide to having the “perfect” birthing experience.

That said, however, I’ll never forget the midwife who said to me that the best births she had ever attended were those of mothers who were well researched. I completely understand where she’s coming from – in preparation for my home water birth, I practically memorized the midwifery text book. Of course, this isn’t something everyone will be able or want to do, so here are a few resources and tips to help you along. As with birth, not everything will suit everyone, so pick and choose what is most helpful to you.

Our Home Water Birth

What an incredible resource the internet is. Sometimes there is too much or inaccurate information, other times the information is irrelevant because it is based on personal experience; but often, with a little bit of common sense, you can sift through and find the really helpful.

My first tip would be to join a few forums:

  • Unassisted Childbirth has a yahoo group with a member forum. Although I was never really planning an unassisted home birth, and many others that used the forum weren’t either, the lessons learned from that group were invaluable. There were women who had unassisted births, doulas, first time mums and more, and it was the most beautifully uplifting, welcoming and empowering community.
  • Homebirth.org is a UK website, but they too have a fantastic homebirth support group where you can ask questions, and with the support of leading birth activists, even get help with implementing your right to have a homebirth.
  • The next step is a very emotional one: YouTube. There are hundreds upon hundreds of incredible home birth videos on Youtube. There are water births, land births, twin births, breech births – pretty much anything you can imagine. While some are still completely offended by the publicizing of something so incredibly personal, I know that it went a very long way in preparing me for the sounds, the look, and the reality of a non-Hollywood style childbirth.
  • I’ve often used the example of orgasms when talking about giving birth: Can you orgasm in a room full of people watching and telling you to “Come, come, come!”? Do people whom you do not know touching and prodding make you climax? Do other women screaming, bright lights and lots of activity really help you ‘get there’? So far, no one has said yes to any of those. Well, childbirth is the same. In a calm, peaceful environment (excluding emergencies, of course) birth is a much easier process. So finding a way during your pregnancy to be calm and peaceful and to be able to lead yourself into that place can come in very handy during labor. A meditation CD is fantastic for helping to instill that sense of self-belief and still the fears in your heart. Perhaps you could try hypnobirthing or yoga, just to still your mind. There are loads of options, you just have to look around and find something that works for you.
  • While I would also recommend talking to other mothers, this one definitely comes with a word of caution. In the last fifteen months as Mama, I’ve learned something rather disturbing about human nature: everyone loves a horror story. The mothers who aren’t rushing to tell their birth story are the ones who either had such a traumatic experience that they can’t bear to speak about it, or had such an amazing experience that they’ve learned not to talk about it, because it makes others feel uncomfortable, guilty, or they simply don’t believe us.

Preparation and research, knowing what to expect, knowing how to handle the ‘little’ things that arise, and more importantly knowing your rights, what you ‘have’ and ‘do not have‘ to do, will make all the difference to a normal, natural, healthy labor and birth experience, regardless of where it takes place.

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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. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their healthcare provider. 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.

About The Author: Luschka

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Luschka is a mother to two little girls. She is passionate about the principles of Attachment Parenting, and although she admits to learning as she goes, she likes to share what she's learnt with others - possibly because of her experiences in adult education. AP challenges a lot of Luschka's own background, which she loves as it makes her research and study everything. She writes at Diary of a First Child , documenting the journey for those parents who don't live in idyllic isolation, but still want to follow this path with their families.

3 Responses to Tips For Preparing For A Natural Childbirth

  1. Stacy (Mama-Om)  

    It’s funny to think that while preparing for the birth of my first child seven and a half years ago, youtube didn’t even exist! :)

    With my first pregnancy, I did a fair amount of research but I also kept the input to a minimum. I think I instinctually felt protective of myself. It was after he was born (and more like when he was 8 months to a year old) that I really started to drink in all kinds of information about natural parenting, gentle discipline, extended breastfeeding, etc. I needed it as an inoculation to all that surrounded me.

    With my second pregnancy and birth (four years ago), Laura Shanley’s site on unassisted birth was a huge eye-opener for me.

    We are done having babies, but I still love seeing birth videos online. :)

    And, as you share, I’ve found that for many things related to being a mama, being able to SEE and HEAR and FEEL how other mamas do it (give birth, latch on, treat the baby with respect) has been a lifesaver for me. We are social animals, after all, and we learn by example.

  2. Alicia C.  

    LOL – I fall into the category of mothers who don’t talk about their birth experience. It was fine, I’m happy with it. It didn’t hurt too much and my labor was fast.No tearing and I felt better the day after giving birth than I did during my entire pregnancy. I had the births I wanted – absolutely no medical interventions – in a hospital.
    I attribute my wonderful experiences to the fact that, while I was pregnant, I gathered as much information as possible – personal stories, research papers, Web sites, etc. I learned what I wanted, how it could go wrong, and how to try to capture the best possible birth for me and my child- even if something were to go wrong. I can’t stress the importance of LEARNING ALL YOU CAN about the birth process, labor, what hospitals routinely do and how to stop them, emergency situations, etc.

  3. Becky

    I hear ya Stacy. Things have changed a lot since my days of having babies too, but I do love hearing about other people’s birth experiences since my nieces are now going through this experience, and since it won’t be long before my daughters will be having babies of their own- I want to help them be prepared.

    One thing that I think has changed the most since my baby days, is the options available to women now. Things that I didn’t even think of. For instance, just read an amazing book written by Laura Kaplan Shanley titled, “Unassisted Childbirth.” Before reading the book, I would have cringed at the though of delivering my own baby. However, after reading the book, I realize that it can be a safe and enjoyable, and must I say, special experience.
    http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com

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