In my last post, I wrote about one of the most amazing experiences of my life—natural childbirth. I was able to go this route with two of my three births. Let me tell you, if it’s truly what you want, go for it! But whatever you do, DON’T go into it unprepared. Do your research. And then do some more research. Then, implement and practice the methods that you find, before the big day.
Let me give you a leg up in this process of preparing for birth. I know, it’s both exciting and nerve-wracking. Whether you are a first time mom who I scared and doesn’t know what to expect, or if you’ve already had a baby or two and are hoping for a different experience this time around, don’t wait to start getting ready. When your labor day arrives, you will thank yourself that you did these things in advance!
Let me get you started by sharing with you what worked for me:
1. Make a wish list of what your perfect labor would look like, if you could plan it out.
This will be a little different for everyone. Write down EVERYTHING. Some of the things that were on my lists included: no tearing, no back labor, that I wouldn’t have to be induced, that I wouldn’t ask for pain meds, that the baby would latch on well for breastfeeding, etc. If you don’t want to go x amount of days past your due date, put that down too, even though you don’t have any control over when the baby arrives if you’re not planning to be induced. Then, when you have your completed list, pray over each item, and trust God with it. Now, I know, God’s not a genie in a lamp. But he is concerned about everything we desire, both big and small. Don’t be afraid to boldly ask God for everything you want.
2. Breathe deeply during labor, and don’t fight the contractions.
This helped me tremendously. The point is to RELAX. I know, it sounds crazy. How can you relax when you are in such horrid pain? But this is key to pulling through to the end without pain medication. But it IS possible. When a contraction hits, it will be like a wave. It will rise up and peak, and then go down, and then you will have a short break before the next one comes. While you are pregnant and before you go into labor, practice lying down and relaxing every muscle in your body. It takes focus! This is what you will want to do for all of the hours that you are in labor. This practice will take you a long way during labor!
3. Have a doula or a supportive friend.
You are very vulnerable when you are in labor. If a natural childbirth is your goal, you are going to need all the support you can get, especially when your contractions are hitting hard and fast, and the hospital staff are offering you pain medications and/or an epidural. If you have the money to hire a doula, I would highly recommend this investment. If not, try to find a supportive friend who understands exactly what you want your birth to look like, and preferably has had a natural birth themselves. Ideally, this person will be able to “read your cues” and speak calming, encouraging words to you when they can see that you are tensing up. And then, when labor is over, be sure to get her a thank you gift for supporting you—she will probably be there a long time if this is your first labor, or a labor after a c-section.
4. Visit the chiropractor during your pregnancy to get adjusted.
You will want to find a chiropractor trained in the Webster technique. These adjustments will go a long way to make sure that your body is aligned for childbirth, and it may even help speed up labor and decrease your pain and need for medical interventions.
5. Start using Evening Primrose Oil in your third trimester to minimize the risk of tearing.
I started using EPO three times a day at around week 36. For both of my vaginal births, I had no tearing at all. It helps improve your skin’s elasticity. There are many other benefits of using EPO as well.
6. Take a probiotic to reduce the risk of Group Beta Strep.
You can take a probiotic during your whole pregnancy. You will be tested for Group B strep around week 36, and if you test positive, you will need IV antibiotics during labor. While this may not necessarily be an impediment to having a natural labor, it is always nice if you don’t even have to worry about getting that IV. I had GBS during my first pregnancy, but I did not in my later two, and I attribute the difference to my use of probiotics.
7. Start drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea.
I know many people who have different recommendations as to when to start drinking RRL tea. Red Raspberry Leaf tea has been known to tone your uterus. I didn’t drink it during my first two pregnancies, but during my third one, I began drinking it at the beginning of my third trimester, and I noticed a big difference in how quickly my labor progressed from my previous two labors. If you are unsure about when to start drinking RRL tea, consult a midwife or your OB.
I hope these tips can help all you expecting mommas out there achieve your natural childbirth goals! Do you have any other tips! Be sure to comment! And share on Facebook and Pin it on Pinterest!