Here is a helpful article from my family’s natural healthcare provider, Dr. Deanine!
Natural birth has many benefits for the mother and child. Pain medications can slow down contractions and lead to longer labors, which can also have a domino-effect, causing further medical interventions. Each and every intervention comes with pros and cons, risks and rewards. Research shows babies born through natural childbirth are more alert and show more interest in breastfeeding once delivered. Along with having faster recoveries, natural childbirth can also be very empowering. Having my first child completely natural was THE most empowering moment of my life. It was a deeply spiritual journey that showed me how strong I was mentally and how incredible the body is physically.
Want to have the most natural birth?
1. Get comfortable in your body and learn how to properly breathe.
No, really. Are you really breathing fully and deeply? Can you get your breath to BEGIN at your perineum and move UP towards your heart without experiencing tremendous tension in your diaphragm, chest and back? Try it. That’s basically how it is supposed to work all the time. If not, you have some work to do. Get on all 4’s and stretch like a cat and slowly guide your breath into your lower belly. If you still feel blocked, you may need some bodywork by someone who can release your diaphragm and your accessory muscles involved with breathing.
2. Take a pregnancy yoga class and learn how to stretch safely.
As your baby grows, you want to make space for them. I recommend spending 10-15 minutes daily doing cat stretches, circling your hips and making figure 8’s. It’s very important to prepare your pelvic space before you go into labor.
3. Sleep on your side after 18 weeks to avoid blocking your blood flow to your baby.
This prevents supine hypotensive syndrome and prevents varicose veins.
4. Be super hydrated the whole pregnancy.
Because pregnancy is a “hot” experience for most women, you need all the cooling energy you can get! Eating any spicy food contributes to yin deficiency; yin deficiency is an underlying contributor to breech babies in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). If you want to avoid that, don’t eat spicy food after about 20 weeks.
5. Sometimes finding out your baby’s gender is really valuable.
It can help you connect to them in a deeper way. Talk to your baby and refer to them positively. If you don’t know their name call them “she” or “he” or “my love.” They hear you my dears! Make your labor process a dialogue between both of you. Tell them how excited you are to see them and that you will be with them soon.
6. Massage your belly in the second trimester and connect with your baby.
This is your baby’s first massage actually. An effective way to massage your belly is to start at your pubic bone and lift up towards your heart. Then lift up towards your belly button from each hip. Think of giving your uterus some support and a gentle stretch or lift. Your uterus is a muscle and is stretching for you and your little one. Next, imagine your belly button is the center of a flower and massage big “petals” around it. You can do this during labor also to stimulate contractions.
7. Learn how to “be empty” – not full of fear, worry, expectations or projections about how your birth will go.
Too many times women are all worked up with worry for 9 months about the birth, the people who will be there, blah blah, blah. Stop it! As soon as labor starts, don’t freak. If it starts in the middle of the night, keep the lights off. Stay quiet and don’t call everyone to come over. This is your process not theirs.
8. When you are in your “window,” at 38 weeks, you can start having some acupressure and stimulate some points (like the “4 gates”) to get the meridian energy flowing in order to support the birth process.
In my opinion, it is not good to induce too early, whether naturally or artificially, UNLESS it is necessary for medical reasons. I will not “induce” at this time even if someone is totally over it – but I will start opening the process. When the fruit is ripe, it will fall from the tree anyway – no use in forcing it.
9. Look into having a birth doula, someone who will be your birth advocate no matter where you plan to deliver.
A doula can give you the support you need through the entire experience and support you in a way that your partner may not be able to.
10. There are two homeopathic remedies I recommend for everyone that are super safe and that I absolutely love for labor and birth.