Congratulations, mama! You're pregnant and it's time to start planning your upcoming birth. Women have a few options when it comes to the kind of birthing experience they want to have. Epidurals and pain medication was created to help ease the agony of birthing pains but not every woman believes in modern-day medication and would prefer a more holistic approach. This is where natural births come into play.
Natural birth can consist of a few different things: no medication used, no IV drips, no eye ointment for the baby after they're born, little monitoring, etc... Before planning what kind of birth you're interested in, here's 10 things to keep in mind if you're interested in having a natural birth.
10 ASK DIFFERENT DOCTORS ON THEIR TAKE ON NATURAL BIRTHS
Just because you're interested in a natural birth doesn't always mean your designated doctor is on board. Yes, it's a woman's choice on what kind of birth she wants and if she wants medication but sometimes doctors prefer when women take an epidural because that's what it's made for.
According to Mommy Labor Nurse, some doctors are quite pushy about a woman taking an epidural, which can really offset the woman's entire experience. Meet with different doctors and find a person or a place that offers what you're looking for.
9 WHAT IS YOUR WHY?
Before deciding if you want a natural birth, know why you're doing it. Parents explains that many mothers opt for a natural birth because they want to limit "possible side effects" or to simply do what Mother Nature intended.
One mother chose an unmedicated labor because she wanted to feel everything the way nature planned it — including the bad.
8 TRICK YOURSELF INTO THINKING PAIN MEDS AREN'T AVAILABLE
There are some women who plan for a natural pregnancy but when the pain gets too excruciating, they change their minds and ask for medication to help them through the pain.
But for women are against medication for their delivery, perhaps tricking yourself into thinking there is no medication available or it's too late to take medication now is enough to get you through the entire process naturally. It's all about your mindset and what you choose to listen to internally.
7 REMIND YOURSELF THE PAIN ONLY LASTS ONE DAY
When you think about it, the pain a woman feels throughout labor and delivery only lasts a day. If a woman is persistent about having a natural birth, she should remind herself that the pain she's feeling that day is temporary. And that when her sweet baby is born the pain she felt during the delivery is a thing in the past.
The worst part is behind her and it's done with. Reminding yourself that this kind of feeling only happens once in a lifetime (or two or three, depending on how many children a woman wants) can be quite helpful.
6 DONT RUSH TO THE HOSPITAL WHEN CONTRACTIONS HIT
Hollywood has lied to millions of people. In most movies and TV shows, when a woman is heavily pregnant and her water breaks, she's rushed to the hospital where the baby is born just in time. That doesn't always happen in real life though.
When those contractions hit, it's helpful for a woman who wants a natural birth to stay home and move around. Have someone count those contractions and only go to the hospital when those contractions are less than five minutes apart, according to Parents.
5 FOCUS ON ONE CONTRACTION AT A TIME
Similar to tricking yourself that medication is not an option and that the pain of labor only lasts a day, when those contractions hit, take each contraction as they come. Mommy Labor Nurse explains that focusing on how bad the prior contractions were or worrying about the next couple of hours can make the entire experience worse.
When those contractions hit, take each one as they come, take deep breaths, and ride the wave of delivery.
4 LEARN DIFFERENT BIRTHING POSITIONS
Contrary to most of the pictures we see online or the movies we've seen, there are a few different positions women can take when it's time to deliver their baby. Lying on your back is a totally suitable position but sometimes squatting can make it easier.
Parents explains that taking a few prenatal classes can teach about different positions, which may come in hand for a natural delivery. According to the site, squatting can help "the baby get into the ideal birthing position." Practicing squats before labor can help make this position easier as well.
3 STAY ACTIVE THROUGHOUT PREGNANCY
Before engaging in exercises during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about what forms of activity are acceptable and if there are any positions you should stay away from or be careful of. If everything is good to go, staying active throughout your pregnancy is a great way to make it through labor — especially natural labor.
Parents notes all you need is 30 minutes a day of heart-pumping activity. Get those hips nice and mobile and work on flexibility.
2 LEARN DIFFERENT PAIN-RELIEVING TECHNIQUES
Just because a woman is opting to not use medication throughout labor and delivery doesn't mean there's no hope for her at all. There are prenatal classes that can help women find relaxation techniques throughout pregnancy.
Hiring a doula (or even a partner who'll be considered your coach) can help a laboring mama remember everything she learned in class and how to relax throughout the birth. Pampers explains to focus on breath, practice moving in different positions, get a massage, or even hypnosis!
1 HAVE A PLAN B
Unfortunately, just because a woman wants a natural birth doesn't always mean that's in the cards. Emergencies do happen and it's important for a woman to be open-minded and to have a Plan B and Plan C on her birthing plan for these moments.
Pampers urges new moms and dads to take prenatal classes to learn more about what's happening during birth. Get to know your body and its parts and why it's doing what it's doing. This may help a mom get through the ups and downs of pregnancy.