Childbirth is an exciting time and many women strive for a natural birth. There are a lot of benefits for mom and baby when it comes to having a medication-free delivery. Of course, not every woman is capable of this and birth experiences can be vastly different.
Yet, there are a few steps you can take to stack the odds in your favor for a drug-free birth. From practicing prenatal yoga to strengthening your pelvic floor, just a few changes to your daily habits could make a big difference. Please enjoy this list of 10 ways to prepare your body for natural childbirth.
10 Practice Squatting
One way that you can prepare your body for natural childbirth is to practice squatting every day. This could be challenging for some women so take your time and work into getting lower and lower each day. It’s so important that you build the muscles on your pelvic floor and your legs.
This position will help you ease the pain of working through contractions. The more you can exercise those muscles, the better you’ll be able to hold the position during labor. Squatting is also a potential delivery position so there are many benefits to practicing this pose throughout your pregnancy.
9 Take Childbirth Classes
As you enter the third trimester of pregnancy, a great way to prepare your body to have a medication-free delivery is to attend childbirth classes. Not only will you learn what to expect during labor and delivery but you can learn pain management techniques to help you avoid interventions.
Many classes offer a holistic approach to giving birth and the more informed you are of your options, the less likely you’ll be caught off guard, and make a decision that you don’t feel comfortable with. From Hypnobirthing to the Bradley method, there are several options for a mom-to-be.
8 Exercise Regularly
It’s crucial that you stay in shape throughout your pregnancy to increase the chances of having a natural childbirth. Most exercises are totally safe for an expectant mom as long as you don’t push your body too hard. Low-impact options are the best but the important thing is that you keep moving.
Giving birth can be hard on your body so the more stamina you have, the better off you’ll be. So, get outside and powerwalk with a friend or sign up for a pregnancy swim class. Either way, your body will thank you when it’s time for delivery.
7 Make Healthy Food Choices
Pregnancy nutrition is integral when it comes to natural childbirth. The healthier your body is, the higher the odds are that you’ll be capable of pushing through delivery without medication. So, be sure to make healthy choices and eat plenty of pregnancy superfoods to give your body the boost it needs.
Watching your weight and not gaining more than the recommended amount is important but don’t stress out about it. Just make it a point to have healthy snacks on hand and educate yourself on foods you should avoid during pregnancy. This way, mom and baby stay strong for an easier birth.
6 Perineal Massage
This next technique is very hands-on so don’t be shy about exploring down there. Perineal massage is one of the best ways to prepare the birth canal for delivery. This is when you manually stretch the muscles between your vagina and anus to stretch out your pelvic floor and prevent tearing during pushing.
If your curious about how to do perineal massage, ask your doctor for more information on the process at your next appointment. Don’t attempt to do perineal massage before getting the okay from your healthcare provider. Once you get the green light, it’s easy to get the hang of.
5 Kegel Exercises
While we’re on the topic of your lady parts, we might as well discuss Kegel exercises. This technique of strengthening your pelvic floor could be instrumental in achieving a natural birth. This is when you tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold for three to five seconds. Then, you relax your muscles for three to five seconds.
Simply repeat this exercise ten times and do it three times a day. It’s as simple as that. Yet, performing kegel exercises on a daily basis can have a big impact on preparing your body for labor and delivery. It can also prevent incontinence.
4 Positive Affirmations
Another powerful tool that an expectant mom can use to have natural childbirth is reciting positive affirmations leading up to delivery. This is just when you say or read inspirational quotes about the process of giving birth.
The power of positive thinking is a real thing and the more you surround yourself with beautiful birth imagery, the more likely you are to tap into that energy when it’s time to have your baby. So, print out some positive messages and use them as a trigger when labor gets a bit challenging. You could even hang a few inspiration quotes in the delivery room.
3 Consider Hiring A Doula
If you’re feeling uncertain about having the ability to have natural childbirth then it would be smart to consider hiring a doula. According to Web MD, a doula is a non-medical professional who offers emotional and physical support during a woman’s pregnancy and childbirth.
She will be your advocate in the hospital and make sure that everyone follows your wishes from your birth plan. It’s so important to feel supported throughout delivery. A doula can also provide support for the birth partner as well. They can teach mom-to-be relaxation techniques and help a woman stay focused in the delivery room.
2 Pregnancy Yoga
Pregnancy yoga is another amazing way to prepare your body for natural childbirth. This gentle form of exercise can help strengthen your core, build up your leg muscles, and keep your body limber for delivery. The benefits are so vast when it comes to prenatal yoga and there are so many poses that are great for your changing body.
From reducing stress to helping your body to build stamina, the practice of yoga is often recommended to pregnant moms. Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program to ensure that you're being safe for you and the baby.
1 Labor At Home
The final way to encourage your body to have natural childbirth is to do much of your early laboring in the comfort of your own home. This will help you stay comfortable and relaxed so that your body can do the hard work it needs to dilate.
Women who wait to go to the hospital tend to have fewer interventions. It’s important to know the signs of labor so you will know exactly what to expect and how to time arriving at the hospital. The more time you spend in a familiar environment, the easier labor will be.