Planning a natural birth without using medications? Here are some tips on how to plan for a natural birth.
1. Choose Wisely
Have you heard of the saying “location, location, location”? Well, in this case it’s more like “provider, provider, provider”. Your health care provider, during your pregnancy and birth, should be someone that is supportive of your birthing options. And it’s more than “sure, we can do that” responses that you’re looking for. Instead, you’re looking for someone that can answer all of your questions and supports and encourages your birthing options. Ask questions such as, how many natural births she/he attends, what is he/she Cesarean birth rate, what is labor protocol during your labor (ie can you move around, will you have to have continuous and constant IV and monitoring, etc.). Interview a few birth providers in your area before making your decision.
2. Create a support network
Surround yourself with people that support your natural birth. Join online groups of women that have birth without medications. Talk to other women around you that have birthed without medications. Hire a doula to provide you with support and encouragement, both before and during your labor. A doula also helps and supports your birth partner to enrich both of your experiences.
3. Take a birth class
There are various birthing classes in your community – choose one that is taught by a teacher that believes in birth options. This may or may not be a hospital based class for you, as there are many other classes taught at other locations. Choose a teacher that has trained in the birthing method she is teaching. Talk to the teacher about your desire for a natural birth. Before signing up to her class, ask her to give you a class overview to see if it’s a good match for you. The birthing class will teach you what to expect and how to prepare for labor. You may find, like so many others before you, that because of your preparation, your labor wasn’t "painful" – but powerful! If you’re not able to take a class, educate yourself through books as much as you can. Be sure to discuss what you learn with your birthing partner, so both of you know what to expect.
4. Believe in your body
As you prepare for your labor give yourself affirmations that you can birth naturally. Follow your instincts. Be inspired and empowered by the goddess that you are. Your labor is powerful, the birth of your baby is amazing and with your knowledge and preparation you will be in control.
5. It's not about failure
Having said all of the above, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't also say the next few words. It is absolutely important, regardless of the birth you wish to have, that you prepare properly for this. And that's what this post is about. However, it's also very important that you realize that it's not just you involved..there's a baby. And sometimes baby will need you to navigate through changes in labor. Sometimes, birth will require that shift and change for the best of your baby. This is much more possible to do when you have chosen care providers you trust, when you prepare for the expected and the unexpected (through childbirth education), when you believe in your wisdom and choices and those of your partner and when you realize that how baby is born does not in any way mean success or failure.