5 Tips for a Natural Birth is a blog post by contributing author, Kathryn Beal.
Hello, lovely Mom Loves Baking readers! I am Lise’s sister, Kathryn, and I had my first child about seven months ago, naturally, and in the hospital. When I say naturally, I mean I didn’t use any pain meds or interventions to birth my baby. I did it the old-fashioned way, and it was the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
Natural birth is no joke. It’s tough, but I believe all women are strong enough to do it. If natural birth is a goal of yours, here are my 5 tips for a natural birth and how to prepare.
1. Get a Doula
A doula is a childbirth assistant or coach. She is not a medical professional, but she’s been well trained and can answer most of your questions. (Or at least steer you in the right direction of someone who can answer your questions!)
A doula will be there for you before, during, and after your labor. She is a nurturing and supportive person who will be your shoulder to cry on, your cheerleader, and your advocate throughout and after your pregnancy. Get one!
Find more info on doulas here.
The breath is so important during a natural birth. Breath grounds you and helps you cope with pain. Also, my breathing exercises were a huge anxiety reliever during my pregnancy.
One exercise to try is breathing in for the count of four and out for the count of eight. As you breathe out, focus on relaxing all your muscles. Do a scan of your body and figure out where you hold tension. I hold it in my jaw, at my brow line, and in my shoulders. I make an effort to relax the muscles in my face and notice when my shoulders start rising up.
Learn more about breathing techniques for birth here.
Birthing babies requires serious strength. I used muscles I didn’t even know I had giving birth to my son. Walk, strength train, do yoga, and get yourself moving during your pregnancy! It will help you during labor and after.
Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially during pregnancy, but I found working out to be so helpful. For one thing, it was a stress reliever, but it also helped prepare me for labor.
Yoga was my favorite exercise to do while I was pregnant. I loved Sarah Beth Yoga’s Prenatal Playlist on YouTube. Find it here.
4. Develop a Relationship with Your Baby
Connect with your baby in the womb. Read to him, sing to him, and play with him by tickling his feet when he kicks. I loved talking to my baby. I would always have a little chat with him after I had any stressors. After all, any stress that I felt, he felt too. So, I took the time to reassure him.
One of the benefits of developing this relationship with your baby before he is born is not feeling so alone in the delivery room. Sometimes mamas forget that the baby has to do a lot of work during labor too. He’s getting squeezed and moving down the birth canal, not to mention the shock of leaving the womb.
Y’all are in this together. Building a relationship before you give birth will help you work as a team.
5. Stay Open
Lastly, balance your planning and preparation with an open heart. Anything can happen when you giving birth. The most important thing is to bring your baby safely into the world. Things don’t always go as planned.
Any type of birth, whether it is a Cesarean or a water birth, requires strength, forbearance, and recovery. Whatever needs to happen and however your baby is brought into this world, he or she is a beautiful gift. Good luck, mama!
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Photos in this article are by Cori Ann Shipley.
Read more about Kathryn on our Meet the Team page.
You might also like this recent article from Kathryn – 5 Best Board Books For Babies 0-6 months.