(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.)
Inside: If you want to know all about how to have a natural childbirth, then you’ll definitely want to checkout this article. It’s jam-packed with ways to help you pull it off!
NATURAL CHILDBIRTH: HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF
Like anything, we learn as we go. The things I know to do today are not the same things I knew to do when I was a 21-year-old having my first baby.
My husband and I were super excited to welcome our first child, a baby boy, just two years after we were married. And like most new, young mothers, I followed the orders of the doctor and did what I was told.
I never considered whether or not childbirth should be natural. In fact, I didn’t even really understand there was a choice. Since we had chosen a hospital to have our baby boy in, I just supposed I would do whatever it was that I was told to do.
So, after nine hours of intense contractions during labor, when nothing seemed to be progressing, an epidural seemed mighty enticing.
Just like that, I signed on the dotted line, and the epidural was started.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt relieved, but knowing what I know now, I would have endured the pain and not taken the epidural.
Thankfully, even though I chose not to do a natural delivery, my baby and I were still both healthy afterward.
I’m happy to say that the following six babies I gave birth to were all born naturally. But that came as a result of figuring out how to prepare myself for a natural childbirth.
Childbirth is Painful – But You Can Get Through It
While terribly painful, many times natural childbirth is the best option for having a healthy delivery. It also makes sure that you will be lucid and ready to see and hold you baby once she is born.
While most women plan on having a natural birth, many tend to change their minds when the pain gets too bad.
I want to give you some reassurance, right off the bat, however. I’ve had seven kids and six of them were un-medicated and all-natural. Childbirth is not as awful as some would have you to believe.
Remember your body was made to have children. You will make it through the pain! I promise!
If you really want to have a natural childbirth, but aren’t sure you’ll stick with it; try these methods to help you prepare for your labor.
Once You Make the Decision to Have a Natural Delivery, Go With It!
The first step in succeeding in natural childbirth is to make your decision and be confident about it. You’ve probably heard someone say (or said it yourself) that they were going to try to have a natural childbirth.
Saying you’ll try doesn’t show a ton of commitment or confidence in your decision.
Instead of trying to have a natural delivery, state that you are going to have a natural delivery. Being confident that this is what your want to do is actually a big step in making the labor more bearable.
Being prepared ahead of time and confident of your decision will make it easier to stick to your guns when the pain gets more intense.
Make Sure You Know Your Healthcare Provider
Communication is so important.
You’ll want to make sure that whoever is assisting you in the delivery is completely on board with whatever your wishes and desires are.
It’s completely okay to talk to your doctor or midwife ahead of time and get any questions answered and talk about any concerns you may have. It’s a great way to interview your healthcare practitioner and make sure that you are both on the same page.
You need to have enough communication ahead of time to make sure your healthcare provider is a good match for you and your baby!
Let Your Healthcare Practitioner Know Your Wishes and Plans
Be sure to let him or her know your birthing plan. It’s important to talk through all of the ideas you have about your labor and delivery and what you may be expecting.
That way once the day arrives for you to have your baby, you and your doctor or midwife will both be on the same page.
Trust me, that’s a very important thing!
Once you get into the delivery room, make sure everyone is aware of your wishes to have a natural childbirth.
You can instruct doctors not to offer you any medicines unless they are medically necessary. This way, you won’t have the option of changing your mind once you are in labor and are not in a good state of mind.
Choose the Right Birthing Location
Just as it’s important to have a doctor or midwife who is like-minded, you also want to consider the birthing location that you choose.
Each place has its own specific policies and you’ll want to make sure that you agree with whatever policies your facility has.
Consider a Midwife or a Doula
If you are really serious about natural childbirth and are not considered a high-risk pregnancy, you may want to consider choosing people to help to deliver your baby that are more likely to support you choice to give birth naturally.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a doctor in a conventional hospital.
I’ve happily delivered four of my children in a hospital with a doctor who practiced midwifery tactics, rather than conventional medicine. It was amazing and I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Of course, not every doctor follows these procedures. Therefore, it’s very important to know your healthcare provider.
Generally speaking, however, a midwife will be your best option for having a natural delivery. Typically, they tend to be more open to different methods of childbirth, but they still have expertise if something is to go wrong.
You may also want to consider hiring a doula. They are basically a paid, naturalistic child birthing coach. When you have someone there reminding you why you made the decision of natural childbirth and pushing you to continue, sticking with it can be easier.
Educate Yourself Ahead of Time
I believe being educated about something will help calm fears and ease your mind. And the tricky thing about childbirth, is – the more fear you have, the more painful it tends to be. Or maybe it’s just that you don’t understand the pain and the fear elevates the sensation you are already having.
My secret weapon for having a natural childbirth, is learning all I can ahead of time. I did this several ways. First, I talked to other women who had gone through labor and delivery. I didn’t have to go far to find women who would talk to me!
There was a curious theme amongst the women I talked to:
I found that women who had babies in the 1970s and ’80s, couldn’t believe that pain medication for childbirth was even an option.
“In fact, when I talked to my mom, she asked with disbelief, “They give you an epidural for having a baby?” She had been through a hysterectomy and that was the only time she was ever offered a spinal injection.
Just knowing that helped me realize that maybe childbirth wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.
Read Tons of Books
Again, I say, education is so helpful. And one of the best ways to get educated is through books.
I would advise against reading too many horror stories about labor and delivery on the internet. However, books that are well written can be very beneficial for you to prepare yourself for natural childbirth.
If you choose to read about natural childbirth, then pick your material carefully. Here is a book I would recommend for being prepared for natural childbirth.
Start Using Perineal Massage in the Third Trimester
A great way to actually make labor easier and less painful is perineal massage. In this method, you simply massage the muscles around the vagina about six to eight minutes a day, starting at 34 weeks.
You can start later, but not earlier. This will help stretch out the muscles in the area and make it easier for the baby to come out.
You can find the instructions how to do that here.
Make Sure You Have Good Support
For me, my husband was the most amazing support I could have ever asked for.
In labor and delivery, he reminds me of my desire to have a natural labor and delivery when the moments of pain became intense.
He’s always right there to comfort me and hold my hand and breathe through contractions with me. He doesn’t let me waiver from my choices that I have made ahead of time.
And most of all, he makes the delivery an enjoyable event by visiting with me and praying with me between contractions.
Having a good support person with you in delivery will go a long way in helping you execute your plan to have an all-natural birth.
Keep Yourself in Tip-Top Shape
Let’s not neglect the fact that it’s very important to keep your body in good, healthy shape before the delivery.
Before I found out I was pregnant for my fifth baby, my husband and I completed the P90X program together. It was an intense workout for sure, but I had never been in greater shape in all my life.
Of course, I didn’t continue to do P90X once I found out I was pregnant, but I was able to keep exercising.
Going into my labor and delivery after being in such good shape made having an all-natural birth a piece of cake. As a matter of fact, I was joking in between contractions that I would be back another time.
If you keep yourself in good physical shape, your body will be ready to do what it’s supposed to do.
Having an all-natural delivery shouldn’t be difficult at all. Of course, nothing is a guarantee, but you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your goal of a natural delivery if you are in good physical shape.
Learn Natural Pain Coping Techniques
Learning natural pain coping techniques is one of the best things you can do to get through your delivery without medication. Having an all-natural delivery means you will have to endure pain.
But if you have techniques to help you get through the pain, you’ll find that being prepared will make the entire situation a lot easier. Include learning pain coping techniques in your education as you learn how to prepare for an all-natural delivery.
Use Essential Oils to Help Manage the Pain
Essential oils can be a fantastic and natural way to manage your pain during labor and delivery. Just make sure the oils you choose are safe for pregnancy and your baby.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Just be sure to let your doctor or midwife know your plans to use essential oils in your delivery ahead of time. 😉
Have a Backup Plan – Just in Case
You may want to consider having some sort of backup plan to get medication if the pain is just too bad, but that’s your own choice.
I’m always about having a “Plan B.”
Sometimes you just need to know that you have another option in case your original plan doesn’t go like you’d imagined.
I rarely need to execute “Plan B,” but there’s something about knowing that I have a backup plan. lt definitely helps me to cope with things if my “Plan A” doesn’t go exactly as I’d hoped.
Besides, thinking through two plans will help keep your mind active and help you pass the time until the baby comes!
Accept that Labor Doesn’t Always Go as Planned
Just remember, even if you have the best of intentions, sometimes a natural labor is not the best option for the health of safety of you or your baby.
Always remember to listen to your doctor or midwife’s options or have someone there to help make these decisions for you.
Please do not feel guilty or upset if you cannot execute a natural delivery. It doesn’t make you a bad mommy and it certainly doesn’t mean you failed.
The main priority is for you and your baby to be healthy and sometimes that means going another route. If this should happen, just remember that either way, you will still have your little bundle of joy to snuggle.
Have you ever wondered about natural childbirth and how to prepare yourself? What things do you plan to do to execute an all-natural delivery? If you’ve already had your baby, what was the most important thing that you did in order to pull off a medicine-free delivery? Comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear! I always love to hear all about a good birth story!
As you prepare for your new little bundle of joy, check out these posts to help you get started with breastfeeding!
- Breastfeeding Questions: Quick Answers for All You Need to Know
- Do You Need to Keep a Breastfeeding Log?
- Breastfeeding Accessories that Will Make You and Your Baby Smile!
- Do You Need to Increase Your Milk Supply? These 10 Herbs Can Help
- Have You Heard of the Breastfeeding Bracelet? It’s Amazing!
- Which Breastfeeding Support Pillow is Best for You?
- Top Nursing Covers You’ll Want to Have
- Breastfeeding: How to Manage an Oversupply
- How to Increase Your Breastmilk Supply Quickly
- How to Solve Your Breastfeeding Problems Quickly
- When Nursing Hurts: What’s Normal & What’s Not
If you found this post helpful, how about sharing it for me on Pinterest? I’d be tickled pink!