5. Choose your birth attendants and birth place wisely.
This is one of THE most important decisions you can make to achieve a natural birth.
When you choose a midwife, you’re getting someone who believes in your body’s innate ability to birth your baby. You know you won’t have to go into labor ready to fight for what you want. Home birth and birth centers have the lowest rates of interventions in the nation.
Is your doula experienced in natural labor? Are you choosing a hospital where nurses will offer pain medication repeatedly? Or are you choosing to give birth somewhere that specializes in physiological birth?
4. Learn about physiological birth.
What happens before labor begins? What does a contraction feel like? Did you know that your uterus is a big muscle, and each contraction is that muscle flexing? What are the 3 emotional signposts of labor?
Having knowledge about physiological birth can help you visualize what’s happening, giving purpose to the intensity. It can also help you AND your partner have a baseline for what’s happening moment-to-moment when you haven’t done this before. I recommend the book Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way to FULLY prepare you for what happens physically as well as coping strategies and words your birth partner can say to help guide you during labor.
3. Stay physically active.
Go for a walk, stretch, run if you feel up to it. Staying physically active during pregnancy attributes to your physical endurance and will help your body withstand the physical demands of labor.
2. See a chiropractor.
Yes, seriously. Seeing a chiropractor throughout pregnancy has a multitude of benefits. Getting adjusted regularly keeps your pelvis in alignment and helps your baby descend quicker and easier.
Do you have sciatica? (shooting nerve pain in your lower back) Chiropractor can help with that, too.
A Webster trained Chiropractor can even help flip a breech baby! (butt first)
1. Get your mind right.
Mentally preparing can’t be overstated enough. A HUGE part of preparing for your natural birth is mental.
Going into labor with a mental coping strategy and tools to help you manage the intensity of the sensations is absolutely paramount.
I recommend the book Mindful Birthing to help you get into the right head space and connecting with your spiritual self. You can practice the mindfulness meditative practices in the book all throughout pregnancy. Doing this mental work in advance is crucial to setting the stage.
I hope you found this AMAZING list helpful. What else helped you to prepare for natural birth? Leave your suggestions in the comments!
Hold up, you’re planning a natural birth?!
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Natalie Broders is a birth photographer, doula & videographer specializing in birth serving Portland, Oregon & all major surrounding cities.
Natalie had a home birth, lives on a farm, cloth diapered 2 kids, and can milk a goat.
Read more about Natalie here.