After having four natural childbirths, I am passionate about helping other women have positive birth experiences. Natural birth can mean different things to different people. For me, natural childbirth is allowing the birth process to unfold at its own unique pace.
Achieving a natural childbirth is possible for most mothers, if you set your mind to it and adequately prepare yourself. Here are my tips for preparing for a natural labor and child birth:
1 – Hydrate
Throughout your pregnancy, and for overall general health, it is necessary to ensure that you are drinking adequate amounts of water. When I am pregnant and breastfeeding I try to consume about 8 glasses of pure water a day based on how I am feeling and how active I am.
This is especially important on the days you attend your prenatal check-ups. One of the first things you do at all appointments is a urine test. If you haven’t had enough water, the results could be flagged and could lead to your care provider ordering tests.
Quick tip: Check your urine color after you pee. If its yellow you need to drink more water!
Download My Essential Wellness Habits Checklist for an easy way to track your daily water intake and so much more!
2 – Eat Right
I am a big believer in getting all of the nutrients you need from real food. Plan to eat 3 big meals a day and at least 2 hearty snacks. Learn about healthy eating and prepare the foods you like in delicious ways. I really discovered my love of food during my pregnancies by following my cravings and experimenting with different flavors and techniques.
Avoiding sugar and processed foods will lessen your risk for high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, two conditions that can lead to the necessity for medical interventions during labor.
Quick tip: Eat at least 1 leafy green (kale, chard, spinach) every day.
3 – Exercise
Staying active is very important during your pregnancy. It gives you the foundation you need to ensure that you can handle the work of labor. Low impact activities like walking, prenatal yoga and swimming help relieve stress and provide training for the endurance you will need during child birth.
Develop a daily routine that includes your favorite activity. Gentle stretching and breathing can also be incorporated into your routine which will be a necessary tool during labor.
Being in good shape will ensure that you have the physical stamina to endure a labor of any length.
Quick tip: Take 10-15 minutes before going to bed to stretch and breathe. You will sleep better.
4 – Mentally Prepare
Read birth stories, take classes, talk to other Moms. Gathering information is a big part of preparing for natural childbirth.
Also, make sure that time is devoted to envisioning the birth you would like to have. Not just a birth plan, but seeing a picture in your head of the result you would like to achieve. Check out this birth story for tips on how one mom got her mind prepared.
How does it look? What does it feel like?
This may require you to work through feelings of fear and worry. This is completely natural and should be done well before labor so that it does not interfere with your desire to have a natural birth.
Quick tip: Get a journal and use it to place to release your feelings about your pregnancy and the changes you are experiencing.
>>>Need help working through your feelings about your pregnancy and childbirth? Let’s talk.<<<
5 – Confidence
Believe in the process. Your body is designed to grow and nurture a living being and deliver it into the world without anything but your will! The human race is here today because women have been having natural childbirth for thousands of years.
It is possible and you can do it!
Have confidence in yourself and make sure during your labor you surround yourself with people that support that confidence.
Quick tip: Use affirmations that start with “I am…”. “I am a strong capable woman.”
Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author based on personal research and first hand experience. Please do your own research and consult your care provider when making decisions regarding your pregnancy.
What does natural childbirth mean for YOU? How are you preparing for your natural childbirth? What tips do you have for birth preparation? I’d love to hear your opinions!
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