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Preparing for Natural Childbirth

Preparing for Natural Childbirth

The birth of your child is one of those magical moments in life, one that you’ll want to remember fondly. It’s also one of those moments that takes preparation, the more the better.  Fortunately, there are many methods you can use to make your labor and delivery a natural process and even an enjoyable one.

 

What is Natural Childbirth?

Maybe it’s your fear of needles or opposition to anesthesia or pain medications.  Whatever your reasons, natural childbirth methods are gaining popularity…again.  After all, women have been having babies for centuries without the assistance of epidurals and spinal anesthesia.  Natural childbirth is basically having a baby without medical interventions including anesthesia, pain medications, and surgical intervention.

 

Natural Childbirth Methods

I hope you’re not thinking that natural childbirth will come well, naturally.  The truth is preparing for natural childbirth should be more in depth than if you’re planning to have an epidural or other medical procedures. Here are four methods to help you prepare for natural childbirth.

Bradley Method:  

  • The Bradley Method is a thorough learning method of learning all about the labor process. Not only does it cover labor and delivery, but this method also emphasizes diet and exercise throughout pregnancy in order to be in the best shape possible when your day arrives.  The Bradley Method also trains your partner to be the best coach to help you focus with deep breathing and other pain-relieving methods without the use of drugs.  You will also be taught different labor positions and relaxation techniques to guide you effortlessly through the childbirth process.  The Bradley Method also covers early interactions with your newborn and breastfeeding.

Lamaze: 

  • When you think of a woman in labor, you might be picturing the labored Lamaze breathing that we see so often on TV.  While controlled breathing is a big part of the Lamaze method, there are many other components as well.  Lamaze aims to “increase women’s confidence in their ability to give birth.”  Basically, Lamaze classes help to teach you different ways of coping with pain to increase your comfort during labor.  Not only does Lamaze teach different relaxation techniques and ways to work through pain, such as massage, walking, and different positions, it also teaches you how to talk with your healthcare team should you decide you want or need medical intervention.  Early interaction with your newborn and breastfeeding will also be covered.

HypnoBirthing: 

  • HypnoBirthing is a method of natural childbirth that takes into account not only your physical well-being but your psychological well-being as well.  This method again focuses on controlled breathing and relaxation but also visualization and meditation. HypnoBirthing also teaches the pre-labor and delivery importance of a healthy diet and exercise in order to properly prepare in advance for childbirth.  There is also emphasis placed on creating a respectful environment between the mother and father to be, the healthcare provider and the entire healthcare team.  The program uses self-hypnosis and education to help you overcome your fears of a delivery nightmare and focus on having a truly beautiful childbirth.

Water birth: 

  • This natural childbirth method is exactly as it sounds; giving birth in a tub of water. The premise is that water birth is a more natural transition for a newborn as they have spent the last nine months in a fluid environment.  Water birth is supposed to be less stressful for you, the mother, as well.  Warm water can help soothe and relax while allowing for new and different position changes due to the ‘weightlessness’ that water helps bring about.  Water’s buoyancy can also improve blood circulation meaning more oxygen for baby and less pain for you.  Warm water can also help increase the flexibility of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin allowing for an easier opening of the birth canal.  Water births can also feel more private so that you feel less ‘on display’, a common cause of tension and uneasiness.

 

When deciding on a labor and delivery plan for your baby, make sure you do your homework.  After all, you’re going to remember this day for the rest of your life and you’ll want to look back on it positively and lovingly.  If you decide to go the natural childbirth route, any of these methods will help you achieve your goal of having a truly magical childbirth without the use of medical intervention.

 

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