Wednesday, August 05, 2009

10 Tips for a Natural Birth

by Cindy Collins
Today at 2:00pm

1.) Choose a midwife. OB's are trained surgeons and should be reserved for high-risk pregnancies. Midwives are experts in normal low-risk birth. Your chances for a natural birth are much greater with a midwife.

Midwives aide in reducing:

*c-section rates
*induction rates
*epidural rates
*episitomy rates
*forceps/vacuum rates
*and more

With that said it is crucial you carefully interview a potential health care provider. Some midwives are known as medwives meaning they are medically minded. Some OB's are M.D.s and are like midwives in disguise.

2.) Choose a doula, especially if you are using an OB. Doulas reduce c-section rates, induction rates, epidural rates, episiotomy rates, etc. Doulas help to ensure you get the birth you want. They are your biggest advocate! (Doula's also encourage breastfeeding success, and can help reduce baby blues and postpartum depression. -Michelle)

3.) Read, read, read, and read some more. Knowledge is power! You need to arm yourself with information and know your rights.

The top 5 books I would recommend if you are birthing in a hospital are:
*The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Goer
*Born in the USA by Wagner
*Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Gaskin
*Birthing From Within by England
*The Birth Partner by Simkin

4.) Do not allow vaginal exams during pregnancy and limit them to 1 or 2 during labor/birth; ideally none should be done. Dialation and effacement mean NOTHING. Some women are dialated a few cms weeks before labor begins and some don't dialate until labor begins. Don't allow anyone to break your water. It is a huge risk! If it ain't broke don't break it :o)

5.) Do not go to the hospital until you are in ACTIVE labor. Labor out in the parking lot or a nearby park if you have to. If you are less then 5cm go home. Ideally *all* low-risk women should have an out-of-hospital birth either in a free-standing birth center, homebirth with or without a midwife. Keep in mind hospitals are for the sick, dying and injured. Hospitals contain morgues and are full of germs that cause MRSA, Staph and bacterial infections. There is a reason the German word for hospital literally translates to mean "sick house".

6.) Eat and drink during labor. You wouldn't expect an athlete to run a marathon without nourishment; why would you expect the same of a laboring mom?

7.) Remain upright and mobile. Laying down closes your pelvis to it's smallest capacity and decreases the amount of oxygen the baby gets. Gravity can be your best friend or worst enemy, use it to your advantage!

8.) Push when you have the urge. 10 is just a number. Listen to your body. If it hurts really bad to push it's too soon, pushing should feel like a relief.

9.) Embrace the contractions. If you fight them or resist they will hurt more. You have to completely surrender yourself.

10.) Believe in your body! Women have been birthing babies for thousands of years. Your body is just as able as our ancestors. Your body was made to give birth and you must believe in it's magnificent powerful ability!

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