What is Natural Birth?
Natural Birth is often an option for women with low-risk pregnancies who desire a high degree of empowerment in the delivery of their babies.
To have a natural childbirth, you must be completely comfortable and have full control over the process.
Is Natural Delivery for You?
The decision to opt for a natural delivery most likely will be made by a physician who is certified and experienced. Here are some signs that you may be a good candidate for a Natural Childbirth:
- There will only be one child, not twins or multiples.
- You are not overweight or have gained massive amounts of weight during pregnancy.
- You are prepared to go through the complete 37 weeks of your pregnancy.
- As a regular exerciser, you have followed the pregnancy diet recommendations and are physically fit.
- Families or friends have fully supported you.
- A high level of pain tolerance is very important.
10 Important Things You Must Need to Know About Natural Birth
1. Make Sure You Eat Healthily
Your aunts and well-wishers may tell you this: “Now that you are pregnant, you need to eat for two!” Don’t worry, this is just a myth! During pregnancy, the optimal weight to gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index. Too much weight during pregnancy can cause difficulties during delivery. Normally, for singleton pregnancies, you can follow these guidelines:
|Pre-pregnancy BMI||Total Weight Gain|
|Less than 18.5||12.5 – 18 kgs|
|Between 18.5 to 22.9||11.5 – 16 kgs|
|Between 23 – 24.9||7 – 11.5 kgs|
|Above 25||5 – 9 kgs|
You can calculate your BMI by taking your pre-pregnancy weight (in kilograms) and dividing it by the square of your height (in metres). During your pregnancy, eat a healthy balanced diet that includes half of fruits and vegetables, one-fourth of lean protein, and one-fourth of whole grains.
2. Walks and Prenatal Yoga –
Keep active during pregnancy. Schedule in 30- 40 minutes of walking each day. Start with 15 minutes of light walking if you have never exercised before.
Yoga is another great way to strengthen and stretch your muscles during pregnancy. You can prepare for labor by performing squats and breathing exercises. Stretching will reduce common pregnancy-related pains like leg cramps and back pain.
3. Practice Kegels and Perineal Massage –
To prepare for normal birth, Kegel exercises and perineal massage are excellent ways to strengthen and stretch pelvic floor muscles. In your third trimester, you can begin doing kegel exercises. You should also begin stretching your perineum every day as you approach week 36 of your pregnancy. Massage of the Perineal will help make labor easier for you and prevent tearing of the vaginal tissues.
4. Participate in Prenatal Classes –
The goal of prenatal classes is to make pregnant and expectant women aware of possible obstacles to childbirth and how to handle them. There are also exercises taught to make giving birth easier, less painful, and more rapid. Prepare yourself well for the delivery and labor process to face the delivery with a clear mindset.
5. Exercise Regularly –
Make sure to practice the exercises that are taught in the prenatal classes regularly. As a pregnant woman, exercising not only helps with stamina but also keeps you active. Performing regular exercises can help you cope with the stress of labor pains and exercises that target the pelvic muscles can ensure a normal delivery. Exercise must be done under the supervision of an expert, since incorrectly done exercises can harm both mother and baby.
6. Maintain a Healthy Diet –
A healthy diet is important for the unborn baby as well as the mother during pregnancy. A good diet nourishes your body and makes you stronger, enabling you to face the challenges of labor with ease and comfort. Try eating as much fresh fruit and vegetable as possible during labor. Keep a healthy weight by avoiding processed and other fatty foods. Excess weight gain can interfere with a normal pregnancy.
7. Avoid Stressful Situations –
You should learn to stay relaxed during pregnancy. As a result, less oxytocin is produced, a hormone responsible for contractions during labor. If someone makes you anxious or uncomfortable, avoid them. Stay away from negative conversations with women who already have kids and avoid listening to their negative stories. Stress can negatively affect the health and wellness of the baby.
8. Get Adequate Sleep –
Every pregnant woman should get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. It is extremely important to get good sleep so that your baby grows properly, and also so that your mind remains calm. Sleep relieves the fatigue and tiredness the mother has been feeling all day. To have a good night’s sleep, avoid caffeine-containing products like tea and coffee two hours before bedtime.
9. Practice Right Breathing Techniques –
During delivery, a woman has to hold her breath from time to time. As early as possible, it would be best to begin practicing breathing exercises. Oxygen is extremely important for a baby’s growth. Meditating and deep breathing regularly can help you learn correct breathing techniques, which will help you have a normal delivery.
10. Drink Lots of Water –
You should drink plenty of water during pregnancy and consume at least 8-10 glasses a day. Pregnant women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections, so this helps prevent them. During pregnancy, adequate water also prevents dehydration and edema (swelling).
Don’t worry about the pain of a normal delivery. Being pregnant is a wonderful experience of pain and gain. Focus on your baby and feel strong. The most important thing is to be happy; when you are happy, feel-good hormones are released, and anxiety and worries are eliminated. From pregnancy to childbirth and motherhood, you should feel special and enjoy every moment.
The benefits of Natural Childbirth
The process of natural childbirth is a test of your ability to cope with extreme pain, but there are a number of benefits and advantages, including:
- Learning relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises during natural childbirth, can help you cope with any postpartum depression or take care of children later on.
- Your partner will more actively involved in childbirth and he will develop a closer bond to you and the baby.
- The mother-baby bonding is better when the baby is in immediate contact with its mother after a natural birth, especially to facilitate breastfeeding. Baby’s sleep patterns, weight gain, and brain development are also improved by it.
- An epidural can confine you to an extended period of bed rest, but women who undergo a natural childbirth are able to move during labor and afterward.
Preparation for Natural Birth-
To increase your chances of a natural childbirth, it is vital to be prepared and informed before you go into labor.
You can prepare in several ways:
Consult your doctor or gynecologist- If you are planning to have a natural birth, it is important to check with your trusted and experienced medical practitioner to make sure it is safe for you.
Finding the Best Birthing Facility or Environment – Choose the right environment or facility for your natural childbirth, regardless of whether it is your home, birth center, or hospital.
Educate yourself about natural childbirth – Get information on natural childbirth from online resources. You should also speak to any friends or family members who have already experienced natural childbirth. You can also benefit from attending classes that offer relaxing techniques helpful during natural childbirth.
Discover Techniques for Managing Pain Naturally – Your birthing partner and you should learn and practice pain management techniques in the weeks and months before your delivery. As part of this, there are massage therapies, breathing exercises, aromatherapy, reflexology, and more.
Prepare for any medical intervention you may need – During pregnancy or delivery, complications may still occur despite the elaborate preparation. Be prepared to opt for medical intervention (especially during labor) to avoid any risks or complications.
Several tips for Naturally Delivering a Child –
The following tips can help you have a Natural Birth:
- Learn relaxation techniques and breathing exercises that can help you manage your pain.
- Make sure to manage your pain each minute, since most labor contractions only last for a minute.
- Visualize your baby coming out naturally as you manage your pain.
- Keep the birthing room as quiet as possible to avoid distractions.
How Does Natural Childbirth Feel?
Natural childbirth varies greatly between pregnant women, and also between second and subsequent pregnancies for the same woman. For some women, labor pains can feel like menstrual cramps, while for others, they may feel like diarrheal cramps.
What is the average time it takes for a Natural Delivery?
The duration of natural childbirth varies from woman to woman. Labor may last a couple of hours for some women, but it can last all day for others.
Complications of Natural Birth –
- The majority of natural childbirths are safe, but complications usually occur if you:
- Don’t follow the advice of your medical specialist.
- When complications arise during childbirth, refuse medical treatment or cannot opt for any medical intervention.
Describe the process of Natural Childbirth –
Following are two common childbirth methods that can help you give birth naturally without suffering pain:
The Lamaze method is a pain-relief method in which medication is used in a neutral manner. It is up to the woman in labor to decide if she wants to switch to pain-relieving medication using this method.
The Bradley method (also known as the Husband Coached Birth) involves greater involvement of a birth coach. The method strongly discourages the use of medication, unless it is absolutely necessary.
What Happens After Natural Delivery?
You may feel any or all of the following after natural delivery:
- An extreme level of exhaustion and a strong desire to sleep.
- You may also feel cold after giving birth.
- Pain in the area around your uterus or your vagina, as well as cramps.
- Feeling of elation after accomplishing your goal.